September 28, 2005
Book Proposals on Property Law Being Accepted
Robin Paul Malloy, the E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law at the Syracuse University College of Law is actively seeking book proposals and manuscripts for books related to all areas of property law including those with a focus on culture, and the relationship between property and citizenship. Subject areas can cover a wide range in the property area. Proposals and manuscripts are needed for a book series on Property, Citizenship, and Social Entrepreneurism with Cambridge University Press, and for a series on Law, Property, and Society with Ashgate Publishing.
Please see www.law.syr.edu/pcse for more information, and contact Professor Malloy to discuss proposals.
You do not have to be involved in the PCSE Working Group to have a book in either one of these series.
Have Laptop, Will Travel
The Wi-Fi-FreeSpot™ Directory is a listing of Wi-Fi enabled locations that offer Free Wireless High Speed Internet Access. The directory covers USA State-by-State listings, Europe and some other regions of the World.
September 27, 2005
Intelligent Design Case Coverage
A Quick Look at the University Channel
The University Channel, a consortium led by Princeton University, provides free access to streaming videos of academic lectures. The law category includes several noteworthy entries:
- Yale Law School panel discussing the nomination of John G. Roberts for Supreme Court Chief Justice;
Two lectures from Duke Law School both focusing on the Supreme Court:
- Kathleen Sullivan, Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and former Dean of Stanford Law School, discussing the Constitution and Emergencies; and,
- Professor Catherine Fisk examining the rise of corporate ownership of intellectual property in the nineteenth century.
Thanks to the Volokh Conspiracy for the tip.
Lee Peoples, Oklahoma City University Law Library
Chronicle Takes Up Tenure for Librarians Issue
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 9/30/05 special supplement (login required) focuses on libraries. Of particular note to those following the debate over whether librarians should have tenure are the following pro & con articles:
A Place at the Table
College librarians are crucial partners in teaching and research, and they should be eligible for tenure like their faculty colleagues, says Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of Libraries at Colorado State University's main campus.
Librarians should be involved in college governance, but, writes Deborah A. Carver, they don't face the academic-freedom issues that professors do, and don't need tenure. Deborah A. Carver is University Librarian at the University of Oregon.
To stay up to date with how the issue is playing out at academic law libraries around the country check out the ALL-SIS Committee on Continuing Status and Tenure’s Webpage. The page contains a survey of the status of non-directors at academic law libraries in the U.S.
Lee Peoples, Oklahoma City University Law Library
Supreme Court to Consider Vermont Campaign Finance Law
CNN is reporting that the Supreme Court has agreed to review a campaign finance law in Vermont, where reformers are trying to limit donations and spending in state political races. The Vermont law limits individual contributions to a candidate to $200 or $400 in a two-year period, depending on the office being sought, says no one running for governor can spend more than $300,000 and sets smaller spending caps for lower-tier candidates.
The cases are Randall v. Sorrell, 04-1528, and Vermont Republican State Committee v. Sorrell, 04-1530.
Background Information for Senate Confirmation of John Roberts
With the Senate about to consider Roberts for SCOTUS, Brookings Institution's analysis on Senate Confirmation procedures, judicial independence and related issues provides useful background information.
- Reshaping the Supreme Court
- Remote Control: The Supreme Court's greatest failing
- How Should the Supreme Court Interpret the Constitution?
- Can an Independent Judiciary Be Accountable?
Read all about it!
Quarterly Federal Reserve Bulletin Format Changes from Hardcopy to Digital; Frequency Also Changes
Beginning in 2006, after 91 volumes, the quarterly paper version of Federal Reserve Bulletin would no longer be published. Instead issue articles as they become available on its public Web site. However, there will be published an "annual compendium" of Federal Reserve Bulletin articles with a legal developments section (primarily Board orders on banking applications). It is not known yet what the annual compendium of Federal Reserve Bulletin articles and legal developments will cost, but subscribers to the Bulletin will be notified of the Bulletin's discontinuance and be reimbursed if they paid for more than one year.
The "Statistical Supplement to the Federal Reserve Bulletin" will still be published on a monthly basis. Those statistics had been a part of the Bulletin before 2004 when the Bulletin was a monthly publication.
Thanks to Rick McKinney, Assistant Law Librarian, Federal Reserve Board, for the tip.
Digital Documentation in the Post-Katrina Era
Dennis Kennedy, Evan Schaeffer and Tom Mighell discuss the value of electronic documents and the law's inevitable move toward digitizing the practice in Rethinking Electronic Discovery and Paper Discovery in the Post-Katrina Era.
Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents
Reporters Without Borders recently released its Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents.
Description: Blogs get people excited. Or else they disturb and worry them. Some people distrust them. Others see them as the vanguard of a new information revolution. Because they allow and encourage ordinary people to speak up, they’re tremendous tools of freedom of expression.
Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.
Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.
Download free copy of Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents (46 pages, pdf)
Andrew Vicknair and Harold Ehrenberg Cashing In on Katrina
Suffering, what suffering?
The Smoking Gun is reporting on a pair of Louisiana lawyers who are seeking to cash in on the killer hurricane by slapping the name Katrina on alcoholic beverages. In a new filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Andrew Vicknair and Harold Ehrenberg provided federal officials with a logo bearing the word Katrina, the phrase "Get Blown Away," and a small satellite image of the deadly storm.
That's Andrew Vicknair and Harold Ehrenberg.
Don't forget, that's Andrew Vicknair and Harold Ehrenberg.
Aren't they just too special for words.
GPO Releases Briefing Papers on Selection Mechanisms for Comment
As part of its ongoing planning efforts, GPO's Information Dissemination (Superintendent of Documents) organization has undertaken a review of the item number system used by libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) to select tangible and electronic titles. As the number of electronic publications disseminated continues to grow, GPO raised questions about the continued utility of item numbers in its initial planning statement on the National Bibliography. In response to a request from the Depository Library Council, GPO conducted a review of the current item number system and examined possible alternatives. As a result of this review, GPO is releasing three briefing papers and soliciting comments from the depository library community. The deadline for comments is Monday, October 31, 2005.
"Depository Selection: History and Current Practice" is provided as background information for the other two papers. It provides an overview of the item number process in its current form.
"Depository Selection Mechanisms: New Model for the Selection of Online Titles" proposes new mechanisms for the selection of online titles.
"Depository Selection Mechanisms: New Model for the Selection of Tangible Publications" proposes new mechanisms to support a more flexible model for selection and distribution of tangible publications.
All three papers are available for review at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/selection/index.html along with links to related information.
All comments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for comments is Monday, October 31, 2005. Comments received by Monday, October 10, 2005 will be summarized for discussion at Fall Depository Library Council meeting, October 16th - 19th.
September 26, 2005
OT: Armed and Dangerous US Navy Dolphins Escaped Into Gulf of Mexico
From the Guardian's Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina:
Experts who have studied the U.S. navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The U.S. navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing. Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The U.S. Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the U.S. defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.
Ron Jones, Univ of Cincinnati Law Library
Fifth Circuit Update
This update was provided by Ann Fessenden,Circuit Librarian U.S. Courts Library 8th Circuit, St. Louis, MO. The source is a memo from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts dated 9/23/05:
• The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has moved its operations temporarily to Houston. It re-opened September 21, 2005, for the most urgent business but has suspended operations effective September 23, 2005.
• The Eastern District of Louisiana is closed, but is receiving filings. Current plans are to divide the court operations among Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Houma, Louisiana. The court has suspended operations effective
September 23, 2005.
• The Middle District of Louisiana has suspended operations effective September 23, 2005.
• The Southern District of Mississippi is operational in Jackson and Hattiesburg.
• The Southern District of Texas has suspended operations effective September 23, 2005, in Houston and Galveston.
• U.S. Mail (Katrina). The United States Postal Service is continuing to hold mail distribution for those areas that are still undeliverable. The Postal Service acknowledges that there are massive amounts of mail being held at locations outside the affected area and that they will resume their deliveries to those areas as quickly as humanly possible. Anyone from the affected areas that has put in a change of address request is getting mail forwarded. The USPS is working with publishers for periodicals and standard mail mailers to make sure mail is processed and forwarded to persons who have a change of address form in the USPS system. The Postal Service has
informed us that all updates are listed daily on www.ribbs.usps.gov and/or www.usps.com. There is also a map on this website to show zip codes that are still affected and have no delivery.
• U. S. Mail (Rita). The Postal Service has started to suspend mail service to numerous zip codes areas in Texas. The affected areas are also listed on the Postal Service website at www.usps.com.
From the Pen of Justice Stephen Breyer
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Knopf (September 13, 2005)
PRICE: $ 21.00 [Amazon.com $14.28]
This book, based on the Tanner lectures on Human Values that Justice Stephen Breyer delivered at Harvard University in November 2004, defines the term “active liberty” as a sharing of the nation’s sovereign authority with its citizens. Regarding the Constitution as a guide for the application of basic American principles to a living and changing society rather than as an arsenal of rigid legal means for binding and restricting it, Justice Breyer argues that the genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems.
Giving us examples of this approach in the areas of free speech, federalism, privacy, affirmative action, statutory interpretation, and administrative law, Justice Breyer states that courts should take greater account of the Constitution’s democratic nature when they interpret constitutional and statutory texts. He also insists that the people, through participation in community life, can and must develop the experience necessary to govern their own affairs. His distinctive contribution to the federalism debate is his claim that deference to congressional power can actually promote democratic participation rather than thwart it. He argues convincingly that although Congress is not perfect, it has done a better job than either the executive or judicial branches at balancing the conflicting views of citizens across the nation, especially during times of national crisis. With a fine appreciation for complexity, Breyer reminds all Americans that Congress, rather than the courts, is the place to resolve policy disputes.
Review by Benjamin Wittes, Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2005.
Copyright Analysis of Google Print Project
Here's Jonathan Band's paper, The Google Print Library Project: A Copyright Analysis. Mr. Band represents Internet companies and library associations on intellectual property matters. He does not represent any entity with respect to the Google Print project.
Congress May Exempt the Internet from FEC Political Speech Regulations
CNET News is reporting statements by various members of Congress indicating their willingness to pass a law exempting Internet speech from the campaign finance laws. The issue is sparked by a previous court ruling striking down rules by the Federal Election Commission that carved out an exemption for Internet speech. The court asked the FEC to clarify those rules. At this time, the result is uncertain. Bloggers in particular are worried that political blogging may become regulated under new rules. U.S. House of Representatives Administration Committee held a hearing today where members signaled their willingness to amend the existing law to settle the issue.
Mark Giangrande, De Paul Law Library
Sins of Ommission, Project Censored's Top Ten Stories Ignored by the Media
In Ten Stories the Mainstream Media Missed, Molly Ivins reviews Project Censored list of the top ten stories that were so neglected by the media this year that they never entered the public's consciousness. The No. 1 pick by Project Censored this year is the Bush Administration moves to eliminate open government, a concern most librarians across the country share.
Got eye strain? Want to improve the clarity of text on your computer?
Then use the "ClearType" feature in WindowsXP. Here's how
- From the desktop, right-click and select "Properties"
- Select the tab "Appearance" and press the "Effects ..." button
- Check the box "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts" and select "ClearType" in the drop-down list
- Click on "OK" and then press "Apply"
To quote TaxProf editor, Paul Caron, source of this tip, "I made this change on both my desktop and laptop, and the results are stunning."
From Microsoft's ClearType Information Page:
ClearType is a software technology developed by Microsoft that improves the readability of text on existing LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays), such as laptop screens, Pocket PC screens and flat panel monitors. With ClearType font technology, the words on your computer screen look almost as sharp and clear as those printed on a piece of paper.
ClearType works by accessing the individual vertical color stripe elements in every pixel of an LCD screen. Before ClearType, the smallest level of detail that a computer could display was a single pixel, but with ClearType running on an LCD monitor, we can now display features of text as small as a fraction of a pixel in width. The extra resolution increases the sharpness of the tiny details in text display, making it much easier to read over long durations.
Although the quote doesn't mention tube monitors, the techonolgy works on them too.
If you go to the ClearType Information Page, you can use the online "Turner" instead of the above instructions.
September 25, 2005
Blawg Republic Hacked!
Here's the screenshot: