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Archive for October, 2007

Hunting and Pecking; Music Dying; Measuring War

A few quick hits today as I’ve ushered 174 law students, mostly first years, through database training this week, and I’m nearing the end of my brain being productive.

I always find it interesting to observe the students during these training sessions to see how they relate to the technology. This year I noticed two interesting things. Firstly, in our training area the students can open either Firefox or Explorer and for the last few years when asked to open a browser Firefox has more often than not been their browser of choice. Not so this year, this year I . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but in Ontario it’s still summer — and it looks like a gorgeous day pretty much all across this land according to the weather map. This means that it’s going to be hard to work this afternoon, harder than usual on a Friday, that is. Ever thoughtful, I’ve got just the solution: a Friday Fillip that will keep on giving for perhaps three or four hours. Here’s the deal.

One of my favourite sites is that of Coudal Partners, a graphics and advertising firm in Chicago. And my current favourite . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


I got my Buzzword invitation yesterday. Buzzword is the new online word processor that’s recently been acquired by Adobe. I have to tell you: it’s remarkable — unlike any other online word processor. The reason is Flash, that much maligned yet ubiquitous source of magic, which gives the application a fluid feel with almost no latency at all. The layout is beautiful and the functionality, even at this stage of development, is sufficient for most purposes.

It is simply one of the best online applications I’ve ever tried.

You should be able to go as a reader to this document . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Death to Law Journals

Some links to a podcast discussion of how the speed and collaborative nature of blogs is a real challenge to the traditional model of law journals.

In Santa Clara, a debate on Blogging, Scholarship, and the Bench and Bar Video: The event can be viewed by visiting this link.

Event login info: Username: aals, Password: scu2007

And a good discussion at, in a thoughtful posting and a further provocation, the debate continues. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology: Internet

A Picture’s Worth N Words

A few days ago I posted about forensic linguistics and the unreliability of some witness statements. So I thought it might be interesting, though a stretch for Slaw I admit, to show you how photos are becoming even less reliable pictures of the truth than you thought they were, and incidentally introduce you to a set of graphics tools in the making that are going to be very hot.

What I want you to see in action is a “smart image resizer.” This exists now, thanks to Dr. Ariel Shamir, who now works for Adobe, and his technique known . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Berkeley Courses on YouTube

The University of California, Berkeley announced today that it is posting the lectures from courses on YouTube.

“YouTube’s ongoing innovations create a great environment in which students and lifelong learners alike can discover, watch and share educational videos,” said Ben Hubbard, ETS co-manager of webcast.berkeley. “We are excited to make UC Berkeley videos available to the world on YouTube and will continue to expand our offerings.”

At the moment the offerings on the Berkeley Channel are mostly science courses, and there’s no law yet. A couple of the more accessible offerings include PACS 164A: Introduction to Nonviolence – Fall 2006 . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Death of a Product – Index to Federal and Ontario Statutes

Captus Press has notified customers today that it is discontinuing its Index to Federal and Ontario Statutes Online. Although the online version had a slightly clunky interface, it was reasonably priced and sometimes a useful trigger to identify possibly relevant Ontario or federal legislation on a given topic.

At the time Carswell stopped publishing the convenient print edition of this title back in 2000 or thereabout, I recall being surveyed by someone (likely Captus) about demand for the product and preferred format, etc. I always liked (and preferred) the print edition and wonder if there are plans to somehow . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Crave, the Gadget Blog

I, Crave – Crave is’s gadget blog.

Crave says: “The name says it all. Crave is our blog about gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff.”

URL is

Hat Tip Crave for what’s below.

Here’s a current sampling, including information about Sony’s newest electronic book reader. I’ll consider an “EBR” when I can purchase one that smells like an old book in some antiquarian shop in some street with too long a name in Wales. Well … not really. I’ll compromise at Atticus Books so that I can feed the mind within a short walk of the Harbord Bakery . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Winds of Change Picking Up

Three interesting items in the inbox today, each of which reflects a different facet of the many forces hard at work on producing imminent changes to the profession.

First comes news from the ABA’s Law School Admissions Council that the number of applications to U.S. law schools dropped in 2006 by 7.6%, the second straight annual decrease on top of a sharp deceleration in 2004 in the longstanding trend of rising admissions. The linked article focuses on the drop in both applications and admissions among women, and properly so. But many of the reasons for the decrease cited in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Blogging From Burma

As the tragedy in Burma has unfolded over the last week, accurate information has been extremely hard to come by. In a country with no traditional media worth speaking of, blogging has attempted to fill the void. I won’t comment at length here, but I would like to leave you with a few articles discussing the brave attempts of Burmese bloggers to tell the world about what is going on in their country.

Burmese Government Clamps Down on Internet (NY Times)
Burmese blogs expose junta atrocities (Telegraph)
A vivid cyber window into a violent crackdown (Globe and Mail) . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Seeking Judgment

A clear candidate for today’s doc du jour would be the decision of Justice Benotto in the Red Cross tainted blood criminal trial, released yesterday afternoon. The only trouble is I can’t find it in an online form I can link to. For most lawyers this is no biggie: the commercial databases will have all the hot (and luke) decisions up within hours, if not minutes. CanLII, of course, will have the decision online in a few days’ time. But that’s not soon enough in a case like this, a case that excited considerable public attention, a lot of it . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions