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Archive for August, 2007

The Friday Fillip

John Baez — for those of you over 60 that’s John, not Joan — is a mathematical physicist who specializes in quantum gravity and n-categories, both of which seem like thoroughly Good Things. Which should show you how much I know about physics, or any categories if it comes to that. And that carefully curried ignorance has the potential to make me a crackpot, I learn from John’s 37-item crackpot identification list. The great thing here, apart from the fact that the list is amusing, is that it might, with some small modifications, be made to apply to those . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

European Media Monitor

There’s some hyper-sophisto online stuff coming out of the EU. A while back I pointed you to the European Navigator, a complex search and education tool for the community. Now I’ve run across the Europe Media Monitor (EMM) [en français], a joint initiative of the European Commission Directorate General’s Joint Research Center and the Directorate General Communication .

Essentially, EMM offers you two views. The News Brief does pretty much what Google or Yahoo news does, in that it gathers together and excerpts current news stories. You can focus it in various ways to filter your news: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Video Killed the Text Star?

The U.S. Supreme court made an historic first a few months ago posting video footage on the Internet to go along with the opinion in the case, Scott v. Harris. (Alternatively visit the site here and see Scott v. Harris on April 30.) The particulars of the case are a police chase which resulted in the pursued being severely injured and suing the police. The chase was caught on video and the U.S.S.C. posted the video along with the opinion. One of the interesting aspects from the posting of this video is that, when posted it was viewed . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

WikiScanner Watches Over Wikipedia

A war is quietly being waged over Wikipedia. Governments, political groups, and corporations are suspected of making anonymous changes in their own favour. A quick search of Google News for “Wikipedia” shows a wide range of censorship assertions from around the world.

Of particular interest is the website List anonymous wikipedia edits from interesting organizations, commonly called WikiScanner, by self-described mad scientist and disruptive technologist Virgil Griffith.

On the WikiScanner FAQ page, with regard to whether one can prove changes are actually made by an organization, technologist Virgil states:

Technically, we don’t know if it came from

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Simple Scam

My email gets filtered by my university, where my account lives, and spam winds up in a special folder for my later delectation. Actually, I check the spam folder at least every other day because from time to time emails that I want wind up in there. Commonest of these are the emails from the latest at which I’ve registered because I had to if I wanted to try out their new SreenIlatorPow. As you know, you fill out their form and their machine kicks out the registration details you need, sending them to the email address you submitted. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Looking at Facebook Again

My friends tell me I’m a Facebook addict. Yes, I’m on Facebook often (I’m not going to define often), but I’m still amazed at how easy Facebook makes it for me to quickly share information (photos, plans, comments, thoughts, links, etc) with my friends. And its applications also make it very easy for me to personalize my space and make it unique. How great would all this be in your organization? Think of your friends on Facebook as your colleagues and your profile page as your desk at work. Imagine the groups on Facebook as your firm’s various departments and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Justice Gomery Hired by Radio-Canada as Commentator

John Gomery, the Quebec judge who presided over the judicial commission of inquiry into the federal sponsorship scandal in 2004-2006, has been signed as a legal commentator by Radio-Canada (Radio-Canada press release in French).

Gomery, who retired from the bench earlier this year, will comment on legal affairs and public ethical issues for the main Radio-Canada TV network and its all-news channel, RDI.

Radio-Canada is the French network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The CBA’s Support for the Rule of Law in Developing Countries

I returned last week from committee meetings of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) at their annual meeting in Calgary. Having reached the 6-year maximum term for service on the CBA International Development Committee (IDC), I wanted to mention the IDC’s good work and make readers more generally aware of what that they do (particularly in light of the recent, negative “lawyers are rats” media coverage). There are also a number of ways in which CBA members can get involved.

The mission of the IDC is to promote the rule of law in developing and transitional countries. Their funding for overseas . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Article on Print vs. Electronic Research

RSS feed notwithstanding, it has been a while since I have spent some time on one of my all-time favourite legal research sites, The Virtual Chase, written by the amazing Genie Tyburski at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP. I must visit more often. An interesting article by Genie from a couple of weeks ago poses the question “Can We Throw Away the Books Yet?“. As she explains in the article, the query flows from the premise suggested by a colleague that “…print as a medium was losing ground. And assuming his suppositions were true, he expressed . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Rogers Wins “Comma” Contract Dispute With Bell Aliant

The National Post yesterday reported that the CRTC overturned its decision last year in the so-called “million dollar comma” case. In the original decision last year, Bell Aliant was successful in arguing that a misplaced comma in an English version of their contract with Rogers allowed them to terminate the contract early. However, on appeal, Rogers was successful in arguing that the commas in the French version of the contract were in their proper position and that it was clear, based on the French version, that Bell Aliant could not terminate early.

The CRTC appeal decision is here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google Maps Can Now Be Embedded

Google Maps today released the ability to embed (through inline frames) a map within a website. This could be handy for all sorts of things. I’ve embedded below the map I created some time back, when Google first released My Maps, showing the location of Slaw’s core contributors. I’ve chosen the small size, from the menu that allows you to customize the size of the map you’re embedding. Because it’s live, you can slide it around “behind” the small window.

View Larger Map . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous