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Archive for January, 2009

The Friday Fillip

As you’ll see on Slaw, I’m on about pictures again today — whether they’re worth a certain number of words, how exactly they marry (or not) with language. I suspect my occasional fascination with images has to do with the fact that I spend much of my time swimming in words, stroking for meaning; for those who, like me, are immersed in verbiage it’s important, I think, to pay attention to the visual field and to music as well, so that we are regularly reminded that wordy meaning is only one sort, and perhaps not the most powerful kind at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Visual Searching

It’s not easy to get a computer to recognize Charley’s aunt — or your copy of Insurance and Risk Management in Commercial Leases, for that matter. Seems our visual cortex et al. do a rather marvelous job of making sense of photon streams. Thanks to ASCII and to some nifty OCR developments, words aren’t all that hard for the machines we live by, but people and objects are a tough nut that the computer world is working hard to crack.

There is, of course, the impetus provided by the U.S. Homeland Security’s wish to recognize the face of terrror when . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Are 1000 Words Worth a Picture?

Of the future, that is? The British blog, cutely named, Royal Pingdom, has measured the frequency of certain terms and buzzwords, using good old Google, and compared it to that for the years since 2004 to uncover possible trends — that glimpse of the future we all seek. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, “’Web 2.0′ peaked in 2007 and has been decreasing in 2008″ and “While the interest for ‘blogging’ hasn’t changed much over the last couple of years, ‘microblogging’ has seen a rapid rise since early 2007 (presumably due to Twitter).”

There’s a surprise or two, though, for me at least: . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

Ot 9

As this is my first post of 09, I thought I would look back to my predictions from 08 to see how my forecasting abilities fared.

  • HIT – Online/Technology Privacy will become a much bigger issue in the mainstream.
  • MISS – Someone or thing makes a small dent in Google’s search monopoly owing to privacy concerns (see Ask Eraser).
  • Can’t really be determined yet – The settlement of the Hollywood writer’s strike will have implications for the online distribution of content that are not yet anticipated.
  • I think I’ll renew this one for 2010 – Google, MS or another larger
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

ABA Blawg Contest Rigged?

Turns out Slaw didn’t do so bad in the ABA blog awards Tech category. After a recount, we’ve placed second!

Now for the fun part… Google cache (while it lasts) shows a significant number of votes were removed from the system from the time the contest closed and the final numbers being released. (Hat tip to Bob Ambrogi)

Before the recount:

  • FutureLawyer, 1930 votes
  • Technolawyer blog, 1545 votes (Corrected as noticed by Neil Squillante below)
  • Mac Lawyer, 509 votes
  • Ross Ipsa Loquitur, 348 votes
  • Slaw, 317 votes
  • Jim Calloway, 169 votes
  • Real Lawyers Have Blogs, 132 votes
  • Ernie the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Charon’s Pageflake for Canadian Law Blogs

I’d like to point out a new resource that I gave a passing mention in the Clawbie awards. Charon QC has launched a new Pageflake for Canadian Law Blogs.

While Pageflakes have been around for a while, they remain a great method to collect the latest content from a topical set of RSS feeds. For those that might not have (or know how to set up) a personal RSS reader, a Pageflake aggregation like this can act as a digital newspaper.

And now as I write this, I see it was previously mentioned via this post by Simon F.… . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Avoiding a Malpractice Claim: The 2008 Most Popular practicePRO/LAWPRO Downloads

practicePRO, LAWPRO’s risk management and claims prevention initiative, provides lawyers with tools and resources to help them succeed in the practice of law and avoid a malpractice claim (see this article for information on the most common legal malpractice claims).

As we have completed another year we have updated our most popular downloads list. What are other lawyers looking at? The top 5 downloads were as follows:

1 Peg Duncan’s Canadian focused E-Discovery Reading List
2 Rollie Thompson’s article on the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines
3 A LAWPRO Magazine article on The Dangers of Metadata
4 A sample . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Mouseless Browsing With FireFox

One of my favourite blogs, Lifehacker, mentioned a new version of a fabulous Firefox extension.

Mouseless Browsing (MLB) is a Firefox-Extension which enables you to browse the internet with the keyboard. The basic principle is to add small boxes with unique ids behind every link and/or form element. You just have to type in the id and press enter (there is also an automatice mode available) to trigger the corresponding action i.e. following a link, pressing a button or selecting a textfield.

I like browsing without a mouse because I have the perception that it is faster to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Cromwell Sworn In

Just to keep things current with respect to the Thomas Cromwell Pages, here’s a December 23rd update from the Supreme Court on the status of the new member of the Court, Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell:

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, announced today that The Honourable Thomas Cromwell will be sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada on January 5, 2009 at a private ceremony. The official welcome ceremony for Justice Cromwell will take place at 10:30 a.m., on February 16, 2009, in the Main Courtroom of the Supreme Court of Canada.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki

Mike Kujawski, who writes the Public Sector Marketing 2.0 blog, has created the Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki:

“[T]he intent of this wiki is to compile a central list of current initiatives (and eventually ‘best practices’) involving social media and government. These can be internal or external, marketing, HR or IT, it doesn’t matter. I even added a special ‘unofficial’ category at the bottom of each page for all side initiatives.”

There is information about RSS, Twitter, wiki, YouTube, Second Life, Facebook and social bookmarking projects from government bodies in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Ontario Library Association Superconference

With winter comes the OLA Superconference. This year, it runs Jan. 28 – 31 at the Metro Convention Centre. Yes, I know that a lot of the program is public libraries oriented, but there are many themes and sessions which will resonate with law librarians. Digitization, information literacy, e-learning/e-teaching, creative organisations, the use of social media – see how professionals in different contexts are handling the issues we all share. I have to say I’m impressed by the roster of speakers as well – Richard Florida, Michael Enright, Justin Trudeau, Will Richardson and Eleanor Wachtel are all on the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Citation Question on Indicating Jurisdiction in Case Law Citations

I have a question regarding including jurisdiction when citing a case that cites to a Quicklaw version.

Rule 3.2.10 of the McGill Guide states that “if the jurisdiction is evident from the name of any reporter, reference is made only to the level of court.”

As such, one must include the abbreviation for Ontario in the following citation since the Dominion Law Reports publish decisions from across Canada, and without the jurisdicational indication, the reader does not know which jurisdiction is involved:

McGrath v. MacLean (1979) 95 D.L.R. (3d) 144 (Ont. C.A.)

However, in the following citation, would you . . . [more]

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