Category Archives: News

Breaking news and opinions.

Gmail Turns 10

Gmail

As a fan and admitted abuser of Gmail accounts (I have one for each personality I guess), I have to pass along this CNN Money article about Gmail turning 10 yesterday. To summarize, CNN Money points to these particular Gmail features as the reasons why Gmail became the industry dominant e-mail provider:

  • Size of space offered: ever-growing but initially 1 GB back in 2004, compared to Yahoo’s 100 MB)
  • Google-search-enabled searching of archived emails
  • Auto-save for unfinished email
  • Undo send, allowing users 30 seconds to retract sent emails
  • Priority sorting of important emails
  • Integration into Google services

Et tu, ALM? Another Provider Up for Sale.

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When the news broke a few days ago that ALM, formerly American Lawyer Media, was going to put up for sale, reaction from legal information professionals seemed subdued at best.  Yet we cannot help but wonder what this means for an industry that is still struggling to find its footing in the wake of one of the worst global economic downturns we have seen in recent generations.  Has the independent legal news and analysis been the biggest victim of the ongoing recession? Continue reading

Majority of AmLaw 200 Firms Do Not Have Mobile Sites

iPhoneJD

Jeff Richardson at iPhone J.D. comments on Law Firm Mobile’s recent study showing only 42.5% of AmLaw 200 firms have mobile sites–this, after the ABA’s 2013 Legal Tech survey stated 90% of attorneys use smartphones. Global 100 firms fare even worse: only 39 Global 100 firms have mobile sites. This is perplexing data–the legal industry is characterized by its competitiveness, why are so many firms choosing to willfully disadvantage themselves by not having a mobile site?

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FOIA Futility

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As law librarians, I’m sure most of us have a FOIA request horror story or two (hundred): requests that took months to fill, required numerous follow-ups, or were never fulfilled at all. Unfortunately, our FOIA experiences are not out-of-the-ordinary. According to a recent study most government agencies are doing a poor job of handling FOIA requests. The Center for Effective Government, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the transparency of government, recently compiled the results of a study they conducted to measure how quickly and accurately 15 government agencies responded to FOIA requests. The agencies’ performance was assessed under three criteria: processing requests for information, establishing rules for information access, and creating user-friendly access. Seven of the 15 agencies received failing grades:

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How Are Public Libraries Changing?

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Appearing March 7th in The New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye’s article “Breaking Out of the Library Mold, in Boston and Beyond” (available here) examines how renovations of large, public libraries exemplify how the roles of public libraries and public librarians have drastically changed. Public libraries are moving far away from being dusty book repositories, and toward being airy, open social centers designed with the omnipresence of electronic devices in mind. And, as this role-shifting and repurposing has occurred, public library usage is spiking upward across the county; Boston’s central library alone saw an increase of nearly 500,000 physical visits in 2013.

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iBraryGuy’s eReader Poll – Have your say!

The bad news just keeps piling up for that venerable, big-box purveyor of print – Barnes & Noble.  We have been hearing for quite some time about the chain’s falling sales and revenue figures.  Now, the news is reporting on layoffs and funding cuts to its Nook eReader division.  Et tu, dear Nook? Continue reading

Imagine that! Getty makes millions of photos freely available

In a surprise move that will empower bloggers, Getty Images has made over 35 million of their archived photo images freely available for non-commercial, online use.  The Getty archives contain some of the most notable photographs ever taken.  From the whimsical image of Albert Einstein sticking out his toungue for the photgrapher to the heart-wrenching smoke trails that remained in the sky following the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, Getty Images has opened a vast collection of poignant and intriguing snapshots the capture the best and the worst of the human experience. Continue reading

How Impactful Could AALL’s ROI Study Be?

AALL announced details on its plans to produce a ROI study about law librarians and law libraries (press release available here). AALL announced late last week their selection of HBR Consulting to conduct the study. The results of this study will provide empirical data concerning the value of law librarians, which will be a boon to law firm administrators especially in regards to their budgetary assessments of library staffing. Continue reading

Opportunities at iBraryGuy!

Have you seen the new look and feel of iBraryguy?  The future of information truly is now!  In our quest to be one of your go-to sources for news, reviews, and opinions on all things info-related, our team is looking to take on the world!  Well, we are at least looking to take on the world of library and information blogs! In our quest for world domination, we have some opportunities for you. Continue reading

Pacer Pro is Pacer Improved

If you have ever pulled a federal court document, then you are familiar with Pacer. Pacer’s critics are many and prone to point out the software’s numerable flaws including its arcane UI and user costs. Luckily, we are riding a wave of programmers and entrepreneurs who have been willing to improve upon this outdated interface (see my previous write-up of DkT). The latest is the impressive Pacer Pro, which, as Robert Ambrogi writes in his excellent review of Pacer Pro in the March 2014 issue of ABAJournal (available here) “provides universal search[ing], more robust search tools, more informative search results, and better ways to manage documents and downloads”. He’s right, this is a vast improvement on the Pacer UI–and it’s free! Here are some of the really good things Pacer Pro does: Continue reading