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Archive for June, 2009

Precise Answers From Google

I had a bit of a head-scratching experience just now: Google gave me a precise answer to a search that was more or less framed as a question; and I can’t recall ever seeing that before. Is this an old feature I’ve never stumbled on or is it something new that’s having a soft launch?

I usually don’t give Google a question, having learned instead to feed it a string of keywords tied in a Boolean knot. But today I asked “how many canals in amsterdam”? The first item in the results was an unequivocal answer — and not one . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Firm Guest Blogger: Clark Wilson LLP

Get ready for our second firm guest blogger here on Slaw. Starting Monday, you’ll be treated to a week’s worth of wisdom from the west coast, thanks to our guests from Clark Wilson LLP.

As BC’s Law Firm for Business, Clark Wilson LLP provides effective and practical legal advice on commercial issues affecting the business community. This week’s Slaw contributors will share their perspectives on a range of topics relevant to their respective practice areas including securities, intellectual property, corporate finance, insurance, real estate, employment, and renewable energy.

You’ll know that a post is from our guests because you’ll . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Firm Guest Blogger

Kalman Visits the U.S. Supreme Court

About eight months ago I spent a Friday Fillip on the TED video of Maira Kalman, an illustrator and writer perhaps best known for her New Yorker covers. Kalman also does a monthly column in the New York Times called “And the Pursuit of Happiness,” where she tells a simple tale with drawn text and lovely illustrations. In April her column was “May It Please the Court,” telling of her visit to the Supreme Court of the United States, her interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her reflections on a number of women important in American history.

Take . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Slaw Upgrade Starting at 5:00 EST

We’re going to be upgrading WordPress starting at 5:00 Eastern today. Fellow Slawyers: Please refrain from logging in or trying to post during that time. … I will update this post when the site is back up and operational.

Many thanks for your patience.


Update: Car Game On! … at least tentatively. Any issues, please relay to Simon or myself. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Librarians to the Rescue

US Christians concerned to suppress the civil liberties of others are agitating in Wisconsin to burn a novel that is sympathetic to the plight of young homosexuals. Salon has a good summary of the story, including some recognition for the librarians involved. Others are also covering it. In this case, the librarians are supported by their community, which is always crucial for the profession, which is undervalued on a gender basis and saddled with disempowering stereotypes (which are nevertheless sometimes fun). . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Reading, Substantive Law

Own Your Content, but Distribute Widely

One of my routine considerations, is the amount of time I invest in websites that I own, versus the amount of time I invest in the websites of others.

In many cases, that boils down to the value of domain ownership – websites, blogs, and so forth. Sites where there is little question to who benefits, and if you do good things, the asset grows in value. I still believe in these types of websites. In my own little Maslow pyramid, they set the foundation and I see little value in pushing ahead without them.

But the question then becomes, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Friday Fillip

At the end of a hectic week like yours, it’s time to slow things down. Way down. Way, way down. As only film can. Slow motion has been around since the early 1900s, when it was invented by an Austrian physicist and priest August Musger, who used mirrors (but no smoke). (Incidental law note: Musger patented his invention in 1904; but in 1914 failed to pay the fees and lost his patent.)

How is slow motion done? It’s easy to say but harder to understand, because the illusion of motion derived from a series of still images results from . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Lawful Access Rears Its Head Again

Yesterday, the Justice and Public Safety ministers unveiled the latest generation of proposed “lawful access” legislation. Variations had been introduced in the past by previous Liberal governments, only to die on the order paper.

The texts of Bills C-46 and C-47 are now online at the Parliament website for your reading pleasure (and here are the summaries included in the bills when tabled in Parliament): . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

An Ongoing Experiment in Collaboration…

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)
Don’t forget to say you will.. ♫

Lyrics and music by: O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, recorded by The Isley Brothers.

The Pacific Legal Technology Conference is scheduled for Friday Oct. 2, 2009 at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre. This conference is unique in that attendees – past and present – have the opportunity to select the sessions they most wish to see presented at the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Print Based Legislation Research

It is Day 1 of the Edmonton Law Libraries Association Head Start Program and I am writing this post as I assist with timekeeping and travel for the students hands on legislative research sessions in the Alberta Law Society Library in Edmonton.

Every year we bring the attendee articling students into the library and work through hands on research sessions with them using print resources. This year, like those in the past, we “old” librarian types tell war stories about how crappy it was to update regulations before the Internet existed, and especially before the new electronic official copies that . . . [more]

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

Google Books Improves

Google Books has released a number of improvements designed to make reading and sharing their material easier. The Books blog, Inside Google Book Search lists seven changes:

  1. embedding and links – From the new toolbar on a Books page you can copy a link to the source or the html necessary to produce an iframe in your blog or web page that will embed the source.
  2. improved search – There’s now more context around your search terms, and you can rank your search results by relevance as well as page order.
  3. thumbnail view – More useful, perhaps, where images are
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading, Technology: Internet

Slaw RSS Feed Problem Fixed

Turns out the fault was not in our stars but in ourselves: we’d been hacked. We have now removed the offending code and believe that our feeds, whether direct from Slaw or via Feedburner, should be free of pollution. Please let us know if we are mistaken in any respect.

It is likely that within the next few days Slaw will upgrade the version of WordPress it uses to the latest version, as part of our efforts to frustrate hackers. Readers should not notice any change, but the site may be down for an hour or so. We will post . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw