Party with the Internet Archives

The Internet Archive folks are having their annual bash in San Francisco. Should be fun if you live in the area.

I'm intrigued by the 404 dead link teaser that will be unveiled at the party. I've taken some of my sites down when I have re-organized, and I know I've left a litter of 404s in my wake. I feel bad, but not so bad that I'm going to leave up an old, obsolete site based on technology that's no longer supported.

In the comments, someone mentioned a Chrome extension called Momento. Sounds fun.

New toy.

The most important paper you can read, but you can't have it

Several publications, including the New York Times are covering an important new paper on climate change in the future. In the paper, the authors predict that starting in 2047, the coldest years on record, will now exceed the warmest years on record we have now.

It's an important paper, and one that presents a fresh outlook. Unfortunately, it's also a paper that's stuck behind a paywall, and therefore unavailable to the majority of people.

Flying High in the (Document) Clouds

DocumentCloud is an online document management system for journalists. It provides a way to upload and organize documents, making them easier to share with the public and other team members. In addition, DocumentCloud also provides a set of tools enabling a host of functionality, including the ability to search among all of the uploaded accessible documents. (example from the Washington Post)

Following the Track of a foodborne killer: Jenson Farms 404(b) notice

Attorney Bill Marler is providing a copy of the 404(b) Notice for the Jenson brothers criminal trial.

If you're not familiar with this case, the Jenson brothers were charged with introducing adulterated cantaloupes into interstate commerce. The cantaloupes, contaminated with the deadly Listeria monocytogenes, eventually killed 33 people and hospitalized 147 others. It's one of the worst foodborne illness outbreak in modern times in the US.

The 404(b) Notice is a way of ensuring no gotchas in the criminal case by providing the defendants the state's evidence ahead of the trial.

Harvard Business School: It will cost you to link to us

Lavabit Court Documents

The company Lavabit shut down rather than give the government encryption keys that would expose all private communication related to its email server. This is the same server used by Edward Snowden.

The Lavabit founder, Ladar Levinson, was finally able to get the court documents related to this action unsealed, and they were posted yesterday. I was fairly sure that Kevin Poulsen of Wired's Threat Level would post an actual copy, rather than just discuss them, and I was correct.

I'm also posting a copy in the interest of dissemination. I recommend, though, that you read Poulsen's overview of the case.

Open Feynman Lectures

At Quantum Frontiers:

Last Friday the 13th was a lucky day for those who love physics — The online html version of Volume 1 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics (FLP) was released! Now anyone with Internet access and a web browser can enjoy these unique lectures for free. They look beautiful.

Listing of court cases

I created a page listing the court cases I'm following and that have an associated docket sheet and downloadable documents. I expect to update this list frequently.

I need to work on a better approach for managing docket sheets and documents. For instance, my documents are named after the docket number, but the files don't reflect the case number and court, as they're named in RECAP. However, a couple of my cases have over 600 documents, so I wouldn't expect any big changes any time soon. Again, I believe that the best way of ensuring the documents are accessible is to utilize search engine functionality. A properly named link to the docket page does wonders.

No Appeal on PACER Fee Exemption Decision

Courthouse News Service posted a story about journalists losing a court case on PACER fees. The journalists were from a non-profit organization, which can usually apply for a PACER fee exemption. However, they're also journalists, and a new policy note attached to the 2013 fee schedule change warned against fee exemptions for journalists.

The note states:

Is Your Web Site Popular Enough to Deserve a FOIA Fee Waiver?

Another great resource for finding court documents related to interesting and/or important court cases is the Courthouse News Service. Thanks to it, I discovered two separate court decisions about fee waivers for PACER and FOIA requests. I'll talk about the FOIA case in this writing, and cover the PACER decision in a follow up.

In the first decision, Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that a non-profit organization was not eligible for a fee waiver for a FOIA request, because, bluntly, it wasn't popular enough. Or, to be more exact, the plaintiff, Cause of Action, couldn't demonstrate a capability of disseminating the acquired information to enough people to justify the government absorbing the expense of meeting the FOIA request.

In the decision, Judge Sullivan wrote:


Subscribe to Documents at Burningbird RSS