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US Legal Firm Launches PackagingLaw.com
Keller and Heckman LLP have launched an online resource center for the packing industry and producers of itemsto be packed and shipped. PackagingLaw <http://www.packaginglaw.com/> provides
industry news, answers to legal questions ("I have a customer in the tobacco industry that wants to use my packaging material for cigarettes, and wants me to provide an assurance of FDA compliance. How do I respond?"), and information on the Food Contact Notification Program.
Additional resources on the site include a calendar of upcoming events related to packaging law, and links to related federal regulatory sites, trade and industry periodicals, international sites, and industry associations. The current monthly focus is recycling packaging materials.
ClearedForLanding.com Provides Immigration Resources
ClearedForLanding.com provides immigration news and legal explanations of Green Cards and US immigration visas. The site features the Immigration University, where immigration law is analyzed for investors,
relatives, students and workers.
The top bar of the site provides direct links to information for investors, workers, fiancees/relatives, and students as well as a link to details on the Green Card lottery. The center of the page lists frequently used sections (a US city driving time calculator, daily Hispanic news, a resource for translating the site, etc.), legal sections and legal references, such as embassies online and travel warnings. The left column features news and immigration headlines on 36 countries, from Argentina to Yugoslavia. Some US areas are included in this list too (New York and Los Angeles.)
I found the site a little busy design-wise, and since there were navigation elements both at the top of the screen and on the sides, I occasionally found myself getting confused. But there's plenty to see here. Worth
That Was A Lot Of Money Back Then (Wasn't It?)
The Economic History Society has a groovy little feature called "How Much Is That?" at http://www.eh.net/ehresources/.
The feature (which is accessible at the left side ofthe screen) is basically a series of calculators which give information like the exchange rate of the British
pound and the American dollar between 1791 and 1999. For example, you could ask "What was the exchange rate between 1980 and 1986?" and get back a nice table with the information. Each of the calculators contains a source note so you know where this data is coming from.
If you find this interesting, be sure to check out the rest of the site, which features book reviews, research abstracts, and announcements related to economic history.
Plane Crash Information
Plane Crash Info <http://planecrashinfo.com/> is a database of aviation "incidents" -- the front page includes a note about a Northwest Airlines plane
skidding off a runway and causing a few injuries -- as well as crashes. The site appears to be updated often (at this writing the latest crash information is from
March 17) and contains over 2100 reports.
In addition to the crash information, this site also contains listings of "unusual accidents," safety ratings for several airlines, accident statistics, and
a list of reference sources used in creating the site.
Lots O' E-Government
Yow! E-Government Links <http://www.egovlinks.com/> doesn't go in much for design, but in information density it's way up there.
This site is a subject index for many topics related to e-government, including the digital divide, privacy, security, world government, and open source in government. The site includes links to sites (the world e-government link list is huge and organized by country) as well as links to articles (the open source and government page is mostly links to reports and articles.)
If you find yourself confused by some of the terms used, the site has a glossary available. If you find yourself wanting to learn more, there's a book list. (Actually, there are several book lists broken out by topic.) If you
find yourself wanting to talk about what you're seeing, there's a discussion forum administered through Yahoo.
Tons of stuff to see here. If you're interested at all in electronic access to government services, visit this site.
Patent Office Puts Applications Online
Last week, the patent office announced that they've published the first set of patent applications under the American Inventors Protection Act.
47 applications were published initially. New applications will be published every Thursday. They'll be ramping this up until about 3500 applications are
You can search for the applied patents at http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html This page allows you to search for granted patents and patent applications. You can do a basic Boolean two-keyword search, an advanced search, or a search by application number. An all-fields search for "Internet" found four results. An all-fields search for "vascular" found two results.
Google Adds Date Searching
Google has finally added date searching to their Usenet archives. (Doogle? Deja Goo? Google Vu?) From the advanced search page at
http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search, you can choose from two dropdown menus at the bottom of the page. One will let you search messages posted anytime, within the last week, or within the last month. The second dropdown lets you specify a date between August 2000 and now.
You may also sort your results (from 10 to 100 per page) by either relevance or date. That choice is at the top of the page near the text entry boxes.