Oyez @ Chicago Kent Releases Free OyezToday App for IPhone

Kudos to Jerry Goldman, the other folks at the Oyez Project as well as the Chicago-Kent College of Law for making this free resource available to the public!

From the description: “OYEZTODAY at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law offers you the latest information and media on the current business of the Supreme Court of the United States. OYEZTODAY provides: easy-to-grasp abstracts for every case granted review, timely and searchable audio of oral arguments + transcripts, and up-to-date summaries of the Court’s most recent decisions including the Court’s full opinions. You will have access to all this information on your iPhone with the ability to share reactions on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. (Recordings of opinion announcements from the bench will follow when the Court releases these files to the National Archives at the start of the Court’s next Term).  Chicago-Kent is proud to provide this free service to enhance the public’s understanding of the Supreme Court and current legal controversies.”


Salman Khan: Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education [ TED 2011 ]


 

“In 2004, Salman Khan, a hedge fund analyst, began posting math tutorials on YouTube. Six years later, he has posted more than 2.000 tutorials, which are viewed nearly 100,000 times around the world. In this TED 2011 Talk,  Salman talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script — give students video lectures to watch at home, and do “homework” in the classroom with the teacher available to help.”

This offers a pretty interesting alternative model for education delivery.  It is worth checking out!

Large Scale ( 130,000 + ) Zoomable Visualization of a Twitter Network

Starting with the Michael Bommarito’s twitter handle mjbommar, we built this visualization by collecting Mike’s direct friends, friends-friends, friends-friends-friends, etc. until we decided to stop …. just after passing 130,000 total twitter handles.  Using the Fruchterman-Rheingold algorithm, we visualized a network where |V| = 130365, |E| = 197399.

Those interested in reviewing some other twitter visualizations, please consult Nathan Yau at Flowing Data who has collected some of his favorites.  To our knowledge, the visualization we offer above is one the larger visualizations of twitter that have been produced to date. When you zoom in, you will notice we have flagged some of the celebrity twitter users we detected in the mjbommar friends-friends-friends, etc. network.  For example, as shown above Ashton Kutcher (aplusk), Chad Ochocinco (OGOchOCinco) and RainnWilson (rainnwilson) are contained therein.

Given the budget limitations of this blog, we cannot host this visualization in house. However, if you click the picture above, you can access the visual from Seadragon … a zoomable visualization platform from Microsoft Labs.

Google Wave — A Promising Platform for Real-Time Collaboration

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Also from the good folks at Google Scholar comes caselaw and patents together with metadata, page tags and a nice “how cited” feature.  Here is the announcement from the GoogleBlog. Useful analysis available at Legal Informatics Blog, Just in Case and Internet for Lawyers. Enjoy!

Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization

Ohm on Privacy

On this blog, we have previously featured the work of Paul Ohm (Colorado Law School) including his important article Computer Programming and the Law: A New Research Agenda. Professor Ohm has recently posted Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization, 57 UCLA Law Review ____ (forthcoming 2010). A review of SSRN downloads indicates that despite having been posted in just the last two months, this paper is the top downloaded new law paper posted to the SSRN in the past 12 months.

From the abstract: “Computer scientists have recently undermined our faith in the privacy-protecting power of anonymization, the name for techniques for protecting the privacy of individuals in large databases by deleting information like names and social security numbers. These scientists have demonstrated they can often “reidentify” or “deanonymize” individuals hidden in anonymized data with astonishing ease. By understanding this research, we will realize we have made a mistake, labored beneath a fundamental misunderstanding, which has assured us much less privacy than we have assumed. This mistake pervades nearly every information privacy law, regulation, and debate, yet regulators and legal scholars have paid it scant attention. We must respond to the surprising failure of anonymization, and this Article provides the tools to do so.”

YouTube Research — Robust Dynamic Classes Revealed by Measuring the Response Function of a Social System

YouTube Research

Here at the CSCS Lab, we are working hard to finish up some projects.  In the meantime, we wanted to highlight one of our favorite articles, an article we previously highlighted on the blog. Some of you might ask “what does this have to do with law or social science?” (1) We believe the taxonomy outlined in this article could potentially be applied to a wide set of social phenomena (2) As we say around here, if you are not reading outside your discipline, you are far less likely to be able to innovate within your discipline. So we suggest you consider downloading this paper….

On the Road Again… Trip to Colorado Law School

Colorado Law

We just finished a few very interesting days at Colorado Law School. Given the intersect of Computer Program and Law is a fairly narrow set, it was great to spend sometime time at CU Law School because its faculty features two scholars with a significant programming background — Paul Ohm and Harry Surden. 

In addition to discussing CLS, we participated in a workshop on New Institutional Economics (NIE) and Law. I found this workshop very interesting as outside of my work in Computational Legal Studies, I have authored scholarship at the crossroads of New Institutionalism and Constitutional Political Economy.  For example, I have this article and this work in progress. My work follows the tradition of the Bloomington School of NIE. In two weeks, I will be presenting work in progress at ISNIE in Berkeley. 

Following the Colorado NIE Workship, we participated in the Silicon Flatirons Government 3.0 roundtable. I do not want to preempt the forthcoming white paper but I will say that it was a very worthwhile discussion.  It solidified my views on some topics and changed my mind on some others. So, the road show continues… AI & Law in Barcelona starts tomorrow… so light blogging for the next week. But as I like to say… more to come… 

Computer Programming and the Law — OR — How I Learned to Learn Live with Python and Leverage Developments in Information Science

 

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One of our very first posts highlighted a recent article in Science Magazine describing the possibilities of and perils associated with a computational revolution in the social sciences.  A very timely article by Paul Ohm (UC-Boulder Law School) entitled Computer Programming and the Law: A New Research Agenda represents the legal studies analog the science magazine article.  From information retrieval to analysis to visualization, we believe this article outlines the Computational Legal Studies playbook in a very accessable manner.

Prior to founding this blog, we had little doubt that developments in informatics and the science associated with Web 2.0 would benefit the production of a wide class of theoretical and empirical legal scholarship. In order to lower the costs to collective action and generate a forum for interested scholars, we believed it would be useful to produce the Computational Legal Studies Blog. The early results have been very satisfying. For example, it has helped us link to the work of Paul Ohm.  

For those interested in learning more about not only the potential benefits of a computational revolution in legal science but also some of the relevant mechanics, we strongly suggest you consider giving his new article a read!