Law and Legal

Casey Trees Updated Blossoming Tree Map for the DC area

We have been enjoying  a remarkably beautiful Spring here in the DC metro area. There are more blossoming trees than in past years due to the sustained warm weather. There are more than 10 different kinds of cherry trees and magnolias, as well as eastern redbuds, and so many flowering shrubs and flowers. Please take as many walks as you can, and enjoy this updated map from the terrific folks at Casey Trees.

Categories: Law and Legal

Aspen Institute – Automation and a Changing Economy

Automation is an important ingredient driving economic growth and progress. “Automation has enabled us to feed a growing population while allowing workers to transition from subsistence farming to new forms of work. Automation helped moved us from a craft system to mass production, from blue-collar to white-collar to “new collar” work—with better work, higher wages, more jobs, and better living standards.

But without adequate policies and institutions, automation can also have negative effects on individuals and communities. Emerging technologies—including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced robotics—have the potential to automate many tasks currently performed by workers, leading to renewed questions over what the future holds for the American workforce. We must ensure the proper support structures are in place to promote opportunity and prosperity for all. Automation and a Changing Economy is divided into two sections. – Automation and a Changing Economy: The Case for Action and Policies for Shared Prosperity.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Pew – What Americans Know About Science

Science knowledge levels remain strongly tied to education; Republicans and Democrats are about equally knowledgeable

Before you read the report – Test your science knowledge by taking the interactive quiz. The short quiz tests your knowledge of questions recently asked in a national poll. After completing the quiz, you can compare your score with the general public and with people like yourself.

“A new Pew Research Center survey finds that many Americans can answer at least some questions about science concepts – most can correctly answer a question about antibiotics overuse or the definition of an “incubation period,” for example. But other concepts are more challenging; fewer Americans can recognize a hypothesis or identify that bases are the main components of antacids. The survey, conducted Jan. 7 to 21, 2019, takes stock of the degree to which the public shares a common understanding of science facts and processes in an era of easy access to information and sometimes-intense debate over what information is true and false. Americans’ knowledge of specific facts connected with life sciences and earth and other physical sciences varies, of course. About eight-in-ten (79%) correctly identify that antibiotic resistance is a major concern about the overuse of antibiotics. A similar share (76%) know an incubation period is the time during which someone has an infection but is not showing symptoms…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Metadata Games

Open Source Crowd Sourcing Game Platform: “Metadata Games (MG) is a free and open source (FOSS) crowdsourcing game platform. As players play Metadata Games, images, video, and audio from libraries, archives, and museums gain valuable descriptions, making it easier for the general public and scholars to discover these collections. The current MG build we are hosting contains over 45 Collections from 11 Institutions, containing tens of thousands of media items (images, audio, video) that have generated over 167,000 tags. Our current collaborations include the British Library, Boston Public Library, The Open Parks Network, Digital Public Library of America, and the American Antiquarian Society, among others! For more technical information, check the Technical Implementation section.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Programming Librarian

ProgrammingLibrarian.org provides the resources, connections and opportunities libraries need to fill their role as centers of cultural and civic life. It is a place for library professionals to share, learn and be inspired to present excellent programming for their communities. Through resources, ideas and professional development opportunities, we seek to help libraries fill their role as cultural and civic hubs in their communities. ProgrammingLibrarian.org is run by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, which empowers libraries to create vibrant hubs of learning, conversation, and connection in communities of all types. Though the job title can vary, a programming librarian is charged with any element of planning and presenting cultural and community programs on behalf of the library. Programming librarians can be found in public, academic, special and school libraries, from the largest urban communities to the smallest rural communities, and everywhere in between. Usually, programming librarian is one of many hats that a librarian wears, which makes up-to-date resources like this site even more important.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Available – But not Accessible? Investigating Publisher e-lending Licensing Practices

Giblin, Rebecca and Kennedy, Jenny and Weatherall, Kimberlee Gai and Gilbert, Daniel Ian and Thomas, Julian and Petitjean, Francois, Available – But not Accessible? Investigating Publisher e-lending Licensing Practices (October 4, 2018). Forthcoming, Information Research (expected June 2019); Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 19/20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3346199

“Introduction: We report our mixed-methods investigation of publishers’ licensing practices, which affect the books public libraries can offer for e-lending. Method: We created unique datasets recording pricing, availability and licence terms for sampled titles offered by e-book aggregators to public libraries across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and United Kingdom. A third dataset records dates of availability for recent bestsellers. We conducted follow-up interviews with representatives of 5 e-book aggregators. Analysis: We quantitatively analysed availability, licence terms and price across all aggregators in Australia, snapshotting the competitive playing field in a single jurisdiction. We also compared availability and terms for the same titles from one aggregator across five jurisdictions, and measured how long it took for a sample of recent bestsellers to become available for e-lending. We used data from the aggregator interviews to explain the quantitative findings. Results: Contrary to aggregator expectations, we found considerable intra-jurisdictional price and licence differences. We also found numerous differences across jurisdictions. Conclusions: While availability was better than anticipated, licensing practices make it infeasible for libraries to purchase certain kinds of e-book (particularly older titles). Confidentiality requirements make it difficult for libraries to shop (and aggregators to compete) on price and terms.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Netherlands makes trains free on national book day

Dutch book lovers got free rail travel across their country’s entire network this weekend as part of the Netherlands’ annual book week celebrations. Every year since 1932 the Netherlands has encouraged reading with Boekenweek – a celebration of literature marked with literary festivals and book signings across the country. Traditionally, a well-known Dutch author writes a special novel – the “book week gift” or Boekenweekgeschenk – which is given out for free to people who buy books during the festivities or sign up to a library.  But the special book – this year the novel Jas Van Belofte by celebrated author Jan Siebelink, can also be presented instead of a rail ticket on every train in the country on the Sunday of book week. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the Dutch state railway company, has long been a sponsor of the annual festivities – and even organises book readings signings by top authors on its trains…”

Categories: Law and Legal

News organizations have all but abandoned their archives

BoingBoing: “Sharon Ringel and Angela Woodall have published a comprehensive, in-depth look at the state of news archiving in the digital age, working under the auspices of the Tow Center at the Columbia Journalism Review; it’s an excellent, well-researched report and paints an alarming picture of the erosion of the institutional memories of news organizations. Ringel and Woodall find that news organizations are cavalier, even negligent, about archiving their news, and contrast this with the heyday of newspapers where dedicated librarians staffed a “morgue” of carefully clipped and cross-referenced print articles. By contrast, today’s news organizations rely primarily on their CMSes, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, reporters’ personal Google Docs accounts, and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to store their articles, social media posts, and other materials.Although the Internet Archive has done yeoman service in this field, Ringel and Woodall are rightfully skeptical that a single institution should be entrusted with being the sole entity recording our collective history — not least because the Archive only saves pages it discovers in its crawls, and cannot traverse paywalls (let alone recording alternative headlines, associated social media posts, comments, personalized layouts shown to logged-in users, etc)…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Is Your Internet Fast Enough for Streaming? – Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports – “Despite the high price you pay for internet service, it’s easy to find yourself frustrated by slow speeds. That’s especially likely if you’re one of the many households cutting the traditional pay-TV cord and streaming more entertainment—including Ultra High Definition (4K) movies and TV shows. If your internet seems slow, it’s time to make sure you’re getting the speed you need, both from your internet service provider and the WiFi setup in your home. But the first step is to have a realistic idea of how much broadband you need…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Categories: Law and Legal

Manipulating the YouTube Algorithm – (Part 1/3)

Smarter Every Day – “This is video 1 of a 3 part series on Social Media Algorithm manipulation and countermeasures. Even if you’re aware of these issues, odds are your friends and parents are not. I’m hoping we can use this video series to educate an incredible amount of people about the realities of algorithmic manipulation online. The engineers tasked with working on these problems take their jobs very seriously and they are truly the unsung heroes in this fight…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Anti-Semitism Is Back, From the Left, Right and Islamist Extremes. Why?

The New York Times: “Swastikas daubed on a Jewish cemetery in France. An anti-Semitic political campaign by Hungary’s far-right government. Labour lawmakers in Britain quitting their party and citing ingrained anti-Semitism. A Belgian carnival float caricaturing Orthodox Jews sitting on bags of money. And that was just the past few months.
The accumulated incidents in Europe and the United States have highlighted how an ancient prejudice is surging in the 21st century in both familiar and mutant ways, fusing ideologies that otherwise would have little overlap. The spike is taking place in a context of rising global economic uncertainty, an emphasis on race and national identity, and a deepening polarization between the political left and right in Europe and the United States over the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
“There’s an ideological pattern that is common,” said Günther Jikeli, an expert on European anti-Semitism at Indiana University. “The world is seen as in a bad shape, and what hinders it becoming a better place are the Jews.”…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Top Companies 2019: Where the U.S. wants to work now – also includes companies around the world

The 2019 LinkedIn Top Companies list reveals the 50 companies where Americans want to work — and stick around once they’re in — now. “Every year, our editors and data scientists parse billions of actions taken by LinkedIn members around the world to uncover the companies that are attracting the most attention from jobseekers and then hanging onto that talent. The data-driven approach looks at what members are doing — not just saying — in their search for fulfilling careers. The result of that data is Top Companies, our 4th annual ranking of the most sought-after companies today.  As always, we analyze U.S. members’ anonymized actions across four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention. (We exclude LinkedIn and LinkedIn’s parent company, Microsoft, from all LinkedIn Lists. You can dig into the details of our methodology at the bottom of the article.)

Categories: Law and Legal

Average person in Europe loses 2 year of life due to air pollution

World Economic Forum: “The average person living in Europe loses two years of their life to the health effects of breathing polluted air, according to a report published in the European Heart Journal on March 12. The report also estimates about 800,000 people die prematurely in Europe per year due to air pollution, or roughly 17% of the 5 million deaths in Europe annually. Many of those deaths, between 40 and 80% of the total, are due to air pollution effects that have nothing to do with the respiratory system but rather are attributable to heart disease and strokes caused by air pollutants in the bloodstream, the researchers write. “Chronic exposure to enhanced levels of fine particle matter impairs vascular function, which can lead to myocardial infarction, arterial hypertension, stroke, and heart failure,” the researchers write. Their estimate more than doubles the World Health Organization’s previous estimate of early deaths due to air pollution…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation – A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 – Suboptimal diet is an important preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs); however, its impact on the burden of NCDs has not been systematically evaluated. This study aimed to evaluate the consumption of major foods and nutrients across 195 countries and to quantify the impact of their suboptimal intake on NCD mortality and morbidity…”

GBD 2017 Diet Collaborators. Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet. 2 April 2019. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30041-8.

Categories: Law and Legal

Lawyers and Twitter: Six Ways To Make People Like You

Kevin O’Keefe: “I use Twitter more to give shout outs to the good stuff being done by others than to broadcast about LexBlog and our doings. I’ve always had a hard time believing I did something that qualified for bragging. Maybe that’s my Irish Catholic roots and my being an entrepreneur my whole life — nothing’s ever good enough and there’s no reason not to feel guilty. Selfishly though, it just always felt good to make others feel good about what they’re doing. Lawyers, the organizations supporting access to legal services and the innovators bringing us the future of the law also need an attagirl or attaboy now and again. Turns out that sharing the good of others, rather than talking about my company and our products, is the most effective method of business development I have ever used. Dale Carnegie, in one of the best-selling books of all time, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ laid out six business principles for making people like you – an essential he believe needed for business development. Each of Carnegie’s points apply to how you as a lawyer can use Twitter to make people like you…”

Categories: Law and Legal

A ‘million word gap’ for children who aren’t read to at home

EurekAlert: “Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found. This “million word gap” could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development, said Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University. Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver. “Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school,” said Logan, a member of Ohio State’s Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy. “They are likely to pick up reading skills more quickly and easily.” The study appears online in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and will be published in a future print edition.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Chefs and seed breeders collaborate to create flavorful new foods

The Splendid Table: “The unfortunate reality about seeds is that most are not bred and selected for flavor. Rather, they are chosen specifically for the yield, uniformity and shelf stability of their fruit or vegetable. Chef Dan Barber wants to change that. The chef-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns wants to help create seeds that bring forth new foods with unexpected and unique flavors. Which is why he – along with seedsman Matthew Goldfarb and seed breeder Michael Mazourek – cofounded of a new seed company called Row 7. They work directly with professional chefs, who give guidance on what flavors to breed for in their vegetables. Barber explained to Francis Lam that this type of partnership could change how and what we all eat. See the Cook + Grow section of Row 7’s website for more information on growing and cooking with their unique produce…” [This work can been seen as a metaphor for how the legal sector has multiple, complex dependencies upon commercial products and services that in large measure determine the “flavor” of our research.]

Categories: Law and Legal

Center on Civil Justice at NYU School of Law Launches Dispute Financing Library

Litigation Finance Journal: “The Center on Civil Justice at NYU School of Law has launched a comprehensive digital library of documents relating the third-party litigation funding industry. The third-party litigation funding industry is young and growing quickly in size and importance.  Its supporters maintain the industry, when run properly, provides needed resources to improve the delivery of civil and commercial justice.  The industry has also attracted significant detractors.  There is a need for careful, comprehensive, independent analysis of and reporting about the industry. A threshold need is to establish a neutral, quality repository for the collection of information and data about the industry.  The Library includes information supplied by both supporters and critics, and it is freely available to the public.  From statutes and case law to journal articles and bar reports, from best practices to news stories, the Library contains the documents needed for industry insiders to conduct their business and for industry outsiders to learn as much as possible.

“The Center on Civil Justice is dedicated to making information and data on our civil justice system more readily available.  We have collected dispersed information on this new and growing industry, and we are proud to have made that information freely available to the public,” said Center on Civil Justice Director Peter Zimroth. The Library is available online at www.DisputeFinancingLibrary.org.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Dictionary.com inches closer to explaining enigma of Gen Z’s vocabulary

cnet: “Dictionary.com added more than 300 new words and phrases on Wednesday, including a few tech-related entries like “textlationship” (when people text a lot but don’t really interact in person) and “keyboard warrior” (someone who shares opinionated content online in an aggressive or abusive way, typically without revealing who they are)…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Podcast

Law Technology Today: “What do popular podcasts like Lawyer 2 Lawyer, Legal Talk Network, and Life of the Law all have in common? Their creators showed a commitment to the production process, dedicating themselves to their project. Though the early stages of development are long, involved, and sometimes frustrating, they’re necessary. With this in mind, new podcasters who are enthusiastic and eager to record need to take a few preliminary steps. Developing a legal podcast isn’t as simple as finding the right microphone and going off the cuff. You have to follow proper protocol and prepare far in advance of the first episode…”

Categories: Law and Legal

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