Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Finding breaking news for an intranet - Toronto / Canadian news

We try to keep our home intranet page fresh by including late-breaking news as I have time to add it. Someone recently asked me how I find this information; following is a quick list:

In addition to signing up for the usual Supreme Court of Canada and other government e-mail news, I also receive FlashMail from Pulse24.com ("CP24", the all-news TV station from CHUM City). They send out e-mail as news is breaking as well as headlines for the day's upcoming newscast.

I also listen to the news throughout the day, either the audio from CP24 (available from the website, the left toolbar) OR CBC News, livestream from their website. I listen to Toronto news, but there is news available for all Canadian regions.

Another great source is to receive press releases from Canada Newswire's Portfolio service, free with registration. You can target specific releases or, my preference, receive the Media Daybook each morning. This tells of upcoming press conferences in the day. This is particularly useful for indicating when a government department is going to be releasing big news that day so you can listen for it. You can also view the Media Daybook directly on the website at http://www.newswire.ca/en/daybook/index.cgi.

If nothing of interest to the firm is available from these sources, I troll around various pages including Law Society of Upper Canada, Bar Association pages and the like.

Unfortunately none of this is in RSS (that I have noticed), so I do not put live feeds directly onto our intranet. I pick and choose and manually update our "Home" and "What's New" pages.

If you know of another source for this type of business/legal/general interest information, let me know. I'd love to add to my little collection of sources.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Article on advanced Google features

I was reading the May 2004 issue of Backbone Magazine and found this great article about Google: "The Google Guide: What You Don't Know About the World's Favourite Search Engine" by Garratt Washy. I knew about some of the features, but not all. It is a great brief summary of what is currently available.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Gems found again on LLRX

Some great articles in this week's LLRX:

- article on blogging from the queen of law library communication herself, Sabrina Pacifici: "Blogs: Are they here to stay? Should you be blogging? How do I find relevant blogs?" (in PDF).

- article on electronic storage: "Notes from the Technology Trenches: How Permanent Is That Storage?" by Cindy Carlson. Something many of us are trying to deal with.

- and a timely article for me since I was doing some proofreading this week, "Wisdom From the Grammar Goddess: My Pet Peeves" by Diane Sandford. Some great reminders and clarifications.

LLRX always has fantastic resources. Check in periodically to www.llrx.com or, better yet, sign up for its e-mail service.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Blog applications comparison - Blogger and Typepad

Blogger has been adding numerous features, and everything is now free! I tried to upgrade to a paid level, but was told all features previously at paid levels are now available at the one level. Plus, they keep adding new features and have now removed the advertising. Since Blogger is owned by Google, my guess is this was changed as a result of the company going public. But, how do they plan to bring in revenue? I'm not sure what they are doing.

One feature I thought has been lacking is a search window for the individual blogs. You will see one now appears in the toolbar at the top of this blog. I haven't tested it out yet, but since my blog seems to have been picked up by Google, it should be indexed. If you run into a problem, do let me know. The other feature I would like to see is subject indexing, so that I can categorize individual posts with subject headings.

There are some other nifty features on the toolbar at top, including a link to another randomly chosen, recently updated blog ("Next blog"). Kind of fun to surf through other blogs, especially to see the variety in layouts.

I have been testing out blogging on Typepad as well. You can take a look--I have started creating one for my book club: http://conniecrosby.typepad.com/bookclub/ . I haven't put any postings in it yet. I do like the calendar, and the ability to add books and their photos. However, it doesn't have the flexibility of Blogger--in Blogger I can work with the underlying HTML and adapt things whereas Typepad has preset features that you pick and choose from. I could add a calendar and the books feature if I can find them available somewhere (I have a lead on the books function). They do have another version, Movable Type, which is software for use on your own host and which allows you to fully adapt. Typepad is meant to be basic for those who want a quick set up.

So far, I would say if you are just starting out into the blogging game, Blogger is your best bet and keeps on getting better.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

I just noticed this on the National Library and Archives of Canada website: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. It currently covers people who died between 1000 and 1920. Great idea for basic historical research. Includes names listed in alphabetical order and lots of search capability.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Canadian mediators & arbitrators - web directory

Tracking down a mediator or arbitrator has always been a pain. To fill this gap, a number of Canadian ADR organizations have gotten together to create the Canadian Mediators & Canadian Arbitrators : National Online Directory.

New in-context search tool: blinkx

Thanks to Maggie for pointing this out. New tool takes whatever you are writing or reading and provides links to related material, both on the web and on your machine: blinkx. I haven't tried it out yet but initial reports are good.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

"$100 from 100 lawyers" - rebuilding law libraries in Sierra Leone

I posted this on our intranet at work, and thought it might be of interest to others so am posting it here as well:

The headline on the Law Society of Upper Canada home page is an eye-catcher: "Urgently needed: $100 from 100 lawyers". It refers to the $10,000 needed to ship 6,000 lbs of donated law books to the Sierra Leone High Court library and Special Court library. The High Court library was Sierra Leone's principal law library until it was destroyed during ten years of civil war. The Special Court was created under United Nations Security Council mandate.
Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada
is joining forces with the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) to rebuild these libraries.

Further information:

Full details from the Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada website

Sierra Leone's Special Court
from Global Policy Forum

"Bringing Justice to Sierra Leone"
- BBC News article on creation of the Special Court

Ontario County Law Libraries profiled

I just had a look for the first time at the LibraryCo website. LibraryCo is the name of the Library system of Ontario Law Associations. My favourite part of this website is under "About County Law Libraries", the profiles of the county law libraries that were recently added. It's especially great seeing a photo of each. It's amazing how much the addition of photographs can boost a webpage and make the reader feel more connected to the subject on the screen.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Centre for Innovation Law and Policy

For anyone who hasn't seen this website, it is worth a look: Centre for Innovation Law and Policy based at University of Toronto Faculty of Law. The centre supports courses at various law schools, not just U of T. On the website I particularly like their "Innovation Law Forum - research Resources" section which has links to articles and video clips on these topics:
Computer Law
Electronic Commerce
Innovative Ventures
Intellectual Property
IT/IP Careers
Health & biotechnology law

The website also offers e-mail of new events, and they have a new publication called Innovations.

Sooin Kim, the Librarian from Bora Laskin Law Library keeps them well organized and up to date!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Blogging for intranets

I was researching blogging application software and looking to find out what is available for blogging inside a firewall for the purposes of our intranet. I found this recent article: "Intranets - moving from information to knowledge: The role of blogs and wikis" by Martin White, Managing Director of Intranet Focus Ltd. in the U.K. Discussion was easy enough for a rookie like me to understand, and gives a good discussion of different applications available. Presented May 3, 2004 at the Croinfo 2004 Knowledge Management Conference put on by the National and University Library and PLIVA Pharmaceutical Industry Inc., in co-operation with the Croatian Information and Documentation Society.

I'm interested in other articles/web pages on this topic if anyone has a good one.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

SCC Copyright decision - summary

There is a summary/interpretation of the Supreme Court of Canada copyright decision Law Society of Upper Canada v. CCH and other publishers in a recent issue of Intellectual Property a newsletter from Federated Press (link is not to the correct issue): James Tumbridge, "CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada - Supreme Court Defines 'Originality' and Specifies the Limits of 'Fair Dealing'," Intellectual Property (Vol. X, No. 4), p. 618-623.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Changes to Globe & Mail website access

I was just reviewing an article on the Globe & Mail website and wanted to send an e-mail of it to someone else. It appears the Globe now requires registration (albeit free) for using their "e-mail" and "print" features. They say that it is for the purposes of monitoring how their website is used; however, since their major competitor the National Post made most of their articles pay-per-view I wonder if the Globe is evaluating similar positioning?

While I haven't minded so much registering for free access on the New York Times website, for some reason I find this more offensive. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is because the pop up registration page was poorly created and I cannot actually access the whole page to fill in the form? Perhaps the Times put a lot more value into their product and so I don't mind giving a little something back in return? More likely it is because I already have subscriptions to the Globe at both home and work so have more of a sense of entitlement. I'm likely not the only one--it's going to be hard for them to change this sort of attitude I think.