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July 29, 2004

Article: Blogs Dot the Litigation Landscape

Here is a blurb from Law.com's article, Blogs Dot the Litigation Landscape, about the recent trend of blogging from the courtroom.
Michael Jackson has one. Martha Stewart paid top dollar for hers. And the Justice Department got one as a gift in its antitrust trial against Oracle Corp.

Web sites dedicated to a specific trial are ushering in a new era of client service, said Denise M. Howell, a Web log booster and intellectual property litigator who is of counsel to the Los Angeles office of Reed Smith.

"Not only is it critical to know who will try your case," Howell said. "It's important to consider who will 'blog' it."

Source:  Stark County Law Library Blawg

Be Notified of Changes to Any Web Page with WatchThatPage

Update (8/3/04): Gary Price, of ResourceShelf, emailed me the other day - very cool. His shared with me that his favorite alert tool is WebSite-Watcher. The cost is $30. He also reminded me that Feedster offers an email alert service. ------------------------

Some of my favorite tools are Internet alert services - where you choose what you are interested in and they send you notification when content has been updated. Google News Alerts, WestClip & LexisNexis ECLIPSE, not to mention the tons of great RSS feeds (check out Blawg & Feedster) are definitely good things.

But what about Web sites without these types of alert services? Fear not - check out WatchThatPage Here's a bit from their site:

WatchThatPage is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page. You can specify when the changes will be collected, so they are fresh when you want to read them. The service is free!

I have WatchThatPage watching a number of sites and found that it works pretty well. The email that is sends can be a bit cryptic, but it does its job. I tend to use it for current awareness - like when someone updates a newsletter. But it could easily have other applications as well - competitive intelligence perhaps.

July 28, 2004

How Current Is Newspaper Website Content?

From:  beSpacific

"A University of Texas at Austin study evaluating how often 30 newspapers refresh their respective website content indicated that 'only 12 updated their home pages frequently, and the rest made few or no changes during the day.' [Link]"

According to the article:


The 12 newspapers with the most updates during the period studied were led by Long Island Newsday, which had an average of 202.7 changes per day. The others were USA Today (148.2), Houston Chronicle (138.4), Chicago Tribune (133), New York Times (127.5), Los Angeles Times (121.3), Washington Post (115.3), Wall Street Journal (85.9), Hartford Courant (84), (Fort Worth, TX) Star-Telegram (68.7), Allentown Morning Call (64.6) and The Oklahoman (60.2).

Article: Beyond Google

Update: This article is now available electronically on the Wisconsin Law Journal web site. Link now appears in text below. -----------------------------

For some good advice on search engine alternatives, check out "Beyond Google-Alternate Search Engines Enhance Research" in the July 21, 2004 issue of the Wisconsin Law Journal. The author is Bev Betula, Vice President / President Elect of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin.

RSS is Good For. . .

Blogger JD posts 7 Things RSS is Good For.  They are:

1.  Saving time
2.  Convenience
3.  Access to a richer pool of material
4.  Zero in on the info you want
5.  RSS can serve as an alert service
6.  RSS levels the playing field
7.  RSS drives conversation

Read more at jd's New Media Musings

Source:  Ernie the Attorney

July 27, 2004

Bloggers at the Democratic National Convention

The bloggers have been busy at the Democratic National Convention. Check out this informative post from Ernie the Attorney:

If you want to keep up with the goings on at the DNC shindig in Boston, you should consider the many weblogs that are covering this convention. Start with Convention Bloggers, which has a comprehensive list of weblogs, including Dave Barry's blog where this report was filed:

"I have arrived in Boston, and the security is SERIOUS. There are police officers, dogs, army guys, helicopters... and that's just in my hotel room But as a trained journalism professional, I intend to overcome these obstacles and write daily reports for the Miami Registration Required Herald. Also, if any actual major news breaks out, I will... well, I imagine I will probably leave."
And Dave Sifry of a well-known (to bloggers) site called Technorati, has created this site for news about the convention. Dave will be appearing on CNN to provide insight into the blogosphere's reaction to the goings-on at the Convention. If you don't know much about weblogs and why they are of potential use in covering a political convention, read Dave's Guide to Following Weblogs During the Conventions.

Last, and certainly not least (especially for snarky commentary and shrill entertainment) is the well-known political gossip weblog Wonkette. If you haven't read Wonkette yet then do so immediately, and often.

Update: Read the New York Times article on convention blogging. And check out the Wall St. Journal's Meet the Bloggers for profiles of the 30 or so convention bloggers.

July 26, 2004

NPR Offers RSS Feeds

National Public Radio has jumped on the RSS bandwagon and is now offering feeds for the following:

NPR Top Stories
NPR U.S News
NPR World News
NPR Business News
NPR Health & Science News

A number of local news feeds are also available.

Source:  Library Stuff

July 22, 2004

Law Professor's Blog Cited by Courts, Senate Judiciary Committee

The Wall Street Journal has an article entitled Law Professor's Web Log Is Jurists' Must-Read summarizing the buzz around Ohio State law prof, Douglas Berman's blog, Sentencing Law and Policy  The blog chronicles the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court Blakely v. Washington ruling on the nation's courts.

From the article:


"Last week, the blog was cited in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held hearings to consider a short-term fix to quell some of the chaos resulting from the Supreme Court ruling's effect on the 20-year-old federal sentencing guidelines. Also last week, New York's Second Circuit Court of Appeals cited the blog in a unanimous opinion of the court's 13 active judges, which beseeched the Supreme Court to decide the guidelines' constitutionality quickly. Judge Paul G. Cassell of Utah, the first federal judge to declare the guidelines unconstitutional, cited the blog in his groundbreaking opinion."

Source:  beSpacific

July 21, 2004

Subscribe to WisBlawg via Email

For all those that would prefer to receive WisBlawg updates via email, we've just added a neat little tool which lets you do just that.  Scroll down to the bottom right to subscribe.

You will receive an email once a day with all the new WisBlawg posts for that day.  If you prefer to be updated more regularly, then subscribe to the Atom feed via Bloglines or another blog aggregator/reader.

Monitor News, Blogs, RSS Feeds with Feedster & Day Pop

Sometimes just reading what the media has to say isn't enough.  Wouldn't it be nice to hear what others are saying?  Enter Feedster and Day Pop.

Both search engines combine traditional news sources with individual commentary available in blogs and RSS feeds.  And you can also receive alerts for new content as it is added.  In Feedster, go to Feedster News Alerts - you can choose to have alerts sent to your email hourly or daily.  With Day Pop, just click the RSS button in your search results & add to your Bloglines (or other blog aggregator/reader) account.

WSJ.com Offering Some RSS Feeds

The Wall Street Journal has joined the RSS band wagon and is now offering a number of RSS feeds for their Online journals. 

July 20, 2004

Article: Libraries uphold privacy, Law student may sue for information on patrons

The Detroit News has an interesting story about a law student who is demanding that area libraries hand over patron names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses
"Marker’s request is made under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, which allows the public access to documents created or held by a public body. Library directory information, however, is considered private and is exempted from disclosure by the state’s library privacy laws."

"None of the libraries have turned over the information, Marker said, though some have asked for a 10-day extension to respond. Marker said he is considering challenging the state library privacy laws in court. Librarians promise a long and bitter fight."

Source:  Library Link of the Day


New Google Toolbar Offers Pop-up Ad Blocker & IE Address Bar Search

Google's New Toolbar has a couple new, nifty tricks:   -  Pop-up Blocker: Prevents most pop-up ads from being displayed by your browser   -  Search Directly from IE Address Bar:  "Type words rather than URLs into the Internet Explorer address bar and automatically see the "most relevant" site for those terms" (Search Engine Watch)

There are some other neat tools as well.  Read more 

Office Depot Offers Electronic Recycling Program

From CNN Money:   "Don't be so quick to toss out your old PCs, fax machines or digital cameras -- office supply retailer Office Depot is partnering with Hewlett-Packard to offer recycling of one electronic product a day for free all through the summer. "   Source:  The Shifted Librarian

July 19, 2004

Article: Inmates Sue for Access to Law Library

There is an article in Friday's Miami Herald entitled, "Inmates Sue for Access to Law Library." This is especially interesting in light of the struggles of our own Dane County Law Library/Legal Research Center. From the article:
A pair of Broward inmates asked an appeals court Thursday to stop Sheriff Ken Jenne from closing down the law library in one of the county's jails next week.

Jenne began converting jail law libraries at his five jails earlier this year into online systems that require inmates to make their requests for legal research in writing. The move saves about $150,000 a year, but the inmates fear it will take away their constitutional right to an adequate defense by slowing down research. . .

[It was noted that] success in Broward will depend on how responsive Jenne is to inmates' needs for legal help and the quality of training given to researchers. The inmate population has a higher rate of illiteracy than the general public and often needs lots of help in legal research.

July 13, 2004

Article: Written on the Wind - Author Urges Caution When Citing Web Sources

From: Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

"From the New York Law Journal, via law.com, comes Written on the Wind, an article urging caution when citing to the Internet in legal documents."

According to the author, "The Internet is the proverbial river that you can never step in twice. Its fluid nature makes it frustrating when a cited source is no longer available."

NYT Article - Lott Seeks Oversight of Classified Data

From the NY Times article: "The Central Intelligence Agency's decision to delete extensive sections of a Senate report on faulty Iraq intelligence has so outraged Senator Trent Lott that Mr. Lott, the former majority leader, is calling for an independent commission to govern classified information."

New Issue of WI State Law Library Newsletter

The Wisconsin State Law Library has just published the July 2004 edition of WSLL @ Your Service.

Highlights include:
- Tech Tip in Brief: Recovering Files After Microsoft Word Crashes
- WSLL Web: The Lighter Side of Google
- Learn @ The Law Library

Contact Connie Von Der Heide to be placed on the mailing list for WSLL @ Your Service.

July 12, 2004

Google adds Blogger Button to Toolbar

"For those users of the Blogger weblog system, who also love Google, you might be interested in visiting the Google Search Toolbar website for information on the new (beta) version of the toolbar.

If you install this version of the Google Toolbar, you will find a number of new features, including a popup blocker and a "Blogger" button which will allow you to directly post to your Blogger weblog."

Source: Blawg

Blawg Search & DailyWhirl Shutting Down

It appears the two nice sites devoted to Blawgs will be shutting down: Detod Blawg Search and Daily Whirl

Source: Netlawblog

July 8, 2004

WI Legislative Reference Bureau Offers RSS Feeds

"The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau is now offering a wide array of RSS feeds. The feeds are organized by topic, and range from state budget briefs, to general legislative news to specific feeds covering a category like K-12 education developments."

An excellent way to monitor new LRB publications!

Source: Blawg

July 7, 2004

Updated Guide to Sources of Legal Info for WI Attorneys

I've recently updated my guide to Sources of Legal Information for the Wisconsin Attorney. Organized by type of law (case law; citators; legislation; regulations; law review/legal journal articles), the guide shows where such information can be found electronically and at what cost. Emphasis is placed on sources of free information from libraries in Wisconsin.

A section on Vendors & Suppliers of Legal Information is also included with contact and pricing information for each.

A similar guide, Sources of U.S. Legal Information for the International Attorney, has also been updated.

NationMaster - Create Charts/Maps of Nations Statistics

NationMaster is an excellent new site that compiles a myriad of statistics by nation and displays them in graphically in maps and charts. And it's free!
From NationMaster:

"NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank, World Resources Institute, UNESCO, UNICEF and OECD. Using the form above, you can generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with ease."

"We want to be the web's one-stop resource for country statistics on anything and everything, whether it be soldiers, olympic medals, tourists, English speakers or wall plug voltages."


Source: LibrarianInBlack

Court Rules Wiretap Laws Don't Apply to Email

NYT Article - You've Got Mail (and Court Says Others Can Read It)

"Last week a federal appeals court ruled that federal wiretap laws do not apply to e-mail messages if they are stored, even for a millisecond, on the computers of Internet providers."

Source: New York Times, July 6, 2004

July 6, 2004

Excellent RSS Tutorial

Cindy Chick of LawLibTech has put together an excellent tutorial on RSS. She explains what RSS feeds are, why they are useful, how to subscribe to them, and more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone wanting to learn more about blogs and RSS.

- What is RSS
- Getting Started with RSS Aggregators
- Using Bloglines
- Bloglines Revisited - New Display Feature!!
- Bloglines for Email Discussion Lists
- News, News & More News

From What is RSS:

"RSS allows you to receive notification of current content without having to visit the web site of interest to determine if it has been updated. This is powerful stuff, since it means that with the right tools you can monitor a large number of sites in a relatively short period of time.

RSS became popular with the growth of blogs as a way for people to keep up with their favs. But it is being used increasingly by a variety of websites including those with commercial news content. For the researcher that's what makes it so useful. More and more valuable content is becoming available via RSS everyday. Anyone who needs to monitor current news on a regular basis will need to understand and use RSS in some form going forward."

July 1, 2004

CALI 2004 Conference Webcasts Now Available

Couldn't make it to last month's CALI Conference for Law School Computing in Seattle. That's ok - the nice folks at CALI are making Webcasts of most programs available on their Web site.

From CALI News:

"Some 60 sessions dealing with topics from distance education to ABA standards to blogging are now linked through the 2004 Conference agenda. To view the webcast for a particular session, locate the session on the agenda and follow the webcast in the session description. All webcasts require Windows Media Player 9.

In addition to the webcasts, many sessions include Power Point presentations and/or other documents. Not all of the presentations are linked at this time, so check back if there are no slides available for the session you are interested in."


More Free Workshops from the DCLRC

From the Dane County Legal Resource Center:

Free Legal Information Sessions will be held monthly on various topics related to legal research or court procedures. Presented by DCLRC staff in Room 315 of the Courthouse, no legal advice will be given at these sessions. The public is welcome to attend. Contact us for more information, 266-6316 or dclrc.ref@wicourts.gov.

Thursday July 15…12-1 p.m.: How to Find WI Primary Law: Statutes and Ordinances
Covers how statutes & ordinances are created, as well as how to find, update, & change them!

Coming Soon:
•August: How to find legal resources written for the nonlawyer
•September: Initiating a Court Action: Locating Court Rules & Forms
•October: Dane County Court Offices Tour
•November: Who ya’ gonna call? Finding legal services and resources in Dane Co.