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Archive for January, 2008

Toronto Tech Week – September 22-26, 2008

This morning I attended the town hall meeting for Toronto Tech Week. This event–or series of events–will be held September 22-26, 2008 this year, and will be based at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. Last year was the first year for this event (it was held in May) and had 3,000 people in the technology industry attending over 20 events. This year the goal is to have about 48 events and attract at least 4,000 people. To read about more details regarding Toronto Tech Week and the town hall meeting, see the full discussion over at my blog here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

The Badlink Bounce

Thinking that the resource might be of some interest to our readers, I followed a link from an email list that promised the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Women’s Studies Section–Women’s History Sites [], with a section on Canada.

  • That actually leads to an error message on MIT’s website, one annoying feature of which is that it wipes out the erring URL and replaces it with the totally unhelpful 404 URL. This means that as you attempt to reform the original URL, moving higher up the nested directories looking for a substantive hit, you have to paste the wrong
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology

User Generated Video

The Center for Media Research has released a study reporting that:

“User Generated Video (UGV) scored 22.4 billion views in 2007, up 70% over 2006.”

And are forecasting that number to rise another 52% in 2008:

“The market is forecast to grow at 52% in 2008, and reach 34 billion views, as indicated by straight line linear regression analysis of current market data.”

Hat tip to David Weinberger, who quips ‘That’s a lot of video‘. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Plus Ça Change

My relationship with information technology has gone through at least three phases: 1) the PPP, or Poo-poo phase, 2) the OPP, or Obnoxious and pretentious phase, and 3) the GOWIP, or Getting on with it phase. In phase one, for example, I disparaged the then novel “word processors” by wondering whether we wouldn’t be facing “language spreaders” next. In phase two — which is the reason I mention all of this — I would say to those unfortunates who were in their own phase one that, yes indeedy, the old ways were the best and I’d be right along with . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Slathered, Yes… but Slandered?

Subway is suing Quiznos, more or less, because Quiznos ran a contest in which it asked people to make a video showing that Quiznos’ sandwiches were superior to Subway’s. The resulting entries were posted on the web, of course, and, Subway alleges, made false claims and defamed their product. (The winning video is available in the story in the New York Times — and in my view it’s fairly wretched and wouldn’t have won the $10,000 prize in any contest I ran.) Apparently, the novel issue stems from the fact that Quiznos didn’t make the ads but only instigated . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

UK and Scottish Law Commissions Propose Repeal of Hundreds of Old Statutes

The Law Commissions of the UK and Scotland yesterday published their 18th in a series of proposed statute law repeals. A draft Bill containing the proposed repeals will be introduced soon into the House of Lords.

“In reforming the law, the Law Commission does not just propose new laws. It also proposes the repeal of laws that have become obsolete. The purpose of our statute law repeals work is to modernise and simplify the statute book, reduce its size and save the time of lawyers and others who use it. This in turn helps to avoid unnecessary costs. It

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

MIT Lecture Browser

Elizabeth Ellis asked a few posts ago about voice recognition software — whether it was ready for prime time, and what people’s experiences with it were. I’ll be interested, too, in the comments her post gets, because the digital / speech divide is an important one, and one that’s increasingly being bridged by technology.

One example of that bridging is the MIT Lecture Browser. MIT’s famous open access courseware includes a lot of filmed lectures. But one of the problems with such digitized knowledge, as it were, is finding your way into and around it. The Lecture Browser, which . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

New Technology at Demo 08

Demo 08, a show for new tech products, is going on right now, and some of the stuff on display looks pretty interesting. Here’s a taste of 10 new items to look out for. Here are a few of my personal favourites.

The Pulse Smartpen allows you to take notes (on a special notebook) while it records what’s going on. You can simply tap your notes to replay what was recorded at the moment you wrote that part. Of course, you can upload both your notes and the recording to your computer as well.

Another technology, this one a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Voice Recognition Tools and Lawyers

I recently talked to a lawyer at a large Toronto law firm who was happily using voice recognition software to draft initial versions of long documents and to give voice commands to his computer.

Voice recognition technology has been around for a long time – my perception was that it wasn’t ready for prime time. Curious to see the vendor’s view of the software, I paid a quick visit to the website for Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Has this technology really advanced to the point that it’s ready for wider adoption? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Publishing 2.0

One of the new (‘to me’) blogs I’ve been reading over the past couple months is Scott Karp’s Publishing 2.0.

The purpose of this post is no more than to say that I think Scott’s blog is really great, and one that I have no hesitation in recommending to the Slaw community. Scott’s got a great vision on a number of topics that are relevant to law librarians, legal publishers and 2.0 lawyers alike. From modern journalism (and citizen participation), to blogs, social networks and monetization strategies for web media, the topic list is fantastic.

We all have a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

20th Anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada Morgenthaler Decision on Abortion

I wanted to make sure we acknowledge Michel-Adrien Sheppard’s excellent post 20th Anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada Morgenthaler Decision on Abortion at the Library Boy blog. He includes links to and summaries of related commentary from a range of viewpoints. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions