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Archive for April, 2007

The Friday Fillip

Behold, a woman of letters:

Thanks to ASCII-O-Matic, you can take a photo (dimensions 60 pixels wide and 50 pixels high; jpeg format) and have it converted into an image formed of ASCII characters. The thing will even kick out an HTML file that, when you use “view source,” shows you every cell in the table and all of the formatting — if that’s your sort of thing.

In case you think that Slawyer Connie Crosby would look better pixelated done in squares, I’ve caused ASCII-O-Matic to create a version in that form too. The thumbnail here is linked . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Collective Noun Contest Winners

John Swan and I are pleased to announce the winners of the Collective Noun Contest. We decided we should have both French and English winners. We won’t ask you to imagine the Herculean task it was to select amongst the candidates.

Simon Chester earns the French language prize based on quality of submissions, too. Singling out one of his was difficult. His French offerings include “un jaillissement des juristes“, which I ranked first not the least because of the almost-English punning misdirection: “jaillissement” contains “jail” but has nothing to do with punishing judges for their errors, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Clean Internet Act (Bill C-427).

The Clean Internet Act (Bill C-427) is a private member’s bill which makes one wonder about many things. Since this is not a forum for political discussion, as such, I won’t mention the primarily political, ethical, philisophical, educational, intellectual, educational, and other rational things it makes me wonder about. Since this is a legal forum, I will mention that it makes me a wonder about the nature and extent of the training in law or legal issues possessed by anyone involved in the drafting and presentation of this work.

Read about the presenter’s rationale at the second of the links  . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Inner Temple Current Awareness Blog

This from the BC Courthouse Library Society webpage.

The Inner Temple Library has recently launched a selective Current Awareness blog, intended to provide up-to-date information regarding new case law, changes in legislation, and legal news. The content is selected and updated daily by information professionals on the staff of the Inner Temple Library.

Fortunately, I could find nothing on the DaVinci Code . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Citebite and Deep Linking

A while back I bemoaned the fact that you can’t link directly to the paragraph of your choice within another’s web page (“Purple Numbers, Plinks, Cruft and the SCC“). Well, it seems that now you can, thanks to Citebite. You select the passage you want to point to, insert it into the “quote” box on the Citebite page, tell Citebite the URL, and wait while it concocts a URL that, when used, takes you to the very page you wanted with the very paragraph (or portion) you wanted highlighted in yellow.

The only procedural downside I can . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

University of Toronto and Internet Archive

I came across a fascinating article in Monday’s Toronto Star. “Archivists embrace digital page” highlights the University of Toronto’s digitization contributions to the Internet Archive. Located on the seventh floor of Robarts Library, this local scanning operation digitizes mostly old rare books into five different formats. The scanning centre’s production numbers are impressive:

  • In less than three years, this project has digitized about 44,000 books
  • The combination of people and custom-built machines in the centre allow for the scanning of 500 book pages in one hour
  • More than 1,000 books are scanned a week
  • . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Multi-Touch Computer Control

    If you haven’t seen the video of computer engineer Jeff Han demonstrating his multi-touch computer screen, you’ve missed something quite spectacular. The movie’s available as one of the TED Talks I blogged about a few weeks ago. Apple’s iPhone apparently makes use of a similar technology, but only entails two finger touch control, as opposed to Han’s full ten.

    It’s not easily grasped how this will have an impact in legal technology. The re-sizable virtual keyboard is one likely inovation that everyone will use to enter text if typing it in is still the practice. And the visual display of . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    International Water Law Research Guide

    A new research guide has been published on the GlobaLex website at the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law.

    Entitled Research Guide on Transboundary Freshwater Treaties and Other Resources, the document provides information about major global and regional treaties, databases of international, regional and bilateral agreements, non-treaty instruments, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, international water commissions such as the Canada-US International Joint Commission as well as sources of caselaw.

    “Approximately 260 of the world’s river basins, with a majority of the world’s freshwater flow, cross or create international political boundaries. 145 countries, with

    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Open Medicine

    A group of former editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has launched today an open-source, peer-reviewed medical journal that hopes to avoid what they say are editorial biases in traditional journals having to do with the important role research played by drug and medical appliance companies. (The CBC has the story.)

    Open Medicine makes its articles freely available to all and might just function as a model for an open source legal journal. And truly in keeping with the times, there’s a blog [feed] on the website as well.

    Avail yourself of the opportunity to visit . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Death Announcement for Public Libraries Is Premature

    In an Internet age, the public library system is as healthy as ever, according to a report from the ALA released today.

    “Far from hurting American libraries, the Internet has actually helped to spur more people to use their local libraries because it has increased our hunger for knowledge and information,” Loriene Roy, president-elect of the American Library Assn., said in a statement.

    According to the ALA’s State of America’s Libraries report for 2007, the number of libraries offering free Internet use increased 400% from 1994 to 2004, with 99% of libraries providing such a service. Visits to libraries increased

    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Alouette Canada Test Site

    I and others have posted a few times about the mission and goals Alouette Canada and its relation to legal information. At a lecture yesterday at UVic, by Brian Bell, the Director of the Open Digital Initiative, that they have a test site up and running. So far, most of the material is archival in nature, but there are a number of legal sites, and it is worth looking at to get a preview of the scope of Alouette Canada and what it hopes to accomplish, as well as trying out their search engine. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous