CompareMyDocs, Please?

CompareMyDocsWhat attorney hasn’t longed for a simple means of comparing, merging and incorporating changes into documents? It’s what we do!

For the hefty price of FREE, CompareMyDocs offers a web-based service that compares and marks up to seven documents. Differences are displayed in a neat interface. Changes are color-coded and you can hover over text to accept or reject a particular change. After you are done with CompareMyDocs, simply download the final to your own word processor for the finishing touches.

CompareMyDocs works for Rich Text Format and Word formatted documents. The site cautions that it works best for text only documents, as tables and other graphics are not displayed.  It is currently in Beta.

CompareMyDocs is a close cousin of the desktop application TextFlow. TextFlow is not yet widely available and remains closed while tweaking is done. CompareMyDocs, however, is available – it launched today.

Now before you go pegging me with assertions that a web-based document comparison app is no place for client-sensitive information, consider how difficult it is to even edit or compare versions of your firm’s newsletter! I still get agita using the comparable functions in Word 2007. Consider it for what it is worth: a handy free app that offers a simpler view of the life and times of your documents.

Hat Tip to ReadWriteWeb


Westlaw OnePass Passes Over the Real Problem

WestlawIn an apparent effort to bring security and access to services up to the standards employed by the rest of the world, West / Thompson is now requiring users to create a OnePass Account to access any and all West / Thompson services, including Westlaw.  By using your old eleven-character password and choosing a user name and password with sufficient security attributes, you can create this account and then use the user name / password combo all over their sites.

Great, West. Thanks. Now bring your legal research services and Web interface into the 21st Century and all will be right with the world.

Looking For The News From All Angles? Try Newsy

NewsySometimes it is tough getting an unbiased view of current events. Everyone knows that news outlets can’t help but color their works with their own special tint. What is the searcher of neutral news to do?

Well, try Newsy for one. Newsy is a relatively recent addition to the world of web news applications, of which there is no dearth. What makes Newsy unique is its treatment of news stories by inclusion and analysis of various news stories, media and sources with respect to each single news-worthy event. Obviously, one can glean all sorts of information from merely watching or reading the different takes. But there is even more to be learned about the story by examining which facts are emphasized, how much time and effort is devoted to the story, and other indirect characteristics of a given report. And Newsy provides its own version of the story, ostensibly culled from the various media outlets’ reports. Newsy’s self description from their site explains that: is unlike any other news service on the web – we highlight the key differences in reporting so that you can understand all the angles of a story.

As indicated on the site, you will find CNN right next to Al Jazeera, the BBC next to ABC, and content from newspapers, news magazines and top blogs.

In a sense, Newsy not only aggregates news, but offers a means of analysis unavailable in typical news aggregators. Why fall prey to the game of telephone, when you can put everyone on the line in a conference call?

You can keyword browse by tags and filter content by popularity, recency, most commentary and highest ratings. There is also a category for editors picks. While not all news sources and news stories are represented, Newsy is definitely a place to check because its treatment of the stories offers a unique perspective.

Even cooler is the free Newsy iPhone app, so you can take your news analysis on the go.

If you are a news junkie, or simply a researcher looking for the widespread treatment of a particular story, Newsy is a hard application to overlook.

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.


Read Well With Jotwell

BooksSensitive to the ever-increasing wealth of on-line legal scholoarship, Jotwell offers a new kind of legal journal: a review of law reviews (and articles).  Jotwell’ s purpose is to offer legal scholars and researchers insight regarding the best and brightest sources of legal thinking. The criteria for inclusion in the Jotwell journal is simply that the reviewing editor “like” the article.  The service’s tag line is “The Journal of Things We Like (Lots).”

Sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law, Jotwell is a series of linked “blogs” filled with the works of reviewing editors and contributors, overseen by a section editor. Sections are defined by areas of law. Because Jotwell is seeking to educate legal scholars unfamiliar with a particular area of the law, Jotwell reviews are written with an eye towards explaining to both specialists and non-specialists why a particular article is important.  

Jotwell’s editor in chief is Michael Froomkin at the University of Miami School of Law. Currently, section areas include administrative law, constitutional law, corporate law, criminal law, cyber law, intellectual property, legal profession and tax but more sections are anticipated.

You can subscribe to Jotwell via the usual methods, via RSS and your feed reader or via email subscription or via regular trips to the Jotwell page.

Jotwell certainly represents an interesting new resource for digesting legal scholarship.

Hat tip to Simon Chester at Slaw.