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NCBI Resource Locator

At times lawyers need to learn a little medicine, and the NCBI Resource Locator might help. First of all, NCBI stands for the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is part of the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine, and the institution that manages PubMed, the likely the destination for a legal researcher.

PubMed has a fantastic search page, offering you all manner of ways of focusing your search into the medical literature. As well, there are tutorials to help you figure out how to do what you want.

Which brings us to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

The Death of the High Street Solicitors

Today’s Daily Telegraph reports on a survey with news that the small generalist firm may not survive the upheavals caused by the opening up of the English market for legal services.

A survey of 75 leading professionals by Thomson Sweet & Maxwell found that 69pc of high street solicitors firms will be either significantly or drastically affected by the Legal Services Act reforms.

Nearly 60pc of the solicitors and barristers interviewed believed that traditional high street firms would be a rarity by 2015.

The full report is available in book form under the title Brave New World: Impact of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Telecommuting Is Good for You

A new study has found that workers freed from the constraints of the office environment by working from home are more satisfied with their work than those who do all their work from their desks. This may come as no surprise, but the study found that tele-commuting workers are also more “proud to tell people I work for my company”, feel that there is more “open, honest two-way communication”, believe that senior management values their contribution more, and are less likely to be considering leaving their employer.

In light of all this, the most surprising finding may be that only . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Secret to Extending Your 2.0

I’m finally figuring out some things when it comes to ‘talking’ once and ‘publishing’ many. Ok Matthews, what are you going on about? 2.0 of course! Facebook, Blogging, RSS feeds and Twitter to be exact.

One of the awkward things about all these 2.0 applications is deciding where to publish. Where do I put my thoughts online? Do I blog, linkblog, twitter, or facebook? Well, I *think* I have a solution!

  • Step 1 is to decide where to publish. And the answer is not Facebook or Twitter. I’ve come to the conclusion that both should be considered content destinations
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, Technology: Internet

Standardized Chapel Library Project

The NY Times Book Review has a story on the weeding of chapel libraries in US prisons.

The chaplains were directed by the Bureau of Prisons to clear the shelves of any books, tapes, CDs and videos that are not on a list of approved resources… The lists are broad, but reveal eccentricities and omissions. There are nine titles by C. S. Lewis, for example, and none from the theologians Reinhold Niebuhr, Karl Barth and Cardinal Avery Dulles, and the influential pastor Robert H. Schuller.

What they should really be doing is something like the AALL guidelines, to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Net Neutrality

The concept of “net neutrality” was in the news a lot earlier this year, and was the subject of a few posts at slaw.

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission is currently working on developing new regulations for broadband internet providers. The Federal Department of Justice recently filed submissions with the FCC arguing in favour of a “non-neutral” internet where internet providers could charge content providers for faster or more reliable service.

Their position is clear: “The Department submits… that free market competition, unfettered by unnecessary governmental regulatory restraints, is the best way to foster innovation and development . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Video Phones at Fraser Milner

In an article in TQ, the Globe and Mail’s quarterly biz-tech glossy insert, David Komaromi, technical services manager at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, talks about the new internet phone system the firm has introduced. He says,

[I]t’s the video that’s the killer app. Practising law is about communication, and video on the desktop makes communication all that more clear.

It turns out that one of the ways in which video clarifies things has to do with the fact that, in Komaromi’s words, “There’s no place to hide,” and so you have to pay attention, or appear to at least. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Comments on Google News

About a month ago, Simon wrote about Google News allowing people to comment on news stories linked from their news page. I rely on Google News to gather stories for me to read, and have been seeing these comments show up over the last few weeks.

Some of the comments add value to the content in the stories. For instance:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Uncategorized

Windows Live Translator


Microsoft launched a service for automatic translation called Windows Live Translator. The site lets you translate a text limited to 500 words or a web page from English to German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Russian.

Microsoft uses Systran to produce most of the translations, but also offers an option to translate computer-related texts using a machine translation system developed in-house. Microsoft’s translation technology has been used to translate technical materials, including MSDN Library.
Google Operating System

We’ve talked a bit about French-English translation here on Slaw, for obvious reasons, so I thought you’d be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Lie of the Land

I think September is the true New Year’s. Campus, the city, and life in general feel completely different than they did a few short weeks ago when Simon F. and I chatted about starting a legal education and technology column in Slaw. Since that chat the topic has been on my mind, and as I found myself back in class beginning my second year of the law program at Queen’s, I’ve been noticing that the intersection of these two concepts is a rather large, intriguing, and often humorous one. And that is why I’m kicking off this series with a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous