I am slightly concerned about these...growths that I've found on my Tolley's Tax Handbooks...what could be in there?
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I am slightly concerned about these...growths that I've found on my Tolley's Tax Handbooks...what could be in there?
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
You! Yes, you! So you know a librarian? And you like stereotypes? And you want to buy them something for Christmas that fits in nicely to that stereotype?*
Well, let me help…
Now, books can get poorly, so what could be better than to let your Beloved Librarian help support sickly books, with a Book Shoe from the National Trust (no, I had no idea what a book shoe was before either).
If you’re feeling flush, you could buy Beloved Librarian their very own mobile library! Of course, they won’t get to draw it around the hills and vales of
Of course, if you’re feeling wildly extravangant, buy BL their own village library. Although for that price, I’d be demanding that the library be named after me.
Etsy is of course a world of weird and wonderful handmade gifts…how have I survived without the book ring? Maybe your BL needs this little black book necklace? They might like being able to use this subtle reminder mirror, to practice giving pointed stares in response to stupid questions, while holding it in the enquirers eyeline...
If BL is just starting out on their training they could need a print of the Novice Librarian. In fact there's reams of library or reading related prints, of varying...erm...quality. And of course there's always room for a granite book in a librarians life, and signs demanding we read (something made somewhat harder when the book is granite, and without words...).
So now you've decorated their home, and made them a Good Person by buying charity gifts, how about dressing them? They'll definitely need their cardigan clips (pearl, if possible) to keep that sensible cardie in the right position over their ladylike blouse, with a proper pleated skirt to go on the bottom half. Shoes are an essential part of any outfit, so give BL a choice. And there's to be no stepping out the door without a book-based handbag. Mind you, they're likely to be short sighted, so will need a pair of these to see where they're going, and all those books they're reading at once will need to go somewhere too. It's heavy work, dressing librariany!
So there you go: you've got a lot of gift options for your Beloved Librarian here..although of course...none of these will arrive in time for Christmas...SNOWMAGEDDON is coming, don't you know!?!?
*Yes, men are librarians too, but we're going with stereotypes here, so unless they're comfortable in skirts, sensible heels, wearing a bun and a cardigan, they're outta luck in this shopping guide.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Oh, it’s all go on the jury front at the moment! First, I’m called up to be a juror, then the Lord Chief Justice of
In terms of my own experience in a Scottish court, I have to say, there weren’t any warnings about tweeting or going online via our phones by anyone official while I was in the public area of the court, or the jury room. I think there may have been a comment by the Clerk to turn phones to silent while we waited to be selected, but that may be a figment of my imagination, as I was reminding myself to make sure my phone was on silent while sitting there.
Once selected and led to the jury room we were told by the court officer that we had to turn our phones off, and we were to be allowed one phone call to a relevant person who needed to know we’d been selected and therefore unavailable until 4pm (childminders etc) on the landline in the room, but other than that, we were meant to be incommunicado. I did think it was a slightly archaic instruction at the time, especially since one individual who needed to inform her childcarer just used her mobile, as it was easier than finding the number and dialling it on the landline phone! We were instructed about not discussing the case with family or friends when we went home, but nothing was said about not looking up the defendants online.
Needless to say, this “turn your phones off” instruction was pretty much completely ignored – texting and emailing was going on frequently as we sat in the jury room, and people continued to use their phones to do their work (one person was using his Blackberry to deal with his emails, while we sat twiddling our thumbs waiting), while others were texting regular updates to people about when they might possibly be getting out of the court. I was also naughty and did tweet once….to say I was bored! And I was also texting to ask someone to look up the times of the next trains for me, as I was going to see them whenever we were allowed out.
Admittedly, we as the jury hadn’t heard anything beyond what had been read out in public in the court, so perhaps things would have been different if we’d actually been involved in any deliberations.
So, to complain about people tweeting in court, when they’ve not had any instructions NOT to, may be a bit daft. Yes, technically, in the jury room our phones should have been turned off. But when you’re being dragged out of your normal life to sit on a jury, and everything’s put on hold, you need some sort of way to still stay involved with reality. And with modern technology allowing so much of your life to be dealt with via your phone (emails, texts, social networks, events calendar), cutting you off from that without an understandable reason means people WILL just ignore your rules, as my jury members and I did.
If you want people not to do specific things, tell them that: don’t just assume they’ll know the rules and reasons that you do, or that they will be compliant enough not to show some interested thought and actively try and find out themselves, in some small way, what “really” happened in a case...it's definitely a temptation to "play detective"!
You could also clearly explain the penalties for disobedience – we knew we could get in trouble for discussing the case with other people, and that was something that I don’t think any of us had any intention of doing, but there was no hint of a penalty for internet/online activity.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So, I work in a law firm, I deal with law-type stuff…but it’s all commercial law. I’ve never dealt with criminal law, and have no real clue about how that all works.
So, when I got my third call for jury duty in three years (the first two years they exempted me as my current and previous workplaces mean I know various legal types, and may have opinions that would render me biased, but this time I thought I’d go along anyway and they could dismiss me if they felt I was unlikely to be able to serve ), I turned up to the Sheriff Court like a good girl.
And my, what a long, long, boring day that turned out to be!
The juror citation letter said come in at 10, but call the helpline after 5pm the day before for more information.
The phoneline says come in at 10.30.
I arrived at 10.30, joined the queue of other people clutching letters, while we waited outside the designated court for 10 mins.
We all filed in and sat down, all 60 plus of us, and the Clerk of court gave a 5 min briefing on what would happen next/procedures. My favourite bit was when the Clerk said "does anyone object to taking the oath, and would rather do an affirmation instead?" Well, maybe if they'd explained what either one was, somone might have - I would probably have preferred the affirmation, as I feel no burden of duty to god, as used in the oath, but hey-ho.
We had a roll call, and everyone confirmed they were there, it was like being back in school. Or in the classroom in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…”Beuller…..Bueller…..Bueller?” There was a distinct air of boredom.
Various people, obviously unable to read properly, came up to the Clerk and asked why their names hadn't been called....erm, that would be because the date on their letters was the previous day, or, in one case, it was dated the week before.
Then we sat, in silence, increasingly bored, for 50 long mins, as Procurator Fiscal, defence solicitor and Clerk chatted and faffed, with occasional visits from another clerk and the officer of the court for variety. Many newspapers were read, phones checked, and books broken out.
Then the defendant was brought in, the charges against them were read out, and the Clerk drew the jurors names from the bowl. (I don't understand why the defendant gets to see and hear the jurors names - that can be a bit worrying...as I'll come to later). There was much tension as each one of us prayed our names weren’t going to be pulled out.
After all the jurors were seated, the Sheriff asked if any juror now, after hearing the charges and the names of those involved in the case, and seeing the defendant, felt they would be unable to serve due to any conflict. One juror claimed tinnitus made hearing the discussions difficult - the sheriff dismissed them, which they seemed strangely able to hear clearly enough, and another juror was drawn to replace them.
Then we sat and waited while the charges were read again, and the jury went through to their room, in case anyone else was found to be unable to sit and needed replaced. This trial was scheduled to last 4 days.
The jurors came back in, and as nobody had raised any further issues to the officer of the court while in the jury room, the jury was complete. So, after 1 hour and 40 mins of sitting doing nothing, we were dismissed....to go to the court next door, where a jury was also needed. And also, it appears, where heating was optional. When you’re wearing a 3 piece suit, a wig, and a gown, you may be slightly insulated from the Arctic chill of the room you’re in. Us jurors however, were not.
Again, we sat and waited here for 20 mins as the Procurator Fiscal and solicitors/Clerk faffed about, then names were called for the jury, mine unfortunately being one of them. Of course, by this time the delightful defendants were in the dock: the guy being led up from the cells, the girl coming in from the public gallery seats. Even better, their pals were in the front seats of the public gallery area too...and as our names were called, they made a big point of twisting round in their seats, and staring at us as we made our way to the jury box. Now, apparently at this point they may also have been speaking to us / making comments to us, but none of the jury remember hearing anything - we were all so focussed on getting to the box and sitting down, and doing things right. So, these lovely individuals now know my name, and what I look like? That's reassuring.
As the jury was being called however the male defendant was slouching about in the dock, stretching back, looking over at the jury and loudly saying "this is ridiculous, you're all going to find me not guilty anyway" etc to us. The Clerk then quietly (but heard by all of us) told the defence solicitor to "tell your client to shut his face, he's not doing his case any favours", and after a quiet word from his solicitor, he managed to keep himself quiet.
Then the Clerk read us the indictment, including one persons 8 bailings in the 7 months prior to what they were jointly accused of. I think at that point, from their disrespectful attitude and behaviour alone, pretty much everyone on the jury already was forming a bad opinion of them.
Then, since time had dragged on, it was time for lunch – we were led to a room where we were fed soup and sandwiches with the other juries, under supervision of our court officers, then led back to our jury room, which we weren’t allowed to leave without an escort. It felt like we were the prisoners.
Lunch was scheduled to be 1-2...and by 2.15 we were getting a bit fidgety with waiting for the court officer to come and get us: we just wanted to get on with it, or be allowed to go. Then the court officer appeared, and asked if we'd been spoken to by the boys in the public gallery. None of us could remember that, but we had all seen them glaring at us when we were selected, and we weren't happy about that. Apparently the Clerk and PF had heard them speak, but didn't know what they'd said, but from their other behaviour it was likely to be threatening or potentially an attempt at intimidating the jury. So, discussions were going on about that...then we were told one of the defendants was going to plead guilty. Then they weren’t. Then they would, but only to certain stuff, so they were amending the charges. Meanwhile, we were discussing if it would be overly cruel to hide under the table and in the toilets from Billy the court officer, as this was his first day on the job...
Eventually, at 3.15, we all filed through to the court...where we had nothing to do but sit and listen (and shiver – most of us forgot to bring our coats out of the jury room) for 45 mins as the PF read out what the Crown believed was the version of events (more mutterings from defendant or public gallery - first one, then the second of their pals were removed by the police), then the defence solicitors tried to make their clients out to be semi-angels (despite 1 currently residing in prison for the next 3.5 years for...breaking and entering offences, and having 2 prior violence with knives convictions, and the other being respectfully dressed for court in a tracksuit, huge hoop earrings, MP3 player earbuds dangling, and slumping onto her elbows in the dock when they had to stand for sentencing, with the Reliance officer elbowing her and telling her to stand up straight), then we were told we were done by the sheriff, and dismissed.
A long, pointless day, from the point of view of a juror. I can only imagine what it must be like to have to actually work in the system, and have to deal with this sort of faffing about every single day.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Well, 4 days after I’d been told my material would be taken off that site…it was still there. So I sent a further email saying if it was not removed immediately, I would be taking the matter up with their ISP (and many thanks to the peeps who commented, and gave me the info on how to do this if I needed to).
And I got a reply:
As we have informed you before, we remove the details. Don't worry. We have
stopped updating this section about 2 years before. So we are checking the
credentials of the articles section with design dept.
Surely we will remove it shortly.
Then, a follow up a few hours later:
Please check it, its removed.
And lo and behold, it is indeed gone…yay!
However, all that other content from other people/sites, harvested in 2008 is still sitting there. But telling all those people is a bigger job than I can take on...
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
- Throwing clothes in a big blue IKEA bag, in advance of tomorrow being able to throw it in the car, go to my parents, step back, and letting my Aunt, Queen of Packing, do her work.
- Stuffing hand baggage with important things like crossword puzzle books, pens, MP3 player, books etc.
- Making sure I have all the conference and accommodation information printed out, and important things like passport, visitor e-visa, travel insurance.
- Checking I don't have anything sharp: tweezers/cuticle scissors/nail clippers = BAD, although somehow badges which have a long spike on metal on the back = GOOD. Consistency? Nah!
- Praying I don't end up sat next to the big/smelly/chatty/crying baby/snoring person on the plane.
- Checking my shopping list of presents I have to bring back.
- Wondering at exactly how exhausted I'll be arriving at 1am on Saturday, after the 20+ flight time, with whatever random stopover time on top.
- Calculating exactly how many times I'll have to be patted down at airport security after randomly setting off the metal detectors (Dubai's quite fun - ladies get to go in a mini room, so the men can't see you being patted).
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
For your sterling efforts at continuing the stereotyping of librarians as old, boring...with a secret filthy side.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Ah, FindLaw UK, a shiny new website, for general public access to law, and solicitors. Sounds like a good thing, and in principle, it is.
But I have to go back to a traditional moan: Scots law differs in many areas from English/Welsh law. The Findlaw UK website almost exclusively refers to E/W law, but doesn't actually state this. There are a few references to where there are differences, but these can be deep in the articles e.g the core section on divorce procedure refers entirely to E/W law, with only a related article alongside outlining that there are different procedures in different jurisdictions.
Buying and Selling Property is purely about E/W law, I can't find even a hint of the Scottish differences. Bankruptcy? Alcohol and Crime? Dispute Resolution Law? Criminal Law? Litigation? All English/Welsh, with links to national agencies for those topics.
Only the Law and Government section discusses in any depth the jurisdictional issues, including a Devolution section, so they do know that there are differences. But there's no link from this core information to the subject guidance sections. The few references to Scots law are also often lifted from DirectGov, who refer to the Scottish Government as the Scottish Executive, but FindLaw UK's own material refer to it as the Scottish Government: using the two terms is confusing for those who don't know the difference between the old and new terms for the body.
Of course, a lot of these areas of law I don't regularly work in, so can't be sure how accurate the site is in those, but the ones I do know about seem to generally have no signing or flagging of the jurisdiction of the content, which, if you're aiming a site at the general public, is not a great plan.So FindLaw UK, if you're going to market yourself as being able to provide “legal information, access to quality solicitors and a community to help you make the best legal decisions”, then please, remember to actually do that. Nobody can make their best legal decision if the information they’re basing it on relates to the law of another country.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Why anyone would think that allowing the Scottish Government to be involved in the running of the National Library of Scotland would be a good idea?
Monday, July 19, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
"Our websiteThe Court is a modern institution on an international stage. Our website www.supremecourt.gov.uk continues to be a success with a wide audience and contains a considerable amount of information for people interested in the Court, its Justices and judgments. This material includes: current cases coming before the court with brief details of the points of law to be considered: full judgments handed down and their press summaries. The website also has information about how to appeal, the history of the building and the art within it; corporate information about the administration of the court, and biographical details of the Justices and officials."
Friday, July 09, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Digital Copyright: The Next GenerationDuring the first decade of the century copyright law has been one of the most important legal issues when it comes to the Internet. Recent developments may give copyright law a different face for the next decade. From the passing of the Digital Economy Act, to the rise of user-generated content and open licensing schemes such as open source and Creative Commons, the future of copyright is shaping up to present an interesting juxtaposition between two very different ideas about content management.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Bloglines, I'm not going to mince my words here, or break it to you gently: it's all over between us. I don't know if you noticed, but I actually dumped you about a month ago.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
- Don't talk about confidential stuff.
- Don't be abusive or racist.
- Don't say anything about someone you wouldn't say to them in person.
- Don't forget that, once something's on the internet, it's there for good, even if you delete it.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
But a few weeks ago I noticed something: the end of the charger that plugs into the phone has wires showing, as you can see in the pic. I tend to think that tools that need electricity to flow into them will work best when that electricity doesn't go elsewhere en route, like into me, via those exposed wires. And with time, those wires are only going to get more exposed.
So, I did something crazy. I emailed your customer support, asking about replacing this obviously defective cable. I did it here. This is definitely an email contact form, right? I did everything the form asked, attached the photo, took apart my phone and filled in the product S/N. And then I waited. I waited for an acknowledgement of my email.
So I waited for a response to my email, someone to say how you were going to go about getting the cable replaced.
A week later, I emailed again, referring you to my initial email.
No acknowledgement. No contact.
On Friday, after having given you 3 weeks to reply to 2 emails sent to you via the method they set up on your site, I'm going to go wild, and call you.
Now: can you answer the phone?