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Ontario Archives at York?

The Toronto Star reports today that the hoped-for announcement about funding for the York subway line extension may be just the boost that’s needed for York University to win the bid for the new location for the provincial archives. Apparently there are several competitors for the projected new building but the ease of access to be provided by the new subway line would be a major factor in York’s favour. And there’s a huge vacant space adjacent to Osgoode Hall Law School and near the Scott Library that would be just perfect for the new building. I confess to already . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Sean Hocking

This (gently self-promotional) letter from Sean Hocking, received yesterday:

Dear Slaw,

I was doing some googling over the weekend and noticed your january 06 post about myself and my blog House of Butter.

Just FYI

House of Butter was created as a blog in early 2002 after I resigned from the Australian arm of Lexis Nexis. The House of Butter title is a reference to Butterworths purchased by Lexis Nexis and then dismantled by it’s US parent I think much to the detriment of the legal publishing industry as a whole and especially any Butterworths client.

I see LN these

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Secret Law

« Le scandale du monde est ce qui fait l’offense. Et ce n’est pas pécher que pécher en silenceMolière, Tartuffe

In a post September 11 environment, one value that appears to have compromised (if not sacrificed) is transparency in the availability of legal norms. This should be an issue for all Slaw readers, not just those whose work touches on criminal law or constitutional rights.

A few examples.

We now know about the secret court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose minimal process was too much for the DoJ.

But now it seems that we have . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Research and Serendipity

Taking up on my colleague Laurel Murdoch’s post at the end of my Day of Destruction thread last week, she said that “the process of research… affects the final result”.

We talk occasionally about serendipity, the intersction of apparent chance on the research process. On Friday, Laurel asked whether I knew of any cases which dealt with the phenomenon of a court deciding an issue on grounds or citing caselaw completely different from what counsel had argued.

A brief reflection and a couple of calls to our Slaw colleague Eric Gertner (l) and John Swan (r), which led me to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Comment Spam

Those of you subscribing to comments, either by email or by RSS, may have noticed that on occasion comment spam is getting past the filters. It gets deleted as soon as I notice it. If it continues at this rate, it’s a manageable problem. However, if it gets worse, I’ll have to make the filter even more stringent, which might hinder (but not prevent) legitimate comments, so I’m loath to do that. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

CIA Discovers Wikipedia

Well, seems like someone did not tell staffers at the CIA that Wikipedia has become more vigilant in monitoring ‘who changes what’ on the online encyclopedia. A sidebar story “Look Who’s Using Wiki To Rewrite History” from Capital Insider (Business Week, March 13, 2006, p. 49, By Richard S. Dunham) reports as follows:

“… What does the CIA have against Bill Clinton? In the latest episode of virtual vandalism by federal employees, CIA staffers have been caught altering entries in Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone with an Internet connection. Someone using

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

March Is Fraud Prevention Month

Is it just me, or does there seem to be an increase in fraudulent activities these days? I have seen increased evidence of activities such as phishing, spoofing, faux lottery schemes, and calls asking for renewals of directories never previously purchased, as well as the ever popular grabbing of company logos from websites and using them on letters to defraud people out of money in their bank accounts.

And as if phishing weren’t enough, there is something even more targeted called “spear phishing“:

How spear phishing scams work
Spear phishing describes any highly targeted phishing attack. Spear phishers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous


ArchiveGrid is an important destination for searching through historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world.Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.ArchiveGrid is available to both individuals and institutions free of charge through May 31st.
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Like many people with a yen for systematizing, I like diagrams. When I think a problem out I doodle and draw lines to boxes, circle words, do double underscores and the like. When I assemble something from, well, you know where, I look at the pictures and almost never read the instructions.

So I’m mightily impressed when someone can represent a complex situation with a clear picture. My hero in this regard is Edward Tufte, whose three last books — 1983: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (pictures of numbers). ISBN 096139210X; 1990: Envisioning Information (pictures of nouns). ISBN . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous