June 16, 2007
Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act, S. 214, Quietly Signed by President Bush
On June 14th, President Bush signed S. 214, Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act of 2007 into law (Public Law No: 110-34). This act removes a provision from the 2005 Patriot Act revision that gave the US Attorney General the power to appoint permanent "interim" US Attorneys, bypassing the need to obtain Senate confirmation. So far, no signing statement from the Bush Administration.
Email: You Controlling It or It Controlling You?
Check out Anne Fisher's 10 ways to get a grip on your e-mail article (Fortune) which includes the following old school "communication technique:"
Schedule live conversations. Instead of sending an e-mail that will initiate a long back-and-forth discussion, try scheduling an in-person or phone meeting instead. You'll often get a lot more done in less time.
The article refers to The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You, by Mike Song, Vicki Halsey & Tim Burress which may (or may not) be the source of Anne's wisdom. [JH]
YouTube to test video ID with Time Warner, Disney
"Top online video service YouTube will soon test a new video identification technology with two of the world's largest media companies, Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co..
The technology, developed by engineers at YouTube-owner Google Inc., will help content owners such as movie and TV studios identify videos uploaded to the site without the copyright owner's permission, legal, marketing and strategy executives at YouTube told Reuters in an interview on Monday." [RJ]
Microsoft Finds Legal Defender in Justice Dept.
"Nearly a decade after the government began its landmark effort to break up Microsoft, the Bush administration has sharply changed course by repeatedly defending the company both in the United States and abroad against accusations of anticompetitive conduct, including the recent rejection of a complaint by Google." [RJ]
New RealPlayer allows YouTube video download
"Real Networks has announced a new version of their RealPlayer today that will be available as a PC-only public Beta in June. The player allows users to download and organize nearly all embedded internet video content (Flash, WMV, QuickTime) including content from popular video sites like YouTube, Comedy Central, and of course CNET."
June 15, 2007
Friday Fun: No Cookies in the Library
Much to the chagrin of a tempermental librarian Cookie Monster can't seem to comprehend that libraries don't have cookies. This is a classic Sesame Street parody of the Monty Python book shop skit.
New Research Guides from GlobaLex
- Transatlantic Turbulence: The European Union and United States Debate Over Passenger Data by Irfan Tukdi
- An Introduction to Colombian Governmental Institutions and Primary Legal Sources by Antonio Ramirez
- UPDATE: The Bulgarian Legal System and Legal Research by Angel Panayotov, Venelin Dimitrov, and Blagomir Minov
- UPDATE: The Croatian Legal System and Legal Research by Dunja Kuecking, Milivoje Žugić, and Tajana Pazman
- UPDATE: Swedish Law and Legal Materials by Ibngrid Kabir and Sofia Sternberg
The CNN & YouTube Debates
"This summer and fall, YouTube, CNN and a few engaged and engaging citizens will make political history by having the presidential candidates answer questions submitted via YouTube videos.
The first debate will feature the Democratic candidates on July 23rd in Charleston, South Carolina. Submit your question for the Democrats between June 14 and July 22 (the earlier the better). The CNN political team will choose the most creative and compelling videos, and if yours is one of them, you may get the chance to fly to Charleston to watch the debate live and offer your reactions afterward on YouTube's political video blog, Citizentube."
Check out our earlier post: YouTube-ing Election 2008
See also: YouTube Passes Debates to a New Generation, N.Y. Times [RJ]
Pre-CALI Conference Reading Materials
The CALI conference and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas at the same time ... coincidence? I think not! The WSOP began on Friday, June 1st, and continues to Tuesday, July 17th at the Rio Hotel & Casino. The CALI website offers maps and directions to the conference. Here's a Google Map for the Rio and some unofficial pre-CALI conference reading materials. [JH]
|Required Reading Before Sitting Down at a Poker Table|
|No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice by David Sklansky, Ed Mille (2006)|
Hold 'Em Poker by David Sklansky (1996)
Bigger Deal: A Year Inside the Poker Boom
by Anthony Holden
List Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 8, 2007)
Book Description: In the years since Anthony Holden wrote his classic memoir Big Deal (see below), the poker world has changed beyond recognition. When Holden played in the 1988 World Series of Poker there were 167 starters competing for a prize of $270,000. Since then, poker has become the world's largest single-competitor sport -- at the 2006 World Series there were almost 9,000 players and a first prize of $12 million, the richest in any sport.
What happened in the years between Big Deal and Bigger Deal could never have been predicted: the Internet and television sparked a worldwide explosion in the popularity of poker, one that shows no sign of abating. Poker even has a respectable image these days, much to the disgust of die-hard players. Gone are the seedy rooms of the Horseshoe -- you can't even smoke at the table! -- and you're more likely to find yourself head to head with a film star than an ex-con in Las Vegas.
With the future of online poker now legally endangered in the United States, Holden's vision of the poker boom comes at a critical moment in the game's history. In Bigger Deal, Holden is your guide to the world of the "new" poker -- to the players who dominate the modern game and the personalities behind the multibillion-dollar business it has become -- as he tries once again to win the world title. After all, as Telly Savalas once reminded Holden, a million dollars is never irrelevant. Not to mention twelve...
Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player
by Anthony Holden
List Price: $15.00
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 3, 2007)
Book Description: In 1988, best-selling biographer Anthony Holden spent one year living the life of a professional poker player. His mesmerizing account of that year went on to become a classic of the genre, an inspiration to innumerable poker players and poker memoirists who followed. Big Deal is his story of days and nights in Las Vegas, Malta, and Morocco, mingling with the greats, sharpening his game, perfecting his repartee, and learning a great deal about himself in the process. Poker, Holden would insist, is a paradigm of life at its most intense, a gladiatorial contest that brings out the best as well as the worst in people. The heroes and eccentrics of the poker world stalk the pages of this remarkable book, along with all the hairraising, nail-biting excitement of the game itself.
List Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Atria (July 11, 2006)
Book Description: An overeducated underachiever, he's spent his postcollege decades doing his best not to grow up. Now, having just turned the incomprehensible (to him) age of fifty, and staring down his own mortality, this rambling-gambling bachelor decides it's time to settle down. After years of equivocating, he pops the question to his longtime girlfriend. A wedding date is set for just after Labor Day, and to pay for it, a plan is hatched involving poker and a trip to Vegas.
Alson boards a plane bound for the neon desert on his way to the biggest game in town, the 2005 World Series of Poker. Thus begins Take Me to the River, a first-person account of one inveterate gambler and bad boy's quest to grow up while at the same time compete with more than 5,000 players vying for over $56 million in prize money during a scorching Vegas summer.
Take Me to the River is a hilarious, heart-wrenching tale of Las Vegas and an exploration of what it means to be part of one of the fastest-growing and most popular sports in the United States, at the moment of its apogee, and of the lessons that poker has to teach about probability and luck, good and bad fortune, patience, perseverance, and -- most fitting for a man with marriage in his near future -- commitment.
Law & Econ Profs Examine Casino Gaming
The public debate over the economic impact of casino gambling is explored in a new book, Governing Fortune: Casino Gambling in America authored by Edward Morse, J.D., and Ernie Goss, Ph.D., professors of law and economics at Creighton University.
Book Description: The book explores the legal and economic environment of casino gambling in the United States. Drawing upon their respective backgrounds, Professors Morse and Goss offer important insights to those wrestling with the policy dilemmas presented by legalized gambling.
The book begins with a brief look at the historical roots of gambling and then explores casino growth, including both commercial and tribal casinos. It also explores the costs and benefits of legalized casino gambling, and some of the conclusions are surprising. For example, casinos appear to create jobs but not growth in personal income; while casinos provide new sources for tax collections, their impact on tax relief is dubious.
The Law of the Game Blog
The Law of the Game blog covers video games and gaming law. It is written by Mark Methenitis, an associate with Vernon Goodrich, LLP in Dallas Texas. Check it out! [JH]
Google Maps: An Invasion of Privacy?
"Is that man breaking into an apartment building? Does that tollbooth operator realize she's being photographed? And isn't it illegal to have cameras in New York's Brooklyn Battery tunnel?
Such questions have been raging online in recent weeks, as Google's new" Street View" has sent techies scrambling to browse through the miles and miles of street-level photos now available through Google Maps. But while such blogs as BoingBoing.net and Mashable.com have made something of a joke out of the many humorous (a man apparently caught mid-sneeze), bizarre (the ghost of E.T.?) and lewd (a woman's underwear poking out of her low-riding jeans) images captured by the web giant, privacy concerns have led many watchdog groups to quickly retort that Street View is no laughing matter." [RJ]
See our related post, Google Announces New Mapping Innovations at Where 2.0 Conference.
June 14, 2007
Human Rights in China Issues Report of States Secrets in China
From the press release:
State Secrets: China's Legal Labyrinth examines how China's complex and opaque state secrets system sweeps a vast universe of information into the state secrets net, including: incidence of people who contract any kind of occupational illness; statistics on trafficking in women and children; information on unusual deaths in prisons, re-education through labor and juvenile detention facilities; guidelines for making contact with religious organizations overseas; statistics held by the All China Federation of Trade Unions on strikes; and data on water and solid waste pollution.
The report makes available an extensive compilation of laws, regulations and official documents, many in English translation for the first time, and details how China's wholesale classification of information has a powerful chilling effect on freedom of expression and the media. China's state secrets system also has significant consequences for international media, scholars and researchers, the business community and international policymakers, including those in the health and environmental arenas—all of whom rely on the free flow of accurate, transparent and reliable data and information. The SARS crisis in 2004, and the contamination of the Songhua River in 2006, which affected millions of lives in China and Russia, serve as particularly deadly examples.
Hat tip to Chinese Law Prof Blog. [JH]
Does Bush's Continuity Directive Pave the Way for a Neocon Night of Long Knives?
On May 9th, President Bush issued NSPD 51/HSPD-20, a directive for preserving continuity in the federal government in case of national catastrophe. After reading Joyce Marcel's hysterical "Bush makes himself dictator" commentary, I routed the Directive and Marcel piece to Dru Stevenson, editor of Administrative Law Prof Blog, for his consideration. (I guess the old research librarian instinct isn't completely dead.) So "does Bush's continuity directive pave the way for a neocon Night of Long Knives?" Marcel says "yes." Stevenson? Read his post for a more sensible answer. [JH]
DLF's Brantley on the Disconnect Between Libraries and University Presses
There's a lot of talk right now within universities about remaking scholarly communication, and with that, remaking the relationship between libraries and university presses (I've contributed to some of this, myself). But what's becoming obvious to me is that there is often a pretty serious disconnect between these two worlds; in fact, a potentially crippling one.
How long should Google remember searches?
"After considering the Article 29 Working Party's concerns, we are announcing a new policy: to anonymize our search server logs after 18 months, rather than the previously-established period of 18 to 24 months."
Why so long?
- to improve our search algorithms for the benefit of users
- to defend our systems from malicious access and exploitation attempts
- to maintain the integrity of our systems by fighting click fraud and web spam
- to protect our users from threats like spam and phishing
- to respond to valid legal orders from law enforcement as they investigate and prosecute serious crimes like child exploitation; and
- to comply with data retention legal obligations.
Congressional Research Accessibility Act
Rep. Chris Shays (R-Connecticut) tossed the Congressional Research Accessibility Act, H.R. 2524, into the bill hopper this week. The bill would require CRS to make their regular reports to Congress available online" no earlier than 30 days and no later than 40 days after the date on which the information is first made available to Members of Congress through the [closed] Congressional Research Service website." This means commercial vendors who somehow have real time access to CRS reports could still profit under the bill. I could live with that provision.
Opening: Acquisitions Librarian, University of Cincinnati Law Library
The Acquisitions Librarian will be responsible for managing all aspects of the library's acquisitions operations. Duties and responsibilities include: Vice chair of the Collection Development Committee; principal contact for all publishers and vendors; ordering, receiving, and claiming all new and replacement items; transact payments for library materials and maintain all order and financial records; train and supervise staff in processing acquisitions; responsible for compiling statistics for both internal and external use; and performing other projects and duties as assigned. The position receives direction from and reports to the Associate Director for Library Operations. This is a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Librarian. Salary is commensurate with qualifications.
Application review will begin on June 25, 2007; however, the position will remain open until filled.
To review the position's official description and statement of qualifications, and to apply, please visit the University of Cincinnati Jobs website at http://www.jobsatuc.com/ and search for position number "27UC1140."
The University of CIncinnati is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
June 13, 2007
First Instance of a Digital Video File Cited in Supreme Court Opinion
Kathy Carlson, State Law Librarian, Wyoming State Law Library, has spotted what may be the first digital video file cited in a US Supreme Court opinion. In Scott v. Harris, No. 05-1631 (April 30, 2007), Justice Scalia, writing for the Court in footnote 5, refers to a video that was used in evidence.
"JUSTICE STEVENS suggests that our reaction to the videotape is somehow idiosyncratic, and seems to believe we are misrepresenting its contents. See post, at 4 (dissenting opinion) ("In sum, the factual statements by the Court of Appeals quoted by the Court . . . were entirely accurate"). We are happy to allow the videotape to speak for itself. See Record 36, Exh. A, available at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/video/scott_v_harris.rmvb and in Clerk of Court's case file."
The video is posted on the Court's website. Kathy reports that Lexis is relying on the URL from the Court and have not put the digital file in their own database. Westlaw is doing the same. [JH]
ALA's Wiki on Federal Libraries
"The purpose of this wiki is to share and track information on federal library threats, re-organizations, and closings. Based on discussions with members, the main focus is to facilitate reporting of threats or closings that will enable users to make comments about that specific library's situation."
See also, Librarians use 'wiki' for updates on EPA consolidation, Government Executive. [RJ]