Thursday 31 July 2014

Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act approved in DE

The governor of Delaware has signed UELMA,the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act, which allows the electronic versions of legal material published by the state to be designated as the official version. The material includes the Constitution, the Laws of Delaware, the Delaware Code, and the Delaware Administrative Code. The text of the new law is available on the Delaware General Assembly website.

hat tip: Cynthia Cicco, Janet Lindenmuth

Saturday 26 July 2014

Studying law in prison helps convict win freedom

The ABA Journal online has an interesting (and inspiring) article today about Rodell Sanders, a Chicago man who spent 20 years in prison for murder. Sanders decided to learn the law while he was in jail, and committed himself to studying law after his family helped him purchase $1000 worth of law books (titles not mentioned). He was able to secure a new trial for himself based on ineffective assistance of counsel, and then got help from the University of Chicago law school's exoneration project. He was acquitted of the crime and is now suing the Chicago Heights police department. 

Friday 25 July 2014

.These shoes were made for walking...

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ducere, a company in India, has come up with a new entry in the "wearable technology" field: the Lechal smart shoe, aka "interactive haptic footwear".  The shoes are bluetooth-enabled so that they can communicate with Google maps and guide your feet on their way to where you want to go. When you are at a crossroads the left or right shoe will buzz to indicate which way to turn. Insoles for shoes will also be available if you don't want to wear their shoes.  I can't find an estimated date of when they will be on sale, but the story does say that the shoes should cost between $100 and $150 which admittedly isn't super cheap but is a lot less than some shoes cost.  

Wednesday 23 July 2014

New additions to Historical Newspapers database

The University Library System reports new additions to their ProQuest Historical Newspapers database. They have completed the collection of Black Newspapers (9 titles total) and added the 4 titles of the American Jewish Newspaper collection. The new titles added are:
Atlanta Daily World
Baltimore Afro-American
Cleveland Call / Post
LA Sentinel
Norfolk Journal and Guide
NY Amsterdam News
Philadelphia Tribune
American Hebrew and Jewish Messenger
American Israelite
Jewish Advocate
Jewish Exponent

Tuesday 22 July 2014

New school year, new stapler

The library's new stapler for student use arrived yesterday. It's a Rapid Duax stapler and can handle from 2 to 170 pages at a time.  There's a demonstration video on YouTube.  

Friday 18 July 2014

Research: reusing bad passwords not necessarily a bad idea

Slashdot has a post that links to a recent Microsoft research paper titled "Password Portfolios and the Finite-Effect User: Sustainably Managing Large Numbers of Accounts" (16 page pdf).  From the abstract: 
We explore how to manage a portfolio of passwords. We review why mandating exclusively strong passwords with no re-use gives users an impossible task as portfolio size grows... Our findings directly challenge accepted wisdom and conventional advice.
Or, as Slashdot explains it, not only do they recommend reusing passwords, but reusing bad passwords for low risks sites to minimize recall difficulty.

Georgetown Law symposium

The Georgetown Law Library is hosting a day-long symposium on Oct. 24 titled "404/File Not Found:Link Rot, Legal Citation and Projects to Preserve Precedent".  The symposium is "live" at Georgetown but you can also register to attend the symposium via webcast.  Registration is free.
From the description:
The Web is fluid and mutable, and this is a "feature" rather than a "bug". But it also creates challenges in the legal environment (and elsewhere) when fixed content is necessary for legal writers to support their conclusions. Judges, attorneys, academics, and others using citations need systems and practices to preserve web content as it exists in a particular moment in time, and make it reliably available.
 BTW the keynote speaker is Pittsburgh's own Jonathan Zittrain.  

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Clever way to create illustrated characters in PowerPoint

Here is a tutorial that shows how to create illustrated characters in Power Point. Clever. Move over Photoshop.

working group: Statistical Resources on the Web Guide

A working group of the Assn. of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is looking into the possibility of "resurrecting" the Statistical Resources on the Web Guide originally compiled by Grace York at the University of Michigan and last updated in 2008. This feasibility project will:
1. Explore feasibility of  ALA/ACRL units adopting and maintaining the site.
 a. Consider possible platforms for site.
 b. Consider how content would be approved, added, and updated.
 c. Explore potential grant funding for project.
 d. Explore overlap with other similar projects and existing sites.
 e. Potentially create a timeline for implementation and maintenance.
 2. Timeline a. Initial meeting by end of July 2014.
 b. Progress check-in by October 2014.
 c. A final report by Midwinter 2015.
Anyone interested in helping with the project should contact Chad Kahl at Illinois State University, stating why you are interested in working on the project and what skills you could bring to the process, by July 11. 

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Minnesota state documents digitized

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library reports that it, along with the MN Office of Secretary of State, has completed a digitization project in which 40,000 official state documents were digitized and made available online. Titlted "Secretary of State Documents - 1900 - 1990", the collection includes a wide variety of documents spanning much of the 20th century. The index cards that had been used as finding aids were digitized and can be searched in the database.