Monday, June 29, 2009

CRS Report Finds Sotomayor Characteristically Follows Stare Decisis

CRS Report R40649 by Anna C. Henning and Kenneth R. Thomas, provides an analysis of selected opinions authored by Judge Sotomayor during her tenure as a judge on the Second Circuit.

In the Summary of the Report:

Perhaps the most consistent characteristic of Judge Sotomayor’s approach as an appellate judge has been an adherence to the doctrine of stare decisis, i.e., the upholding of past judicial precedents. Other characteristics appear to include what many would describe as a careful application of particular facts at issue in a case and a dislike for situations in which the court
might be seen as oversteping its judicial role.

Hat Tip to Law Librarian Blog

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reference Wing Reopening

The carpeting of the Reference Wing has been completed. Although we are still in the process of returning the volumes to the shelves, the Wing is now available for use.

You may also access the primary Computer Law through the Reference Wing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reference Wing Closed

The Reference Wing will close in the afternoon on Tuesday, June 23 and will remain closed through Friday, June 26 while new carpet is installed. If you need access to materials usually available in the Reference Wing, please see a Reference Librarian. The Reference Librarians will try to assist you in accessing materials via electronic resources.

The computer labs located in the Reference Wing will also be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, June 24 & 25. The Computer Lab in Sarkey's Law Center will be accessible during this time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Law Students Can Win Prize Money

If you are the creative type consider entering the "My Inspiration" contest. To win you must make a video of what inspired you to go to law school. Don't wait, the deadline is July 15, 2009.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pardon Our Progress - Construction in Gold Star

If you have been in the Gold Star Building this past week, you have probably noticed the activity. We are preparing the Reference Wing for new carpet and a new faculty office is being built in the North Wing of the Second Floor. Also, the Circulation Area is being extended into the Periodicals Wing. We ask that you please be patient as we try to quickly complete these projects. If you need a quiet place to study, we recommend the Wings on the Lower Level and the Third Floor.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Google Squared and Wolfram Alpha

On June 3, 2009, Google announced a new feature Google Squared, "an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet." While recognizing that the tool could be useful, Google acknowledged, "This technology is by no means perfect."

Dan Giancaterino, Internet Librarian, at Jenkins Law Library, in an amusingly titled post, Google Squared Needs a Bit More Time in the Easy Bake Oven, also finds that Google Squared has some issues. Giancaterino suggests that Wolfram/Alpha "has some advantages" stemming, in part, from the fact that Wolfram Alpha is the result of a more substantial (lengthier) development process.

Wolfram Alpha, described as a "computational knowledge engine", does not simply return a list of results based on a query, but attempts to compute an answer based on the user's input. According to the Wall Street Journal, like Google Squared, reviews of Wolfram Alpha have been "mixed."

EFF Launches Terms of Service Monitoring

Terms-Of-Service (TOS) are the foundation of a user's relationship with social networking sites, online communities, and other electronic businesses and organizations. However, most people only show interest in these terms when an issue arises. For example, in February 2009, Facebook was forced to rescind a change in its terms of service when a report that Facebook was asserting control of uploaded content sparked angry responses from users and consumer advocacy groups. Now Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched TOSBack, a service designed to assist users understand website TOS polices and monitor how these polices change over time. TOSBack currently reports changes to 58 "organizations" including Google, YouTube, and Twitter.

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ebooks available via Google?

According to the New York Times, Google recently announced that it plans to launch an ebook service by the end of 2009. The Google service would not require a reading device like Amazon's Kindle. Users, instead of downloading books, will buy online access to to the books. For more see articles in the New York Times and on NPR.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Internet Usage in the U.S. Tripled in a Decade

In 1997, the first year the U.S. Census Bureau collected data on Internet use, 18 percent of households reported using Internet access at home. A decade later, the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau's data shows that 62 percent of households reported in home Internet usage. While Internet usage has increased, the 2007 Internet and Computer Use Survey results show significant variations regarding usage by differing groups (age, education, and race/origin).

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Comparing Bing, Google and Yahoo

How do search engines compare? PC World compares Bing, Google, and Yahoo.

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog.

Call for World Human Rights Court

In an interview last week, Dr Martin Scheinin, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism said that his proposed "World Court of Human Rights" would enforce judgments on multinational companies to demand compensation for victims. For additional information from the interview click here.

Hat tip to Jurist.