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October 31, 2007

Great Library Pumpkins

Thanks to Library Stuff for inspiring me in my search of the great library pumpkins.


The first is courtesy of Terry's Worklog. "For those of you that don't speak MARC, the pumpkin is a jack-o-lantern with the MARC record of the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." And who ever said librarians were geeky?



This next one warms my reference librarian's heart - an Ask a Librarian pumpkin. Thanks to Cliff Landis' Flickr pool.


And you might remember this one from a few years back. In one of the greatest pranks in Cornell history, a 60 pound pumpkin was impaled on top of the spire of the library tower in October 1997. Although the story attracted national media attention, it appears that no one ever took credit. More from Cornell.

Have I missed any?

Westlaw WebPlus: a New, Free Legal Search Engine.

West has unveiled a new Web search engine called Westlaw WebPlus. This legally-focused search engine filters search results based on legal relevance.

WebPlus is available from within Westlaw, although it may just be for law schools at this point (see image below), as well as independently on the Web. Using it in either platform is free.

webplus.png

There are some nice features including specifying whether you're searching for a legal Issue, person, company, government entity, etc. Search results can also be refined by subject, domain or file format, as well as by format (web, news or blog results).

Of course Westlaw WebPlus isn't going to replace other research tools, such as Westlaw, Lexis and other databases, or more traditional print resources. But for searching the legal Web, it's pretty nice. I'll definitely be adding it to my list of search engines.

WI Bill Allowing Police to Access Library Surveillance Tapes Passes

Senate Bill 214, which allows law enforcement officials to have access to library surveillance video tapes without having to first obtain a court order, passed both houses of the Legislature yesterday with no opposition. The bill was supported by the Wisconsin Library Association.

According to a press release by State Senator Michael Ellis:

The legislation follows an incident earlier this year at the Neenah Public Library when a patron was observed committing a lewd act. Although the library has a video surveillance system, police were unable to review the tapes before getting a court order because of a legal opinion that the tapes are library records and are covered under privacy laws that pertain to libraries.

"This legislation removes an unnecessary impediment to law enforcement while still preserving privacy interests of library patrons," [Representative Dean] Kaufert said. "The bill was narrowly drafted to limit unrestricted access only to the tapes that directly pertain to the suspected criminal activity."

For the complete bill text, amendments, and history, see the Wisconsin Legislature web site.

Source: The Wheeler Report

October 30, 2007

New Look for Amazon

Looks like Amazon is testing out a new site design.
amazon.jpg

A few facts from the about page:

What's different?
We concentrated on shopping, searching, saving, and buying--the four activities that customers have repeatedly told us are the most important to them. They're now prominently featured at the top of every page on the site.

Don't worry--we didn't remove anything. All your favorite features are still here.

Why do I see the new design on my home computer but not at work?
We're still in our testing phase, and you may not see the new design all the time.

West Headnote of the Day - Amusing, Profound or Otherwise Interesting

West has launched a fun new resource called Headnote of the Day in which "amusing, profound or otherwise interesting" headnotes are delivered to you by email (what, no RSS?). Headnote of the Day is a free subscription service.

From the press release:

"People are fascinated with the law," said Al Maleson, West Headnote of the Day developer. "The law is life and death, love and betrayal, marriage and family, crime and punishment. This is also what is captured in the free West Headnote of the Day, and why we think headnotes make good daily reading."

Thanks to Danae, one of our Westlaw reps, for telling me about this one.

Gingerbread Haunted Mansion


This item came up today in one of the blogs that I read and thought it was too cool not to share - a gingerbread haunted mansion. Librarians will appreciate the "Return Your Books or Die!" sign at the top. Now that's harsh!

We love Halloween at our house. It's so fun to see the kids get all dressed up, especially when grandma makes all the costumes! This year my daughter is going as a witch and my son as a purple crayon. So, of course, we just had to read Harold and the Purple Crayon!

Source: Boing Boing

October 26, 2007

YouTube Video Identification System Will Help Copyright Holders Identify Works

YouTube is developing a Video Identification system which will help copyright holders identify their works on YouTube.

From the about page:

We have worked with Google to develop one-of-a-kind technology that can recognize videos based on a variety of factors... Copyright holders can choose what they want done with their videos: whether to block, promote, or even--if a copyright holder chooses to partner with us--create revenue from them, with minimal friction. YouTube Video ID will help carry out that choice.

Source: beSpacific

New Statewide Victim Notification System

Thanks to a grant from the US Dept of Justice, Wisconsin will soon be launching a new statewide victim notification system.

From the Wisconsin Radio Network:

[According to Corrections Secretary Rick Raemisch], the project is intended to make sure all victims have easy access to the status of an offender or defendant as they move through the criminal justice system.

The state does already have a system in place that notifies victims about the status of an offender. However, Raemisch says it can be complicated and stressful for victims to use. The new system being developed would allow them to use register with just one source for information on an offender.

Thanks to my colleague, Bill Ebbott, for passing this on.

Differing Perspectives on Book Digitization

A couple interesting stories on book digitization crossed my path this week. The first is an article in EdTech about UW Madison's involvement in the Google Book project.

Google this spring began scanning 500,000 of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's 7.9 million library holdings, including collections on American and Wisconsin history, medicine, engineering and genealogical materials. Once the materials are scanned, people can read the university's public domain books online for free. For copyrighted books, Google will show a few lines of text and provide links to find the material in libraries or for purchase in online stores.

UW-Madison is among 27 university and public libraries, including Harvard, Stanford and the New York Public Library, that allow Google to digitize parts or all of their collections. Other libraries, however, have chosen not to jump on board with Google or Microsoft, which also runs a digitization project.

According to an article in the New York Times

Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections.

The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available.

Libraries that agree to work with Google must agree to a set of terms, which include making the material unavailable to other commercial search services. Microsoft places a similar restriction on the books it converts to electronic form. The Open Content Alliance, by contrast, is making the material available to any search service...

"There are two opposed pathways being mapped out," said Paul Duguid, an adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. "One is shaped by commercial concerns, the other by a commitment to openness, and which one will win is not clear."

October 25, 2007

Faking Dr's Note, Jury Duty Summons to Get Out of Work

There is an AP News story making the rounds about a devious little hooky-enabling product called The Excused Absence Network.


For about $25, students and employees can buy excuse notes that appear to come from doctors or hospitals. Other options include a fake jury summons or an authentic-looking funeral service program complete with comforting poems and a list of pallbearers.

Interesting that when I tried to take a look at the web site, I got a "Service Unavailable" message. You can still see it via the WayBack Machine, however. According to an article in the NJ Star-Ledger, there are dozens of other Web sites which offer variations on the fake absence note, ranging in price from $3 to $25.

Predictably, someone was bound to get caught, as was a NJ woman who got busted for using a fake doctor's note obtained from The Excuse Network.
The AP reports that:

She was arrested this year after using one of the company's notes to support her claim she was too injured to appear in traffic court for a speeding ticket. She was caught after court officials called the chiropractor listed and he told them he never heard of the woman.

October 23, 2007

Outsourcing Public Libraries

There is a very troubling post over at Out of the Jungle about public libraries which were forced to close due to budget cuts and are now being reopened under the management of an outsourced, for-profit company at reduced hours.

From the post:

But I am concerned about the trend of moving a publicly funded and managed service into privately managed hands. The story is not clear about how LSSI makes its profits. It does not say that library services will be offered at a price to patrons, but it also does not say that the county is paying LSSI the full cost of running the library. How would the county save money by outsourcing if some of the cost did not fall on the library users?

Like OTJ, I have mixed feeling about this. For a community to close its public library, one of its most vital public services, is nothing short of tragic. So, I suppose that it's good that these libraries are being reopened, but what will be the cost and who will have to pay it?

RSS Comes to CCAP

Update: 10/23/07
RSS feeds will be added to "Court Record Events" by the end of the day according to Jean Bousquet over at Wisconsin Courts. And based on this post, they are also working on adding search terms to the feed titles, as well as, beefing up the RSS info page.

A big thanks to Judge Richard Sankovitz for forwarding this post to Jean and to Jean and the CCAP team for so quickly addressing my concerns!

--------------------------
Tracking Wisconsin cases via CCAP just got a lot easier - RSS Feeds are now available on both the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA) and the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Case Access (WSCCA) Web sites.

You'll notice that when you perform a search, a small orange RSS button appears at the top right on your search results page. This generates a RSS feed based on the keywords of your search. Subscribe to it with your RSS feed reader and you'll receive automatic notification of any new cases matching your keywords. See a sample search results page below:
ccap.png


This is a wonderful improvement to CCAP. The ability to track cases by party name (think clients/potential clients/competition), attorney, topic (class code), etc. is a powerful time saving device for legal practitioners, journalists, and other interested parties.

I do have one suggestion for improvement. In my RSS reader (I use Bloglines), my "Harley Davidson" feed above comes up with the generic title, Wisconsin Circuit Court Access. That's fine if I'm only monitoring one feed, but if I have multiple feeds, there is no way to tell them apart unless I change the feed title myself. It would be nice if the search terms came up in the feed title.

Proof and Hearsay also notes that they'd like to see a RSS feed on the "Court Record Events" page to track the docket for a specific case. I agree that this would also be a very nice addition.

There is a page on the Wisconsin Courts pages that explains what RSS is, but it's all quite generic. It would be nice if explained more specifically about the feeds generated by CCAP.

But all in all, this is an awesome service! A great addition to an already wonderful product.

Source: Proof and Hearsay

October 22, 2007

Save the Date - L. Gasaway to Speak at Marquette on "Amending the Copyright Act for Libraries" on April 18th

As part of National Library Week, Marquette University Law Library will be hosting Laura N. Gasaway, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law to speak on "Amending the Copyright Act for Libraries"

The event will be held at the Marquette University Law School, Friday, April 18, 2008, 12:00 to 1:00 pm. It is open to anyone who is interested in copyright issues.

Description:

The digital revolution has changed library practices significantly; Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act was amended in 1998 to permit some digital copying by libraries, but it is not sufficient. Libraries and archives need a functioning exception to the exclusive rights of copyright holders. At the same time, the publishing world has changed because of digital technology. The Section 108 Study Group, and independent body appointed by the Library of Congress spent 2 1/2 years examining the current law and reporting to the Librarian of Congress and Register of Copyrights on how to amend the law to make it function better for libraries and archives without significantly harming the owners of copyrighted works. The talk will identify and explain the Study Group's recommendations.

October 19, 2007

HeinOnline to Enhance Title Browsing

HeinOnline will soon be enhancing title browsing. From the HeinOnline Weblog:

We added the ability to browse volumes within a title without taking you to an entirely new page. On a collection's list of titles you will now see a "+" to the immediate left of each title which indicates that when it is clicked, the volumes relating to that title will open up underneath that title in reverse volume order so you see the most current volume first.

October 18, 2007

14% of Legal Malpractice Claims Arise from Failure to Know or Properly Apply Law

In doing some research for my upcoming presentation at the WI Solo and Small Firm Conference, I came across and interesting set of statistics. According to the Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, fourteen percent of their legal malpractice claims arose from failure to know or properly apply law.

Statistics like these underscore the importance of legal research skills to the practice of law and illustrate just how valuable law librarians, as experts in legal research, truly are.

Here's the full breakdown of WILMIC claims:

  • Calendaring - 23%
  • Failure to know or properly apply law - 14%
  • Planning error in choice of procedures - 13%
  • Inadequate discovery & investigation - 12%
  • Failure to obtain consent/inform client - 6%

Read Two Books and Call Me in the Morning

There is a wonderful story in today's Capital Times about UW Hospital resident, Dipesh Navsaria, who measures his young patients' development by putting a book in their hands and watching their reaction.

From the article:

Navsaria... says the child's response speaks volumes. If the patient shows interest and curiosity, he can tell if books are a natural part of their life. At a certain age, if the child holds the book right-side up, opens it and turns the pages, the doctor gets a quick read on motor skills.

And if children begin talking about what they see in the book, Navsaria can see if they are building social skills...

Navsaria isn't just talking as a doctor, but as a librarian. He took a break during his medical studies to earn a master's degree in library and information science, with a focus on children's literature...

Navsaria is working with Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit organization founded by pediatricians and educators in Boston that promotes the importance of early literacy, with a focus on reaching low-income populations.

He has started a Reach Out and Read (ROR) program at UW's student-run free clinic, MEDiC. A ROR program at the Access Community Health Center on South Park Street will open in the next two months, if not sooner, Navsaria said. He is also looking for funding to expand the program to two of the outpatient UW Health pediatric clinics.

Thanks to my colleague, Cheryl O'Connor for the tip.

WisconsinEye Announces Partnership with BadgerNet

According to a Wisconsin Department of Administration press release, WisconsinEye announced on Monday that it has reached agreement with the department to launch the WisconsinEye channel on the BadgerNet video network serving education and government sites throughout the state's 72 counties.

The partnership with BadgerNet will bring WisconsinEye into over 255 schools and 54 college campuses across the state...

"WisconsinEye has just the kind of public content that BadgerNet was created to provide for schools and public organizations," said state Chief Information Officer Oskar Anderson. "Bringing WisconsinEye to more classrooms will help students gain a better understanding of how state government works."

BadgerNet was created by the State of Wisconsin to provide next generation voice, data, and video services to state agencies, local governments, UW campuses, technical colleges, private colleges and universities, public and private K-12 schools, and libraries. A key goal of the BadgerNet project is to enhance statewide educational systems for both children and adults.

Source: Wheeler Report

WI Courts RSS Feeds

The Wisconsin Court system has developed RSS feeds for the following:

  • News releases
  • Supreme Court opinions and dispositional orders
  • Supreme Court rules
  • Supreme Court oral arguments
  • Supreme Court dispositional orders
  • Court of Appeals opinions
  • Court of Appeals certifications

October 17, 2007

NYT's Tobin Harshaw to Lecture at UW on Thursday

From UW-Madison Libraries:

Tobin Harshaw, senior staff editor for the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times, comes to campus Thursday, Oct. 18, to give a 4:30 p.m. lecture for the Friends of the Libraries and the School of Journalism. Harshaw's talk, "The Pundits and the Power: Behind the Rise of Opinion Journalism," will cover the origins and evolution of opinion journalism. The lecture is in 976 Memorial Library on campus.

Book Festival Coverage from Wisconsin Eye

There is more video/audio footage from the Wisconsin Book Festival over at Wisconsin Eye. Here are some of the latest offerings:

  • 10.14.07: "Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin's Past"
  • 10.13.07 "Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts"
  • 10.12.07: "Tranquility at any Price?" with Authors Matthew Rothschild and Chris Finan
  • 10.11.07: Best New Writing from Wisconsin People and Ideas: 2007 Contest Winners
  • 10.11.07: "Communication Revolution: Bob McChesney and John Nichols on the Future of Media"
  • 10.10.07: Opening Event: Environmental Authors Rick Bass and Terry Tempest Williams

Article Explores History, Content of CCAP in Comparison to Other States

Davis & Kuelthau librarian, Bev Butula has written a very useful article in this month's Wisconsin Lawyer entitled, Online Access to Circuit Court Dockets. The article explores Wisconsin's online docket database (CCAP) and looks at the status of online access in some other states.

From the conclusion:

Searching circuit court dockets in Wisconsin is accomplished via CCAP. Information seekers often take this service for granted. Many states have yet to develop an online database. Some only make particular counties available. Online availability is progressing at different speeds throughout the United States and currently is available on a limited basis. To effectively conduct a non-Wisconsin docket search, the researcher should start with the National Center for State Courts, the Virtual Chase, or LLRX, or call the court's clerk to inquire if an online database is available.

I would also recommend subscribing to Legal Dockets Online Blog for keeping tabs on court docket info.

October 16, 2007

Where are Wisconsin's Tech-Savvy Juries?

Proof and Hearsay reports on where to find Wisconsin's tech-savvy juries.

According to the statistics for twenty-nine counties' jurors, just over 17 percent of prospective jurors surveyed in 2006 filed their jury questionnaire responses online at the court's web site.

A county break down shows that the highest percentages came from:

  • Eau Claire County - 40 percent
  • Suburban Waukesha County - 32.8 percent
  • Milwaukee County - 21.4 percent

Lowest percentage of online responses:

  • Langlade County - 0.6 percent (only 7 of 1,100 surveyed)

Tenant Resource Center May Close Due to Lack of Funds

Channel 3000 reports that the Tenant Resource Center is in danger of shutting down.


For 30 years, the Tenant Resource Center has offered free rental housing counseling and legal advice to thousands of people across the state.

In April, the center lost $55,000 of its funding from the University of Wisconsin student government. A phone message at the TRC revealed that the group has again lost funds, but this time from the federal government, WISC-TV reported.

A recorded message on the TRC phone line said, "Due to a cut in funding from the Housing and Urban Development of $40,000, we are forced to temporarily shut down this line."

That line is the toll free phone line for people living outside of Dane County. TRC officials said that up to 50 calls a day were received on the toll free line, which counselors will no longer answer. Officials said the significant cuts could force the center to shut down completely.

Thanks to my colleague, Vicky Coulter for the tip.

1999-2005 Drafting Records Available at WI Legislature Web Site

I've been given the green light to announce that Wisconsin Legislative Drafting Records are now available online at the Wisconsin State Legislature Web site. Records from the 1999 through 2005 sessions are available.

At this time, it seems that only the browsing function is working. My test keyword searches have produced no results. I'm told that they are looking into it.

As you may know, the UW Law Library also maintains a database of Wisconsin Legislative Drafting Records. Our site, however, only contain records from the 1999 through 2003 sessions. Our database is comprised of scans made available by the Legislative Reference Bureau, as is the new database from the Wisconsin Legislature.

Now that the Legislature is making this information available directly, it is likely that we at the UW Law Library will discontinue our database. However, we will leave it up for the time being, so that our search engine can still be used to search the 1999-2003 records.

What are drafting records? [from the WI Legislature Drafting Records page]

Drafting records are the official, administrative records of the bill drafting process, and are maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau. Drafting records may or may not be useful in determining the intent of a legislator in introducing a bill.

October 11, 2007

The Hollywood Librarian Both Fun and Moving

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of seeing the new documentary, The Hollywood Librarian. I truly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to both librarians and non librarians alike.

Although, as the title implies, it did focus much on the image of librarians in film and popular culture, but it also delved into the role of librarians and their importance to society. The film explores "real-life fights against censorship, implications of the USA Patriot Act, and the painful budget cuts that libraries are experiencing around the country," explains the Wisconsin State Journal.

The Douglas County Libraries blog summarizes well one of the most moving parts of the film:

But there was one story that brought tears to my eyes. It began with the Salinas Public Library in California, the home town of John Steinbeck. After several failed attempts to win voter approval, the library ran out of money, and closed.

But that wasn't what got to me. It was the efforts of inmates in nearby San Quentin prison to raise money to get it open again.

One young man, involved in a transformative literacy program in jail, put it like this "How can you bolster spending in prisons and take away a library? It was a shameful act, heightened by the fact that an inmate saw it, and those in free society didn't."

In speaking with the Wisconsin State Journal, filmmaker Ann Seidl shared that

I grew more and more determined that the American public didn't understand what it is librarians do. What I found in my research is that people see libraries as sort of as a natural resource -- like the Grand Canyon, a kind of natural phenomenon that will always be there.

What they don 't understand is that libraries are created by librarians.

The CCAP Battle

Assembly Bill 418 which would stop ordinary citizens from viewing Wisconsin court records online via CCAP has aroused much debate.

JSOnline's Proof and Hearsay summarizes:

It's a footnote here that the bill to restrict access to Wisconsin's online court records database is not likely to be seriously considered this Legislative term, but the fact the long-debated matter has risen to the level of Legislative debate has drawn a sizable amount of media attention. It's an interesting debate: the records are going to be open, but should they be convenient? State AG J.B. Van Hollen says keep 'em online, and newspapers and judges are pushing for openness while a handful of Milwaukee's legislators say making prosecutions so immutably public adds to the burdens faced by the people already having a hard time finding work.

Pay Fees Online in CCAP

Proof and Hearsay reports that the option to "Pay Fees Online" has quietly been added to CCAP. At this point, however, it is only enabled for Kenosha County.

Here's the message that you see when you click on the "Pay Fees Online" button:

Welcome to the Wisconsin Court System's Circuit Court Online Payment system. This Web site allows payment of circuit court fees and/or fines online. A 2.35% convenience fee for MasterCard and a $1.50 flat fee for electronic check will be charged by US Bank to process payments.

The online payment feature is implemented only in Kenosha County with US Bank. After a two month evaluation period and approval by US Bank, this service will be expanded to additional counties.

CA Supreme Court Sued for Refusal to Consider Unpublished Opinions

A 19-year-old restaurant worker is suing the California Supreme Court to reverse its practice of largely ignoring unpublished court opinions, according to the McClatchy Washington Bureau.

Source: Library Stuff

October 10, 2007

Wisconsin Book Festival

This week marks the sixth annual Wisconsin Book Festival, themed "Domestic Tranquility." The five-day celebration will take place in and around downtown Madison, from October 10-14, 2007.

A schedule of events is available on the Web site. Note that there are several in the category law.
---------
Update 10/11/07:
As I posted a few months ago, WisconsinEye produces a series of programs about books and authors with a Wisconsin connection. One of the most recent programs is the Wisconsin Book Festival: Generations Panel in which "four established Milwaukee writers, attempted to bridge the artificial gap between generations when they introduced four younger writers during this Wisconsin Book Festival event."

WI Dockets Available on Westlaw

My Westlaw representative informs me that there are two new databases of interest to Wisconsinites:

  • Dockets-Wisconsin-Appellate and Supreme Courts (DOCK-WI-APPSCT)
  • Dockets-Wisconsin-Circuit Courts (DOCK-WI-CIRCUIT)
Unfortunately, they are not available to law schools at this time.

October 3, 2007

Bill to Restrict Public Access to CCAP

The Wisconsin State Journal reports on Assembly Bill 418 which would stop ordinary citizens from viewing Wisconsin court records online (CCAP).

From the LRB Analysis:

This bill restricts public access to the CCAP system from the Internet while permitting unlimited access to information in the CCAP system to Wisconsin judges or other court officials, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and accredited journalists, as well as persons who regularly deal with court documents in the course of their job duties.

The bill allows limited access to CCAP information for other persons, who must submit to either the clerk of courts or district attorney in the county where the request for CCAP information is filed a written request for information that includes their full name and address, the full name and address of the person or entity subject to the request, the relationship, if any, between the requester and the subject of the request, and the purpose for the request.

You can monitor the status of this bill, or any other, with the Wisconsin Legislative Notification Service.

October 2, 2007

Secretly Monitor & Control PCs with SnoopStick

I just learned about a sneaky little device called the SnoopStick which allows you to monitor and control access to computers and laptops from anywhere, anytime. It is available for $60.

According to the web site:

  • Simply insert a SnoopStick device into a USB port on the computer you want to monitor.
  • Run the 60 second setup program. This installs the secret monitoring systems on the target computer.
  • Remove the SnoopStick and take it with you. You can now use your SnoopStick device to monitor and control that computer from any other computer, anytime you like.

Here's more:

The SnoopStick monitoring components are completely hidden, and there are no telltale signs that the computer is being monitored.

Any time you want to see what web sites your kids or employees are visiting, who they are chatting with, and what they are chatting about, simply plug in your SnoopStick to any Windows based computer with an Internet connection and a USB port. SnoopStick will automatically connect to the target computer.

Monitor both sides of IM conversations in real time or tell SnoopStick to display recent activity. Check the sender and recipient of every email sent or received. View the websites your kids or employees have been visiting. Call up a screen capture any time to see exactly what they were (or are) looking at. You can even log the user off, disable internet access, set time restrictions or even turn the computer off. All using your SnoopStick from any computer.

Oh my goodness - this is really scary. I can just imagine all sorts of unscrupulous uses for this, which SnoopStick acknowledges:

SnoopStick was created primarily to help parents supervise their kids online activities. We realize however, that there are possibilities for abuse.

To that end, they've developed an "inoculator" program that you can run on your computer to guarantee that no one will be able to install SnoopStick without your permission. If someone does try to install it, the installation will fail and you'll be notified of the attempt via email.

Source: Internet Guide for the Legal Researcher, July/Aug 2007

DataOnDemand, JSOnline's Statistics Portal

I've recently discovered that JSOnline maintains a statistics portal called DataOnDemand. The data sets, which go back to June 2007, include:

  • Annual pay for Milwaukee city employees
  • FBI crime statistics
  • U.S. housing unit estimates
  • U.S. poverty estimates
  • School instructional hours
  • Dam inspections
  • Wisconsin bridges
  • Property taxes
  • Wisconsin fuel pump inspections
  • State subsidies to businesses
  • Wisconsin population

The data sets relate to stories published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The source of the data appears at the bottom of each data set.

October 1, 2007

Downtown Madison Post Office Opens Today

From the Daily Cardinal:

The new University Station U.S. Post Office, 441 Lake Street, opens today, replacing a temporary location at University Bookstore and a previous site at the old University Square, the post office announced Friday.

The Lake Street station [formerly a McDonald's] includes services exclusively tailored to students, including an Automated Postal Center to be installed this week and a possible passport service in the future.

Thanks to my colleague, Bill Ebbott, for the tip.