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Archive for October, 2008

Long, Long… Long URLs

I had occasion today to hunt up online a decision of the European Court of Justice and to link to it. The ECJ provides links that may be the longest URL I’ve ever seen. I illustrate with a typical example:

Obviously what’s happening here is that the program is providing for all possible perms and combs for the production of a record, thus the endlessly repeated “amp;” which the html code for an ampersand (gone wrong, as it happens, because it’s oddly self-referring, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Bob and Doug and Law

Not to take things too lightly, but I had a chance to watch Strange Brew again this week, and I noted a surprising amount of legal content:

  • re: the mouse in the bottle that started it all, see M’Alister (or donoghue) v Stevenson [1932] AC 562
  • As Bob and Doug make their initial claim for free beer, Bob informs us “Its in the Canadian Criminal Code”
  • At several moments, Doug expresses awareness of the legal consequences of whatever ill-considered plan they are undertaking, and his solution is most often to get his brother to drive
  • As Pam settles Claude’s hash
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip

Idée, a Toronto-based IT company, is anything but fixe: it’s all about shifting shapes — and colours. They have developed really good image identification and visual search software, used by industry for a bunch of things, including searching the net for pirated copies of copyright images. But there’s fun to be had as well, so we’ll introduce a few of the niftier aspects of their products as featured in their open-to-the-public idée labs.

First up is Multicolr Search. The online demo extracts the colours from 10 million Flickr photos to let you assemble a matrix of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

EU Web Businesses Must Have Phone Numbers or Fast Contact Forms

According to this morning:

Companies have to provide a means of contact on their websites in addition to their postal and email addresses, the European Court of Justice has ruled. A telephone number, or a contact form that is answered within 60 minutes, were deemed acceptable.

This holding flows from the E-Commerce Directive, which says that companies:

“shall render easily, directly and permanently accessible to the recipients of the service and competent authorities, at least the following information:

(a) the name of the service provider;

(b) the geographic address at which the service provider is established;


. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Google OCRing Scanned Documents

I wonder how Google is choosing the material that it reports it is OCRing from scanned material save to the web?

In the past, scanned documents were rarely included in search results as we couldn’t be sure of their content. We had occasional clues from references to the document– so you might get a search result with a title but no snippet highlighting your query. Today, that changes. We are now able to perform OCR on any scanned documents that we find stored in Adobe’s PDF format. This Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology lets us convert a picture (of a

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

Wassup, Bud?

The American election season has almost come to an end, leaving in its wake a large volume of creative expression by the campaigns and by citizens. Viral videos have been created and circulated by candidates and their supporters since the primaries, but a recent video provides an interesting lesson in intellectual property management.

Many would remember the series of “wassup” advertisements put out by Budweiser starting in 1999 (YouTube – Wassup). You may have completely forgotten about it until this week, when a video supporting Barak Obama circulated over the internet (YouTube – Wassup 2008). It . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Living Library Idea as a Knowledge Managment Tool

A recent article in Library Journal caught my eye: “Living Library” Debuts in Santa Monica ((Library Journal, 10/20/2008)) As the article explains the living library movement invites library users to ‘book’ meetings with individuals with special interests, beliefs or experiences.

Though I can’t find proof of this in her written work, Connie Crosby once said that she pays attention to trends in public libraries that could apply to law library services. This memory glimer (hopefully I am attributing the credit correctly) says to me: how would the construct of a living library help my firm? What would that look . . . [more]

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

Intranet 2.0 – Who Owns It?

For my first post, I’ll keep it brief. We’re in the early stages of planning our second Intranet project, using SharePoint 2007. With a renewed focus on the importance of customization, effective search, intuitive navigation, and metrics, we’re clear on the new direction we want to take. What’s not clear at this point is governance – who should own it? Library/KM? IT? Administration? Everyone? Who “owns” the Intranet in your firm? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Technology

International Law Video Library

Teresa Miguel at Yale Law Library’s Foreign and International Blog posted her review and endorsement for the International Law Video Library yesterday. A very interesting project, and great use of video to capture content, knowledge and history.

Teresa’s post also included the following excellent examples from the collection:

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

Absentee Voting

In view of our election just past, and the one next week of our neighbours to the south, I thought it opportune to raise the topic of election laws, and more specifically, absentee voting.

Several weeks ago, I received in the mail an absentee ballot from the Board of Elections in Lorain County, Ohio. I dutifully filled it out, put it in an envelope, and mailed it in: voilà, my franchise duly exercised. No one asked how long I’d been in Canada (sixteen years), or if I intended to return to the U. S. (unlikely, at this point). As a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

New Federal Cabinet Line-Up

The new federal Cabinet is just being sworn in. A few notes from CBC: the Cabinet has expanded from the previous Cabinet (11 more ministers than last time), there are a large number of female ministers, and The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq is the first minister from Nunavut.

The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper
Prime Minister of Canada

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

The Honourable Gregory Francis Thompson
Minister of Veterans Affairs

The Honourable Marjory LeBreton
Leader of the Government . . . [more]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Ottawa Crime Map

A U.S. company,, takes statistics given to it by various police departments and geolocates the instances on a Google map. So far as I can tell, Ottawa is the only Canadian city to enlist the company’s services. The Ottawa crime map sets out markers for various crimes — breaking and entering, theft, etc. — the nature of which can be controlled by a selection panel, so that, for instance, you could look at the location of all thefts from a vehicle. You can, as well, adjust the area, the date and the number of instances you wish to . . . [more]

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