Canada’s online legal magazine.

The Lenovo That Never Was

In light of Ted Tjaden’s post about choosing between a netbook and a laptop, I thought readers might be interested in the “pocket yoga” from Lenovo. It came out of their Beijing (and New Zealand) design studios two years ago (!) but never made it into production. Today, someone published a host of photos of the nifty thing on Flickr, so a spokesperson from Lenovo talked with Design Matters about the project. Oh yeah: it’s a tablet, too.

This, I would buy:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

CALL’s Vendor Liaison Committee Has Tools You Can Use

The Vendor Liaison Committee (VLC) of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (a committee of which I am a member), continues to put together practical information and useful tools. It is worth having a look at the full VLC page, but a couple of tools that law libraries may find useful:

  • Librarian-Vendor Relation – Best Practices
    This is essentially a checklist for libraries to work through when they have a complaint with regard to a publisher or vendor. The focus is on staying factual and professional to maintain a good relationship with your vendors. It also addresses unresolved issues,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

Straight to the Supreme Court of Canada

I need to go to the Supreme Court website from time to time, and although I’m sure I’ve bookmarked it somewhere, it’s a tad tedious to first find the bookmark and then activate it, or to use Google when the bookmarks on your laptop aren’t the same as those on your desktop machine. What would be right, would be if the court had the URL or some such, but in our peculiar capitalist way, that URL has been snatched by someone and is being camped on, as are all sensible variants. And in our peculiar bureaucratic way, the actual . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

About 82% of Canadians were already happy with Obama in February, but this week I suspect he converted a few of the holdouts with his call for restoring scientific integrity to government decision making. All was subsequently peaceful and happy in the U.S. of A., leading to M&A rapprochement between Roche and Genentech and to Gilead Sciences riding to CV Therapeutics’ rescue

M&A developments were not so peaceful and happy in Canada, where the Special Committee formed by Patheon’s Board called a takeover bid by JLL Partners “substantially undervalued, opportunistic and structurally coercive.” Merck and Schering-Plough did . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

BBC Botnet Could Be Breaking Laws

A recent show on the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Click, investigated cybercrimes and how compromised computers could be used to send spam.

But the program didn’t just provide information on current criminal practices, they created their own botnet and accessed 22,000 computers in the U.K. The show informed users they had infected about the vulnerability, and about ways to better protect themselves.

Despite the informative value of the exercise, some critics like Graham Cluley are wondering if they are in violation of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which states,

Computer misuse offences

1 Unauthorised access to computer material

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Federal Baby?

I’ve just noticed the CBC story concerning the Quebec couple who paid a woman $20,000 to be surrogate mother, received the baby, and were refused an adoption by the court when they applied and revealed all of the details concerning the genesis of the child. The takeaway line from the judgment is the peculiar statement that “Cette enfant n’a pas droit à une filiation maternelle à tout prix,” [“This child has no right to a declaration of maternity in spite of everything.” — my weak translation] which the news has picked up as meaning the child has no legal mother. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

No Day for Lawyers

By now most newspaper readers will know of a momentous event at 1:59:26 one numerical representation of the date and time, 3.1415926, aligned with pi out to seven decimal places. This afternoon the digital clock in North America turned to show 3.1415926. PI Day was March 14.

At 1.59pm at the San Francisco Exploratorium a parade of people processed approximately 3.14 times around a shrine to Pi — and then ate pie.

Curiously it was also Talk Like a Physicist day, and Albert Einstein’s 130th anniversary.

So a significant day for physicists, mathematicians and obsessives of various . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Women’s Court of Canada – Le Tribunal Des Femmes Du Canada

Th WCC-TFC is on a western Canadian Tour. Details are hard to track down, but here are their destinations, and some dates.

  • UBC, March 9
  • UVic, March 11
  • UAlberta
  • U Calg, March 13
  • U Sask.
  • U Man. March 19

As a rock group they are pretty unplugged, but as an educational experience, they… rock! Slaw has already covered their launch week in 2008, and explained the project, which is to re-write important SCC equality decisions from a more ‘context-aware’, if I may paraphrase, perspective.

It was interesting to hear about how the process of writing these decisions . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Happy 20th, World Wide Web!

The folks over at CERN, the home of the World Wide Web, are celebrating today. It was 20 years ago that Tim Berners-Lee came up with the idea. From

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is where it all began in March 1989. A physicist, Tim Berners-Lee, wrote a proposal for information management showing how information could be transferred easily over the Internet by using hypertext, the now familiar point-and-click system of navigating through information. The following year, Robert Cailliau, a systems engineer, joined in and soon became its number one advocate.

The idea was to connect

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

The Friday Fillip

I used to read John LeCarré and Len Deighton. There was something about the closed-in, mirror-in-mirror world of spies that appealed to me, and, of course, there was the pleasure of fiction (i.e. lying) about lying. Nowadays, spy books are fewer — and lying is so very much easier, having leaped free of the genre, thanks to the internet. So I thought I’d take a brief look at the sorts of web tools that are available to, well, create false impressions and in so doing perhaps make your life easier.

First there’s the fake mobile phone call, typically designed to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Online Defamation – No Limitation Period? reports today that the European Court of Human Rights upheld an English defamation case in which the publication had been online for more than the usual one-year limitation period for defamation suits. [Case of Times Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v. The United Kingdom]

Though the limitation period runs from publication, each time a web site is accessed is considered a new publication. Thus the limitation period never expires for an online publication.

Does this make sense? (, a publication of the Pinsents law firm in the UK, does not think so.)

On the other hand, . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

StatsCan Report on Justice Personnel

As a group, justice personnel are becoming older, according to a Statistics Canada report, “Aging of justice personnel” by Mathieu Charron, Racha Nemr and Roxan Vaillancourt, available on Juristat in HTML and PDF. (There’s a summary available on The Daily.)

The main findings of the study, based on the 2006 Census, are that the number and average age of justice workers has grown in parallel with the labour force as a whole; the median age is now 41. The report goes on to scrutinize four groups in greater detail: police officers, court personnel, correctional services workers, and private . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous