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Two Tech Tips

I’ve been learning the ins, outs, and inbetweens of my new iPad, which means for the most part figuring out what apps work on it and what their limitations are. (e.g. I don’t use Word so I’m not fussed about its lack; but I do use RTF and am disappointed that I can’t create rich text files.) In the course of doing that, I’ve downloaded the iPad app version of Dropbox and have been impressed all over again by that great service.

If you don’t know Dropbox you should take a look. It’s a file storage and sharing system that . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

UN Report on E-Parliaments

The Global Centre for Information and Communication Technologies in Parliament, a partnership initiative of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, has released a considerable World e-Parliament 2010 report. (Aussi disponible en français.) According to the executive summary [PDF]:

The Report presents the latest data on the use and availability of systems, applications, hardware, and other tools in [134] parliaments around the world, based on the global survey conducted by the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament in 2009.

. . . The Report highlights two critical issues – communication with citizens

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

The Friday Fillip

If a picture’s worth a thousand words ( — who coined that, anyway? perhaps one Fred R. Barnard, who, I hope, with a name like that learned to draw — ), a well designed logo is worth millions. Words and money.

Seems paradoxical, perhaps, that an image so lean, so simple should be that powerful. In part the power that these commercial glyphs have comes from the fact that they’re repeated endlessly, presumably because of some marketing equation that runs “cognition = recognition = approval = purchase”. But ubiquity is only a part of it: there’s the small matter . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Annual Meeting of the World Institute for Research and Publication (WIRP)

This will certainly be the first time that I will speak in public in my pyjamas. I’m participating in a conference this weekend hosted by the World Institute for Research and Publication (WIRP) where I’m presenting a couple papers.

It’s not that all my suits are at the dry cleaner, but because the conference is being hosted online. The first time this was done was apparently by CONVIBRA in Brazil. Since 2004, WIRP has been hosting conferences on Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Business Administration, Education, and Law, primarily using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

This year they’re trying something different, with . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training

Governance – a Key Ingredient for Success

In a recent conversation over outsourcing at a conference, I was struck by the importance of governance to the ultimate success of an outsourcing. The individual I was speaking with (let’s call them the ‘customer’ for purposes of this article) described their situation as one in which their enterprise was late in the term of a BPO outsourcing involving the transfer of a certain business function to a service provider. As they drew nearer the end of the term and began to consider a renewal, this customer undertook a more detailed analysis of the health of the transaction with its . . . [more]

Posted in: Outsourcing

United States Patent and Trademark Office Bulk Downloads

That Google. They have a lot of stuff, including some US Patent and Trademark office material.

The following USPTO patent products are available for free download.

Grant images
Grant full text
Grant bibliographic data
Published applications
Assignments
Maintenance fee events
USPTO Red Book
Classification information

Google must have been delivering patents for some time through its Patents beta site since their database contains “over 7 million patents”. I don’t recall hearing about this and would have remained ignorant but for Alex Horns post about the bulk data news from Tech Daily Dose.

As the Google folks say about . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Privacy Breach Notification — Federal Amendments

As you know, the federal government last week introduced Bill C-29 to amend the privacy provisions of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). In this note I want to mention the breach notification rules. Essentially, a person with control of personal information will have to report to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada any ‘material breach’ of confidentiality, and notify affected individuals if ‘it is reasonable to conclude’ that the breach creates ‘a real risk of significant harm’.

The Commissioner is given no express power to order a data holder to notify if the data holder has chosen . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

E-Passport a Privacy Concern

It was recently reported that Passport Canada has issued 25,000 biometric passports, and plans to issue them to all Canadians by 2011. The government is introducing e-passports to enhance security, fight fraud, reduce identity theft and meet international counter-terrorism measures already in use in travel documents in over 60 countries, including the United States, the European Union, Australia and Israel. The e-passport will now be valid for a period of 10 years (thank you!—that’s an improvement at least).

A biometric passport has a data chip inside it that can be read electronically. The chip contains information about the holder’s face—such . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Battery Boy

This article is about batteries that you can use to provide backup power for your laptop. The emphasis is on the two external batteries that I haved actually used: the Tekkeon myPower ALL MP 3450 and the Duracell/Xantrex XPower Powersource Mobile 100.

The bottom line? I bought one of each. The Tekkeon was better designed for the specific purpose of use with a laptop, as I’ll explain below. The Xantrex, however, was a battery that could more conveniently be used as a power supply for a variety of devices.

In the Fall of 2009, I bought a Dell Mini . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology