Friday, January 31, 2003


> --- Begin Attached Message---A special for the Corporate World.

An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand and a bucket of buffalo manure in the other. He says to the waiter, "Me want coffee."

The waiter says, "Sure chief, coming right up."

He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee, and the Indian drinks it down in one gulp, picks up the the bucket of manure, throws, it into the air, blasts it with the shotgun, then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns. He has his shotgun in one hand and a bucket of manure in the other. He walks up to the counter and to the waiter. "Me want coffee."

The waiter says, "Whoa, Tonto. We're still cleaning up your mess from the last time you were here. What the heck was all that about, anyway?

The Indian says,"Me in training for Executive Management job.

Drink coffee, shoot the shit, and disappear for rest of the day."

Thursday, January 30, 2003

International Phone Directories
International Phone Directories can be found at the following web sites. Click on a country name at the top to jump to that country in the list below.

Argentina | Australia | Austria | Belgium | Bermuda | Brazil | Bulgaria | Canada | Chile | China | Colombia | Costa Rica | Croatia | Czech Republic | Denmark | Ecuador | El Salvador | Estonia | Europe | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Guatemala | Honduras | Hong Kong | Iceland | India | Indonesia | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan | Korea | Latvia | Lebanon | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malaysia | Mauritius | Mexico | Nepal | Netherlands | New Zealand | Nicaragua | Norway | Pakistan | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia | Singapore | Slovenia | South Africa | South America | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Thailand | UAE | UK | USA | Venezuela |

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Search Systems
Directory of States for public records.
Tech Law Advisor | home
Tech Law Advisor is a legal web log (blawg) edited by Kevin Heller, an attorney admitted in New York and New Jersey.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Underground History - Disused Stations on London's Underground

Introduction
Since moving to live near London a few years ago, one of my interests has been the London Underground, the oldest and one of the busiest underground railway networks in the world. I'm not a train spotter by any means, but I find the history and background of London's subterranean railway fascinating.

One of the things I find most interesting is the changing history of the railway, of which there is still much hidden evidence. For example, look through the window as you travel between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn on the Central Line and you'll see a station - where no passengers have alighted since 1932. This used to be British Museum station. Or perhaps you may notice the the tunnel wall change from cast iron tubing to bricks as you travel on the Piccadilly Line between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner. This also used to be a station. Down Street, closed in the same year as British Museum. These stations are often referred to as ghost stations.

There are about 40 abandoned stations on the Underground network along its entire 255 miles (408Km) of trackway - some subsurface and some above ground. Some have vanished without trace whereas others are almost intact, grimy time capsules of the era when they were closed.

Orientation
One point to note is that in these pages, all lines are referred by their contemporary names. Many if not all of the lines have however had different names during their existence.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Posh and Becks have graced the ballet. All we need now is hooliganism


Frank Johnson
Miss Posh Spice and Mr David Beckham dominated a Covent Garden ballet evening which I was at this week. At their presence, even a Covent Garden audience became abuzz. Admittedly, their legendary partnership is not yet quite the equal of Fonteyn and Nureyev. For one thing, Mr Beckham and Miss Spice were not on the stage. . . .

Celebrity must be associated with accomplishment. Mr Beckham is a great footballer. Miss Hurley, so far as we know, is not a great actress. Mr Beckham’s hair and clothes would not have been enough to arouse the interest of that ballet audience. Ballet audiences are used to people who look like him, and not just on the stage. It is that hair, and those clothes, on a great footballer — rather than on a great balletomane — which aroused the interest.

Though having no appreciation of her genre, I am told by those who do that Miss Spice is not as great a singer as her husband is a footballer. Her continued celebrity is thus derived from her being married to him. But that is all right. . . .

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Whacky
The Wacky Patent of the Month is devoted to recognizing selected inventors and their remarkable and unconventional patented inventions.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The Spectator.co.uk Statistical Assessment Service looks at crime and punishment.
Mr Murray, your article is both unfairly inaccurate and hopelessly sophomoric. Your wobbly-liberal notion of the functioning of the prisons bears no resemblance to reality.... The value of the prisons is that they keep bad people locked away from the good people. Let them out and, surprise, they are still bad people. Those who want to change do so. Most never will. My primary job as a correctional officer was to keep their hands from around your throat and the throats of your and my loved ones. There are plenty of things that need doing. Wasting time bleeding your heart over bad apples doesn’t make the cut.
opinion.telegraph.co.uk - The Mini's success shows we don't need the euro
The Mini is not just sexy, it is lucky. The car transporter sunk in the Channel, which keeps being banged into - rather amusingly - by Turkish-registered vessels, was on its way to pick up a consignment of Minis destined for Detroit. If they were now at the bottom of the sea, the Mini would probably not have won its prize in absentia.

In Oxford, where the car is built by BMW, the factory has moved to three shifts a day. The production line is closed only once a week for maintenance. Another 700 workers have been hired in addition to the 4,000 existing staff.

Last week, the factory took a record 850 orders in the UK alone and it expects to build 150,000 this year - half as many again as first planned when production started in July 2001.

If Edmund Burke were still alive and a car designer rather than a Tory philosopher, I like to think he would approve of the Mini. Its modern curves and happy bonnet are a natural evolution from the original. It was designed by a cigar-smoking American in Munich called Frank Stephenson, with help from a team from Oxford.

Maybe this is another example of how a foreigner is more appreciative of something classically British than we are at home. Its appeal is a rebuke to all those who believe you should go for a radical, revolutionary revamp in car design, or indeed so many other things in life.
Crime statistics from England compare London crime and New York City crime. Guess what?
History News Network Summary of the Emory Report on Michael Bellesiles
By HNN Staff
Michael Bellesiles Chronology: Latest Developments
Bellesiles's Response to the Report
Other Responses to the Report
Remaining Questions

"Dr. Michael Bellesiles has resigned from his position as Professor of History at Emory University, effective December 31, 2002."
Emory University, October 25, 2002
Following is a summary of the findings of the independent committee appointed by Emory University to investigate Michael Bellesiles. Click here to read his response to the report. Click here to read Emory's announcment that Bellesiles was resigning.
In May 2002 Emory University appointed an outside committee to investigate charges that Michael Bellesiles had engaged in unprofessional practices in connection with the writing of his Bancroft Prize winner, Arming of America (Knopf).
Until now the names of the committee were secret:
Stanley N. Katz, Princeton University
Hanna H. Gray, University of Chicago
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Harvard University
Critics had wondered if the committee had been given a mandate to probe all of the main charges lodged against Bellesiles. The report indicates they were not. Emory limited the investigation to five questions about probate records and militias. The committee met six times and on three occasions contacted Bellesiles with a list of questions. He supplied lists of answers.
Legal Weblogs Revisited

By Cindy Carlson

WHEN POWER PAYS A VISIT

Yes, It Could Happen–and When it Does, You Had Better Know the Ropes

BY THE RODENT

Many associates at The Firm are becoming increasingly active in the traditional partners’ domain of developing business and bringing their own clients to The Firm.

Associates who are successful in this area often find themselves in the enviable position of distributing their clients’ work among needy partners seeking billable hours. As a result, within the law firm structure, roles are reversed, tables turned. Unless he or she is someday appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, this may be the pinnacle of the associate’s legal career.

A fifth-year associate at a major San Francisco firm recalls being in such a position. "When the litigation department learned that my client had a major suit on its hands, I suddenly became every partner’s favorite associate," she recalls. "One partner, who had never previously acknowledged my existence, even asked me to lunch so he could talk to me about the case and go over his credentials. I felt the power. The power of the partner."

Associates in this situation must be prepared to play the role traditionally reserved for partners. The following guidelines, if carefully followed, can assure that the utmost satisfaction will be derived from the experience:

• Wait until 4:30 on Friday afternoon to assign the project to the partner and demand to have it completed by Monday morning. After the partner works all weekend on the assignment, take two or three weeks before reviewing it. Ignore all substantive aspects of the partner’s work but chastise her or him for any grammatical or typographical errors.

• When assigning the project, give the partner complex and convoluted instructions. If he asks a question or indicates any lack of understanding, roll your eyes, sigh and ask derisively, "Where did you go to law school?"

• While the partner is working on the assignment, have your secretary call every hour to ask if it’s finished yet.

• When the partner comes to your office to talk about the assignment, take (and make) personal phone calls, finish reading documents on your desk and dictate a letter to your travel agent. Every five or 10 minutes, tell the partner, "This will only take a second. Stay where you are."

• If the work product is impressive, have the partner put your name on it and send it to the client. Then order the partner to turn the assignment into a promotional article for publication under your name. If, however, the client complains, the state bar comes knocking or The Firm is hit with a malpractice suit, give the partner full credit for the work.

Although associates should enjoy the role reversal to the fullest, it is crucial to remember that reality can quickly come crashing back.

The San Francisco associate says her fantasy came to a sudden end when "the partner who heads my department called me to his office and berated me for a mistake he himself made in a memorandum sent to a client. Then he gave me a huge assignment he needed completed right away and reminded me my billable hours were low during the previous month.

"I immediately reverted back to my obsequious associate ways," she says. "I apologized profusely for the mistake, promised to get my hours up and obediently accepted the assignment, which I stayed up all night completing."

Ah, the power. The power of the partner.

©2003 ABA Journal

Saturday, January 18, 2003

A Smarter Web The Web is huge but not very smart. Computer scientists are beginning to build a "Semantic Web" that understands the meanings that underlie the tangle of information.

Tim Berners-Lee must feel like he's in a time warp. In the early 1990s, he spent a frustrating year trying to get people to grasp the power and beauty of his idea for a scheme known as an Internet hypertext system, to which he gave the beguiling name the World Wide Web. But since the Web didn't yet exist, most people couldn't imagine the implications of what he was talking about. Berners-Lee persevered, and with the help of the few people who shared his vision, his invention became the fastest-growing media distribution system in history.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Business History
Airline History: The History of Commercial Aviation
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/websites.jhtml?t=bizhistory
Information on 600 airlines, past and present.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

We are getting bombed by Spam mail, so we are trying the technique I have seen other bloggers use, spelling out the email address. Now it shows email to: "oldfox at terryseale dot com" so hopefully only a lucid human being can turn that into an email address. Sorry to lose the hyperlink email functionality developed for the internet but these evil Spambots harvesting addresses have simply defeated it.
From the "When handguns are banned, there will be no more gun violence" department:

Protection the name of the Beckham game

ANDREW UNSWORTH: London

...
Also, crime statistics released this week indicated that gun crime in the UK has increased by 35% in the last year, adding fuel to security fears in what used to be one of the safest countries on earth.

There were 10 000 gun crimes in the UK last year.
...

Found on the sports page in South Africa.

Friday, January 10, 2003

EATING AWAY AT ARBITRATION
Alabama Court Allows Homeowners’ Addendum to Termite Contract

BY TERRY CARTER

A recent Alabama Supreme Court decision in a termite case may have opened a new can of worms in the ongoing battle over binding arbitration in consumer agreements.

The court found that homeowners who stuffed an addendum in an envelope along with their renewal check, saying they no longer agreed to arbitration and were changing the agreement’s terms, had indeed bored through the contract’s foundation. They have the right to sue the termite company in court for failure to repair their home.

When the termite company cashed the check and subsequently performed an inspection, they in effect agreed to the new terms. Cook’s Pest Control v. Rebar, No. 1010897 (Dec. 13).

The decision marks a change of direction in what had been a one-way street.

Two years earlier, the court had ruled that a bank could add arbitration to its agreements with checking-account holders by putting a notice in with their monthly statement. By keeping their accounts open, the court said, the plaintiffs agreed to the new terms. SouthTrust Bank v. Williams, 775 So. 2d 184 (Ala. 2000).

The termite case turns SouthTrust around. It is a victory for the little guy, though it was carried out by an accomplished doctor and a knowledgeable lawyer working pretty much as termites do: unseen until it’s too late to stop the damage.

Homeowners Robert and Margo Rebar bought their stately suburban home in 2000, after he accepted a position at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. Dr. Rebar is a world-renowned fertility specialist.

Cook’s Pest Control certified that the house once had a termite infestation, but it was termite-free at sale. The couple soon learned the home they purchased from a lawyer had extensive termite damage. Cook’s, which had been under contract for many years to inspect the home, added a binding arbitration clause to the agreement when it transferred to the Rebars.

The Rebars apparently went to a Birmingham lawyer known for tangling with termite companies before sending in their renewal. It was after that consultation that they put the addendum, chock-full of legalese, into the envelope with their check.

The addendum stated in part: "Notwithstanding prior amendments, nothing herein shall limit Customer’s right to seek court enforcement (including injunctive or class relief in appropriate cases) nor shall anything herein abrogate Customer’s right to trial by jury. Arbitration shall not be required for any prior or future dealings between Cook’s and Customer."

"Dr. Rebar had no problem giving them a dose of their own medicine," says Thomas Campbell, the couple’s lawyer. Asked if he wrote the addendum, Campbell laughs and says: "I’m a lawyer, and my client’s a fertility specialist, so you figure it out. I won’t breach client privilege, but it was pretty smart."

It’s a nifty trick that might be short-lived.

"This is a breath of fresh air, one for the consumers, but I don’t think it will last long," says Gene Marsh, a University of Alabama School of Law professor who teaches contracts and consumer law. "Now, companies are going to have someone at the P.O. box bird-dogging the mail and looking for legal consequences. And they’ll be fixing it at the front end with terms that tell you to find another company if you won’t accept mandatory arbitration from this day forward."

Cook’s Pest Control had argued that the office manager who cashed the check did not have authority to approve a change in the agreement. A dissenting justice agreed. Evidence at trial indicated that a competitor, Orkin, had limited such authority to one person in its agreements.

"If you reviewed all of your agreements with credit card companies and others and saw how many don’t put restrictions on how they can be amended, you’d be shocked," Campbell says. "Now, I’m not saying that I’ve floated a bunch of things like this out there that are ticking time-bombs, but my practice is pretty much based on filing the same case over and over again."

Monday, January 06, 2003

legal links from the Internet Lawyer

Five Questions You Need to Ask

Senior managers need to ensure that their organizations' executives are thinking ahead about the implications of the Web services architecture. Here are five questions you can use to spur your people:

  • Does our management team have a shared vision of the long-term (five to ten years out) business implications of the new IT architecture?

  • Do we have transition plans that balances the state of the architecture's development with a clear understanding of the areas of highest business impact?

  • Are we moving fast enough today to build our expertise and exploit immediate opportunities for streamlining intercompany processes, outsourcing activities in which we don't have distinctive capabilities and designing Web services that we can market to other companies?

  • Do we have a clear understanding of the obstacles within our organization that may hinder us from exploiting the full value of the new IT architecture, and do we have initiatives underway to overcome these obstacles?

  • Are we exerting sufficient leadership in shaping both the functionality offered by providers of Web services (defining, for example, the performance levels required for mission-critical applications) and the standards needed to collaborate with our partners?


  • Excerpted with permission from "Your Next IT Strategy," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 79, No. 9, October 2001.


    Friday, January 03, 2003

    Kylie Minogue has the most beautiful celebrity body in the world, according to a new survey.

    The tiny pop princess fought off stiff competition from the likes of Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez to top the recent poll of 10,000 people for Celebrity Bodies magazine.

    Pop Queen Madonna just scraped the top ten of the survey, whilst Aussie newcomer Holly Valance found herself at seventh place, just ahead of supermodel Elle 'The Body' Macpherson.

    England football ace David Beckham topped the male version of the poll, which saw Brit singing star Robbie Williams at seventh place.

    The Female Top 10 in full:

    1 Kylie Minogue
    2 Halle Berry
    3 Jennifer Lopez
    4 Liz Hurley
    5 Angelina Jolie
    6 Cat Deeley
    7 Holly Valance
    8 Elle Macpherson
    9 Madonna
    10 Kelly Brook

    Amazing. They are selling "Pop-Up Eliminator" by sending me frigging pop-ups.
    This is like throwing rocks through people's windows with a note attached "Windows repaired".
    Ticketstubs Ticket stubs are everywhere, one of the many receipts in our daily lives - but we all save some from time to time. The Ticketstub project is a place where you can upload scanned images of your saved stubs, and tell a story about that night, that concert, that movie, what happened on that date; basically, ask youself why you saved the stub as a reminder.
    Claim: The song "Happy Birthday to You" is protected by copyright.


    Status: True.

    AOL going into blogs?
    A good introduction to Dr. Deming's philosophy of management: Four Days with Dr. Deming summarizes the four day seminars Deming used to give to business leaders. Key insight: you can't improve your team's performance just by picking some numeric measurement and then rewarding or punishing people to optimize it. Problem one: the variability in the measurement may be caused by a broken system that only management can change, not by individual performance. Problem two: people may optimize locally to improve that one measurement, even at the cost of hurting the performance of the company as a whole. If you're in a rut constantly trying to figure out how to rejigger your employees' incentive systems, this book will get you out of it.
    jdf
    Links to PhotoShop tutorials.
    Do You Have A.A.A.D.D.?

    They have finally found a diagnosis for my condition. Hooray! I have recently been diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it goes:

    I decide to wash the car; I start toward the garage and notice the mail on the table. OK, I'm going to wash the car. But first I'm going to go through the mail. I lay the car keys down on the desk, discard the junk mail and I notice the trash is full.

    OK, I'll just put the bills on my desk and take the trash can out, but since I'm going to be near the mailbox anyway, I'll pay these few bills first.

    Now, where is my checkbook? Oops, there's only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk. Oh, there's the Coke I
    was drinking. I'm going to look for those checks.

    But first I need to put my Coke further away from the computer, or maybe I'll pop it into the fridge to keep it cold for a while.

    I head towards the kitchen and my flowers catch my eye, they need some water. I set the Coke on the counter and, uh oh! There are my glasses. I was looking for them all morning! I'd better put them away first.

    I fill the container with water and head for the flowerpots. Aaaagh! Someone left the TV remote in the kitchen. We will never think to look in the kitchen tonight when we want to watch television so I'd better put it back in the family room where it belongs. I splash some water into the pots and onto the floor, I throw the remote onto a soft cushion on the sofa and I head back down the hall trying to figure out what it was I was going to do?

    End of Day: The car isn't washed, the bills are unpaid, the Coke is sitting on the kitchen counter, the flowers are half watered, the checkbook still only has one check in it and I can't seem to find my car keys!

    When I try to figure out how come nothing got done today, I'm baffled because I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY LONG!! I realize this is a serious condition and Ill get help, BUT FIRST I think I'll check my email.

    Please send this to everyone you know because I DON'T REMEMBER WHO I'VE SENT THIS TO!!! But please don't send it back to me or I might send it to you again!