beSpacific - Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Subscribe to beSpacific - Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002 feed
Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002
Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

Visual Literacy for the Legal Profession

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 23:37

Sherwin, Richard K., Visual Literacy for the Legal Profession (January 15, 2018). Journal of Legal Education, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3212819
“Digital technology has transformed the way we communicate in society. Swept along on a digital tide, words, sounds, and images easily, and often, flow together. This state of affairs has radically affected not only our commercial and political practices in society, but also the way we practice law. Unfortunately, legal education and legal theory have not kept up. Inconsistencies and unpredictability in the way courts ascertain the admissibility of various kinds of visual evidence and visual argumentation, lapses in the cross examination of visual evidence at trial, and inadequately theorized notions of visual meaning and the epistemology of affect tell us that the status quo in legal education is untenable. Law teachers today have an obligation to provide their students with the rudiments of visual literacy.”

Categories: Law and Legal

The National Library of Medicine presents MedPix®

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 23:27

NLM – “MedPix® is a free open-access online database of medical images, teaching cases, and clinical topics, integrating images and textual metadata including over 12,000 patient case scenarios, 9,000 topics, and nearly 59,000 images. Our primary target audience includes physicians and nurses, allied health professionals, medical students, nursing students and others interested in medical knowledge. The content material is organized by disease location (organ system); pathology category; patient profiles; and, by image classification and image captions. The collection is searchable by patient symptoms and signs, diagnosis, organ system, image modality and image description, keywords, contributing authors, and many other search options. In addition to searching and browsing images and cases, the MedPix® website provides free AMA Category 1 CME credits online. Earn up to 30 minutes of CME with each completed case. We are actively seeking new case contributions – which become your digital publication on MedPix® at the National Library of Medicine. Please join us in supporting one of the world’s largest Open-Access healthcare Teaching Files...”

Categories: Law and Legal

Should Rivers Have Rights? A Growing Movement Says It’s About Time

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 22:57

Yale Environment 360: “…In Chile, as in other places, we have come to this point because the traditional Western view of rivers — and of nature generally — has failed us. Western legal systems and governments traditionally viewed water and water rights as property, leading to overuse and contamination. One criticism levied by environmental groups is that in countries like Chile and the United States, corporations are granted the same rights as people while the living ecosystems upon which we depend for survival are not. Chile’s Water Code was established during the Pinochet dictatorship, and still treats water as a replenishable (rather than increasingly scarce) natural resource. Under the code, companies may trade water rights to the highest bidder. Water is not a universal right in Chile, but a corporate one. This has inevitably led to the degradation of many rivers and the ecosystems they support, as well as to ongoing conflicts among users. In figuring out how countries can reverse this environmental degradation and reduce conflicts, a lot can be learned from the indigenous view of rivers. Legal innovations that successfully incorporate this outlook could better protect rivers, essentially by giving them the same basic rights as people…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The best online courses for learning Python

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 22:42

PCWorld – These online classes will have you coding in no time at – “If you’re looking to learn coding or want to pick up another programming language, Python is a good choice. One of the terrific things about Python is how closely it resembles the English language, so you’ll often see words like “not,” “in,” and “or” in its scripts. Because of its readability, Python is commonly the first programming language schools teach. It’s a great launchpad for an aspiring coder…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Utilizing a Bloomberg-Curated Twitter Feed

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 22:33

“Social media has fundamentally changed the way new information is disseminated in everyday life. Compared with conventional channels such as TV, newspapers or magazines, social media outlets truly leveled the playing field by giving all content owners equal access to a publishing service that is essentially free, instant and global. In this paper, we explain how clients can make use of a Bloomberg-curated Twitter feed to make smarter investment decisions.” [email reg. req’d]

Categories: Law and Legal

Americans don’t think the platforms are doing enough to fight fake news

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 20:17

Knight Foundation report: “Major internet companies such as Google®, Yahoo® and Facebook® have millions of users who visit their websites or apps frequently to find information or connect with others. In addition to those basic tasks that popularized the sites, they now provide news to their users, typically by linking to news articles reported by outside news organizations. Given the reach of major internet companies, the content they show people can have a profound impact on the public’s views of the U.S. and the world. As part of its ongoing Trust, Media and Democracy initiative, the John S. and James L.Knight Foundation partnered with Gallup to ask a representative sample of U.S. adults for their views on the news editorial functions played by major internet companies. From a broad perspective, Americans credit major internet companies for connecting people and helping them become better-informed. At the same time, they are concerned about their role in spreading misinformation and in potentially limiting exposure to different viewpoints. They are more negative (54%) than positive (45%) about the idea of major internet companies tailoring information to individual users based on their interests, their internet search activity and their web browsing history. Americans seem even more concerned when the approach of tailored content is extended to news coverage…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Report shines light on political ads that appear on Google and affiliates

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 20:01

Google Transparency Report – “This searchable database features political ads that have appeared on Google and partner properties. It is updated once a week. Find ads about federal candidates or current elected federal officeholders, and see who paid for them…

Introducing a new transparency report for political ads. We first launched our Transparency Report in 2010 with the goal of fostering important conversations about the relationship between governments, companies, and the free flow of information on the internet. Over the years, we’ve evolved the report, adding sections about content removed from Google Search due to European privacy laws, adoption of encryption on websites (HTTPS), and more. And today, we’re adding another new section to our Transparency Report: Political Advertising on Google. Earlier this year, we took important steps to increase transparency in political advertising. We implemented new requirements for any advertiser purchasing election ads on Google in the U.S.—these advertisers now have to provide a government-issued ID and other key information that confirms they are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, as required by law. We also required that election ads incorporate a clear “paid for by” disclosure. Now, we’re continuing to roll out new transparency features with the addition of the political advertising report as well as a new political Ad Library.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 19:42

Recommendation via Joe Hodnicki: Data-Driven Law: Data Analytics and the New Legal Services, edited by Ed Walters “helps legal professionals meet the challenges posed by a data-driven approach to delivering legal services. Its chapters are written by leading experts who cover such topics as:

  • Mining legal data
  • Computational law
  • Uncovering bias through the use of Big Data
  • Quantifying the quality of legal services
  • Data mining and decision-making
  • Contract analytics and contract standards

“In addition to providing clients with data-based insight, legal firms can track a matter with data from beginning to end, from the marketing spend through to the type of matter, hours spent, billed, and collected, including metrics on profitability and success. Firms can organize and collect documents after a matter and even automate them for reuse. Data on marketing related to a matter can be an amazing source of insight about which practice areas are most profitable. “Data-driven decision-making requires firms to think differently about their workflow. Most firms warehouse their files, never to be seen again after the matter closes. Running a data-driven firm requires lawyers and their teams to treat information about the work as part of the service, and to collect, standardize, and analyze matter data from cradle to grave. More than anything, using data in a law practice requires a different mindset about the value of this information. This book helps legal professionals to develop this data-driven mindset.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Public archives: more relevant today than ever

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:41

Policy Opinions PolitiquesJennifer Anderson August 13, 2018.

“Public archives represent a democratic vision where all are welcome, ideas circulate, and information is analyzed and diffused for educational purposes. There has been a lot of noise recently about information distortion and its effects on democracy. So what better time to raise the importance of historical literacy and public archives? In gathering and promoting primary source material, archives play an essential role in modelling literacy skills and critical thinking. In analyzing this material and producing modest, reasonable conclusions, researchers aim to understand complex issues and to engage the public in the discussion. These skills are crucial tools in a democracy. For too long archives have been hidden and archivists overlooked. All sorts of unflattering stories have circulated about archives, as if to keep the general public out. Witness the way popular culture has painted the picture: dust, disorder and darkness.

Historical thinking – Archives are considerably more nuanced than most people realize. The researchers who use public archives, as well as the staff, have a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Diversity is valued for the fresh ideas it fosters. Pluralism brings new perspectives and new questions to the sources. Working with archives is an exercise in historical thinking where questions about sources, context and cause are central. (Consider the work of the Historical Thinking Project, an educational initiative organized around the questions historians pose of primary sources, aimed at promoting media and information literacy.) Solid archival research requires sources to be validated, corroborated and referenced, so that peers can follow the line of reasoning and further the arguments. As critical thinkers engaged in creating interrelated information pathways, archivists are allergic to binary thinking. They worry about gaps in collections and how to mitigate bias, both historical and contemporary. Behind the scenes, archivists query one another on acquisitions, evaluations and descriptions of archival collections to ensure that the documentary heritage preserved today will enable future generations to understand their own past…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Revealing Data: Why We Need Humans to Curate Web Collections

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:37

Circulating Now – NIH – “In this Revealing Data series we explore data in historical medical collections, and how preserving this data helps to ensure that generations of researchers can reexamine it, reveal new stories, and make new discoveries. Future researchers will likely want to examine the data of the web archive collections, collected and preserved by libraries, archives, and others, using a wide range of approaches, to document unfolding events.  Today Circulating Now welcomes guest blogger Alexander Nwala (@acnwala), writing on his research using NLM web archive collections to compare different methods of selecting web content, and some of the difficulties encountered in generating seeds automatically.”

I am a Computer Science PhD student and member of the Web Science and Digital Libraries research group at Old Dominion University, Norfolk Virginia. For the past three years, I have been researching generating collections for stories and events under the supervision of Dr. Michael Nelson and Dr. Michele Weigle. There is a shortage of curators to build web archive collections in a world of rapidly unfolding events. A primary objective of my research is investigating how to automatically generate seeds (in the absence of domain knowledge) to create or augment web archive collections…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Browser plug-in organizes and contextualizes big news stories for readers

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:32

MIT newsroom: “The explosion of digital content has made it hard to navigate news today. This startup’s plug-in will cut down on time and browser tabs, while readers search for information. Acciyo’s name might draw from fiction, but the purpose of the search engine extension is firmly rooted in fact. “When I was first figuring out what we wanted to call it, I went through a list of Harry Potter spells,” said co-founder Anum Hussain, MBA ’18. “Acciyo was very fitting because what we’re doing is summoning information from across the web and making it easier for you, in a similar fashion to how that spell [in the book series, ‘accio’] works, to be able to summon anything you need. We’re just doing that in the context of news.” Acciyo, Hussain said, is a Google Chrome extension that appears to the right of a screen like a bookmark, and presents the user with an “interactive, movable timeline of articles previously published on the subject you’re currently reading.” The plug-in pulls from wire content — the Associated Press and Reuters — and automatically pops open on major U.S. news sites. Hussain said as the company evolves they will explore other news sources to pull from. Because the stories are from the wire, Hussain explained, they tend to be bigger stories that would likely be found on a publication’s front page. For example: the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. The plug-in would include stories on Kavanaugh’s background, his nomination, as well as earlier stories about other candidates considered for the role…”

Categories: Law and Legal

So you want to comment on a regulation? Here’s how

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:27

How to effectively comment on regulations. August 2018. Adam Looney, Director, Center on Regulation and Markets, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution.
“The Trump administration has made its deregulatory agenda clear since inauguration day. The administration’s actions have ranged from sweeping rollbacks of major rules that have garnered media attention, to smaller orders and guidance withdrawals instructing agencies to ignore previous rules. Brookings’ has been keeping track of these actions, big and small. While you may have heard of some, such as proposals to roll back the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, others have received relatively little attention despite having big impacts on regulation and the federal government’s role. These changes have been both lauded and criticized by relevant constituencies. Whether you support or oppose ongoing regulatory changes, Americans have the right to participate in the regulatory process and to comment on these proposed rules. Agencies are required to solicit, take seriously, and respond to comments from the public, and typically open a comment period of 30 to 60 days after announcing a proposed rule to accept comments. Effective comments can and do influence the rulemaking process. However, few people take advantage of the opportunity to comment, and even fewer comment effectively. Comments influence rules only to the extent that they bring forth relevant facts, evidence, and insights to rule makers. So how can you comment on proposed rules? As a former civil servant and current Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, I’ve seen both sides of the rulemaking process—both in developing and enacting rules and offering input on how to improve these rules. Through that process, I’ve gained insight into what is helpful and what isn’t, but have also been frustrated that information on how to make a comment is hard to find or unclear. Drawing on advice from colleagues and the experiences of regulatory experts, this how-to guide outlines why commenting is important, what information is important to include, and how to write and submit a comment. The guide describes what information your comment should include, how to structure your comment, where to find rules under comment, what information is helpful, and more.”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Cautious Path to Strategic Advantage: How Militaries Should Plan for AI

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:22

EFF White Paper: “In June, Google executives announced that the company would be backing away from its provision of AI services to the U.S. military drone program, and would not continue that work after the Project Maven contract is completed. This was in response to a campaign from Google’s own employees, with thousands calling on the company to discontinue its new defense contracting work, and some even beginning to resign over the issue. The new AI ethics principles that Google adopted in response to the debate go beyond military questions, but they do potentially place important limits on whether the company would assist in command, control, or intelligence analysis for weapons systems or other military applications. The principles may well become a model for other major technology companies. But regardless of any actions taken by the big tech companies, the U.S. and other governments have plenty of their own resources to assemble machine learning initiatives. This includes working with companies that have much less cultural accountability to the public, consumers, or even their own engineering staff than Google does. And whether governments are acting alone, with Silicon Valley or with other companies, militaries and their contractors need to carefully consider potential dangers, and weigh the consequences of different technology development paths, before going “all in” on AI and machine learning…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Weight of Numbers: Air Pollution and PM2.5

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:15

Undark: “Emanating from smokestacks, vehicle engines, construction projects, and fires large and small, airborne pollution – sometimes smaller than the width of a human hair, and very often the product of human activity – is not just contributing to climate change. It is a leading driver of heart disease and stroke, lung cancer, and respiratory infections the world over. Exposure to such pollution, the most deadly of which scientists call PM2.5, is the sixth highest risk factor for death around the world, claiming more than 4 million lives annually, according to recent global morbidity data. Add in household pollutants from indoor cooking fires and other combustion sources, and the tally approaches 7 million lives lost each year. Undark and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting visited seven countries on five continents, rich and poor, north and south, to examine the impacts of this sort of air pollution on the lives of everyday people, and to uncover what’s being done — or not — to address this ambient and ultimately controllable killer. As it stands, developing nations bear the brunt of the problem, but particulate pollution doesn’t discriminate, and the odds are high that wherever you live, you’re breathing it in, too…”

 

Categories: Law and Legal

The Olmsted Papers You Didn’t Know You Needed

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:12

CityLab: “Frederick Law Olmsted might be best known for New York’s Central Park and Washington’s U.S. Capitol grounds, but his role in shaping modern America spans far more than a few famous sites, as the Library of Congress’ newly digitized collection of Olmsted’s writings and personal records makes abundantly clear. The materials, including drafts of his writings, family letters and journals, correspondences with colleagues, and project proposals, piece together a unique glimpse into the famed landscape architect’s creative process and fervor to create parks open to everyone. Barbara Bair, historian in the Library of Congress’ manuscript division, told CityLab that they’ve been working on digitizing the Olmsted papers for a long time. It just turns out the archive is ready before the bicentennial of Olmsted’s birth, so he can be celebrated in 2022 with partner organizations. Bair noted that the records not only shed light on his most famous works, but also on the omnipresence of his landscape architecture and conservation contributions throughout the United States.

The collection also reveals some of the inspiration for Olmsted’s ideas about the value of public parks for America. Olmsted had saved a copy of Andrew Jackson Downing’s essay, “The New-York Park,” published in Horticulturalist in 1851, which laid out key ideas for a space like Central Park. Downing had been a “crucial” mentor to Olmsted..”

Categories: Law and Legal

How Enslaved Chefs Helped Shape American Cuisine

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 18:57

Smithsonian – Black cooks created the feasts that gave the South its reputation for hospitality

“…Black cooks were bound to the fire, 24 hours a day. They lived in the kitchen, sleeping upstairs above the hearth during the winters, and outside come summertime. Up every day before dawn, they baked bread for the mornings, cooked soups for the afternoons, and created divine feasts for the evenings. They roasted meats, made jellies, cooked puddings, and crafted desserts, preparing several meals a day for the white family. They also had to feed every free person who passed through the plantation. If a traveler showed up, day or night, bells would ring for the enslaved cook to prepare food. For a guest, this must have been delightful: biscuits, ham, and some brandy, all made on site, ready to eat at 2:30 a.m. or whenever you pleased. For the cooks, it must have been a different kind of experience. Enslaved cooks were always under the direct gaze of white Virginians. Private moments were rare, as was rest. But cooks wielded great power: As part of the “front stage” of plantation culture, they carried the reputations of their enslavers—and of Virginia—on their shoulders. Guests wrote gushing missives about the meals in they ate while visiting these homes. While the missus may have helped design the menu, or provided some recipes, it was the enslaved cooks who created the meals that made Virginia, and eventually the South, known for its culinary fare and hospitable nature…”

Categories: Law and Legal

What percentage of people are part of each generation in each state?

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 18:53

Overflow Data – Visualization: What percentage of people are part of each generation in each state?

Source: Tabulated from 2017 US Census Bureau Population Estimates
Tool: Tableau
Age Groups:
Generation Z, 0 to 19 years
Millennials, 20 to 39 years
Generation X, 40 to 54 years
Baby Boomers, 55 to 69 years
Silent Generation, 70 years and older

Categories: Law and Legal

Seeking justice for Justice the horse

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 18:46

Washington Post:  Can a neglected animal sue? – “Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used to be named Shadow. And when he was named Shadow, he suffered. At a veterinarian’s exam last year, he was 300 pounds underweight, his black coat lice-ridden, his skin scabbed and his genitals so frostbitten that they might still require amputation. The horse had been left outside and underfed by his previous owner, who last summer pleaded guilty to criminal neglect. And now Justice, who today resides with other rescued equines on a quiet wooded farm within view of Oregon’s Cascade mountains, is suing his former owner for negligence. In a lawsuit filed in his new name in a county court, the horse seeks at least $100,000 for veterinary care, as well as damages “for pain and suffering,” to fund a trust that would stay with him no matter who is his caretaker…”

Categories: Law and Legal

LegalTech By The Numbers: In-House Lawyers Share Wants, Needs And Pain Points

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 22:05

Above the Law: “Since Xakia launched the Legal Operations Health Check, in-house counsel on five continents have completed the online assessment. Two months later, their responses provide a quantitative look at the real state of legal operations in departments of all sizes. When it comes to technology, there are clear desires and stressors – and a mixed approach to planning for and evaluating resources…The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete, and it works on your desktop or your mobile device. It includes 100 quick questions spread over 10 primary categories, from budgeting to technology. After completing the survey, respondents receive:

  • An overall health score, as well as scores for each category;
  • Benchmarks for departments of similar size;
  • Benchmarks for departments in the same industry; and
  • Recommended priorities and resources…”
Categories: Law and Legal

GAO – Focusing on “Just Facts” with new tweets

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 21:51

WASHINGTON, DC (August 13, 2018) – “The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issues nearly one thousand reports, testimonies and legal decisions each year, all based on non-partisan, fact-based work. And while the headlines quickly fade in today’s fast-paced news cycle, there are still hundreds of thousands of facts buried in GAO’s body of work. So today GAO will begin tweeting a daily fact from its audits and evaluations of programs across the federal government to help raise awareness of this work. Starting this morning, followers of the GAO Twitter account (@usgao) received what we hope will be an interesting, if perhaps overlooked, factual nugget from our #JustFacts initiative. Each tweet will also contain a link to the complete report to facilitate further reading. The first tweet is pictured below. ”By sharing facts from GAO’s work, which transcends the entire breadth of the federal government, I’m hopeful that this initiative will help the public appreciate the knowledge GAO has developed in helping Congress oversee federal spending and performance,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. Those interested in following GAO on Twitter can do so at https://www.twitter.com/usgao. “

Categories: Law and Legal

Pages