Monthly Archives: July 2010

Dark Side of Sticky Notes

As we enter the final sprint of summer catching up and gear up for the start of the fall semester, we may all be stocking up on Post-Its, the ubiquitous little sticky note sheets that have become so indispensable.   I confess to being addicted myself and to having Post-Its in lots of different sizes and colors.  My husband, a voracious reader, runs through packages of them in the course of a year and litters all the surfaces of our house with pads of his favorite sized ones.   But the fun and useful little tools have a dark side.  In a recent Atlantic article, Edward Tenner, a historian of technology and culture, cautions against using them in books.  “These seemingly harmless ‘markers’ leave behind their adhesive, even when removed immediately.”  The adhesive is acidic and can damage the paper.  They can also cause problems in the recycling process.

So, plaster your memos, calendars, and class notes with “stickies,” but keep them out of your books and remove them from paper to be recycled.

[PRM]

E-Book Conversion Tool

Inter-Alia is always giving out such useful information. Thanks to Tom Mighell for putting it out. [www.inter-alia.net] It is full of legal resources, tech tools, and practice tools for lawyers and librarians. Here is a great app from him for all of you eBook readers.

Calibre is a free downloadable program that works with a number of different types of eBook readers – Kindle, iBook, Android, and Sony. Calibre [http://calibre-ebook.com] is a free open source eBook library management application developed by users of eBooks for users of eBooks. Calibre allows you to convert eBooks from one format to another. You can also download news from a number of sources and read it in eBook format. It has a number of additional feature these including Library Management, syncing to e-book reader devices, comprehensive e-book viewer, and content server for online access to your book collection.

This may be a tool that will be useful to you. For more information go to the website and review the details. (Post-David)

Not Reading a Website’s Terms Of Service Shouldn’t Make You A Criminal

Raise your hands if you read every word of a website’s terms of service?  I thought so.  Hardly anyone.  Well,  there are several recent cases that use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to turn actions like not reading (& therefore not complying in every detail with)  a website’s terms of use into crimes.  A Techdirt blog entry discusses the cases, one filed by Facebook and one filed on behalf of Ticketmaster, that invoke the CFAA to support criminal prosecutions.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group, has filed an amicus brief in the Ticketmaster case that “argues that this prosecution expands the scope of the CFAA beyond what Congress intended, grounding criminal liability in whatever arbitrary terms of service that websites decide to impose on users.”  Of course, it does.

There’s not enough time in the day to read every website’s terms of service.  So just handcuff me now.

[PRM]