Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for December, 2007

Safari 3 and Lexis / Quicklaw

…don’t like each other. Safari 3 crashes whenever I’m using LexisNexis/Quicklaw, which is a major pain, since it’s now my browser of choice on the Mac (Firefox being too unstable). Evidently the earlier version of Safari didn’t cause these problems, so I might try to switch back. Quicklaw blames the fact that Safari 3 is in beta and has some bugs to work out yet.

One particularly annoying thing is that when Safari crashes you’re then unable to log out; which means you can’t get access to Lexis /Quicklaw via another browser and have to phone help to get you . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Privacy International Report

The U.K. organization Privacy International, together with the U.S.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, have published their 2007 privacy rankings for European and some other countries. In their judgement Canada has in the last year slipped from the best category (“significant protections and safeguards”) to the middle category (“some safeguards but weakened protection”). They provide a detailed analysis that forms the basis for this judgement.

Clearly intended to shock, the report now puts the United States into the worst possible category, that of an “endemic surveillance society.”

This report is the result of serious analysis and deserves careful attention. My only . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

RIAA Kicks It Up a Notch — or Not

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the U.S. music industry’s knuckle rapper, the RIAA, has come up with a new argument in a lawsuit against a defendant it claims has violated copyright.

In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer. [emphasis in original]

But Endgadget is now reporting that the Post and others got it wrong: the RIAA is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

The 2007 Blawggies: Dennis Kennedy’s Best Law-Related Blogging Awards

What is the end of the year without a “best of” list or a blog award? For a third year, lawyer, consultant, speaker and writer Dennis Kennedy has put together his picks for the 2007 Blawggies, the law-related blog awards.

Here’s the “executive summary” of the award winners. I do encourage you to read the whole post for details and the honorable mention choices.

2007 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Tom Collins’ More Partner Income

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – Ken Adams’ AdamsDrafting

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog –

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

A Google Translate Feature

Looking for an English translation of the Portuguese lyrics of a song (Oiça lá ó senhor vinho) by my current favourite singer, Mariza, I decided to take Google up on its offer to “translate this page.” Now the translation of plain text is hard enough, but the translation of song lyrics is really tough, and Google got maybe a C-minus on its effort. But I noticed that mousing over a sentence caused a popup that showed me the original language and invited me to offer a better translation. This is cool.

You see it below in a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Netscape’s Final Nail

The end of support for the Netscape browser shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise. The software’s user population has dwindled to almost nothing, and the dropping of support was long overdue.

But for me, I have very fond memories of this browser software that is soon to be a footnote in web history. For many of us early web users Netscape was the first quality graphical browser we used — Mosaic was pretty good, but Netscape made our mouths drop.

For myself, the software progression went from gopher browsing, to Lynx, to Mosaic, and then finally to Netscape 1.0 . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Re-Launch of the Guide to Ontario Courts

The announcement below was sent out today. Louise Hamel, Manager at the Judges’ Library, tells me there is new content which has also been translated into French. The real news, though, is the official new design of the site. Congratulations to the Judges’ Library!

I am pleased to announce that the Guide to Ontario Courts has been re-launched.

This revitalized website was reorganized and updated in response to user feedback on content and design, and in consultation with the Office of each court. We have developed what we hope will be a more user friendly = website with each

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Friday Fillip

Hardly a week meriting a fillip… Still, Friday is Friday. Herewith, then, a couple of ads, which is fitting for the week containing Boxing Day I guess.

The first is an oldie but a goodie, the marvelously orchestrated disassembled Honda that Rube Goldberg’s its way across a room:

The second is from J.C. Penney, “The Aviator,” the tale of a nerdy girl who wants to fly. I found it quite touching.

Thanks be to Boing Boing for both of these… and more. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Lakota Secession Pages

A group from the Lakota First Nations, the Lakota Freedom Delegation, announced in mid-December that they have unilaterally withdrawn from treaties with the United States and are henceforth an independent nation. Those who are interested in learning more and following the progress of this group, who, in their words:

do not represent those BIA or IRA governments beholden to the colonial apartheid system, or those “stay by the fort” Indians who are unwilling claim their freedom

may take a look at the web pages they have established. . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Social Networks – Why You Should Care

I have been fortunate in the last two years to have been asked to speak about social networks in law (and other professional) firms at conferences and workshops. I thought I would take this opportunity to summarize some of the key points I make about social networks.

First, social networks and social media (or knowledge media) are not the same thing. People often called tools such as LinkedIn and FaceBook social networks. These are tools for making our social networks explicit. And indeed, we can use these tools / platforms to keep in touch with parts of our social network . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Benazir Bhutto Dead – Situation in Pakistan Heats Up

I heard it on Twitter first coming into the office this morning, then word has slowly spread throughout the news agencies. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, has been killed in a suicide bombing at one of her political rallies. The power of the wiki is evident–her page on Wikipedia was updated immediately with the news.

Google News

Related Slaw posts:

Musharraf and the Judges (Nov. 4/07)
News re: Pakistan via the Google AJAX News Bar (Nov. 8/07)
Human Rights Blog Tracking List of Arrestees in Pakistan (Nov. 14/07)
CBA March in Solidarity with the Defenders of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

A Good Index Is a Thing of Beauty

As a footnote to my post on Legal Indexing, here is a delightful piece on indexing from Intelligent Life.

And for fans of obscure works, any thoughts on what sort of work would have the following entries:

Ayn Rand School for Tots, 85, 111


Bacon, Francis, 291

Baldwin, Alec, 29

‘Barney Gumble’

alcoholic, 47, 129

Which website has the following completely unhelpful FAQs:

Q: What does an indexer normally charge?

A: It depends

To all our readers, a blithe Yule and a Guid Hogmanay. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous