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Archive for June, 2007

A Copyright Fairytale

I maybe should save this for Friday, but I found out about this link through the Canadian Association of Research Libraries listserv. Its from a May 18th posting on Facebook:

A Fair(y) Use Tale
YouTube, May 18, 2007

Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University provides this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Xerox Fact Spotter

Xerox is touting it’s new semantic search development, Fact Spotter.

The “smart” search engine can comb through almost any document regardless of the language, location, format or type; take advantage of the way humans think, speak and ask questions; and discriminate the results highlighting just a handful of relevant answers instead of returning thousands of unrelated responses.

“Our advanced search engine goes beyond today’s typical ‘keyword’ search or current data-mining programs, which typically end up searching only 40 percent of all the documents that are relevant because the keywords are too limiting,” said Frédérique Segond, manager of parsing and semantics

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Combating Information Overload

Information overload remains a serious issue for many (information) professionals. At a recent knowledge management (KM) conference in New York sponsored by WestKM and Recommind, I presented a paper on the topic of information overload. I discussed three main aspects:

1) The History of Information Overload

2) The Negative Impact of Information Overload

3) KM Tips and Techniques to Combat Information Overload . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

SeaDragon and Magic Ink

Connie’s Friday Fillip of a while back included a link to this amazing paper, Magic Ink, which reconceptualizes computer programming as information design and graphical design. Combined with this startling presentation from TED of what Microsoft is doing with SeaDragon, which allows endless zooming in and out, I think the end of the HTML website is nigh. Imagine a Google Earth of your entire collection, only you design the landscape. Time to learn more about the graphical representation of information. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Look in the Crystal

SearchCrystal is probably search engine number sixteen million, and like anything nearly out of sight down the long tail it has to be different to attract attention (or is it that you’re near the tip of the tail because you’re different?). In the case of SearchCrystal the difference is visual, which makes it somewhat hard to describe and also somewhat hard to figure out at first.

For one thing, Crystal searches five indexes: Ask, MSN, Yahoo, Google, and ExaleadNew to me. Obviously search engine number 15,999,999, at, allowing you to see the top ten of the results from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Everybody’s Doin’ It

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (which might have been better as the Centre for Study of Crime and Justice, but nevermind) has released a report, “Law-abiding majority? The everyday crimes of the middle classes” [PDF], by Professor Susanne Karstedt and Dr Stephen Farrall, that shows that 61% of the English and Welsh middle class have committed a crime “of every day life.” The data are as follows:

offence % Paid cash in hand to avoid taxation 34 Kept the money when ‘over-changed’ 32 Taken something from work 18 Avoided paying TV licence 11 Wrongly used identity . . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Yahoo Pipes Again

Like many in the blogosphere, I took a look at Yahoo Pipes back in February when it launched, and then I dropped it. In my case this was because it wasn’t “easy peasy” to make it do nifty things. But I’ve gone back again and am more determined this time to make it sing and dance. Among other things I need to learn how JSON works, because it lets you put Pipes content directly into a web page without the need for it to pass through any other processor, as it would have to as an RSS feed. I need . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Radio

…not that other radio is illegal… just that this “radio” has has its subject law. LegalTalkNetwork:

is the first truly interactive Internet radio network for the legal community. Each show is legal talk radio, highlighting important issues with high profile lawyers and experts. Get the latest legal news, and connections with colleagues that will help you meet the challenges of a changing legal world.

This is a network in that there are half a dozen sources of programming that are gathered here. Thus far this month you might have heard:

  • Economics of Personal Injury Cases [Ringler Radio]
  • . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    The Friday Fillip

    This fine specimen you see to your left is a walker who comes straight from the Queen’s University Bio Motion Lab, which is doing research into what we learn (or think we learn) from a person’s carriage. (I’ve oversimplified. Surprise.) All of which is only sort of interesting of a Friday.

    Except that you get to be part of the grand experiment. The lab has constructed a walking person who consists either of dots and lines (like our friend here) or simply of dots. On an animation page, you get to run sliders back and forth to change . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Britannica Blog

    The Times Higher Education Supplement pointed me to the Britannica Blog (yes, that Britannica). The particular issue is Michael Gorman’sHe was president of ALA (2005-2006) and has held lots of significant posts in the library world. See his bio on the blog. two-part attack on the sloppy research that Google et al. lead to and on the tools themselves, it would seem — indeed the whole technological milieu.

    Doubtless a lot of what he has to say is deliberate “link baiting,” but the discussion in the comments takes him seriously most of the time, and the level of the debate . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    West’s Encyclopedia of American Law on

    Thomson Gale has added its West’s Encyclopedia of American Law to, in their Law Encyclopedia Topics section. From what I can tell this is a sponsored addition.

    This is quite handy for looking up discussion on legal topics with a U.S. perspective, especially if your library does not have U.S. materials in a certain area. Access is free and arranged alphabetically, or may come up in an search. This is just one of several tools in the arsenal of resources, the most famous of which is Wikipedia.

    To see what reference sources are being added . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Intro Piece on E-Discovery

    There’s a short article on’s Legal Technology page, “Covering the Bases of Electronic Discovery” by Michael A. Gold, that might prove to be a useful introduction to the U.S. situation and, therefore, to the complexities of e-discovery generally.

    The last word from Gold:

    As in-house lawyers become more savvy about e-discovery under the new rules, outside lawyers will not be able to fake the level of expertise their corporate clients will come to routinely expect. Even a longstanding relationship with the client will not remain stable very long if outside counsel cannot convince a general counsel that

    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous