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Archive for June, 2007

Bread, Eggs, Paper Towel… Milk

Remember The Milk is a simple web application that manages your to-do lists for you. I looked at it some time ago, and decided after a bit of play that it wasn’t for me. Nothing wrong with it, but not what I needed.

But now things are looking different and I’m back experimenting with it again. What caught my eye was the recent announcement that Remember The Milk (hereinafter RTM) was making use of the new Google Gears to function offline as well as online. Add to that integration with Google Calendar, a widget for your Google homepage — . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Avvo

Check out Avvo, the recently launched website that rates (U.S.) lawyers. [hat tip: Rob Hyndman] Aimed at non-corporate consumers, Avvo rates lawyers on the basis of:

their number of years in practice, disciplinary sanctions, and professional achievements. The data comes from multiple sources, including state bar associations, court records, lawyer websites, and information lawyers provide to Avvo. We have created a mathematical model that considers this information and calculates a score on a ten-point scale.

Rob Hyndman tells us that 10 days after launch Avvo was made the defendant in a class action brought by and on . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

I’m stealing a leaf from the new NYTimes book blog Paper Cuts. On Wednesdays they feature a writer’s playlist “[b]ecause books and music, on good days, just seem to go together.” Well, I say Friday and music just seem to do the same thing, and so here’s a short playlist from me. I’ve tried to include links to samples of the music, and in some cases I can only hope you’ve got iTunes on you machine to make the iTunes sample work.

Let’s have your playlists, with or without samples. I’m always trying to broaden my musical tastes and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Shades of Captain Copyright

The U.S. Library of Congress has put a lesson on the web called “Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright.” Aimed at kids of about ten, I’d say, there is a series of animated movies retailing the party line. In one lesson the history of copyright is set out in such a way as to suggest, to my eye, at least, that things in Europe were in a bad way and then America began to invent copyright and tighten it more and more and more over the years, all as a matter of progress. Not a word about Creative Commons or, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Spider on the Fly

Google has now enabled us to create “custom search engines on the fly.” You tell Google the URL of the page you want the ability to search — e.g. your own blog main page — embed the resuting code in your page, and then when a search term is entered into the Google search box on your page results will appear from all of the sites linked from your page.

This would, in effect, create a search engine out of all of the sites on your blogroll, which, if your blog focus was sufficiently tight and your blogroll . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Battlestar Atlantica

Far be it from me, to suggest whom the cylons are in Battlestar Atlantica, but as this has been prominent in the news this week, at least in this part of the country, I thought I would go find the text that has been the subject of so much ink and hot air.

From Nova Scotia:

  • Offshore Revenues Agreement Page.
  • Text of the 2005 Agreement
  • From the Federal Department of Finance:

  • Nova Scotia Offshore Agreements
  • Text of the 2005 Agreement
  • Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Atlantic Accord Page
  • Text of the 2005 Agreement
  • From the Federal Department of Finance

  • Newfoundland and
  • . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Harnessing the Gaming Instinct to Improve the Internet

    Human Computation

    Google TechTalks July 26, 2006 – with Luis von Ahn, assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University

    From the abstract:

    Tasks like image recognition are trivial for humans, but continue to challenge even the most sophisticated computer programs. This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. Traditional approaches to solving such problems focus on improving software. I advocate a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower using computer games.

    This video runs about 52 minutes but is fascinating; I started watching and couldn’t look away. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    LawNow.org Et Al.

    My week for finding things that have been around for ages, in this case LawNow, a magazine and, as LawNow.org, a website with associated services. The tagline for LawNow is “relating law to life in Canada,” which, you might guess, means that it’s aimed at real people rather than legal folk. I can see that it might be useful in a highschool law course. The mag is by subscription only ($26/year); a subscription to LawNow Plus ($89/yr) gets you the magazine and alerts about changes to legislation or information on selected cases as well as access to the . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Learning the New Legal Technology

    Anyone involved in teaching lawyers and law students should take a look at a Berkman Center paper, “New Skills, New Learning: Legal Education and the Promise of New Technology” by Gene Koo. The study does a good job of analysing the problems and promises that face lawyers in respect of technology and raises some of the right questions for those responsible for educating students. A paragraph from the conclusion:

    Law firms, continuing legal education providers, technology providers, and law schools all have a role to play in ensuring that attorneys are prepared for a technologically-mediated world. To meet

    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Flickr Goes International

    Caught this piece in The Globe and Mail: Flickr is now internationalizing its services by offering them in seven other languages besides English. Sites in French, German, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and traditional Chinese will soon be introduced.

    Did you know this about Flickr?….

  • Its already 3 years old
  • Founded in Vancouver
  • Now owned by Yahoo Inc
  • First to popularize website “tagging” (using key words or phrases to help others find relevant material online)
  • . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Offshore Law Firm Doing Sophisticated Film Work

    Over to Mysore, where the Economic Times reports that Smith Dornan Dehn (SDD) Global Solutions, a subsidiary business formed by SDD, a Manhattan-based international media and intellectual property firm, is working on providing legal research and script-vetting for major Hollywood productions. The resumes of the legal researchers are impressive.

    Its clients include Elsevier, HBO, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, MTV Networks, Channel Four TV (UK), and ABC apparently.

    The litigation over Borat, the highest grossing comedy film in history ($300 million) is being handled out of Mysore. We are also doing legal planning for Universal

    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    The Lords on the Extraterritorial Application of the Human Rights Act

    The House of Lords today rejected claims by families of people killed in Iraq that European human rights law applied to the conduct of British troops in Iraq. The case is Al-Skeini and others v. Secretary of State for Defence.

    They said that such laws only applied to people held in custody by British troops, refusing to extend that protection to those injured or killed by such soldiers on the streets of Iraq.

    This was a test case of six Iraqis killed by British troops in southern Iraq in separate incidents in 2003. The case was brought by the . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous