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:
LLRXBuzz Archives: April 3, 2000 – Present
The Latest on Legal Research
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Where Does A Lawyer Go For Legal Advice?
A recent survey shows that when U . S . lawyers need legal assistance, the resource they use is the Martin d ale – Hubbell Law Directory. Altman Weil, Inc. surveyed 2,385 law firms and 789 corporate law departments. 81% of law firms and 68% of corporate law departments cited the Directory as one of their 2 most important source of information. The Directory is used in various formats by more than 90% of those surveyed. (We know all this because somebody — we think Martindale-Hubbell — did a press release.)
Anyway, you can get to the directory at http://www.martindale.com/locator/home.html . Click on the “Search” box on the right side of the screen. You’ll get a search box that’ll let you search by last name, first name, law school, firm name, city, county state, and country. You can combine these; for example, you may search for a Yale graduate in Oklahoma. The initial listing results just give the lawyer’s name, firm name, and address. However, if you click the lawyer’s name you get an additional page of information, including year of admission (to the Bar?) law school, college, year of birth, and ISLN. There’s also a Rating Information link at the top of the page. Click on that and you’ll get ratings of legal ability of general and ethical standards. Not everyone is rated.
Census Bureau Goes Electronic
Hearst Newspapers: December 19, 2000. The U . S . Census Bureau is beginning to use the Internet and CDs to make it data easier for researchers and businesses to access. The first wave of 2000 Census data will be released in 2 weeks.
The Bureau will release the population counts of every state and U . S . territory and the number of Americans employed by the Federal Government but living abroad. In March, the restricting data that is used by state legislatures to redraw the boundaries of congressional districts, including information on population, race, and ethnicity in areas as small as city blocks, will be released.
Then next summer, the results of the Census 2000 short form will be released. These forms asked questions about race, ethnicity, age gender, and housing. Results from the long forms that were sent to every 1 in 6 people will come out in a year. You can get the full article on the information release at: http://188.8.131.52/contWriter/cnd7/2000/12/18/cndin/3433-0150-pat_nytimes.html .
If you’re looking for a way to navigate the subways, check out Subway Navigator at http://www.subwaynavigator.com/bin/cities/english. (That’s the English version; there’s a French version as well. Access it by going to subwaynavigator.com and clicking on the French flag.)
Sixty cities are represented here, along with several countries (from Argentina to Venezuela). Each country has a list of cities. Click on a city and you’ll be presented with a search form. You’ll be asked to give a departure station and an arrival station. Once you’ve done that (and if you don’t know the stations, don’t worry, Subway Navigator will helpfully provide a list) you’ll be presented with the connections you’ll need to make to complete that route by subway. Some of the stations on the route are hyperlinked. Clicking on those links shows points of interest near that subway stop.
If a text route isn’t enough for you, a link toward the bottom of the page of the text route gives you the option to see a graphical map of the subway system. (Some maps are more detailed than others. The Chicago map, for example, has all the stations listed, while the Kiev map has only the branches displayed in different colors.) Subway Navigator also includes notes on the different subways. For example, the Hong Kong subway subtracts fares from prepaid magnetic cards based on distance. There are also links to official subway information sites when available and links to information about the city in general. Worth a look.
How Much Is That Worth, Anyway?
Strong Numbers ( http://www.strongnumbers.com/ ) has developed a Web site that uses pricing information from web sites that sell things (like auction sites) to create a “blue book” list of prices for a variety of items.
For example, say you find a Beanie Baby in your sock drawer. It’s a Hippie the Ty-Dye Bunny. You want to sell it. You go to the Strong Numbers site and enter the word Hippie. You get two results. You choose the first result (for Hippie the Ty-Dye Bunny). You’re given another search form allowing you to specify things like condition, generation, and whether it’s retired or not. You don’t have to choose any of those additional items; don’t choose them if you want a lot of information on price history.
After you’ve chosen those additional specifications (or not) Strong Numbers will return a graph of pricing history, complete with trendline, for the last six months. (You can also choose a couple different kinds of indicator graphics.) You’ll also get a “Strong Number” price for the item — in this case, $5. Granted, this was kind of a silly example, but the site also allows one to search for rare books, coins, computer hardware, and more. Both the pricing information and the trendlines are very interesting. Worth a look.
New Content Rating System Available
Newsbytes is reporting ( http://www.newsbytes.com/news/00/159363.html ) that there’s a new rating system available. The Internet Content Rating System is available at http://www.icra.org/ . The site includes information on implementing the rating system in Internet Explorer (it’s not supported by Netscape Navigator, apparently. No word on any other browser). It also has instructions for rating your own Web site, including the standard “content” questions but also including a “context” question — e.g., is the violence on a web site educational and therefore suitable for young children? (I like the idea of self-regulating when it comes to rating content, but wow, this seems subjective.) Finally, the site has a brief list of things kids can do to stay safe online.
New Search Engine for Tutorials
…well, not really that new, but pretty darn huge. FindTutorials.com contains over 2900 tutorials, covering everything from dancing to nutrition to gardening to astrology. The materials are laid out in a directory format, but they’re also searchable. Searching for “java” found 19 pages of results (unfortunately, no total search result count that I could see.) Each listing had a brief description, the number of “hits” that listing had gotten, number of comments (if any) and a rating. Worth a look.