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Archive for April, 2008


I wanted to introduce Convictions, Slate’s new legal blog, but I noticed Simon beat me to it (great minds think alike!). An About page has been added to Convictions since Simon’s post which lists its contributors and touts itself as a “destination for smart legal conversation and commentary.” A quick glance at the blog’s tag cloud shows its popular topics include 9/11 plotters, gun control, Iraq, law schools, war crimes, and the second amendment. Also, see for a review of the blog. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Cornell’s LII

The groundbreaking history of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII) and the resources it makes available (for instance the Supreme Court decisions) are too well known to Slaw regulars to detail, but it is puzzling how absent the LII seems to be from the consciousness of other OA law projects. The most recent example is the release of CC US court decisions by In a press release the CEO of the group Carl Malamud claims that “The U.S. judiciary has allowed their entire work product to be locked up behind a cash register” which is misleading. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

New: Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy

Osgoode Hall Law School has launched its first fully online journal, the Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy. Edited by students and offering student articles for the most part, the Review will also publish in each issue articles on law or policy by practising lawyers or academics. This is the table of contents of the first issue [(2008) 1 Osgoode Hall Rev.L.Pol’y]:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing

Digitization at Cornell

My time at Cornell is flying by ((My first week was too busy to allow time to post, but I have several items in the works)), and I’ve put together lots of notes on the law library. However, today I’m going to post about how Cornell University Libraries has developed a wonderful system for creating digital resources. The Digital Initiatives page provides access to the their many projects and partnerships. Central to the operation is the Digital Consulting and Production Services unit (DCAPS). . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Free Video Interviews on International Human Rights Law

Queen’s University of Belfast has an International Law Video Library that offers “video holdings of interviews with leading commentators and practitioners in the field of international human rights.”

There are interviews on:

  • Regional Human Rights Systems
  • International Criminal Law
  • National Human Rights Institutions
  • Women’s Rights
  • Genocide
  • The Slavery Project
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Library of Congress Subject Heading Browser

For me, the Library of Congress subject headings have been a source of bafflement, perplexity — and to a lesser extent, wonderment — ever since I wandered into the stacks, way back in university. I suppose the creature is a little like you and me, the product of evolution’s twists and unexpected turns working on a legacy laid down when the world was a very very different place to produce a working, if sub-optimal, just-so animal. Now, should you want to use the subject headings to actually find something, you might find a little help quite useful. Bernhard Eversberg at . . . [more]

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

HP’s Mini Notebook

A lot of folks were disappointed that the MacBook Air from Apple was only thin and not small in its other dimensions, because there’s a need for a small computer with a full-size keyboard. The HP 2133 Mini-Note might be just the thing to meet that need. It weighs in at 1.19 kilograms (2.63 pounds), has an adequate 9-inch display and sports a keyboard that’s 92% full size. And you can pick one up for somewhere between $500 and $900.

Introduced for the “education market,” the Mini-Note would seem to merit a much wider market: when it comes to carrying . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

E-Mail and the IQ

Grumpy folks like me are always complaining about how the kids aren’t learning anything in school these days. That may or may not be true, but it turns out there’s another culprit: Blackberries.

According to a recent study, some psychologists have found that sending text messages results in a temporary decline in IQ of up to 10 points. This is on par with the effects of sleep deprivation, and much worse than using marijuana. The researchers labelled the effect “infomania”.

Symptoms of infomania include lost productivity, an inability to concentrate, and rudeness in the workplace. As far as I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google App Engine

Google’s brand new App Engine allows developers to write (in Python only, at the moment), store and run programs using Google’s application environment. This is no longer just parking documents in the clouds but sky writing — for those who can fly, at least. Speaking of which, you can see how it’s done by looking at a (slow-loading) video of the coding process under App Engine on YouTube. For a while, it’s a kick to see this kid just typing out code as fast as you or I might tap out a simple declarative sentence in English.

At the moment . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Europe Warns Search Giants Re Privacy

According to the BBC News online:

Search engines should delete personal data held about their users within six months, a European Commission advisory body on data protection has said.

The recommendation is likely to be accepted by the European Commission and could lead to a clash with search giants like Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Google and Yahoo anonymise user data after 18 months, while MSN does the same after 13 months.

The report from the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party doesn’t seem to be available online yet. As usual, however, the BBC story will give you a good . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law


The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is celebrating its 10th year. Wow! They have been holding a series of events including distinguished speakers, book releases and the like, including the talk by Clay Shirky we previously noted. The whole thing culminates with “The Future of the Internet” conference on May 15 & 16, 2008. There will also be a gala the evening of May 16th. The Agenda looks stellar. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law