Friday, April 4, 2014

Not Only Filters: Some Suggestions for Dealing with Malware Protection in Libraries

Happy 4/04 Day

Recently, I was at the Cambridge Public Library looking for divorce paperwork for Massachusetts (for more on why that happened, check out this post.) CPL doesn’t use filtering software on their computers (woo!) and has a clear and concise use policy as well as individual privacy screens. From that perspective, it was an ideal library computer experience.

However the short form financial statement (non-malware pdf at link), available from the MA court website and necessary for many court filings, was actually blocked by CPL’s anti-malware software. I tried a couple of different times to download it, including on different browsers, before eventually finding the form was available elsewhere on the Plymouth County Court website. 

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Filing for Divorce in MA: Doing Law School Right

Most law school assignments don’t make you reflect deeply on your relationship to your community or to the legal system. But I actually did something this semester that made me heavily consider how I as a law student relate to Cambridge, and how the law relates to everyday people. I tried to figure out how to file for divorce in Massachusetts.

To be clear, no, I’m not married, and no, I’m not getting divorced.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rdio Evangelism

There are very few Internet services that I’m actively an evangelist for – Twitter is one, because I’ve met so many cool people through it. The other that I’m always trying to convert people to is Rdio, which is a music streaming service. 

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Great Book Project of 2013: Now in Video Format

Last month, I gave a show and tell talk at the Quantified Self Boston meetup where I talked about quantifying my book reading habits from last year, and what I learned from setting diversity goals. It was a ton of fun - I did a 5-minute Ignite-style intro to the project, and then the audience asked some great questions.

Kendra Albert - The Great Book Project of 2013 - Boston QS from James Zhen on Vimeo.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Things that Make Me Happy

I wrote a long reflective post about my first semester of law school and how I feel that the legal educational system sets people up for failure by forcing them to give up things that are important to them.

But just writing it made me sad and a little annoyed, so posting it here would make me sadder. I’ll explain at some point. But for now, have a list of things that make me happy.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Perma: Solving Link Rot and Reference Rot

Jonathan Zittrain, Larry Lessig and I have been working on a paper laying out some empirical evidence of linkrot and reference rot in law review and Supreme Court citations, and proposing a solution, which is called Perma.ccOur research found that 49% of links in SCOTUS opinions and between 60-70% of journal links are broken - a huge number that only increases as time passes. The full results are available at the draft on SSRN

Given that the New York Times picked up this research, it’s about time for me to write something about it. Sorry blog readers, I was scooped.

So I’ll just say this: Perma has the potential to save legal scholarship and court opinions from some of the problems the paper mentions. This change, like many changes to legal citation, needs to come from below - from the libraries and journals, and then upwards to the courts. I’m thrilled that our empirical work has enough of a shocking numerical value to get folks to pay attention, but even more thrilled that we have a real solution to offer.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The End of the Books: What I Learned

So I’m done with the great book reading project of 2013. (As I joked on Twitter, that means I’m done reading books forever, right?) I’ve compiled a list of recommendations, which are available here.

Some basic facts:

  • I started January 1st, 2013.
  • I finished September 7th, 2013.
  • I read 176 books. (That’s about 22 per month or a book every 1.4 days.)
  • 29% of the authors were people of color.
  • 49% of the authors were women, 51% were men.
  • The furthest behind I got was 16 books. (More about that.)
  • I never really got that far ahead; maybe by one book, once or twice.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 37

Unpopular Privacy, Arbitrary Justice, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, My Beloved World, The Sand Child.

The last 5 books! Putting me at 176. One got lost along the way, and I don’t know where it went. Wrap up post is coming. Until then, this is a pretty good summary.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 36

Week 36:

Damn, this may have been the best week of books yet! And it was just last week.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week 35

Women, Race and Class; Black Genius, Feminism Unmodified, Like Son, The Internet Police

The end of the vacation books! I’m almost done blogging about reading! Woo!

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