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Funny What Folks Get Nostalgic For

Modern tax laws lack old-fashioned charmBy Vanessa Houlder in FT March 3 2006
The volume of income tax legislation has expanded five-fold as a result of a painstaking effort to rewrite its Byzantine terminology in plain English.

The rewritten legislation, now spread over five volumes, is much easier to use and understand, according to a survey of tax professionals by Mori for Revenue & Customs.

But the survey uncovered pockets of resistance from experts who missed the “charm” of the old jargon, a lot of which dated back to 19th century legislation. A Customs official told Mori: “When . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Academic Search Engines

This is something I received from a newsletter from UVic computer services concerning a new academic search engine. To quote:

“Academic searching on the Internet can be a challenge, but some new services are making the task easier. Beilefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is a system developed by Beilefeld University Library in Germany and provides a simple, fast search site. Google is testing a similar search site. These resources complement the licensed (read “cost money” ) databases provided by the UVic Libraries.”

An interesting perspective – it would be nice if Google Academic et al. could even begin to match . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Is KM? Yes, We’re Still Asking…

Funny thing KM. It seems we’ve been asking what it is as long as its been around. Case in point, a little post by Ross Mayfield which critiques some of the early KM practices, and offers a new term – Manage Knowledgement (MK).

Ross defines his new term as “a way of describing KM that’s backwards but works “, and that with MK, through blogs and wikis, the principle activity is sharing, driven by social incentives.

Problem is, as Luis Suarez points out, relying exclusively on social software offers no more balance than exclusively relying on tracking explicit knowledge, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Pamela Anderson and Stephen Harper’s Sex Appeal

Thanks to Warren Kinsella for his insightful advice on how to maximize hits, and drive traffic to your blog. Cynics rejoice.

Today’s question is what thing has been surprisingly absent from Slaw since its inception?. If you guessed Pamela Anderson and Stephen Harper’s Sex Appeal, well we haven’t exactly blogged much on either – but that’s not the answer I’m thinking of.

It’s the Law Commission of Canada which has been beavering away in Ottawa for 8 3/4 years, without making much impression on the law, lawyers or the Canadian legal community. You might have missed its last publication . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Saksham

I’ve posted here in the past about the way the Internet looks from South India. But that’s mainly been from the centres of Chennai, Coimbatore and Kottayam, which are fast catching up to Bangalore and Hyderabad,as hubs of high-tech. There is another, older India and the most interesting IT news out of India this weekend is how a rural portal may soon reach deep into India’s villages, — where almost 70 per cent of India lives — largely untouched by the IT and outsourcing booms.

Saksham, a public-private initiative is aimed at creating a self-sustaining kiosk modelA kiosk in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Spring! and a Woman’s Thoughts Turn to Tax Time

Ah, Spring! This weekend my thoughts turn to Easter chocolate, crocuses, and……

income tax!

Unlike our colleagues in the U.S., many of us have today and possibly even Monday free from the office. What better time to sort out all those papers, gather up the receipts, and file that claim?

And yet, still so many women continue to put their heads in the sand and claim that completing a simple income tax form is “too complicated”. They recruit fathers, husbands, brothers to help or even fill out their forms for them. They may think they are saving themselves a headache . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Next Generation Search – the Voice Interface

Techtree in Mumbai is reporting today on a new Google patent for a voice interface for search engines.

This essentially means if and when the product is built, users will be able to phone an internet search query or say it aloud instead of typing it inAccording to Swapnil Bhartiya of EFY News Network, “You can have a demo of Google Voice Search on Google Labs, Google’s pre-beta-test site, for well over a year. Google Voice Search, still up on Google Labs, lets people call into Google by phone”.
Or in Patent Speak:

A system provides search results from

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

The Friday Fillip arrives a little early today, but it’s a holiday weekend and there may not be much posting to cap. (This weekend is Easter, Passover, Baisakhi, and only one week off Mawlid al-Nabi, Mohammed’s birthday, and three weeks off the birthday of the Buddha.)

So all of this calendaring, lunar and solar, got me thinking of time.

Charlotte van der Waals has designed a marvelously simple 12-sided clock. The concept is brilliant: no numerals on the face; turn one facet uppermost depending on what city/locale you want to know the time in; the top is noon and midnight, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Calendar

With all the buzz about Google Calendar, I skipped my coffee break to give it a spin not expecting to find it very useful given that I rely heavily on my Outlook calendar in conjunction with the rest of Outlook. Still, my only out-of-office access to my Outlook Calendar is through my PDA. I don’t yet know if Google Calendar will sync with my PDA.

What particularly appeals to me about Google Calendar even without testing it is the ability to share calendars in a collaborative way. Very 2.0.

I found Matt Cutts review of Google Calendar very helpful . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous