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Saturday, July 12, 2003

Welcome to AEI -- scolars and noted intellectuals and public officials post here.
-- Perc
100 stories of unfamous people -- found this site to be dependably interesting. I wish I'd thought of something like this, therefore, admiring, I post.
-- Perc
Webloggers feud Mark Pilgrim and Dave Winer are fighting, again. It started over a remark Dave made about various blogging services. Mark turned around and created a bot that reads Dave's RSS feed every 5 minutes and spits out the text, annotated to show what's been added/deleted/changed since the last time it ran. Dave's claiming copyright infringement, Mark's claiming fair use. Okay MeFi folks, which side are you on, and why?

The harder they come, the harder they fall Tenet Had to be Pushed to Take Responsibility. George W. Bush may believe that the yellowcake controversy is over, but the underlings of the fall guy Tenet in the CIA are already starting to sing. The administration have gone out of the way to stress that they still trust the CIA, despite the brewing scandal. So maybe we should all pay attention to these leaks?

Kid Does Crime, Won't Do Time Plastic::Politics::Kids: They found the perpetrator; he quickly confessed to the murder, and apologized to Shun's parents. In most cases, this confession would lead to a lifetime in jail. In this case, the confession is almost worthless, because the killer is twelve.

cool online comic-poem: Spectacular Attacks An online graphic short, in Flash. View the online comic here, read the poem text (html) here, Discuss (Thanks, Susannah!

Automated music critic Enter your favorite album or artist and prepare yourself for a venomous review! Link Discuss (Thanks, Gil!)

Cloning & Morals Legislation Nathaniel Stewart and Robert Alt have a great article at the National Review, discussing human cloning and children being born of aborted fetuses: The heightened demand for healthy human eggs ? not easily ?harvested? from women ? has apparently reached such dire levels that gathering eggs from the dead unborn may soon be, as one doctor said, an ?ethically acceptable? fertility option. Should these...
[via Legalguy]

Do Blogs Look Unprofessional On Law Firm Web Sites? This month's Netlawtools Q & A is It was prompted by a comment on the always-lively LawMarketing discussion group:

In my experience Weblogs are detrimental to a professional website and will not attract the visitors that you want. They tend to give the impression that the site is amateurish and this detracts from the serious nature of the business you wish to conduct.

Question: Do blogs look unprofessional on law firm web sites?

Answer: The blog is just a tool. A powerful tool in the right hands, but just a tool. If you put amateurish things on it, it will make an amateurish impression. On the other hand, if you are one of those people who can consistently come up with high quality material, there are a number of technical and other advantages of blogs that can leverage your input and make it much more successful than would otherwise be expected.

As I've said elsewhere, I don't think most lawyer blogs will be successful. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that most lawyers aren't well suited to present themselves effectively in this format. The vast majority of lawyers either:

  • Lack the writing ability. Blogs will work best with a much different approach than the "whereas, ipso facto, mumbo jumbo" style most lawyers are used to;

  • Have insufficient time to invest;

  • Are unsuited to blogging by personality; or

  • All of the above.

I predict we'll see something like this:

  • About 80% of all lawyer blogs will be failures. (Incidentally, I consider about the same percentage of conventional web sites to be failures, at least to the extent they are trying to go beyond providing contact info & bios, the basic "business card" information, and actively attract new clients).

  • About 20% of lawyer blogs will be "successful" in some sense.

  • About 1% OR LESS of lawyer blogs will be extremely successful. However, some in this group will be successful enough to make their owners very, very glad they got into the blogging game.


Mr. Safire Has A Point As Usual ... This Time It Concerns the Martha Stewart Indictment

Fight It, Martha. I hope Martha Stewart beats this bum rap because I don't like the idea of a prosecutor twisting the law to make an example out of a celebrity. By William Safire. [New York Times: Opinion]

George W. Bush as a 'trainee' Board Director You never know if these things are true, and frankly I hope it isn't.  But if you believe that politicians are gaming the system, then you'll not be surprised to read this account of George W. Bush's early days in the Board of Directors Farm League. 

Government Begins New Surveillance System, 'Combat Zones' The newest government surveillance system, Combat Zones, aims to track everything that moves. 1984 pales by comparison.

Hamas vows to kidnap Israeli troops if truce fails Hamas vows to kidnap Israeli troops if truce fails
MSNBC -  The Islamic militant group Hamas will start kidnapping Israeli soldiers to demand the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners if Israel does not free them under a three-month truce, a Hamas leader said on Friday.


Bush: CIA Approved State of Union Speech - Fri Jul 11, 01:39 pm GMT

I guess the buck does not stop where we thought it did, after all...

Sperm donor must pay child support, court rules - Fri Jul 11, 08:47 pm GMT
Correction: EU - Infineon Story - Fri Jul 11, 05:12 pm GMT
The Sun (UK): iPod Is The "21st Century Version Of The Walkman" - Fri Jul 11, 05:24 pm GMT
Supreme Court May Re-Enter Medical Marijuana Debate - Fri Jul 11, 05:44 pm GMT
Man who cut off wife's hands sentenced to 15 years - Fri Jul 11, 06:49 pm GMT

Springer to File Papers for Senate Bid - Fri Jul 11, 02:45 am GMT

Is this more? or less tame than Ahnold running for governor of CA?  Does he still get to do his "thought for the day" bit after each session?  Potential episodes include: "I'm Cheating on You With Another Legislator," or "Confessions: I Switched Parties When You Wasn't Lookin."


Janensch On The Media: Kennedy Channel - Fri Jul 11, 06:08 pm GMT

This will only be a tolerable idea if they create a Prince William channel, also.

Freeing of prisoners has Mideast families on a collision course - Fri Jul 11, 03:27 pm GMT
Mideast Still Not Ready for Peace - Fri Jul 11, 06:01 pm GMT

Thursday, July 10, 2003

James Gleick -- amusement linked off of Metafilter.
-- Perc
Idiot comment of the week From Dave Farber's Interesting People list: Idiot comment of the week ?No serious person thinks that we are in the middle of a civil-liberties crisis? -- Ann Coulter, Time Magazine, July 14, 2003...

The Uranium Deal That Wasn't, And The Incredible Disappearing WMDs Plastic::Politics::Politics:Dubya: What did Bush know about the dubious claims linking Saddam to uranium in Niger, and when did he know it?

The Carnivalesque


With thoughts of leaving Florida, Matrullo apprentices himself to Our Noble Trade:

Storage. A mechanic I know tows a 40-foot trailer which contains ample living space, and a large garage area for his off-road vehicles. He just bought a golf cart so that, when he steps out of his giant cab, he can drive to the misty reaches of RV parks.

Satire? Or is it lampoon? Raillery? Chaff? Banter? Or wit? Such distinctions are important to Tom, as they are to me. An adept knows the difference between the touch meant to heal the scrofula, the touch meant to exorcise the devil, or the touch meant to arouse an affectionate laugh among fellow sufferers. Tom's Floridian Giants may owe more to Gargantua than to Gulliver. Let us eat and drink and watch tv! 

Remember Napster Bad? Now: Sue all the World. Bob Cesca and Campchaos -- the ruthless hijinksters responsible for the online animation smash hit "Napster Bad" (ca. 1999-2000?) -- have just created a new piece poking fun at the recent RIAA announcement: "Sue All The World 2003." NSFW, lots of cussin'. Warning: so funny, it may cause involuntary capuccino-choking or pants-crapping. Link to animation, Discuss

Law Libraries: Books and Online Services are Both Essential Revolution or Evolution for Law Libraries? - "More seasoned practitioners are loath to give up traditional libraries; firms would do...

The Patriot Act: Seeking Truth From Justice The ACLU released a new report on the Patriot Act today. From its press release: The American Civil Liberties Union...

Bush Approval Rating Dropping A national poll by the Pew Research Center shows that Bush's overall job performance rating has dropped 14 points to...

Tale of horror in Belgrade court: Teen describes Kosovo massacre - Thu Jul 10, 08:46 pm GMT
Ethnic Albanian Describes Kosovo Massacre - Thu Jul 10, 04:11 pm GMT
FBI Planning Rollout Soon Of National Terror Alert System For Law Enforcement - Thu Jul 10, 06:14 pm GMT
Florida high court rejects abortion law - Thu Jul 10, 05:46 pm GMT
Responses Vary to White House Admission on Iraq - Wed Jul 9, 12:16 am GMT
Bush, Rumsfeld Defend March to War - Wed Jul 9, 07:43 pm GMT
From 1920s Paris, a witty take on love and politics - Thu Jul 10, 12:56 pm GMT
Can Edwards Rise Again? - Thu Jul 10, 02:02 pm GMT
Human rights lawyer to give talks on Middle East - Thu Jul 10, 03:17 pm GMT

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Plastic: Can They Do That? Army Times Bashes Bush -- I always like to hear criticism of Bush from unexpected perspectives. Enjoy.
-- Perc
CBC News: Iraq war not about new arms evidence: Rumsfeld -- scouted off of Fark, where Mr. Fark listed it under the heading "obvious."
-- Perc

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure -- thanks to a Con Law case I was reading (regarding the publication of obscenity), I searched out the text of this 18th C. porn-stravaganza. Now I can only confirm that it is, indeed obscene. And highly entertaining. But, mostly, obscene. Oh, the court ruled that books were probably not bannable as obscene unless they completely lacked any material value.
-- Perc

Monday, July 07, 2003 Selectors | 2004 AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SELECTOR -- please take this test. It is highly informative, even if it may not be super-super accurate...
Will French surrender to English? Are the days of French as a world language numbered? The French language is still considered a "world language," but it is slowly losing its relevance in an English-dominated world. "What is at stake is the survival of our culture. It is a life or death matter," said Jacques Viot, head of the Alliance Francaise in Paris. Will French finally surrender to English?

Gaiman's new comics projects Gaiman's new 1602 series is generating quite a lot of buzz.
One word aptly expresses my enthusiasm for Gaiman's return to the graphic novel universe: SWEET.
Day of the Beast A loony priest, a death metal head, and a TV psychic attempt to locate the Antichrist in Madrid.

The Poisonwood Bible and the Congo "When Lumumba arrived in Katanga, on January 17, accompanied by several Belgians, he was bleeding from a severe beating. Later that evening, Lumumba was killed by a firing squad commanded by a Belgian officer."

Hot Knees Are All The Rage As Laptops Outpace Desktops Plastic::SciTech::Technology: More money is now spent in the US on laptop computers than desktop machines. Possibly because they're so damn expensive, but is it a sign that the revolution in mobile computing has arrived?

Call your Senator, reinstate media ownership regulations This website is calling on Americans to phone their Senators and ask them to support a bill reversing the FCC's shameful decision to allow for increased consolidation in ownership of mass media.
A month ago the FCC dramatically relaxed media ownership regulations, stifling the cornerstone of American democracy: a free, fair, and open public debate.

Because one million Americans raised their voices against the FCC decision, the Senate Commerce Committee recently sent a bill to the Senate floor for a vote that would roll back many of the rules. Today the challenge is to get that bill to the floor of the Senate and House for a vote.

Call your Congressional representatives and demand that they support the rollback. Enter your zip code and find out if your elected officials are currently supporting rolling back the FCC. If they are supportive co-sponsors, then thank them for their support and ask that they keep the bill alive. If they are not a co-sponsor, ask them to become one.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Bob!)

Landis's "Falling Onto Mars" online Geoff Landis's Hugo-nominated (and very good) (and very short) short story, Falling Onto Mars, is online in a variety of formats (and the Hugo ballot closes shortly!).
The people of the planet Mars have no literature. The colonization of Mars was unforgiving, and the exiles had no time to spend in writing. But still they have stories, the tales they told to children too young to really understand, stories that these children tell to their own children. These are the legends of the Martians.

Not one of the stories is a love story.

In those days, people fell out of the sky. They fell through the ochre sky in ships that were barely functional, thin aluminum shells crowded with fetid humanity, half of them corpses and the other half little more than corpses. The landings were hard, and many of the ships split open on impact, spilling bodies and precious air into the barely-more-than-vacuum of Mars. And still they fell, wave after wave of ships, the refuse of humanity tossed carelessly through space and falling onto the cratered deserts of Mars.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Geoff!)

Blogging Catches on With Gov't, Corporations, Academics Blogs in the Workplace: a "...growing number of businesses, government organizations and educational institutions are using Web logs to manage...

Data Overload, Multitasking, the Web and Gadgets Galore The Lure of Data: Is It Addictive?: "According to research compiled by David E. Meyer, a psychology professor at the...

CONSUMER PROTECTION STRATEGY AND STARTLING DETAILS ABOUT SLAVERY REVEALED AT SCHOLARS MEETING ON REPARATIONS LAWSUITS On Thursday, June 26, scholars met in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club to discuss slavery, its legacy, and the merits of litigation being pursued for reparations from 19 blue-chip corporations. The meeting was entitled: Should Corporate America Pay? During the three hour meeting, largely unknown facts about the law and practice of slavery and its present day effects were discussed in startling detail. In addition, a potent legal strategy utilizing state consumer protection laws was revealed. The quality of the information conveyed suggests that blue chip corporations may face an uphill battle against slave descendants in the 9 lawsuits filed since March 26, 2002. [PRWEB Jul 6, 2003]

"Tresspass to chattals" shot down in California
The Supreme Court of California handed down its ruling in in Intel v. Hamidi today, finding for Hamidi and setting a strong limit on the grown of trespass to chattels.

This is good news; "tresspass to chattals" was a bad legal doctrine because "tresspass" cannot be truthfully applied to computers, as they are not a physical location in the traditional sense. It opened the door to poorly-thought-out questions about what web servers and email servers we're allowed to access, even if they are publically available. While that may yet be an issue, the analogy to the physical world is extremely misleading.

[via iRights]

25 Exonerated on Florida's Death Row The Florida Commission on Capital Cases issued a study last year that listed 23 inmates on death row in Florida...

Anti-U.S. Sentiment in Iraq People in the Iraqi town of Ramadi are calling for the return of Saddam and threatening jihad against America. ``You...

Jack Balkin on Batzel (LazyBlawg)

Jack Balkin has a great summary of the 9th Circuit's recent Batzel decision (PDF) and its implications for bloggers:

This does not mean that bloggers are immune from libels they themselves write. It means that they are immune from (for example) libels published in their comments section (if they have one) because these comments are written by other people and the blogger is merely providing a space for them to be published. Congress wanted to treat operators of chatrooms and other interactive computer services differently from letters to the editor columns in a local newspaper.

So if bloggers defame somebody, they can still be sued for what they say, just not for what someone else who publishes on the blogger's site says. The Ninth Circuit extends this immunity to people who run e-mail lists and republish the e-mails they receive to the list, even if they edit the e-mails a bit or do not republish every e-mail they receive. That is different from the rules that apply to print journalism. A newspaper is responsible for defamation in letters to the editor or op-ed columns that are published in the newspaper.

Jeff Jarvis rightly tells blogging attorneys and law professors, "It would be a tremendous contribution to your community to put up on the web a guide to libel, defamation, copyright, and other legal highlights for bloggers." Too true. I'd be happy to take part in such a project, but fear that in order for it to truly shine we'd need to find a coordinator who works for someone like IBM (see Tim Bray's discussion of Sam Ruby's work on Echo). In the meantime, at least it now can be said there are hundreds of blawgers out there, with a broad range of legal expertise, who help shed light on these sorts of issues post by post. That wasn't the case just a couple of years ago.

The Weblog Network: Subscribed

I have created a topic specific weblog focused on The Weblog Network mentioned previously.  [John Robb's Weblog]

Barry White, Disco-Era Crooner, Dies at 58
New York Times - Barry White, whose deep voice and lushly orchestrated songs added up to soundtracks for seduction, died yesterday in Los Angeles. He was 58.

Web site lets citizens 'Google' feds - Sun Jul 6, 12:05 pm GMT
Game Sparks Anti-Social Behavior Online - Sun Jul 6, 05:33 pm GMT

Court rules against FSU scientists - Sun Jul 6, 06:19 pm GMT

We like to call the University "HalfAssU"

EU to Push Global Trade Talks - Sun Jul 6, 04:45 pm GMT
20 Agreements Signed by Iran, Spain in Last Four Years - Sun Jul 6, 05:18 pm GMT
Russia's Putin cancels trip after suicide bombings - Sun Jul 6, 04:53 pm GMT
Two Supreme Court justices give rare TV interview - Sun Jul 6, 02:17 pm GMT
Amnesty: US trials travesty of justice - Sun Jul 6, 06:04 pm GMT
Author of Minnesota's New Gun Law is a Contradiction - Sun Jul 6, 06:53 pm GMT

Obesity Charges Against Fast-Food Chains Rebuffed - Thu Jul 3, 01:01 am GMT

I rocked a hypothetical on this subject in my Torts exam last Xmas... I get a little nostalgic, b/c that was the last B I got.


Jobless Rate Climbs To 6.4% - Fri Jul 4, 04:08 am GMT

Just the other day, somebody tried to tell me the economy was done sucking.  Granted, it was a market analyst.  Such an optimistic profession!

Bush Deciding Whether Troops Are Needed in Liberia - Fri Jul 4, 05:21 pm GMT
Rove Rousing Support for Dean - Sat Jul 5, 04:32 am GMT
Judging award-winning ads - Sun Jul 6, 05:59 pm GMT
Mideast cease-fire's 'Palestinian Napoleon' - Sun Jul 6, 01:27 pm GMT
Joe Conason's Journal Why do conservatives permit George W. Bush such latitude in pursuing policies that should make them scream in protest?

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Open Brackets: Coke.Izzit. -- learn to appreciate the finer nuances of the English language (or, probably, just obvious nuances) in advertising. As this site is certifiably cool, you should visit here more often.
-- Perc