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Saturday, September 20, 2003

RIP, L.A. Lap Dancing

The Los Angeles City Council has concluded its inquiry into the pros and cons of lap dancing, and unanimously—"despite stiff opposition"—banned the practice at local strip clubs. This move may lend unwitting (but unquestionably needed) support to the campaign of gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey, who promises legal, tax deductible lap dancing as a pillar of her platform, in addition to live Web cams in the governor's mansion, and goodwill ambassadors from the adult entertainment industry.

Go Ahead, Make My Day

From Talene Reilly via Xeni Jardin: "Cool laptop cases for girlnerds. One of them even includes a baby-changing panel." (Link added.)

From Apple, in the upcoming version of OS X (Panther), Address Book will do labels:

Do you like to correspond by paper mail? Whether you want to send holiday greetings to friends and family or send a printed newsletter to clients, Address Book can help by printing all your labels for you. No need to export records to another application. Address Book prints directly onto dozens of supported Avery, Avery metric and Dymo label stocks.

Does anyone "like" to correspond by paper mail? But having one platform that not only will do it, but also will put that information everywhere else you conceivably could need it, sounds delicious.

Today's New Blawg

Scheherazade (Sherry) writes Civil Procedure [via Buzz Bruggeman and Ernie Svenson]: "[L]ife really is better with coffee." Sherry is exploring some topics that will hit home for anyone starting out as an attorney in private practice, including the profession's emphasis on credentials and pedigrees, and the gratification that comes from doing good work for good clients.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Transcendental Registration

Buzz Bruggeman is blogging DemoMobile (and presently motoring up from San Diego to say "hey"). Meanwhile, Gary Turner reflects on the growing need to calendar his "parallel event participation activities:" "[P]lease register your non-attendance at Digital ID World 2003 in the Comments of this post below..."

A Couple Of Good Ideas

Blogging Appellate Oral Arguments

Thanks to Larry Solum for providing his insights on yesterday's argument of United States v. Oakland Buyer's Cooperatives, the medical-marijuana case, to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Appellate oral arguments are seldom transcribed or reported, yet they are a unique learning experience and window into the judicial decision making process. The panel hearing the case in Larry's post consisted of Chief Judge Schroeder, Judge Silverman, and Judge Reinhardt. (If you too are a fan of this sort of thing, I blogged the oral argument to the California Supreme Court in Pavlovich v. Superior Court awhile back.)

Users Helping Users

Steve Covell has started a promising independent Blogger Forum, for users of Blogger's weblogging tools. Of course, it also has its own blog covering ideas and issues related to blogging. Here's Steve's cogent response to concerns that weblogs might create too great an information risk to be useful business tools: "There is no more danger in leaking sensitive company information in a blog then there is leaking information at a cocktail party. And consider this: you can edit a blog. You can't edit what you said last night after four martinis."

Book It

You may remember Alex Wellen as the co-creator, executive-producer, and co-host of TechTV's CyberCrime program. He currently is an independent producer and writer, and has just published his first book: Barman.

Savvy and entertaining, Wellen's story is The Paper Chase meets Sex and the City—a career memoir for anyone who has discovered his or her life's goal, yet must overcome tremendous obstacles to attain it.

I'm looking forward to reading this, and since it opens in the middle of interview season its publication is well-timed. ("Braise reminded me of the Cheshire cat from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. At first I found his demeanor a nice change of pace, but by the third or fourth question, I wanted to smack that exaggerated grin right off his face.")

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, you're in luck—several events are scheduled for the next couple of weeks:

  • September 23, 7:00 PM, A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, (415) 441-6670
  • September 29, 7:30 PM, Cody's Books, 2454 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 845-7852
  • October 1, 7:00 PM, Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA 94925, (415) 927-0960

Stop by and say hi, Alex is a great guy and I understand he has been known to read a blawg or two.

Today's New Blawg

Without a Net is the new blawg of a first year law student navigating the shoals of legal academic life, and finding solace in small things: "For now, if you are a current law school student or an attorney with access to Lexis or Westlaw, look up Haslem v. Lockwood. 37 Conn. 500 (1871). Sued over a quantity of manure." [Via JD2B]

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Avast There!

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! [via AKMA] Some glittery treasures for ye:

no fowl was harmed in the making of this post

Read, Listen

Some worthwhile text:

Some upcoming audio:

Katz is the features editor at the Guardian in London. He traced and verified the identity of the Baghdad blogger, who created an Internet diary about life in Iraq a few months before the recent war began.

The name is a pseudonym, which combines the Arabic and Latin words for peace. Pax's web log is still going on today. Peter Maass of the online magazine Slate said Pax was "the Anne Frank of this war ... and its Elvis." Pax's diary entries have been collected in book form in the forthcoming The Baghdad Blog.

Today's New Blawg

Darren Kaplan writes "I'm usually paid to argue, but on, I'm arguing for free." Darren has a plaintiffs' corporate and security litigation practice in New York City, and blogs about culture and politics; his link to the 72 Virgins Dating Service (just a t-shirt, folks) certainly caught my eye! [Via the Blawg Ring]

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Got My Sprite, I Got My Orange Crush*

I'm having a strange, disjointed afternoon dealing with work, construction at the house, and gestational diabetes testing.* Gotta get on the stick and book my travel to Digital ID World too. I can think of several reasons why someone might not be going to this conference, but let's face it—none of them are worth so much as a superannuated snack cake:

  1. "It's too expensive." Not necessarily, Norlin's got a fine selection of discount codes under that ubiquitous trenchcoat.
  2. "I don't need to worry about digital identity, other folks are looking after all this." Well, that's precisely the point, isn't it? Check out the conference schedule if you need more convincing. Technology and standards coalescing today soon will dictate everything about the way people shop, bank, surf the 'Net, vote, get around, find each other, use their property—y'know, silly little things. You're right, you probably don't need to pay attention at all.
  3. "I'm all conferenced out at the moment." See no. 2. See also Doc.
  4. "How do you expect me to decide between going to your panel on digital rights management issues [moderated by Cory Doctorow!] and Esther's on DNS, identity, and smart cards?" This is a problem, I know. If you have to scoot back and forth between the rooms, that'll be ok.

As an added bonus, Gary Turner quite probably could be convinced to blog our blogging of his blogging of the whole thing. Again. (Aw, here's more from the then-expectant Dad around the same time last year: "Right now I'm making quiet cooing noises.") Now quit yer whinin', and I'll see you there.

*Part of the test, and a frequently misheard take on the REM classic.

Mary On The Music

Today's New Blawg

Neminem could be a multiplatinum white rapper but I just can't tell. What is more clear is he or she is the New England area law student who writes ignorantia legis neminem excusat. Nem' has more coverage of the California unfair competition lawsuit pending against the RIAA, and this take: "How does the agreement between the 'RIAA' and Joe Downloader affect the ability of a record company official who also works with the RIAA to use the information obtained in the affidavit? If it doesn't, and if the RIAA never intended it to, and if the RIAA tred to lure consumers into this agreement with the hopes they could flush out more file sharers to sue, then this program might qualify as a fraudulent practice under the CA statute." [Via]

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Work From Home On The Internet!

Carly the Speedracer Chick (I had the biggest crush on Speed as a kid, but that's a story for another time) has this reaction to yesterday's Wired News article about Global Removal:

[W]hat a freaking easy way to make money. I can go buy a "Millions CD", sign up to be an affiliate with GR then just sit back & collect a buck for everyone I just spammed – even if I'm not really selling anything.

(Link added.) Interesting point, though I get the impression Global Removal is going after bigger fish.

Today's New Blawg

Christiaan A. Alberdingk Thijm is a partner in Solv, the Dutch law firm that represented Kazaa in its dispute with Buma/Stemra (sometimes called the "Dutch RIAA"). Christiaan emails news that his firm has started a blawg. To the best of Christiaan's knowledge, it's the first European law firm to have done so:

Since we're a Dutch law firm the news is in Dutch. Most references are to English news on the web. Our focus is technology, media and communications. A lot of P2P, since we're the firm that handled the KaZaA case.

Yet another reason to learn Dutch.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Wired News: "Paying Spammers Not to Spam"

Amit Asaravala writes about Global Removal—the company referenced in several posts here recently concerning email economics—in today's Wired News:

"Despite the urban legend, these guys don't really want to keep these names on their lists if they know that the people aren't going to be receptive to advertising," said [Global Removal's CEO Tom] Jackson. "They can make more money for less effort through our program."

"There are a lot of other methods out there for stopping spam, but they're vulnerable to new spam tricks and have serious problems with blocking legitimate messages," added Jackson. "We expect to make a material difference in the amount of spam that people get by going to the source and appealing to what the businesses understand."

(My observations as quoted at the end of the article probably betray my impatience for that delayed fifth season...)

Out Of The Frying Pan

Tom Poe continues to chronicle concerns about direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems:

Recent events have raised concern about the voting machines used, called, Direct Recording Election (DRE) voting systems. These voting systems are all based on proprietary source code, which precludes even court review and audit....At the moment, there is no discussion about providing the public access to the source code used in machines that are computer-based.

Howard Bashman links a related op-ed: "The chad you know versus the hacker you don't." In like vein, see Phil Becker in the July 31, 2003 issue of The Digital I.D. World Newsletter: "[W]hen you network machines without digital identity being part of the design, this is the type of problem that is nearly inevitable..."

Fastest Thong In The West

California gubernatorial candidate Georgy Russell, in an address to some 500 U.C. Berkeley students on September 3: "Lesson 5: A little thong goes a long way!" (Link added.) Better still is Georgy's description of her effort to present one of her CafePress offerings to Arianna Huffington:

I jumped right up to the front and presented Arianna with what I thought was one of the most sought after political tchotchkes in the state – a Georgy for Governor thong!

"Give it to him," she said, pointing to a white guy next to her. Guess she didn't hear that the Oakland museum wants one of those babies!

Don't Mail Those Absentee Ballots Just Yet...

Rick Hasen has breaking recall election lawsuit news concerning an opinion (PDF) just issued by 9th Circuit Judges Pregerson, Thomas, and Paez:

The Ninth Circuit clerk's office just called to tell me that it has reversed the district court on enjoining the election because of the use of punch cards. More details when I get them.....

More from ABC News.

The Ghost Of Business Future

Shoshana Zuboff, co-author of The Support Economy, writes to students in today's Harvard Crimson ("Capitalism's Next Revolution"):

When we take our complex new lives to the door of business, we are typically met with adversarialism and indifference. Efficiency dictates that we get seven minutes with our doctors, even though we spend hours navigating automated phone trees and negotiating with call centers. Legitimate insurance claims are routinely rejected to keep costs down. Do you know anyone who looks forward to calling his or her telecom provider or bank to question a bill? Have you tried calling an airline lately? Managerial capitalism was great for making cars, but it has been a disaster when applied to services and is hopeless in the face of our new yearning for support.

In the article and her book Dr. Zuboff further explains why and how she thinks these undeniably colliding forces will transform business, capitalism, and daily life.

Today's New Blawg

Jeff Beard of Quarles & Brady LLP writes LawTech Guru [via Ernie Svenson]:

It's ironic how one can make the largest difference by doing a simple thing: communicate. I am often amazed by the improvement gained just by showing someone how to use something they already have, or pointing out something new that's actually useful (what a concept!). All of which are reasons why I created the LawTech Guru Blog. That, and an insatiable desire to write and share ideas.

Of course, learning and playing with new tech toys is irresistable too.

Scarcely a week old and already a terrific resource, it's great to see Jeff off and running.

All Kidding Aside

Mad Kane's songwriting goes interactive with the help of David Giacalone, who inspired a new verse for the ditty featured here Saturday. Both share a bunch more spots for legal funnies (many of which ought not to be legal), and Tom Mighell chimes in by email with a Texas-sized threat to the Capitol Steps. (Last production: "My Big Fat Geek Lawyer.") I do love a silly weekend.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

It Ain't Funny, It's My Profession

Who's there?
From Brandon Bird, An Adventure to Color. Via Hanan Levin; Technorati link cosmos.

More proof the law's ability to inspire pathos and humor knows no bounds:

  • Law & Order: Artistic Intent, orchestrated by the aforementioned Brandon Bird, and as written up in the Gothamist and Metroactive: "Still in recovery from his childhood in Sacramento, Bird has vowed to use his artistic chutzpah to 'spread the light of truth and freedom across a nation of bitter and oppressed souls.'"
  • Eugene Volokh's Hum a Few Bar Exam, 2 Green Bag 2d 125 (1998): "Big wheel keeps on turning; Proud Mary keeps on burning (or 'boining'). What is the maximum level of particulate emissions Proud Mary may put out? Is an Environmental Impact Statement required?"

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