October 14, 2006
Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States
"This document is the declassified Key Judgments from the larger, classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States that was produced in April 2006. The NIE analyzes the nature of the threat that terrorist groups across the world will pose to US lives and interests, including the Homeland, during the next five years."
Health-insurance expenses for colleges keep rising
The cost of health benefits to colleges climbed again this year, and the rate of increase continued to outpace the costs borne in most other sectors of the economy, two recent surveys have found. (for subscribers)
October 13, 2006
Brewing With Stina: An Apple a Day
Last weekend I took time off from work to go to Spokane to see my parents and help my sister (Siv) and her husband (Dave) press cider. While I was away, I dreamt my filing backlog mysteriously disappeared, it did not. I did have some spare time to read this book. I know many people think that making a cider means pitching some yeast in some juice. And you are right. But since I want to make it sound much more interesting, I am including the style guidelines along with my favorite cider picks (courtesy the BJCP).
So, for those of you who are staying in this weekend, or going out, I recommend:
Eating a bratwurst but not in a beer mood: Dry English Cider.
Skipping dessert but still want something sweet: Raspberry Cider.
Wanting to impress your friend by serving smelly cheese: A French Cider.
PS: I want to thank Rita K. for guest authoring last Monday's "A View from the Stacks" for me.
Stina McClintock, Library Technician, King County Law Library (Seattle) and Beer Judge (BJCP)
Sixth Circuit Clears Lexis Nexis of Copyright Infringement
"The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court's dismissal of copyright infringement claims by a Michigan law firm against Lexis Nexis regarding legal forms and the software for filling them out. The decision cleared Lexis of infringement, but re-instated a breach-of-contract claim that the district court had dismissed on the pleadings."
Shorter Route to JDs Offered
Guantánamo defense lawyer forced out of Navy
"The Navy lawyer who took the Guantánamo case of Osama bin Laden's driver to the U.S. Supreme Court — and won — has been passed over for promotion by the Pentagon and must soon leave the military.
Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, 44, said last week he received word he had been denied a promotion to full-blown commander this summer, "about two weeks after" the Supreme Court sided against the White House and with his client, a Yemeni captive at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
Under the military's "up-or-out" promotion system, Swift will retire in March or April, closing a 20-year career of military service."
Diversity issue heats up debate over splitting 9th Circuit
"The long-simmering debate over splitting the nation's largest federal appellate court heated up last week when one 9th Circuit judge complained that a new breakaway circuit would have no Hispanic judges.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently considering S.B.1845, to split the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with California and a much smaller Hawaii and Guam in a new, shrunken 9th Circuit. A new 12th Circuit would be composed of Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska." (sub req)
October 12, 2006
Most reliable search tool could be your librarian
"Your child wants to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. You might consider consulting a librarian instead of Google, AOL or Microsoft search engines.
Using the keywords "Martin Luther King," the first result on Google and AOL--whose search is powered by Google--and the second result on Microsoft Windows Live search is a Web site created by a white supremacists group that purports to provide "a true historical examination" of the civil rights leader.
Granted, there are sponsored links above the result on all three sites and a "snapshot" of links to related content on AOL above the link on that Web site. But given that many people rely on the information they get in the top few results, someone could come away with a skewed perception of the man.
That's where librarians come in. While the Web is good for offering quick results from a broad range of sources, which may or may not be trustworthy, librarians can help people get access to more authoritative information and go deeper with their research."
A Quick Look at History of Animation in Court
History of Animation in Court is a video podcast series that features some of the most innovative applications of computer animation for use in the courtroom. The site is by Z-Axis Corporation, a pioneer in the creation of animated trial exhibits in the late 1980s. [JH]
The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Second Interim Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules
The Federal Judicial Center has undertaken a long-term study of the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) on the resources of the federal courts. This second interim progress report was presented to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on September 7, 2006, and reports on the results of statistical tests of the impact of CAFA on federal courts across the country.
State Ballot Measures in 2005 spark $466 million in contributions
"As they have in past years, high-dollar donors dominated giving to ballot measure committees in nine states in 2005 elections. Just 77 organizations or businesses and 11 individuals gave one-quarter of the $466 million raised in the cycle, a new analysis of giving to ballot-measure committees found.
The study by the National Institute on Money in State Politics reports that $116.8 million of the total raised came from these givers. Among them, the pharmaceutical industry stood out, distributing more than $96 million to committees involved in tort reform, tax limits and prescription-drug policy in several states.
The report, “State Ballot Measures, 2005,” analyzed contributions to committees formed to support or oppose ballot measures on issues ranging from tax limits and tort reform to redistricting and prescription-drug plans."
U.N. convenes broadcasting treaty talks in 2007
From the WIPO press release:
"In a move that signals entry into the final phase of treaty negotiations, the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreed today to convene a diplomatic conference from November 19 to December 7, 2007 to update the rights of broadcasting organizations. The objective of this diplomatic conference is to conclude a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations, including cablecasting organizations."
October 11, 2006
Backboard Partners with Google to Enhance Search Capabilities of Course Management Products and Services
Blackboard Inc. has joined the Google Enterprise Professional program. Through the new partnership Blackboard will work to enhance search capabilities while integrating various services with Google. From the Blackboard press release:
"The ability to organize and search information and shared resources quickly and effectively is critical to success in today's knowledge base economy. The Google partnership provides a tremendous value to people across a campus community, allowing them to develop greater search literacy to find information within academic departments, across disciplines and even on campuses in other locations." -- Michael Chasen, president and CEO of Blackboard, Inc.
EBSA Launches Health Benefits Advisor Site
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has launced a new website to serve as a resource for employers in complying with the various federal health benefit laws. The Health Benefits Advisor is designed to help employers and other plan officials understand their responsibilities in operating group health plans.
Hat tip to Workplace Law Prof Blog. [JH]
European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research, Updated
Don't miss this essential tool: European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research. Marylin J. Raisch's comprehensive guide has been completely updated and revised, and now includes a pathfinder of screen shots to assist researchers in effectively searching offical EU websites and portals. [JH]
Mashup of Google Maps & US Census Data
Hat tip to Tom Mighell, Inter-Alia, for calling attention to this neat Web 2.0 app. Just enter an address and this tool will report provide census demographic or housing data for that location in area increments of 1 mile, 3 miles and 5 miles. [JH]
Intellectual Property Enforcement and Protection
From the press release:
"The Bush Administration released the 2006 Report to the President and Congress on Coordination of Intellectual Property Enforcement and Protection. The report sets forth the actions and initiatives that the U.S. government has taken over the past year to combat the rising tide of global counterfeiting and piracy, and notes the importance of these efforts because of the critical role intellectual property (IP) plays in the country’s economic strength and the health and safety of consumers."
A Time for Reflection
Today is my 54th birthday so it seems like an appropriate time for reflection ...
... what was I talking about?
Do you wake up with puddles of memory soaking into your pillow, like I do now?
Next year I can order off the "55 & Older" menu at Bob Evans. But right now ... does anyone know where I left my cup of coffee? [JH]
Opening: Executive Director, LLMC
Executive director: Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC), a non-profit law library cooperative promoting collection enhancement, preservation and space recovery online and on film, seeks experienced, visionary leader. Salary $100,000 up, full benefits. For more about LLMC, position description, and application information, go to http://www.llmc.com/Employment.asp
October 10, 2006
Patriot Act Challenge Allowed to Proceed
"Almost three years after initial arguments were presented, a federal judge in Detroit has refused the government’s request to dismiss a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act. The lawsuit, filed July 30, 2003, was the first legal challenge to the controversial antiterrorism act passed by Congress after the September 11 attacks."