May 27, 2006
O'Reilly to IT@Cork: Stop using our Web 2.0 Service Mark
O'Reilly has sent a cease-and-desist letter to IT@Cork, demanding that they not use "Web 2.0" in the title of their conference. Sara Winge, O'Reilly VP of Corporate Communications explains why on the O'Reilly corporate blog.
MP Says Assassination of Blair Morally Justified
CNN is reporting that Member of Parliament George Galloway has said it would be "morally justified" for an assassin to target Prime Minister Tony Blair, but he said he was not advocating an attempt. Playing to his voters? Galloway is represents an east London suburb with a large Muslim population. [JH]
Law school in two years flat
Maryland Commission for Men's Health
Legislation establishing a Maryland Commission on Men's Health was signed into law on May 16th, by Governor Ehrlich. The bill creates a full commission to study and aid in providing preventative care to males.
From the press release:
This unprecedented measure taken by the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Ehrlich will solidify Maryland as a leader in men's health and help to better the lives of men and their loved ones within the state of Maryland." The director of public policy for Men's Health Network (MHN), Joseph Arite commented, "it is our hope that other states will follow suit in establishing such a vital commission." MHN is ready and willing to offer support to the committee as it does in other states across the country.
Greenbelt, Md. Urologist Dr. Myron Murdock concluded, "The Maryland Men's Health Commission will ensure that the male population is better represented in the health care arena. This will lead to a greater awareness of men's health needs among the public and among policy makers."
May 26, 2006
Top 300 Patent Owners, IBM Number 1
IPO published its annual report of the 300 organizations that were granted the most U.S. patents in the past year. The report is for calendar year 2005. IBM Corp. again topped the list with 2,941 patents. When requested by a company, patents granted to subsidiaries are combined with patents granted to the parent. Organizations that received at least 48 patents made the list this year. IPO’s annual lists back to 1984.
Surprise! New Bankruptcy Law's Debt Relief Agency Provisions Should be Held Unconsititutional if Applied to Attorneys
NACBA, along with the Connecticut Bar Association, has filed suit in the Connecticut federal court to have the "debt relief agency" provisions of the new bankruptcy law held unconstitutional if they are applied to attorneys. The suit seeks a preliminary injunction prohibiting their application to attorneys, including all NACBA members.
Analyst (Academic Computer User Support) LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center
The LSU Computer Services Department is seeking a highly motivated customer service oriented individual to provide direct technical support for all Law Center end users including faculty and staff, while focusing primarily on students. Reporting to the Director of Computing Services, responsibilities include troubleshooting and maintaining optimal configuration for computers and network devices, installing and upgrading software and hardware, supervising Help Desk student workers, creating, implementing, and documenting policies and procedures to ensure end users of appropriate, courteous, timely, and effective problem resolution, supervising computer exam software functions and process including on-site exam room assistance, establishing specifications and supervising compliance by laptop vendors for laptop offer programs directed at Law Center personnel and students, actively seeking out and evaluating new software and computer solutions with the Director to optimize technological means to meet academic productivity needs of students, faculty, and staff.
Required Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Information Systems & Decision Sciences, or related field, or a Bachelor's degree in another field and relevant equivalent experience with experience in a networked PC support center environment operating, maintaining, and repairing Ethernet, TCP/IP, Microsoft Windows servers, desktops, laptops, and Microsoft and Corel office suites. Demonstrated interest in investigating computer related problems and pursuing solutions to the end users satisfaction. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with colleagues and diverse clientele in a fast-paced, cooperative team-oriented environment where customer service is imperative. Outgoing and dedicated to working with all end users to meet their computing services needs. Professional, flexible, and enthusiastic. Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills and organizational skills. Evidence of a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and service, and the ability to interact effectively with faculty, students, and staff. Evidence of a strong commitment to continuing education in the area of end user computing solutions and new end user technologies. Physical ability to perform tasks that require manual dexterity, such as operating a computer keyboard, mouse, power tools, and computer components. Physical strength to lift, transport, set-up, and use moderately heavy objects including computers and all associated peripherals. Eyesight adequate for working with printed material and for reading computer terminal screens. Patience to work at repetitious tasks. Willingness to work nights and weekends as required.
Preferred Qualifications: Support experience in an academic or legal environment. Managerial experience. Familiarity with the Macintosh OS.
To apply, send a letter of application, a resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references by the deadline of May 31, 2006 via e-mail (PDF preferred) to email@example.com , Frank A. Adair, Director of HRM, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
The LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer.
Opening: Reference Law Librarian, LSU Law
The LSU Law Center Library invites nominations and applications for the full-time, tenure track, associate level position of Reference Law Librarian.
Requirements: ABA accredited J.D. and an ALA accredited M.L.S. or equivalent. Demonstrated competence in delivering legal research services, and knowledge of print and electronic legal information services including Westlaw, Lexis, and other Internet based databases and services. Demonstrated interest and competency in the application of technology to legal research issues. Strong service orientation with the ability to interact effectively with a wide variety of library clientele. Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal skills. Ability to work in a team environment. Must possess initiative to be a self-starter and be able to work problems to completion with little direct supervision.
Preferred: One year professional level law library reference experience. Familiarity with instant messaging. Working knowledge of HTML, or HTML software such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage.
The Reference Law Librarian will work closely with all library clientele to meet their research needs. As a member of the library’s reference team, the Reference Law Librarian will assist with staffing the reference desk and monitoring instant messaging reference including some reasonable night and weekend hours. The Reference Law Librarian will initiate contact with faculty to ascertain and meet their research needs. As a member of the library’s collection development team, the Reference Law Librarian will review and recommend new titles and materials for acquisition. The Reference Law Librarian will initiate interlibrary loan requests and will assist the Head of Access Services in the development and supervision of interlibrary policies and procedures. The Reference Law Librarian may be asked to teach research instruction classes from time to time, and will prepare library guides, pathfinders, and other research tools such as content for the library’s web site.
The salary for the fully-qualified successful applicant is competitive and commensurate with degree and experience qualifications. This tenure-track, associate librarian position carries with it library faculty rank and status. LSU offers a wide range of benefits, including a choice of medical and retirement plans, dental plan, and vision plan.
To apply, send a letter of application, a resume, and the names and contact information of three references via e-mail (Word or PDF preferred) by June 16, 2006 to:
Frank A. Adair
Director of Human Resources
Louisiana State University
Paul M. Hebert Law Center
May 25, 2006
Lay, Skilling Convicted in Enron Collapse
The AP is reporting that Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted today of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in a case born from one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history. [JH]
What if Microsoft Created the iPod Packaging?
Interested? Check it out at TaxProf Blog.
Hearing Next Week on Constitutional Questions Raised by the FBI’s Raid
From the press release:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.) announced the Committee will hold an oversight hearing next week on the constitutional questions raised by the FBI’s unprecedented Saturday night raid of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) Capitol Hill office. Chairman Sensenbrenner stated, “Members of Congress must follow the law and be held accountable just like everyone else. By no means, should Rep. Jefferson’s alleged conduct be condoned, but there is a constitutional way for justice to be served. The FBI’s unprecedented Saturday night raid of Rep. Jefferson’s Capitol Hill Office raises profoundly disturbing constitutional questions that must be addressed.”
Cyber-spying by Repressive Regimes Won't Need Help from the West Much Longer
According to the Reporters Without Borders 2006 Annual Report on Internet censorship, some of the world's most repressive regimes have shown determination and skill in monitoring Internet use within their borders and have been successful doing so thanks in large part to technology sold to them by Western, mostly US, firms. The report warns that such ethical lapses by these firms may not be necessary for very long. "China is now passing on its cyber-spying skills to other enemies of the Internet, including Zimbabwe, Cuba, and most recently Belarus. These countries will probably no longer need Western help for such spying in a few years time." Also from the report:
Traditional “predators of press freedom” - Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya, the Maldives, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam - all censor the Internet now. In 2003, only China, Vietnam and the Maldives had imprisoned cyber-dissidents. Now more countries do.
More on the Relative Value of American Law Reviews
Professor Perry has followed up his early work of law reviews by posting The Relative Value of American Law Reviews: Refinement and Implementation on SSRN.
Abstract: This Essay complements a recently published article in which I discussed the theoretical and methodological aspects of law review rankings. See Ronen Perry, The Relative Value of American Law Reviews: A Critical Appraisal of Ranking Methods, Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 11, 2006.
The purpose of this Essay is twofold: Refinement of the theoretical framework, and implementation. It proposes, defends, and implements a complex ranking method for general-interest student-edited law reviews, based on a judicious weighting of normalized citation frequency and normalized impact factor. It then analyzes the distribution of journals' scores, and the diminishing marginal difference between them. Finally, it examines the correlation between law schools' positions in the U.S. News & World Report latest ranking and their flagship law reviews' positions under the proposed method, and between these schools' overall scores and their law reviews' final scores.
Web Search Sites Give New Ways To Find Results
From Information Week:
For information seekers, the days of culling Web search pages, ten machine-generated hyperlinks at a time, may be numbered. On Monday, Yahoo Inc. takes the next step to realize its vision of combining human advice with machine automation to offer more relevant ways of searching the Web. It is using the millions of human suggestions from its recently introduced Yahoo Answers to complement the mathematically organized features of its core search system.
Read the entire article.. [RJ]
Reports From the U.S. Education Commission
U.S. Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education released several issue papers.
- An examination of the interplay of college costs, prices and affordability
- A treatise on regulation of colleges
- Another exploration of higher education accreditation
The Oxford Journals Law Archive
Oxford Journals recently announced that it completed the launch of its digital archive.The Law Archive is available for subscription or purchase. Titles included in the Law Archive and year of first issue:
- The British Journal of Criminology - 1961
- Industrial Law Journal - 1972
- International and Comparative Law Quarterly - 1952
- International Journal of Law and Information Technology - 1993
- International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family - 1987
- International Journal of Refugee Law - 1989
- Journal of Environmental Law - 1989
- Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization - 1985
- Medical Law Review - 1993
- Oxford Journal of Legal Studies - 1981
- Statute Law Review - 1980
Opening: Public Services/Reference positions, Tarlton Law Library, Univ. of Texas
The Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law seeks candidates for public services/reference positions.
The Tarlton Law Library serves the faculty and students of one of the nation’s top public law schools, as well as the broader University community. The library houses one of the largest legal collections in the country in a spacious facility of six floors. The law library is located in Austin, Texas, a city consistently ranked as one of America’s best places to live.
Responsibilities: Members of our public services team provide a wide variety of services to the law school community. Specific duties include:
- Working with individual law faculty through our “liaison” program, which pairs librarians with members of the faculty. Service to faculty includes research assistance, document delivery support and current awareness service.
- Providing reference service to faculty, students, staff, university students, member of the local bar and the general public at the library reference desk. Such service is provided through in-person interviews, the telephone and internet chat.
- Providing recommendations on collection development, in both print and online formats.
- Participates in outreach activities, such as blue book citation training, to law student organizations.
- Support for various digitization projects, with an emphasis on identifying grant opportunities for making the library’s unique collections available to a wider audience.
- Teaching is an important part of our public services positions.
Public services librarians may be called on to teach in a variety of settings:
- a one-hour legal research elective class to first-year law students.
- a one-hour advanced legal research class to upper-level law students.
- course offerings through the University’s School of Information as part of that school’s law librarian specialization.
- lectures presented to undergraduate or graduate level students whose coursework requires that they utilize the law library collection.
- lectures for individual law classes, as requested by faculty.
Requirements: Applicants should be energetic, service-oriented and anxious to take on responsibility. Candidates for these positions must have a J.D. degree and a degree in library or information science from accredited institutions. Recent (and soon-to-be) graduates of library and information science programs are encouraged to apply, as well as experienced law librarians.
Applicants should submit a letter of interest, current resume, three letters of reference and transcripts from universities attended. All material should be sent to Jeanne Price, Director of Patron Services, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas, 727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705.
The University of Texas at Austin is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
May 24, 2006
Dueling Studies: New CBO Report Critical of Heritage Foundation's Findings
The Heritage Foundation recently claimed that the current Senate proposal (S. 2611) to offer undocumented immigrants a pathway to earn legal immigrant status and citizenship will eventually increase federal welfare costs by least $30 billion per year. A new CBO analysis finds that their estimate is dramatically overstated. Read the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities review. [RJ]
Rcent CRS Reports on Health Policy
Here is a list of recently released health policy and legislation-related reports published by the Congressional Research Service:
- MEDICARE: HISTORY OF PART A TRUST FUND INSOLVENCY PROJECTIONS
- THE HILL-BURTON UNCOMPENSATED SERVICES PROGRAM
- MEDICARE: FINANCING THE PART A HOSPITAL INSURANCE PROGRAM
- U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES TO THE GLOBAL SPREAD OF AVIAN FLU: ISSUES FOR CONGRESS
- MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: AN OVERVIEW
- THE IMPACT OF MEDICARE PREMIUMS ON SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFICIARIES
- MEDICAL MARIJUANA: REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF FEDERAL AND STATE POLICIES
- THE GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS, AND MALARIA: BACKGROUND AND CURRENT ISSUES
- MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE: AN ECONOMIC INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE
- MEDICAL MALPRACTICE BILLS: S. 22 AND S. 23, 109TH CONGRESS
MEDICARE: HISTORY OF PART A TRUST FUND INSOLVENCY PROJECTIONS
CRS Publication Date: 05/04/2006
Document No.: RS20946
Author(s): Jennifer O'Sullivan, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: Almost from its inception, the HI trust fund has faced a projected shortfall. The insolvency date has been postponed a number of times, primarily due to legislative changes which had the effect of restraining growth in program spending. The 2006 report projects that, under intermediate assumptions, the HI trust fund will become insolvent in 2018, two years earlier than projected in 2005. The revision reflects slightly higher costs and an upward revision in short-range assumptions about utilization of HI services. The 2006 projection is eight years earlier than that projected in 2003, prior to the enactment of MMA. That law added to HI costs, primarily through higher payments to rural hospitals and to private plans under the MA program.
THE HILL-BURTON UNCOMPENSATED SERVICES PROGRAM
CRS Publication Date: 05/09/2006
Document No.: 98-968
Author(s): Barbara English, Knowledge Services Group
Abstract: The Hospital Survey and Construction Act of 1946 (P.L. 79-725), commonly known as the Hill-Burton Act, was enacted to provide federal financial assistance for the planning, construction, and improvement of health care facilities through grants, loans, and guaranteed loans under Title VI and later Title XVI of the Public Health Service Act. Since 1946, the Hill-Burton program has provided assistance to more than 6,900 hospitals and other health care facilities in more than 4,000 communities. The original legislation stipulated that, in return for assistance, facilities were required to provide free care for 20 years to eligible persons unable to pay for health care services. Although there has not been any Title VI funding authority for the program since FY1974, many facilities that received Hill-Burton funds continue to have an obligation to provide a certain level of uncompensated care. Facilities funded under Title XVI must provide uncompensated care in perpetuity. This report provides information on the act, the obligations and eligibility requirements for free care, and sources for further information.
MEDICARE: FINANCING THE PART A HOSPITAL INSURANCE PROGRAM
CRS Publication Date: 05/03/2006
Document No.: RS20173
Author(s): Jennifer O'Sullivan, Domestic Social Policy Division; and Heidi G. Yacker, Information Research Division
Abstract: Stressing the importance of considering the Medicare program as a whole, the trustees note that Medicare expenditures are expected to grow from 2.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2004 to 7.5% in 2035. The difference between outlays and dedicated financing sources is estimated to reach 45% of outlays in 2012. This report will be updated upon receipt of the 2007 trustees' report.
U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES TO THE GLOBAL SPREAD OF AVIAN FLU: ISSUES FOR CONGRESS
CRS Publication Date: 05/01/2006
Document No.: RL33219
Author(s): Tiaji Salaam-Blyther, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: For FY2006, Congress has provided $33.5 million for global disease detection through Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations; and reserved for international avian flu efforts a portion of $3.8 billion through Defense appropriations. Bills introduced in the 109th Congress would increase U.S. resources allocated to the global fight against avian flu; develop a "Pandemic Fund" to augment ongoing U.S. and international avian flu and pandemic preparedness initiatives; increase funding for preventing the spread among animals of the H5N1 virus; and strengthen surveillance capacity within affected countries. This report provides an up-to-date account of global H5N1-related human infections and deaths, outline U.S. government and international responses to the global spread of H5N1, discuss situations in various countries affected by H5N1, and present some foreign policy issues for Congress.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: AN OVERVIEW
CRS Publication Date: 05/05/2006
Document No.: RL33358
Author(s): Bernadette Fernandez, Domestic Social Policy Division; Baird Webel, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: The rising cost of medical malpractice insurance is of concern to Congress largely because of its potential impact on the availability of health care providers and services. As malpractice insurance becomes increasingly expensive, some physicians claim that premium increases have forced them to limit the services they provide, move their practice locations, or leave medicine altogether. This is especially the case for certain specialists who have experienced the largest premium increases. Some providers have gone on strike to publicize their plight. They cite excessive malpractice lawsuits and unreasonably large jury awards as the causes of the malpractice insurance "crisis."
THE IMPACT OF MEDICARE PREMIUMS ON SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFICIARIES
CRS Publication Date: 04/26/2006
Document No.: RL33364
Author(s): Kathleen Romig, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: This report shows how the deduction of Medicare Part B and Part D premiums affects Social Security beneficiaries. It describes how increases in Social Security benefits and Medicare premiums are calculated under current law and explains the circumstances under which Social Security beneficiaries are held harmless for increases in the Part B premium, as well as the premium assistance available to low-income beneficiaries. It shows the growth in Social Security benefits and Part B premiums in recent years; describes how rising Part B premiums have affected Social Security beneficiaries, comparing the effects of premium deductions on people with different levels of earnings; and provides estimates of Social Security benefits and Medicare Parts B and D premiums to 2080, using the Social Security and Medicare trustees' intermediate projections. It also describes how beneficiaries would be affected by projected Medicare premium increases. Finally, it outlines current legislation that would affect the relationship between Social Security benefits and Medicare premiums.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA: REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF FEDERAL AND STATE POLICIES
CRS Publication Date: 05/03/2006
Document No.: RL33211
Author(s): Mark Eddy, Domestic Social Policy Division
Abstract: The issue before Congress is whether to continue to support the executive branch's prosecution of medical marijuana1 patients and their providers, in accordance with marijuana's status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, or whether to relax federal marijuana prohibition enough to permit the medical use of botanical cannabis products by seriously ill persons, especially in those states that have created medical marijuana programs under state law.
THE GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS, AND MALARIA: BACKGROUND AND CURRENT ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 04/26/2006
Document No.: RL31712
Author(s): Tiaji Salaam, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: As of March 31, 2006, the Global Fund has approved more than 350 grants totaling nearly $5.2 billion for projects in more than 131 countries, of which about $2.1 billion has been disbursed in 127 countries. To date there have been five "rounds" of funding, with the Board approving proposals in April 2002, January 2003, October 2003, June 2004, and September 2005. However, in September 2005, due to a lack of available funding from donors, only a portion of proposals recommended for approval in Round 5 were officially approved. The remaining tentatively approved proposals received final approval in December 2005 after additional contributions were made.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE: AN ECONOMIC INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE
CRS Publication Date: 04/27/2006
Document No.: RL31886
Author(s): Baird Webel, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report examines the economic issues and historical experience surrounding medical malpractice insurance. It includes an explanation of the fundamentals of insurance and how these fundamentals relate specifically to medical malpractice insurance. It also includes a discussion of the evolution of the medical malpractice insurance market since the 1970s and policy changes over this time, including an assessment of these changes.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE BILLS: S. 22 AND S. 23, 109TH CONGRESS
CRS Publication Date: 05/08/2006
Document No.: RL33406
Author(s): Henry Cohen, American Law Division
Abstract: Medical malpractice suits are governed, for the most part, by state law. S. 22, 109th Congress, the Medical Care Access Protection Act of 2006, or "MCAP Act," would impose federal standards on some aspects of medical malpractice suits, but it would leave other aspects to continue to be governed by state law. Unlike other pending medical malpractice bills, such as H.R. 5 and S. 354, S. 22 would not apply to products liability suits (i.e., it would apply only to medical malpractice suits against health-care providers, not to suits against manufacturers or sellers of defective medical products that cause injury). S. 23, the Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act, is identical to S. 22, except that S. 23 would apply only to suits alleging malpractice in connection with obstetrical or gynecological goods or services. This report summarizes the main provisions of S. 22 and S. 23.
NCLIS Issues Report from Symposium on Mass Digitization
The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) has published Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects. The report is the work of a symposium held at the University of Michigan on March 10-11, 2006. See also the webcast of the symposium. [RJ]
The idea for the symposium was inspired by the announcement in December 2004 for a partnership between Google, Inc. and five major research libraries to digitize over 10 million unique titles. This partnership launched a new era of large-scale digitization heretofore not imagined feasible or affordable. However, the “Google 5” project has generated many questions about the legal, social, economic, and other impacts of this and similar projects that will inevitably follow Google’s lead. The symposium brought together scholars, librarians, publishers, government leaders to discuss their concerns and issues. NCLIS co-sponsored the symposium, which was planned and organized by the University of Michigan Library staff and funded mainly by the University of Michigan.
Source: Executive Summary.