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March 19, 2009

Call For Papers: Law and Wikis

This time it's tech related.

Call for Papers on the Topic of “Law and Wikis”
2010 AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Jan. 6-10, 2010
The AALS Section on Law and Computers invites you to submit a request to present on the topic of “Law and Wikis” at the Section’s session at the 2010 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana (http://www.aals.org/events_am2010.php).  The Annual Meeting will be held January 6-10, 2010; the session’s exact day and time is TBD.  Selected speakers must submit a paper to AALS prior to the Annual Meeting for posting to the AALS website; those papers may be accepted for publication in other venues so long as the paper is not published before the Annual Meeting.  The Section hopes to place the group of selected speakers’ papers in a to-be-designated law journal.
About the Topic: Wiki technologies offer novel and interesting ways for people to work online collaboratively.  The best-known wiki application is Wikipedia, a highly successful website that has generated millions of encyclopedic articles from volunteer contributors.  This panel will explore the interaction between law and wiki technologies, including Wikipedia.  We are interested in presentations that address any aspect of wikis or Wikipedia.  Example topics might include:
• Ownership of content created using wikis
• Who (if anyone) is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of wiki-generated content?
• Wikipedia governance structures
• Should the legal regulation of wikis differ from other Internet communications technologies?
• Wikis and deliberative democracy
• The use of wikis in legal pedagogy

How to Apply: Please email your presentation proposal to the section chair, Professor Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law, no later than April 6, 2009, noon Pacific time.  Email address: [email protected].  Your proposal should include your name, professional title, professional affiliation(s), contact information, presentation title, short abstract (less than 500 words please), estimated length of your paper, and (if applicable) any information about the paper’s publication status.  Abstracts will be reviewed by a working group of the AALS Law & Computers Section, and selected speakers will be contacted no later than April 25, 2009.  Selected speakers must bear their own travel and conference registration expenses.

March 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IE 8 Out Officially

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 today.  You can get the U.S. version for XP here.  There are links on the same page for other versions of Windows and other countries.

March 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2009

Google's missteps with security for online documents has generated a petition by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) with the FTC for unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Google's brief exposure of documents in the Google Docs service is the subject of the petition.  Google for its part notes that the breach affected one half of one percent of users and did not expose them to the world at large.  These were notified of the error and Google timely fixed the problem.  EPIC wants an injunction against Google that stops it from providing any cloud services until there are verifiable security standards.  It also wants Google to significantly contribute to a fund that EPIC and other public advocacy groups could draw upon to bludgeon Google and other companiesfor their work.  It seems that anything less than perfection in security is not satisfactory for EPIC and a chance for opportunistic attempts at funding. 

The timing could not be more auspicious, as the FTC just concluded a two day workshop on Securing Personal Data in the Global Economy.  Some of the discussion centered on securing information that would be available in multiple jurisdictions, or through cloud computing.  The FTC is interested in this, though nothing in the agendasuggests that inadvertent errors in security would be intolerable.  After all, there have been massive credit card number breaches from various companies charged with similar security concerns and none of them have received the death penalty from the FTC.  All they got were fines and requirements to perform remedial action.  

This is one of those areas where the market should decide which companies are reliable and which companies are not.  The FTC should establish baseline standards and let the players take it from there.  EPIC is fine as a watchdog, but it's a more than a little self-serving on this issue.

More from CNET, PC Magazine, US News, and CNN Money.

March 18, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IBM to Buy Sun Microsystems?

News reports indicate that IBM is interested in buying Sun Microsystems for $6.5 billion in cash.  A number of reports suggest that it would be a good deal for both companies given their synergies in open source systems, servers, and databases.  IBM would grow its market in government and telecommunications.  IBM would acquire the Java programming language pioneered by Sun which is a popular alternative to Microsoft's .Net and VB for powering web pages as well as Sun's nascent cloud computing resources.  Sun investors would see a tidy profit on the sale of the company, which has apparently suffered in the markets of late. 

More details in Information Week, the San Jose Mercury News, and a contrarian view of the deal from ChannelWeb.

March 18, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Call For Papers: LatCrit

Sometimes we step out of character and note an event not related to technology.  The call for papers from The South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture and the Law is one of those events.  I have been asked to publicize the conference.  I do enough research in this area at DePaul outside of anything that has anything to do with tech that I said yes.  In that light, the full request for papers is available at www.latcrit.org, and specifically at http://www.law.du.edu/latcrit/documents/SNX2009_CFP_Rev_Jan2009.pdf

From the conference notes:

Standing LatCrit Themes

LatCrit conferences seek to feature and balance four basic perspectives in organizing each annual conference’s substantive program. These four perspectives are listed as themes below. They have, thus far, served as useful lenses of LatCritical inquiry, enabling LatCrit scholars to develop an impressive body of work that increasingly links issues of identity to the substantive analysis of law, policy and process. This effort to link identity issues to substantive analyses has been particularly fruitful in revealing the way race and ethnicity are implicated precisely in those areas of law and policy that are ordinarily thought not to be about race and ethnicity: for example, in the operations and assumptions of international law and legal process, foreign affairs, liberal democracy, religion and sexuality, to name just a few areas of recent LatCrit attention.

To build on these accomplishments, everyone is encouraged to develop their proposals with a view to: (1) expanding our understanding of the impact of race and ethnicity in substantive areas of law and policy ordinarily thought to be about "something other than race" (e.g. issues of sovereignty, labor rights, globalization, intellectual property, antitrust law); and (2) deepening our analysis of the various ways in which identity issues intersect, conflate and conflict in our self-understandings and coalitional efforts. The following four themes are offered, therefore, as possible points of reference for thinking in new ways about familiar issues (like affirmative action and bilingual education), as well as for encouraging critical forays into new substantive areas (like communications or antitrust laws):

1) Papers or panels that focus on the multidimensionality of Latina/o identity and its relationship to current legal, political and cultural regimes or practices. The ideal is to explicate aspects of the Latina/o experience in legal discourse, both domestically and internationally. Nonetheless, you are free to address identity issues that do not specifically touch upon Latina/o identity or the law.

2) Papers or panels especially salient to this region (the East Coast). Regional emphasis ensures that the Conference's geographic rotation will illuminate local issues, helping us understand how local particularities produce (inter)national patterns of privilege and subordination.

3) Papers or panels that elucidate cross-group histories or experiences with law and power, such as those based on the intersections of class, gender, race, sexuality and religion. In this way, each Conference aims to both elucidate intra-Latina/o diversities and contextualize Latina/o experience within inter-group frameworks and Euro-Heteropatriarchy. Accordingly, we constantly ask how we can create progressive movements, communities and coalitions that meaningfully recognize difference.

4) Papers or panels that connect or contrast LatCrit theory to other genres of scholarship, both within and beyond law and legal theory, including but not limited to the various strands of critical outsider jurisprudence (critical race theory, feminist legal theory, queer legal theory) that critique class, gender, race, sexuality and other categories of social-legal identities and relations.

March 18, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 17, 2009

Dell's New Adamo Notebook Raises Questions About Company Direction

What's up with Dell?  The company is taking pre-orders for its ultra-thin/light Adomo notebook which is comparable in several ways to the MacBook Air.  Dell has pushed a lot of effort in making this machine an elegant Windows-based alternative, but at several hundred dollars more than Apple's product.  Dell seems to want to be the Apple of the Windows set, at least in this product line.  If that's the case, it will have to compete with Sony who is desperately pushing its higher-end Vaios in the same direction.  Luckily for Dell Sony never quite reached the right combination of price, elegance, and performance for those machines.  On the other hand, Dell has a reputation for questionable customer service.  Will Dell upgrade that experience to go along with the new product line?

Many of the reviews of the Adamo focus less on the machine's performance, noting the change of product lines at Dell.  Whatever is going on, buyers may be just as easily propelled into the arms of Apple, the King of Cool, at a saving over the Dell offering.  Apple's patina is in no danger from Dell.

Read more in CNET, CNN Money, and this one from AppleInsider which summarizes reactions from various sources.

March 17, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2009

"Exploding" iPod Prompts Suit (Of Course)

PI attorneys probably salivate over cases like this.  Apple is being sued over an alleged exploding iPod Touch (16 GB model).  Details in ChannelWeb with links to the complaint on Justia.

March 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Windows 7 RC Coming Soon

More changes to Windows 7 and the leaked date of when the release candidate may make a public testing appearance is April 10.  More in Daily Tech.

March 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Juror's Twitter Activity the Subject of a Mistrial Motion

The tweets of a juror in an Arkansas civil case may be the cause of a mistrial in the case.  It's pretty standard that jurors are not allowed to discuss elements of the case outside of the jury room.  More details, including text of some of the tweets from Ars Technica.

March 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack