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Social Bookmarking – ConnectBeam, Vivisimo

In a recent post, I raised the (common) issue of the desire to allow users to tag, rate or bookmark internal or external sites or documents with the challenge being that most current document management systems (DMS) do not easily allow this to happen.

While looking for something else, I came across an August 12, 2007, post from LawyerKM discussing ConnectBeam, an enterprise social bookmarking and tagging system that works behind the firewall. Searching on a keyword brings up a list of all items tagged with that word. There is also a bit of an expertise locator that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

IHT Tweets

Those of you who like your news even hotter than the presses can manage — and hotter still than RSS — will like the fact that the wonderful International Herald Tribune is on Twitter at Because I’m now on Twitter, I decided to “follow” the paper and discovered that there are only 58 people following it at the moment, so you can be among the very first if you hurry. Interestingly, the IHT is now following me, a pretty common practice among Twitterers I gather.

Whether under this rather silly bird rubric or under some other name, . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Mapping Your Email

Between 1998 and now Christopher Baker accumulated 60,000 emails, which, at something like 20 a day isn’t an unreasonable number. He knew that in that mine lay information that would show him the shifting relationships between him and his correspondents across the decade, and he also knew that it would be difficult, not to mention tedious, to assess these by reading the archive. Instead, he designed a custom program that illustrated the networks graphically. You can see this in a Flash movie demonstrating his program.

This is, for me, paradigmatic of what computers are about: processing great quantitites of data . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Mobile Slaw

I recently had the chance to look at Slaw on the very small screen that mobile phones afford you, and while I wasn’t downcast, I wasn’t blown away by the legibility of it all either. Because some of our readers, at least, will catch up with us as they zip between offices or head out for lunch at the food court, it makes sense for Slaw to offer a stripped down version suitable for the small screeners among us. MoFuse makes that possible. It takes our RSS feed (in this case just for the posts) and serves up a web . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Is Online Education Taking Off?

We’ve posted here before about virtual education and the use of the internet to deliver classes. In that vein, the Freakonomics blog yesterday published an interview with an instructor offering online economics courses to community colleges and other small private colleges. From his home in Chicago, he teaches courses across the country.

The teacher, Jamie Gladfelter, highlights a few of the benefits of going online with courses – of course, this interview is great PR for him, so you wouldn’t expect it any other way. As usual at their blog, the comments are quite insightful, with Gladfelter himself coming . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training

Why No More WiFi

Last time I spoke to Simon F, he was complaining that there was not enough WiFi service available to keep him and his new iPod Touch connected at all times. This in a city whose downtown is blanketed by a WiFi network provided by Toronto Hydro. I’ve never tried the service myself – for the time it was in a free trial, I didn’t live within the area covered.

Toronto is not the only city to attempt such a scheme. However, the takeup has not quite been as expected in cities across the United States, particularly where private companies . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology


Some thoughts this morning on memory…

A Boston Globe article last week commented on the problems arising from the virtually limitless “memory” of our digital age, allowing all of our indiscretions and mis-steps to survive forever in cyberspace – and to be easily indexed and retrieved. As librarians and researchers, of course, this is great. But as “normal people” (I use this merely for lack of a better term :-) there are advantages to amnesia.

The article discusses the concept of “data ecology” where companies collecting and holding certain types of data would be required to delete it after . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management


If you’re interested in start pages, you might take a look at Webwag, a recent entry into the market from the former Google guy in France, Franck Poisson. I found it to be quickly responsive, when adding new feeds, easy to move things around in, and appealing enough to look at. One feature I like — which may be available on other start pages, too — is the ability to go to a web page, frame a portion, and from that portion alone create a widget in Webwag. See in the image here (click to enlarge), for example, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


An interesting subject over at Slate: what can we learn from looking at the laws that are not enforced? Lawyer Tim Wu looks for patterns in how law is not applied (in the US).

Almost as much as the laws that we enact, the lawbreaking to which we shut our eyes reflects how tolerant U.S. society really is to individual or group difference. It forms a major part of our understanding of how the nation deals with what was once called “vice.” While messy, strange, hypocritical, and in a sense dishonest, widespread tolerance of lawbreaking forms a critical part

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

More on Plain Language

Thanks to my recent post on Mellinkoff and his book “The Language of the Law,” I’ve had a delighful exchange of emails with Mark Adler, a retired English solicitor and plain-legal-language consultant. He tells me that Mellinkoff’s book was the first law book he read from beginning to end and the first he ever enjoyed. The excerpt from it on “manifest” that was quoted in the Language Log entry reminded him of an incident when he was in practice:

Acting for the proposed tenant of a shop, I received a draft lease from the landlord’s solicitor. It provided (as

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Website Allows You to Reduce Environmental Footprint

My friends and I like to travel. And yet, we also like to reduce our footprint on the environment. And really, the two things are so contradictory. Every time we step onto an airplane, we are doing inestimable damage to the environment. What to do?

Back in May Air Canada announced a carbon off-set program called Zerofootprint. The program has a website where you can submit your flight information, and using information it has on record for Air Canada’s planes, it calculates how much it would cost to plant trees to off-set your carbon usage: Zerofootprint calculator. Now . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Vapourware, Vapour-Wear, and Vapour Where?

Vapourware [vaporware] is, according to “Computer Slang. a product, esp. software, that is promoted or marketed while it is still in development and that may never be produced.” We may just have seen the first reported instance of VR hardware vapourware. Legal Technology reports, under a posting captioned “Is That Your Phone or Your Imagination?” that

“Many mobile phone addicts and BlackBerry junkies report feeling vibrations as if they’re wearing a cell phone when they’re not.” also reports, in the same piece, that

 Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams wrote on his blog,, that he

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous