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LLRXBuzz - October 7, 2002

By Tara Calishain, Published on October 7, 2002

Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.



In This Issue:

Internet Filtering Regimes Explored

LIVEDGAR To Add 300 Gigs of Annual Report Goodness

JurisPro Expert Witness Directory

World in Figures

Study Sees Improvement in Government Web Sites

Yahoo Yanks RSS Feeds, Northern Light Docs

What Is NewsSeer?

LLRXBu zz Tour of 50 State Web Sites

LLRXBu zz Archives: April 3, 2000 - Present

The Latest on Legal Research

Click here to subscribe to the weekly LLRXBuzz Email Update.

Internet Filtering Regimes Explored

With this online project, at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/, researchers from Harvard Law School analyze Web sites blocked by various filtering regimes. Their focus is on both the blocked sites and the efforts to block the sites. They also hope to develop, test and analyze a tool for Internet users to
retrieve information from a previously blocked Web page.

As part of the look at filtering efforts, the project links to online filtering documentation, such as the Filtering & Rating Action Plan of the European Union Internet, the Internet Censorship Project of the Soros Foundation and other documentation such as "The Internet and State Control in Authoritarian Regimes." Anyone interested in following this project may sign up to receive future updates.

Of immediate interest are the studies on filtering in Saudi Arabia
(http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/saudiarabia/) and a real-time tool that allows you to test whether a given URL is being filtered in China, at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/china/test/.

LIVEDGAR To Add 300 Gigs of Annual Report Goodness

Global Securities Information, Inc. (GSI) announced last week that they've acquired over 100,000 Annual Reports to Shareholders from more than 30,000 companies in 106 countries. About one third of the reports are from companies
in the United States.

The reports are not available now. GSI is loading the reports into LIVEEDGAR in the fourth quarter of 2002 and will make full-text searching available in the first quarter of 2003. As new annual reports become available, GSI will add them to the database. The press release announcement is available at
http://library.northernlight.com/FE20020924510000102.html.

JurisPro Expert Witness Directory

JurisPro sponsors a directory of expert witnesses at http://jurispro.com/. The database is searchable by expertise or by individual or company name.

Search results list the person's name, location and expertise areas. Another link clicks to more info including background, articles, contact information and possibly a photograph. Check the tabs on the more information page to see articles by the witness (in PDF format), references, a link to the witness' Web page, or a PDF version of the CV. Profiles in the Witness Directory are e-mailable.

Juris Pro also has an extensive list of expert categories ranging from Accident Reconstruction to Weather and Meteorology. Each category, such as Laboratory Testing & Analysis, breaks down to a list of addition subcategories.

World in Figures

Statistics Finland has a database of country statistics online at
http://www.stat.fi/tk/tp/maailmanumeroina/index_en.html. Information on more than 200 countries is listed in nearly 30 tables.

Table headings, including Religions, Communications, Economic outlook and Production of goods, are listed with the dates of last updates. When I opened the Age structure table, I could download it onto my desktop in Excel format.
(Should you happen not to have Excel, there is a link to download an Excel viewer.) Headings are listed in Finnish with English meaning in parenthesis.

The site's index provides all of the subject headings in alphabetical order. You can browse the index or click on the letter bookmarks. Each word links to its full report. Interesting site.

Study Sees Improvement in Government Web Sites

Brown University's Taubman Center for Public Policy has released the results of its third annual survey of "e-government" Web sites. The content of more than 1200 government sites were evaluated for the quality and variety. Each site was scored on a 100-point scale for information, availability and additional criteria.

On the upside, the study sees more governmental agencies paying attention to the security and privacy issues. The percentage of sites providing a privacy policy increased to 43 percent, up from last year's 28 percent. Nearly twice
as many sites as last year provided privacy policies.

However, on the downside, there was a noticeable increase in the number of government sites that are fee-based or which restrict access. Six percent of the reviewed sites now restrict access to certain materials and one percent are
charging for access. The study warns that restricting assess could lead to a " 'two-class' e-government system." The study also noted a twenty-five per cent drop in responsiveness to e-mail messages from the public.

The winner this year was Tennessee with 56 points, that's up from 49 points and fourth place last year. New Jersey received second place, up from eighteenth last year and a twelve point increase in rating scores. Third, Fourth and Fifth place went to California, Pennsylvania and Texas respectively. Get the full table of rankings at http://www.insidepolitics.org/PressRelease02us.html.

Yahoo Yanks RSS Feeds, Northern Light Docs

CNET is reporting (http://news.com.com/2100-1023-959912.html) that Yahoo has stopped their Premium Document Search, mentioned here last January
(http://www.researchbuzz.com/news/2002/jan10jan1602.html#yahooteams).

I have to admit I was always really disappointed with the quality of the results provided by the Premium Document Search. It just felt like the premium documents were stacked in there. When I tested it in January I could find no way to narrow down my search by date, or sort results by date. Since this was a service that charged for articles, I thought everybody involved would make it as easy to find the exact articles desired as possible. There just wasn't enough
search infrastructure there, in my opinion.

Meanwhile, while I was busy doing a Snoopy happy dance over the fact that Yahoo had started using RSS feeds for Yahoo Finance information, Yahoo yanked 'em. You can get some" behind the scenes" comments about 'em from Jeremy Zawodny's weblog, at http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/.  His Yahoo category -- where you can get just his posts about Yahoo -- is at http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/cat_yahoo.html.

Despite the fact that the feeds are gone, I'm thrilled that Yahoo even tried 'em publicly. Here's hoping that other search engines step up and see what they can do with RSS.

What Is NewsSeer?

I hadn't seen this site before. There wasn't much information available about it on the site, but it looks interesting for news junkies.

It's called NewsSeer, and it's available at http://newsseer.com/. It's not fancy. Basically it's a list of the latest headlines, with some headlines also broken out
by source elsewhere on the page. You're invited to view and rate the new sources, or to recommend new sources by adding feedback.

You can also set the font if you don't like the default (it's a bit small for me.) You can also receive articles by e-mail, which requires only your e-mail address. Interesting. Always on the lookout for new news aggregation services.