Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Government RSS Feeds

A few weeks ago in Advanced Electronic Legal Research, we were regretting the fact that FirstGov did not list all government RSS feeds on a single page, as it does for Government E-mail Newsletters and other News types. But now FirstGov has added a Government RSS Library. It is a nice collection of links to RSS feeds, some by topic and some by agency. The list will undoubtedly get longer, because there is a link to "Tell Us About More Government RSS Feeds." If you know of a feed they missed, give it a click.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Student Comments Chosen for SIU LJ Vol. 30

I am pleased to announce the 2L comments chosen for publication in forthcoming issues of volume 30 (2005-06) of the SIU Law Journal.

1. BEST COMMENT- "Searching for Original Expression: Fan Fiction and the Fair Use Defense" — Mollie Nolan

The others, in no particular order, are:

"Game Over for Minors? The Constitutionality of Illinois' Proposed Restrictions on Violent Video Games" — Todd Chapman

"The Not-So-Organic, Organic Dairy Regulations of the Organic Food Production Act of 1990" — Chad Kruse

"The Supreme Court Lets the Dogs Out: Can Illinois Put Them Back In? Establishing a Reasonable Suspicion Standard for the Use of Drug Canines" — Kyle Hutson

"Does This Home Rule the Courts? Carbondale's Tort Reform Ordinance" — Jim Webb

"The Inclusion of Settling Defendants Under Section 2-1117: The Right Move for the Illinois Courts" — Ed Albin

Alternate- "A Troublesome Good Idea: An Analysis of the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act" — Jeremy Richey

As a reminder, the following students had their case comments chosen for publication in volume 30 (2005-06) at the end of the Fall 2004 semester: Claire Sprague (Best Casenote), Mollie Nolan, Lauren Stocks, Chad Kruse, Lizzie Schuerman, Jim Webb, and Brynna Themas (alternate).

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Attention Firefox Users

Firefox security update 1.0.4 is now available. It patches some critical security problems that had recently been discovered.


To see which version of Firefox you have on your computer, click on Help in your Firefox menu bar, then click on About Mozilla Firefox. If the pop-up does not indicate a version number, or shows an earlier version, download Firefox 1.0.4 now.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Current Awareness Made Easy

A friend asked for my recommendation of an RSS feed reader or aggregator. After I compiled links to some sources I thought would be helpful, I decided to share them with all of you. Now that the semester is almost over, you might be looking for an aggregator with which to monitor your news and blog feeds.


I agree with Matt Homann's recommendation of Bloglines as a good first aggregator for "anyone new to the world of Blogs and RSS." He also wrote about a new aggregator, Onfolio, about which he was very enthusiastic. See his post, Some Technology Remainders.


The TechnoLawyer Blog recently republished an excellent TechnoFeature: RSS Newsreaders and Other Alternatives to Web Browsing by J.D. Lasica. It is an in-depth and comprehensive review of the topic.


We previously posted instructions for Using Bloglines to Manage Your Blogs and News Feeds.


Bonnie Shucha of WisBlawg has a PowerPoint Tutorial on Reading Blogs with Bloglines and an Audio Workshop - Staying Current in Less Time: Blogs, RSS & Alert Services.


Rob Truman of BoleyBlogs! recently reviewed an Internet Week article on Getting Started with RSS, which includes step-by-step instructions for Bloglines.


About.com has Getting News Faster and Better: RSS News Feeds; pages on how to "Get the Most Out of Your RSS Feed Reader" for Bloglines, FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, NewsGator, and SharpReader; and Bloglines Tips, Tricks and Secrets.


For those of you who would like more information on RSS, we have added a couple of new links to What Is a Site or RSS Feed?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Notorious and Famous Trials

The law library's bulletin board this month is about Notorious & Unsolved Crimes. Joyce Metcalf, Acquisitions Assistant, and Betsy Hutton-Flamm, Catalog Supervisor, deserve the credit for putting together our interesting and attractive bulletin boards each month.


In addition to the sources you will find on the bulletin board, you may also find the following websites interesting:


How Well Do You Know Your Computer?

Are your computer skills what they should be? Vnunet has a two-part article on "30 must-have PC skills: Everything you need to know about Windows, but were afraid to ask." Read part 1 and part 2 for details. Or check the list from novalawcity.


If you think that computer skills are unimportant in the practice of law, read Lemon Juice, Cornstarch, and Microsoft: Invisible Ink And Your Documents to see what data you might be revealing when you give someone a Microsoft Word file.


One way to get rid of the metadata that MS Word reveals is to convert the file to PDF. But Acrobat PDF is just tool. Like any other tool, you have to know how to use it. Read how a blogger was able to reveal information that had been blacked out in an official report simply by copying and pasting from the PDF document into a word processing document at PDF for Lawyers.


Thanks to WisBlawg for the last two stories.