August 18, 2007
Laptop Lockup: FTC Offers Tips for Laptop Security
"Consumers can take many measures to make their laptop secure from hackers, viruses, and other potential threats, such as installing firewalls, updating antivirus software, and using strong passwords. Now, the Federal Trade Commission is offering tips for protecting laptops from theft.
OnGuardOnline.gov and Alertaenlinea.gov offer sections devoted to laptop security, including tips for computer users and a game, “Mission: Laptop Security,” that quizzes computer users on safe practices. For example, is your laptop safer in the trunk of the car, under the driver’s seat, or should you take it inside the restaurant with you? (Answer: take the laptop inside.) Should you place your laptop in the hotel room safe, or locked with a security cable to a heavy piece of furniture? (Answer: Either one, as long as you secure your laptop and don’t just leave it in the hotel room.)
Let Yahoo! write the search query for you!
"It works like this: When you do a search on Yahoo!, you'll automatically be given suggestions based on what you have typed - as you're typing. So, not only does this limit the number of words you need to type into a query, it may also present similar queries to shorten your searching time and get to what you're looking for quicker. Search Suggest isn't new, just new to Yahoo.com.
The nice thing about the suggestions is that they're not obtrusive, so if you already know what you're searching for, you can overlook the suggestions without them getting in your way. But, when you experience those brain dead moments like we all do, it's the type of feature that just might get things moving again. If you don't like change, you can turn it off altogether by simply selecting "disable" in the bottom right corner of the drop down menu. And, if you're having regrets, you can reinstall it by selecting "more" above the search box." [RJ]
Could Microsoft Knock Off Yahoo To Become Google’s Biggest Competitor?
"As much as I would have thought such a post title would have been absurd a week ago, it could happen. According to the latest search market share figures released by Compete, MSN/ Live increased its market share by 67% from May to June 2007, putting Microsoft’s share of search at 13.2% behind Yahoo at 19.6% and Google on 62.7%. Over the year, Microsoft’s search traffic is up 47%.
Despite a $100 million Crispin, Porter + Bogusky advertising campaign, Ask saw its share of the search market decrease from 3.5% to 3.3%, although to be fair to Ask, Compete recorded a 2.6% rise in traffic." [RJ]
August 17, 2007
Friday Fun: Librarians don't die ...
"Librarians don't die ..." (mp3) was written and performed by U of MN Law Librarians! My top three favorites are "library directors don't die..." "teen librarians don't die..." and "law librarians don't die..." Which ones are your favorites? Leave a comment so the good folks at Minnesota know how much you enjoyed their work.
Attention ad agencies, the performers are available for voice-over gigs! [JH]
NARA Launches Podcast Series, Presidential Archives Uncovered
Based on the Presidential Timeline website, "Presidential Archives Uncovered" broadcasts audio clips from the National Archives Presidential Libraries' collection. Podcasts rang from serious policy discussions between the President and his advisors to conversations among Presidential family members.
LawFirmInc. Survey Identifies Issues Being Addressed by Large Law Firm Librarians
Reporting on an ABA Journal Blog post, Mitchell H. Rubinstein, Adjunct Law Prof Blog, notes that big law firm librarians are spending more time on rainmaking by performing marketing and competitive intelligence research which increases their prominence and influence with the lawyers who employ them. See his post, Big Law Firm Law Librarians As Rainmakers. A good thing and one that grew out of the rather tedious 1980s practice of using online resources for conflicts research. This conclusion was one of many based on LawFirmInc.'s sixth annual survey of law firm librarians at Am Law 200 firms.
Some snips from Law.com's Survey Says Librarians Like Their Jobs but Are Displeased With Vendors, also based on the LawFirmInc. survey.
Budget Cuts: According to the survey, the average law library budget decreased 3.5 percent in 2007, coming in at $4,251,627 -- compared with $4,408,242 in 2006. And only 45 percent of firms have more full-time library employees than they did two years ago. The average law library staff size is currently 19. Cost recovery has become more difficult, too, with clients increasingly demanding that online research tools be treated as overhead. But perhaps the biggest headaches are coming from the content providers, the vendors who sell access to electronic research tools. They continue to raise licensing fees, introduce new products and market their wares aggressively -- often directly to lawyers.
