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Archive for December, 2006

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, 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, 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

Statute Law Database Goes Live!

It is with great pleasure that I can finally write to let you know that this monumental project has gone live before Christmas, as was indicated some months back. It is still hard to believe – but here is the proof! And as promised, it is free of charge.

Best wishes to all Slawyers for the festive season…. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Archives to York University

The Toronto Star reports that Ontario will be moving its archives to a new building at York University.

The new three-storey facility will be located at York’s main campus on Keele St. and will be built over the next two years. A seven-storey tower atop the archives centre will house university researchers. York will pay for and operate the building.

Under the plan, the province will sign a 35-year lease for $6 million annually with two 10-year options for renewal.

That compares with the $4 million a year the government now pays to rent the substandard building on Grenville St.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Cost of Law Books – Another View – From Lagos

It’s great to find views that one would never have stumbled over.

Here is an intelligent discussion of how to provide legal information to Nigeria, the costs of legal information in Africa and the role of ITFor those who haven’t kept up a 419er is a fraudster peddling get rich schemes over the Internet in breach of section 419 of the Criminal Code – a reprise of the old Spanish Prisoner fraud.. And some good words for Butterworths Lexis Nexis – and Sweet and Maxwell too.

Books bake good lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Revelation for All of Us

Slaw readers should catch up on this wonderful piece from Peter Mansbridge and the CBC National on an amazing new technology called Internet.

No longer merely a science story, the internet is described as a “phenomenon,” a “revolution,” and “modulated anarchy.” Bill Cameron looks at the internet’s cultural impact.

Then there is Telidon, which will replace newspapers and Canada Post one day.

A classic of scientific journalism, and a revelation for all of us. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Adulterer Makes New Law

Some quite unusual law being made in Mr. Justice Eady’s court last weekWith some quite unusual vocabulary, which likely wasn’t in his Lordship’s spell checker., The Times reports.

Since the case is known as CC v. AB, we can’t speculate who’s involved, but it involves a high-profile sports figure who had an affair with another man’s wife. To everyone’s amazement the adulterer has won a court order banning the betrayed husband from naming him to the press. After a hearing on CC‘s plea for an injunction against AB talking publicly about the matter, the judge ruled . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Audiences À La Cour Suprême de L’affaire Dell

Mercredi dernier, 13 décembre, j’ai réparé un manquement pour tout juriste canadien qui se respecte: je suis allé pour la première fois à la Cour suprême. C’était bien sûr à l’occasion des audiences de l’affaire Dell Computer c. Union des consommateurs dont j’ai déjà abondamment parlé ici et . Une affaire passionnante et complexe que je me permets de résumer par quelques points, énumérés, en vrac.

1) Sur la forme d’abord, c’est avec beaucoup de jalousie que je voyais les procureurs se débattre, plusieurs avec beaucoup de talents, dans ce travail de conviction face à des juges forcément aguerris . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Hello Helloogle

According to the Observer:

Google is on the move. The internet giant has held talks with Orange, the mobile phone operator, about a multi-billion-dollar partnership to create a ‘Google phone’ which makes it easy to search the web wherever you are.

Apparently Orange is interested in Google’s ability to compress data and, so, to speed up surfing from a phone. Google, of course, is interested in world domination. But don’t hold the phone: seems nothing’s going to happen before 2008. And who knows when it might get into North America’s wretched cell phone network technology anyway. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Sounds of Slaw

Text-to-voice programs are becoming better and better at reproducing the sounds of natural speech. Their voices have almost lost that boring robo monotony they used to have and they’ve become a bit more responsive to the clues that punctuation offers about rhythms. I thought it might be fun to see — hear! — how an entry in Slaw would sound if read, well, automatically.

Because I wanted to try out a number of different voices, I used the free demo function of Cepstral Text-to-Speech [all platforms supported], rather than buying (at US$30 a pop) any particular “speaker” just now. That . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Although I gather it’s been out for quite a while, I only recently downloaded SketchUp. It’s a 3-D drawing program now part of Google’s stable that is simply phenomenal. I can’t draw for beans, and if you start with me about horizon lines and all that high-tech art talk I leave the room and doodle. But with SketchUp you can create buildings, you can construct rooms full of furniture, you can represent actual structures and attach them to Google Earth’s map of everything.

The program is very deep — even the free version — and it’s going to take . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous