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Microsoft Applies for RSS Patent

The technical world in which we actually work is relatively free of contest and struggle: you don’t have to arm-wrestle anyone to load up your copy of Word or argue for the right to check your email (though our partners — no, the other kind — if we have them, might prove me wrong). But beneath this serene “desktop” there’s continual conflict.

Most of us use RSS, at least I hope so, given Slaw’s role among tech leaders in law. We don’t think or care about who owns it; likely we don’t even formulate the thought that way: who could . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ma Lettre Au Père Noël


Mon cher Père Noël,

Hormis la paix dans le monde et la sauvegarde de ce qui reste à l’humain d’environnement, j’aimerais que tu offres à notre société les cadeaux suivants:

1) Un investissement des entreprises dans l’infrastructure de gestion de l’information.

Systèmes et politique de gestion documentaire, archivistes et spécialistes de la gestion de l’information demeurent les seuls à même de gérer le flot d’information quotidien en s’assurant que celui-ci demeure intègre et accessible pour tous.

2) Un intérêt rehaussé des avocats pour les technologies de l’information.

Les TI sont une des rares solutions afin d’assurer un meilleur accès à . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Competition Increases for Google Book Search

The Internet Archive’s efforts to digitize materials and make them available online for free got a big boost this week: the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is awarding it a grant (some news articles report it to be $1 million) to continue its work. Combine this news with the Internet Archive’s recent milestone of digitizing 100,000 books (now publicly available at www.archive.org) and this may mean increasing competition for Google Book Search. While Google stores the digitized materials in its own proprietary index, the Internet Archive offers an alternative to libraries by offering materials in an open format accessible . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Update on Outsourcing Legal Research

Neat piece from an Illinois paper today.

A few quotes:

Chicago-based Mindcrest Inc. has an outsourcing facility in Mumbai, with 200 lawyers working for it. Mindcrest and other legal outsourcing firms are experiencing explosive growth. Mindcrest is 10 times the size it was two years ago. According to George Hefferan, vice president and general counsel, Mindcrest plans to add 200 more employees by the end of 2007.

“During my association with an Indian law firm at the start of my career, I realized that I was more interested in doing work relating to legal research and drafting than practicing law,”

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Season’s Greetings

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

If It’s December, It Must Be Time to Talk About Copyright (Again)

Kathy Biehl’s article on www.llrx.com “Bloggers Beware: Debunking Nine Copyright Myths of the Online World” provides a very helpful framework for considering copyright issues that many law firms are dealing with these days.

How copyright law impacts many day to day knowledge management and research activities in law firms is a subject that has consumed and will continue to consume many hours of time. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

US Copyright Office and LOC RSS Feeds

This news has been all over the blogosphere, but in case anyone has missed it, the US Copyright Office and the Library of Congress are both now offering RSS Feeds for their news & legislative updates. Both sets of feeds are available here.

A question… Do any of you know the background on why these two government groups might be publicizing these feeds on the same page? Is it simply a matter of someone adding context for the user, or is there a formal relationship between the Copyright office and the LOC? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Judicial Appointment Changes Legal Story of the Year

The Lawyers Weekly writes in its latest issue that the Conservative government’s attempt to change the way federal judges are nominated is the big story of 2006.

In the article entitled Conservatives aim to replace judicial ‘Charterphiles’ with ‘Charterphobes’?, journalist Cristin Schmitz writes:

“(T)he most remarkable legal story of the year is the new government’s swift and unilateral measures to shake up the way federal judges are appointed —changes which have sparked both praise and protests from the Bench and Bar as well as from the wider community.”

(…)

“By November, without any prior consultation with the judiciary or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ask Again

The search engine Ask.com, which once was Ask Jeeves, the natural language search engine, is trying out yet another skin. Ask X, their “double-secret sandbox for testing Ask experiences of the future” can be found at http://www.ask.com/?ax=5, proudly sporting the reflected logo expected now of Web 2.0 apps. But there’s also new stuff inside. A three panel interface offers you “search control” on the left, search results in the centre, and in the right panel a “preview of other types of search results, including video, news, images, blogs, shopping, encyclopedia and more.”

My acid test is a search . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New Zealand National Survey

Slaw readers may be interested in a major new survey of legal information needs [pdf] from the Legal Services Agency in New Zealand. Keen readers may recall that we blogged about the announcement of this survey being launched – now the resultsIn addition to its legal aid role, the LSA has an express research mandate:

To fund, provide and support community legal services for the public or any section of the public with particular regard to:

* setting up, contracting with and funding community law centres
* providing or funding law related education and legal information
* undertaking or funding . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous