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Archive for September, 2007

No Apocalypse Yet

A great deal has been written both here and elsewhere about the future of publishing in general, and book publishing in particular. And while there are probably as many different prognostications as there are prognosticators, my impression is that a solid majority of those who have commented on these things are in agreement that the publishing industry, as we know it, will soon become a thing of the past. According to a recent piece by novelist Jon Evans in The Walrus, ((Jon Evans, “Apocalypse Soon: The Future of Reading,” The Walrus 4:7 (September, 2007) 38.)) which Neil Campbell cited . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Monday, Monday

In requiem:

Monday Monday, can’t trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way.
Mamas & Papas, Monday, Monday (c) John Phillips

I read, somewhere, recently, some figures about the number of blogs that start and die. Perhaps it was here. Perhaps it was elsewhere. No matter. The figures aren’t the point. Some blogs are still born. Some survive. Some, star-like, nova brightly and then fade in quiesence, perhaps to be reborn in the next cycle.

We all have other blogs we visit, and read, for any number of purposes. Today, I mention and rue the passing, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

N.Y. Times Double-Click

Noticed for the first time… only six months or so late:

The New York Times introduced an online feature some six months or more ago whereby if you double-click on any word a window pops up to offer you various reference works’ take on the word. Thus, from an article in today’s Times, a double-click on “nursing” (you must be in the article and not just on the front page of the site) gives a dictionary definition and one from a medical dictionary as well. “Florida” gives a dictionary entry, and entries from the NYT Guide . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

LawMatters – at Your Local Public Library

The BC Courthouse Library and public libraries in BC have teamed up to offer the public access to legal information. According to the notice, LawMatters is

the new public library legal resources project that will provide all British Columbian residents with local access to basic legal information.

The initiative is supported by the Law Foundation of British Columbia. It involves the branch courthouse libraries supporting local public library systems to deliver the info, as well as helping PLE publishers get distribution to libraries. This is a great development, and in line with the other ways BC is supporting public . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Friday Fillip

The fillip’s a little earnest today, inasmuch as it actually involves the word insasmuch and, more to the point, deals with a research tool.

But it’s kind of a fun one. Felix Nyffenegger has created a mind map way of approaching topics in Wikipedia. WikiMindMap works via a simple search function: you enter the term you would like dealt with in Wikipedia (in any of a number of languages) and get a set of topic heads linked visually to your search term. Based on the browser that drives Freemind, this tool shows you which topics are expandable and which lead . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

F2

TIFF, the word was all over the Canadian media a week or so ago. For those of us that are technically inclined we might have wondered; at first glance, why our media of choice suddenly got so interested in a computer image format. Once we removed the indents of our keyboards from our fingers, we realized that the ubiquitous TIFF, was the Toronto International Film Festival. Alas, TIFF is not the only “FF” around, in these parts TIFF is merely the signal that the Atlantic Film Festival is about to start(AFF?). So with all the FF talk around . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Legislation

Little Brother Will Watch You

I recently posted about the Privacy Commissioner’s concern over Google Street View and its ability to catch identifiable people unawares as it snaps the low level environs. Of greater concern, I think, should be the abililty of security forces to watch us from the various cameras at their disposal. We all know about the CCTV cameras made so infamous in Britain. Now there’s an effective, affordable, and nearly silent eye in the sky to worry about.

A piece on the Wired website talks about a small drone helicopter being tested by British police that is capable of photographing pretty much . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Some N.Y. Times Archives Now Free

As reported pretty much everywhere already, the New York Times has decided to dump its subscription program, TimesSelect, and drop the paywall for all of its archives with the exception of those between 1923 to 1986, some of which will be free even so.

As well, the N.Y. Times is opening its whole website to readers, free of charge. . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

IBM Lotus Symphony

IBM has entered the office suite software fray in a big way with Lotus Symphony, their brand new suite of free apps, which includes a word processor, a presentation program and a spread sheet program. Symphony is based on the Open Document Format standard, and will read and export to Microsoft formats, as well as exporting documents as Adobe PDF files. Currently it’s available for Windows and Linux operating systems, with Mac to follow.

This cost free alternative to MS Office has got to interest firms, large or small, that will now be paying significant dollars each year for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous