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What Next Google?

Where to from here? First, Google becomes a verb — as in: ‘I googled him/her/it’. Indeed, being ‘googled’ has its own meaning in today’s common language. Then like many great brands (such as Kleenex™) that become synonymous with the product they represent (e.g tissues) ‘Google’ has become synonymous with ‘search’.

Even the Merian-Webster dictionary and Wikipedia have definitions for the verb ‘Google’. Now we have a new use for the word. Google has been used as a name for a kid in Sweden born September 12th (Source: Googleblog). Oliver Google Kai was named by his search engine consultant father, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


As you know if you read Slaw with any regularity, on Fridays I compile a list of links used during the week by posters and those commenting. This is not as easy to do as it ought to be, and I’ve used various methods all of which are somewhat tedious. Then I happened across a “bookmarklet” — i.e. a small piece of Javascript that gets used like a bookmark, usually from the bookmarks or favourites toolbar — that went some way to easing the task. It strips links from a page and puts them, along with their associated text, into . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Cola Spills on Laptop Keyboards – What to Do

Although not directly related to legal research, this post is related to technology and a phenomena I am surprised, in retrospect, did not happen to me earlier. Last week, I spilled a glass of cola on my keyboard and sort of panicked. Set out below is what I learned after the fact that I should have done in response to the spill. In case this information might benefit someone else, read on if interested. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

False Information Is So Much More Fun Than True

Looking for material on negotiating deals and contracts, I stumbled on a talk of that name broadcast as one of The Little Gray Book Lectures: Lit.Gr.Bk.20050202 available at

The talk is massively entertaining though it won’t tell you anything about contracts.

Hear his 700 names for a hobo on your iPod:

John Hodgman, the creator of the series and a keen blogger has just published “The most important book in human history” (the author announces modestly).

Why should an almanac be true? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Reference Libraries of Toronto

What do the Great Library, the Legislative Library, the Toronto Star Library, Hydro Library and the County of York Law Library have in common? Well they were once open to all.

By serendipity, in searching for sources on the Riddell Collection at the Great Library, I stumbled upon a 78 year old overview of the libraries of Toronto, which is quite fascinating in the extent to which private collections were prepared to welcome patrons. See the Annual Programme for the SLA in 1927 at pages 13-20:

I haven’t seen a more recent listing. Can anyone provide one? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Is a Search Engine?

What is a Search Engine?

Three pieces in the last 24 hours have left me wondering about whether what we think of as a tool for retrieving information might not be much more than that.

They concern the extension of platforms, the ability of distributed information to enable competitive comparisons, and the potential of community-based searching – think about a search engine that knows the preferred sources of legal researchers.

This morning’s RoB has a piece from the Wall Street Journal on how Google results can now be texted to a mobile phone. An open link to the facts behind . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

It’s My Party

Back in the day, did you ever admire the Rhino party for their chutzpah? Or perhaps you have a serious socio-political agenda to promote? Well, if we go into our next federal election soon, your time may never have been better to start your own political party!

Yes, my friends, we’ve all heard that it takes a minimum of 50 candidates to create an official political party in Canada. Well, not any more!

Currently we have a window of opportunity to create a new party with only one candidate! That’s right, you heard me correctly. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

There Is No Such Thing as Anonymity on the Web Any More…

The Globe and Mail carried a story on the front page (Wed Nov 3, 2005) that illustrates the power of the Internet. A 15 year old boy who was conceived with the help of a sperm donation set out to find his birth father. He submited a swab of saliva from the inside of his cheek to the web based paying $298 USD to register on the site. Within nine months, and with his permission, he is contacted by two men with similar DNA profiles … both with similar sounding names (but different spellings). Using this possible family name . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Kuhlthau’s Stages of Research Anxiety

I saw an unrelated reference today to something that reminded me of the research by Professor Carol Kuhlthau on research anxiety and the various stages that the typical student or researcher needs to pass through when conducting research. Many students are not aware of the phases they must pass through as part of the research process, so I sometimes find it useful to discuss these stages of research anxiety. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous