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MegaLaw.com has announced the launch of MegaDepos.com. MegaDepos provides a way to find court reporters in over 100 metro areas of the United States and schedule dispositions online.
The starting page (http://www.megadepos.com/) provides you with both a clickable image map and a list of states. Choose the state in which you're interested, and you'll be given a list of cities. Nevada, for example, has four cities. Choosing a city from that list (I chose Carson City) you'll get a list of available court reporters in that area. A court reporter's page gives contact information (address, phone, e-mail), primary city served, and other states and cities served. Some reporters have additional information like deposition reporting services and other professional services.
Unfortunately the site seems rather sparsely populated at the moment. There was only one reporter listed for Chicago, and one for Atlanta. As the site charges $499 for a listing (according to http://www.megadepos.com/reporters_about.php3) then it may take some time for a large mass of information to develop. Keep an eye on it.
NIJ International Center
Offers Variety of Documents
The National Institute of Justice has recently established the NIJ's International Center at http://nijinternational.unojust.org/library/. The site contains a collection of documents, articles, speeches, and news items about transnational and comparative crime and justice. You search by keyword and can search local documents or do a global search. (It's not clear what the global search encompasses -- a search for 'terrorism' produced over 37,000 documents -- but the documents were from places a diverse as Florida and UK, and a quick glance indicated that all were appropriate. A local search for the same keyword found nothing.)
You can also search for individual country information without entering a keyword. Doing this with a global search and the country France, unfortunately, brought up a variety of inappropriate information (hotel, tourism information, etc.)
Finally, you can restrict your search to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service Web site, or the NCJRS collection of abstracts. There appears to be a goodly amount of information in the search engine, and the global link collection works nicely as long as you're searching by keyword and not country. But there needs to be more documentation (what does the filter do?), a clearer explanation of what's being searched, and a statement of what Boolean elements will and won't work with the search engine. (And if anyone can find this information, please let me know. I couldn't.)
IRS Releases Form 8871
Submissions by Section 527 Organizations
The IRS announced on Friday that they'd released the first collection of new forms filed by section 527 political organizations. You can browse the listings by first letter of the organization name, or search by keyword. The form is Form 8871, "Political Organization Notice of Section 527 Status," which contains information such as the organization's purpose and list of related entities. Picking an organization name downloads their PDF file, so you'll need to have the Adobe Acrobat reader handy. Additionally, it looks like these forms are just scanned in, so the contents of the forms would not appear to be searchable.
The IRS said in yesterday's press release that they anticipate adding more of these "notices of organization" on a daily basis. Additionally, they plan to release filed copies of Form 8872, "Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures," which would list contributors of $200 or more annually and expenditures of $500 or more annually. However, there's no timeframe for that.
Launches New Search Engines
TechTarget.com has announced three new industry-specific search engines: SearchCRM ( http://SearchCRM.com/ ), SearchNetworking.com (http://SearchNetworking.com/) and SearchSolaris.com (http://SearchSolaris.com/). The sites bring TechTarget's specialized engine count to twelve; they claim they'll have 25 up by the end of the year. Each engine is built from an index of "over 2000 Pre-screened" sites, and is laid out the same way. Top of the page is a search box, beneath that are current news items. In the middle of the page is a searchable-subject index of the best editor-selected sites for that topic, and finally at the bottom are tips for that topic and links to live events. Nicely laid out, lots of information. Worth a look.
Yahoo Lets You Compare Cities
Yahoo has a city comparison site at http://verticals.yahoo.com/cities/ . The site, based on their Yahoo Real Estate channel, gives you a page with two forms where you can compare the statistics of one city -- cost of living, real estate, quality of life, etc -- with another. For example, you could compare Fairbanks Alaska and Casper Wyoming. Once you pick two cities, click the submit button and Yahoo gives you a page giving information on the two cities for everything from population growth to unemployment rate to air pollution to number of sunny days.
At the bottom of that page is a salary calculator that lets you enter a dollar amount and let you know what the relative value of that dollar amount is between the two cities you've chosen.
Once you've found a city you like, you can cruise on over to Yahoo Get Local, athttp://local.yahoo.com/, to get additional information on cities. You can list cities by city name or by zip code. Information includes weather, sports news, local events, local headlines, etc.
If you've ever been up to your ears in phone books trying to figure out the codes for placing an international call, you'll appreciate http://www.countrycallingcodes.com/ . The splash page gives you a form to specify where you're calling from and where you're calling to. Once you've give that information, the page returns what codes you have to dial. For example, if I was calling from Botswana to Switzerland, I'd have to dial 00 + 41. On that same page you're also given a pull-down list of city information-- so say I was calling from Botswana to Geneva, Switzerland. The full code information will be. 00 + 41 + 22 + The Number. Very easy to use; nicely done. Maybe you don't have anyone to call, though. In that case check out http://www.teldir.com/eng/, which provides an directory of phone books around the world, sorted by region.