Vendors: [L]ibrarians clearly have their pet peeve: the online content providers, particularly the big two, Reed Elsevier Plc's LexisNexis and Thomson Corp.'s Westlaw. There was a time when electronic services were supposed to replace books and lower costs. They've done neither. Instead, fees continue to rise each year -- well beyond the rate of inflation, say librarians (licensing fees are typically covered by confidentiality agreements).
On a scale of 1 (very good) to 5 (very bad), LexisNexis scored just a 2.43 for overall satisfaction, marginally better than Westlaw at 2.51. And those numbers are down from last year (when the services scored 2.37 and 2.42, respectively).
Knowledge Management: For most of the last 10 years, knowledge management was overhyped and underdeveloped, but projects are finally gaining momentum, and librarians are playing a key role: Eighty-four percent of those surveyed say that they are actively involved in their firm's KM efforts. The work, they say, can't simply be handed over to the IT department.
Check out the entire Law.com article for details, links to the article's tables provided above. [JH]
Glenn's On Common Laws
On Common Laws
H. Patrick Glenn
Now available in paperback at $40 | Hardcopy edition published in 2005
176 pages | Oxford University Press, July 2007
Description: The idea of law as being the product of states dominated the legal theories of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Globalization has challenged many of the notions which underlie this idea, and has highlighted the need for a new theoretical picture of the law. This book argues that the classic concept of common law is a means of reconciling the law of the state and the many forms of transnational law which may complement it. Features
- Weaves together legal history, legal theory and comparative law in a groundbreaking analysis of the history and continued importance of common laws throughout Europe and the wider world
- Presents Patrick Glenn's original conception of law which reconciles the idea of international legal cultures with the influence of long-standing traditions and state structures
- Offers a powerful corrective to state-centered theories of law and law-making that have dominated legal theory since the nineteenth century
SL business sues for copyright infringement
"Second Life entrepreneur Kevin Alderman filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Tuesday against Second Life resident Volkov Catteneo, and Alderman’s lawyer said he plans to subpoena Linden Lab to force it to disclose Catteneo’s real-world identity.
Alderman (Second Life name: Stroker Serpentine) runs the adult-content company Eros LLC. One of the company’s most popular products is the SexGen bed, virtual furniture that contains more than 150 sex animations and retails for L$12,000 (US$45.11).
In “Eros LLC vs John Doe,” filed in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Alderman accuses Catteneo of illicitly copying and selling the SexGen bed for as little as L$4,000, sharply cutting into Eros’ sales.
Filing a copyright infringement case against “John Doe” is an established practice in Internet cases where the defendant’s identity is not initially apparent, said Alderman’s lawyer, Francis Taney of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. For example, the music industry has filed thousands of “John Doe” lawsuits against people it alleges have illicitly shared music online." [RJ]
DOJ Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2007 - 2012
"The plan describes comprehensive, realistic, multiyear strategies for carrying out the Department's mission and meeting our responsibilities. It is oriented toward achieving our vision of securing equal justice for all, enhancing respect for the rule of law, and making America a safer and less violent nation. It provides to the President, the Congress, and the American people an overview of the problems and challenges the Department faces in the years ahead and the goals and objectives we have set for ourselves. It is a reaffirmation of our commitment to be responsible stewards of the American dream." [RJ]
August 16, 2007
University Publishing in a Digital Age
Librarians will find University Publishing in a Digital Age by Laura Brown, former president of Oxford University Press USA, and Ithaka, a nonprofit research and consulting organization focused on higher education and technology, an interesting read because the report discusses how universities, their presses and their libraries must renew their commitment to the communication and dissemination of knowledge.
Description of the Report. Scholars have a vast range of opportunities to distribute their work, from setting up web pages or blogs, to posting articles to working paper websites or institutional repositories, to including them in peer-reviewed journals or books. In American colleges and universities, access to the internet and World Wide Web is ubiquitous; consequently nearly all intellectual effort results in some form of “publishing”. Yet universities do not treat this function as an important, mission-centric endeavor. The result has been a scholarly publishing industry that many in the university community find to be increasingly out of step with the important values of the academy.
This paper argues that a renewed commitment to publishing in its broadest sense can enable universities to more fully realize the potential global impact of their academic programs, enhance the reputations of their institutions, maintain a strong voice in determining what constitutes important scholarship, and in some cases reduce costs.
Rescuing GPO Digital Publications from Format Obsolescence
In the July/August 2007 issue of D-Lib Magazine, Gretchen Gano and Julie Linden describe a Yale Library data migration project as a means for analyzing and documenting aspects of a CD-ROM migration approach, but also as a launching pad for a community-wide consideration of a large-scale, distributed project to migrate digital legacy collections and ensure permanent public access to government information distributed on CD-ROMs. The authors write
Despite the software and hardware problems that [GPO] CD-ROMs pose, the main challenges of a large-scale CD-ROM "rescue" project are not primarily technological. Files from CD-ROMs can be systematically copied to redundant, stable server environments. Obsolete file formats can be migrated to non-proprietary formats for continued use of the data; unusual or obsolete software programs can be made available through web-based virtualization. Rather, the main challenges are to organize and fund a collaborative rescue project so that institutions can contribute to different tasks as they are able and willing; to establish a decision-making framework so that portions of the collection that are at highest risk can be addressed first, according to agreed-upon standards; and to ensure quality control of both "rescued" CD-ROM files and associated metadata.
Read more about it in Government Information in Legacy Formats: Scaling a Pilot Project to Enable Long-Term Access. [JH]
Cornell Law Library's InSITE Website Reviews
Reviews published in the August 6, 2007 issue of InSITE:
- Federal District Court Filings & Dockets
- Foreign Law Translations
- Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
- Social Watch
- Transparency International: the Global Coalition Against Corruption
Federal District Court Filings & Dockets
Justia is the newest kid on the block to provide free legal information to the public, similar to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute and FindLaw. According to their website, Justia strives to provide the public with easy access to primary U.S. legal materials, as well as explanatory essays, blawgs, and other secondary materials. They also provide website, blogging, and online marketing solutions to private law firms, which appears to be how they support their free services. The Federal District Court Filings & Dockets site, still in beta, is a very interesting use of web 2.0 technology. Users can search all federal district court filings from January 1, 2006 to the present by party name, jurisdiction, or subject matter. Results provide party names, case number, date filed, court, name of judge, type of law suit, specific cause of action, basis of jurisdiction, and whether a jury has been demanded and by which party. Links are then provided into the U.S. Court’s subscription PACER system for further information. Tailored blog, news, and web searches are created for the user, requiring only one click to access results. Finally, users can add their search to any one of many RSS feeds. This could be a very useful tool for practicing attorneys and legal researchers alike to freely search and monitor specific parties and/or substantive areas of law. [JJ]
Foreign Law Translations
The Institute for Transnational Law is hosted by the School of Law at the University of Texas at Austin. This site is a resource for French, German, Austrian, and Israeli legal materials in the fields of constitutional, administrative, contract and tort law. The English translations of decisions from Germany include cases from the Reichsgericht, the Bundesverfassungsgericht, and the Bundesgerichtshof. Translations from French include decisions of the Conseil constitutionnel, the Conseil d'Etat and the Cour de cassation. Since it is very difficult to find any English translations of foreign court opinions or statutes even at subscription services, this is a valuable resource, although the material available is limited. According to the Institute for Transnational Law's website, their intention is to eventually "build a comprehensive database of leading French and German cases, beginning with the areas of contract, tort, commercial, and constitutional law (mainly human rights) and making them available to foreign audiences who cannot access the originals." The site does issue warnings that the collection is not complete and “should not be relied upon for the basis of a legal opinion or course of action without careful review of current applicable authority." Because the English translations are intended to emphasize readability rather than exactness, no absolute reliance on the translations should be considered. [CF]
Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) is the American regional center for the Pesticide Action Network (PAN), one of five such regional centers worldwide. PAN consists of over 600 nongovernmental organizations, institutions, and individuals in over 90 countries. PAN and PANNA seek “to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.” PANNA sees pesticide use as a health and environmental hazard that both undermines food security and threatens agricultural biodiversity. The website provides a source for publications, as well as explanation of pesticide issues. The Resource Library offers reports, articles, guides, videos, and databases. Topics are numerous, including DDT, hunger and food security, and pesticides and autism. Some material must be purchased, but much of it is available in full-text online. Links to relevant websites, including the PAN Pesticides Database, are provided. The Campaigns and Projects section offers significant discussion of PANNA activities; the group currently focuses on pesticide drift, corporate accountability, and pesticide-free lawn care, among other areas. Among the extensive information in this section are PANNA’s public comments on administrative actions, as well as advice on how individuals can get involved in pesticide matters. [MM]
Social Watch is an international NGO watchdog network monitoring poverty eradication and gender equality. Visitors to the organization's website may peruse country reports from over 60 countries and principalities. In these reports, members of Social Watch's national coalitions detail progress made towards internationally agreed-upon commitments and goals, compiled from the latest available authoritative statistical sources. Social Watch also produces issue papers, under the "Big Issues" section. These papers are arranged by date and by topic, specifically the ten commitments of the World Summit for Social Development. A wonderful resource from this website includes the graphic arrangement of data under the site's "Progress and Regressions" section. These social indicator resources are in PDF and HTML, and go back to 1999. The site's "Development Indicators" section also presents its data in interactive graphical form, but this information is not easily printed. Social Watch is available in Spanish as well as English. [BWK]
Transparency International: the Global Coalition Against Corruption
Transparency International (TI) is a global nongovernmental organization with more than 90 local national chapters and chapters-in-formation. TI is not an investigatory organization. Its mission is to generate educational materials, lobby for reform, and provide advice on how to combat corruption. Its website is current, reporting on recent and upcoming events. The home page is organized with links to current news; regional pages that connect to TI chapters; research, surveys, and indices; and helpful tools such as an anticorruption handbook. The pages within the site are not stylish, but provide links to full text PDF scholarly articles (with shorter summaries,) working papers, annual reports from 1999, press releases and conference notices. Each page is searchable, has a direct e-mail feature, and provides the name and contact information for the editor of the page. TI also links to CORISweb ( http://www.corisweb.org/) its portal to over 16,000 resources. CORISweb allows anyone to enter information that meets editorial standards in a variety of languages using simple online forms. CORISweb includes databases on resources, events, projects, news, contacts and courses. [JMC]
InSITE contributors: J. Callihan, C. Finger, J. Jones, B. Kreisler, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
About InSITE: InSITE highlights selected law-related Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and, as a keyword-searchable database. The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them. Digital versions of this information can be accessed via: 1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived issues on the web: Click InSITE at www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library 2. E-mail subscription. Send the following request: SUBSCRIBE InSITE-L <YourFirstName> <YourLastName> to: firstname.lastname@example.org 3. Readers can subscribe to the new InSITE RSS feed at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/RESOURCES/insite.htm The contents of InSITE and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University. InSITE is copyright protected by Cornell Law Library, © 2007 Cornell Law Library. Permission to republish InSITE issues on Law Librarian Blog has been granted. For permissions, contact Jean M. Pajerek [email@example.com]. Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library About InSITE: InSITE highlights selected law-related Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and, as a keyword-searchable database. The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them. Digital versions of this information can be accessed via: 1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived issues on the web: Click InSITE at www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library 2. E-mail subscription. Send the following request: SUBSCRIBE InSITE-L <YourFirstName> <YourLastName> to: firstname.lastname@example.org 3. Readers can subscribe to the new InSITE RSS feed at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/RESOURCES/insite.htm The contents of InSITE and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University. InSITE is copyright protected by Cornell Law Library, © 2007 Cornell Law Library. Permission to republish InSITE issues on Law Librarian Blog has been granted. For permissions, contact Jean M. Pajerek [email@example.com]. Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
About InSITE: InSITE highlights selected law-related Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and, as a keyword-searchable database. The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them.
Digital versions of this information can be accessed via:
1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived issues on the web: Click InSITE at www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
2. E-mail subscription. Send the following request: SUBSCRIBE InSITE-L <YourFirstName> <YourLastName> to: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Readers can subscribe to the new InSITE RSS feed at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/RESOURCES/insite.htm
The contents of InSITE and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University. InSITE is copyright protected by Cornell Law Library, © 2007 Cornell Law Library. Permission to republish InSITE issues on Law Librarian Blog has been granted. For permissions, contact Jean M. Pajerek [email@example.com].
Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
Digital versions of this information can be accessed via:
Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
Library Buyers Guide Website
Check out the new Library Buyers Guide website. Among the many helpful features are
Simply Google attempts to expose the hidden Google information architecture goodies all in one spot. Check it out! [RJ]
Web 2.0: Big app on campus
"Universities are using Web 2.0-style tools to tap into a generation's lust for celebrity as they revamp learning and recruiting." [RJ]
Opening: Reference Librarian, Penn State's Dickinson School of Law
Penn State's Dickinson School of Law invites applications and nominations for the position of Reference Librarian at its Law Library at University Park (Penn State's main campus).
The successful candidate will provide reference service to the entire Law School community with particular emphasis on faculty support; conduct library orientation tours and bibliographic lectures as needed; prepare research guides and library-related displays; share duty on the reference desk with other staff members; participate in collection development; serve as liaison to assigned faculty members; and other duties as assigned.
Accredited MLS and JD degrees preferred; will consider applicants with only one degree if accompanied by significant law library reference/public services experience. Demonstrated knowledge of legal materials and research methodology, including traditional resources, commercial online services, and Internet resources required.
Salary and Benefits:
This is a tenure track position within the Penn State University Libraries faculty. Salary and rank commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Applications will be considered immediately.
August 15, 2007
Professional Reading: The Digital Library as Place
LIS profs Jeffery Pomerantz and Gary Marchionini's The Digital Library as Place has been published at 63 Journal of Documentation 505 (2007). Details:
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a high-level investigation of the physical-conceptual continuum occupied by both digital and physical libraries.
Design/methodology/approach – A framework is provided for thinking about the notions of place and library. The issue of materials and the ideas they represent is considered. Places for people are considered, including issues of people's sense of place in physical and digital spaces. The issue of physical and digital spaces as places for work, collaboration, and community-building is considered.
Findings – As more digital libraries are built, and as more physical libraries offer electronic access to parts of their collection, two trends are likely to result: the role of the library as a storage space for materials will become decreasingly important; and the role of the library as a space for users, for individual and collaborative work, and as a space for social activity, will become increasingly important.
Research limitations/implications – Digital libraries are unable to fulfill some of the functions of the physical library as physical spaces, but are able to offer functions beyond what the physical library can offer as cognitive spaces.
Practical implications – Areas of likely future development for digital libraries are suggested, as vehicles for enhancing cognitive space by augmenting representations of ideas in materials.
Originality/value – This paper argues that in many ways digital libraries really are places in the conceptual sense, and will continue to broaden and enrich the roles that libraries play in people's lives and in the larger social milieu.
Eighth U.S. e-Government Study
"Delaware and Michigan are the best states for e-government in the United States, according to the eighth annual e-government analysis conducted by researchers at Brown University. The federal portal USA.gov and the Department of Agriculture are the most highly rated federal sites.
Darrell M. West, director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University, and a team of researchers examined 1,548 state and federal sites. The researchers analyzed 1,487 state Web sites (an average of 30 sites per state), plus 48 federal government legislative and executive sites and 13 federal court sites. Research was completed during June and July 2007. This series of e-government studies has been released annually since 2000." [RJ]
Pilot Project Begins: Two Federal Courts Offer Digital Audio Recordings Online
"Two federal courts became the vanguard of a pilot project to make digital audio recordings of courtroom proceedings publicly available online.
The U.S. District Court in Nebraska and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina have integrated their recording and Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) systems to make some audio files available the same way written files have long been available on the Internet.
Three other courts – the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maine, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama – plan to join the pilot project later this summer.
The audio files are accessible through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. More than 700,000 subscribers already use PACER to access docket and case information from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts." [RJ]
Fact Sheet: The Impact of Justices Roberts and Alito on the Bench
"A review of the decisions issued during the 2006-2007 Supreme Court term expands on what we saw in the 2005-2006 term – a lack of respect for precedent, a rolling back of numerous constitutional protections, and Supreme Court justices ignoring the promises they made at their Senate hearings and, instead, following their records on key issues ranging from abortion to environmental protection to First Amendment rights." [RJ]