Clean Up Your Inbox by Reducing Bulk Email

One way to clean up your inbox is to reduce your bulk email, such as newsletters and other recurring emails. Commercial email senders are required by law to give you a way to unsubscribe. 15 U.S.C. §7704(3)(a)(i). Sometimes email recipients benefit from more granular tools as well.

Gmail

In Gmail, you don’t have to look through a whole message to find the unsubscribe link buried in it. Gmail includes the “unsubscribe” link up top, next to the sender’s address. How to block or unsubscribe in Gmail.

Outlook

In Outlook, you can create a rule that automatically deletes email from particular senders. Alternatively, you may want to read certain newsletters at your leisure, but you don’t want them cluttering your inbox in the meantime. In that case, you can create a rule that sends those newsletters directly to a particular folder, not to the inbox. How to manage email with rules in Outlook.

Other Services and Confidentiality

Alternatively, various services are available that will let you unsubscribe from each commercial sender that you don’t want to receive email from, or view all your newsletters that you want to review at your leisure, in one place.

Be aware that, according to the New York Times, these services may locate data in your email about your purchasing habits, package that data, and sell it back to the companies you’re unsubscribing from, or their competitors.

Last month the Federal Register published analysis of a proposed consent agreement between the Federal Trade Commission and one such service. Unrollme Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 84 Fed. Reg. 43132 (Aug. 20, 2019).

For email accounts that are used for client communications, analyze whether it’s possible to meet a lawyer’s obligation of confidentiality while allowing an outside service to access the contents of the email account.

Malware, Big Fish, and Law School Gatherings

Q: What do malware, big fish, and law school gatherings have in common?
A: Cybersecurity.
Malware: Wolters Kluwer / CCH Outage
Wolters Kluwer Maintenance - We are currently undergoing unscheduled maintenance. Our technical teams are working as quickly as possible to restore systems. We appreciate your patience during this time.
Error message received from Wolters Kluwer

Customers of Wolters Kluwer (WK) have been notified that malware was discovered on the WK network. The law library subscribes to more than 800 searchable databases through WK, primarily in the area of tax law, and has experienced an outage in this service.

According to an email sent by WK and received by the law library this morning, WK is “in the process of scanning, testing, and restoring each service and application. . . . In short, the service interruptions you have experienced are primarily the result of [WK’s] aggressive, precautionary efforts to ensure the safety of your data. This is why at this time [WK is] confident that [they] see no indication of data loss or other effects, nor any potential risk to [their] customers’ data.”

The cybersecurity blog Krebs on Security has published and updated a post entitled What’s Behind the Wolters Kluwer Tax Outage? The law firm librarian blog Dewey B. Strategic has published several posts on the outage and the process of bringing the service back online, including Wolters Kluwer Responds …  and Wolters Kluwer … Posts Online Guide to Track Restored Features.

Big Fish: Aaron Glenn Publishes Phishing Update for SC Lawyers
BAR BYTES - Phishing Update - "A Whale of a Tale" By Aaron Glenn, JD, MLIS
Aaron Glenn’s anti-phishing article

Reference librarian Aaron Glenn has written a guest “Bar Bytes” column on page 14 in the May 2019 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine, entitled Phishing Update – “A Whale of a Tale.” The article’s goal is to enable lawyers and all employees of law offices to spot email messages that are designed to “trick recipients into revealing secrets and clicking on links or attached files that contain malware.”

The article is available free online. Also, the law library has several hard copies of the magazine near the circulation desk and at tables on the 3rd floor.

CYBERSECURITY - tabs Recent Books on Cybersecurity, Academic Journals, Practitioner Newsletters, Government reports, Task Forces and Institutes, How to Get These Books - book covers "The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook" and "Cybersecurity for the Home and Office"
UofSC Law Library’s cybersecurity guide – https://guides.law.sc.edu/cybersecurity

In the article, Professor Glenn encourages readers to explore the information and resources on the UofSC Law Library’s cybersecurity guide. This research guide provides curated links to recent books, articles, and more, to suit the needs of practicing lawyers or of academic legal researchers who recognize the need to learn more about cybersecurity.

Law School Gatherings: UofSCLaw Cybersecurity Institute
bookshelf containing books on cybersecurity
Cybersecurity book display at UofSC Law Library that was timed to coincide with the April 2019 Cybersecurity Institute

Highlights of South Carolina Law’s first Cybersecurity Institute appear in the newsletter Cyberinsecurity News. The first Institute was held April 4, 2019 at the School of Law in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The write-up concludes with an assurance that South Carolina Law has already begun planning for the 2020 Cybersecurity Institute, which will again provide helpful, updated insights from government and private security experts.

Pop-Up Tech Talks

Law librarian Aaron Glenn describes new features of Westlaw Edge to 1Ls Angelica Padgett and Destinee Wilson
What Are Pop-Up Tech Talks?

Tech Talks are 5-minutes-or-less quick demonstrations of tips and tricks that law students can use both now, and in practice.

The purpose of the Pop-Up Tech Talks is to provide the most relevant tech skills law students need, in as little time as possible.

Don’t Have Time?
Law librarian Eve Ross provides a handout to 1L Andrew Wood about Boolean searching with the NOT operator

There is no need to set aside a full hour or miss other great lunch-hour presentations in order to get the information from a Tech Talk. You can glean quick tips and tricks if you stop by a Tech Talk for just a minute or two.

If you don’t have even one minute, it takes no time at all to grab a handout and keep walking to your destination. You can wait to read the handout until a more convenient time. That’s why every Tech Talk takes place in a high-foot-traffic area, and includes a hard copy handout.

Missed a Tech Talk? Lost the Handout?

You can always go to law.sc.edu/techtalks to find the schedule and handouts for the Tech Talks.

Here is the list of Tech Talk topics from Spring 2019, with links to the handouts:

January 2019:
February 2019:
March 2019:
How Did Pop-Up Tech Talks Start?
Law librarian Dan Brackmann demonstrates how to save time by automating repetitive documents at a Pop-Up Tech Talk

In 2018-19, the University of South Carolina Law Library took the lead in organizing a Pop-Up Tech Talks series at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

The format was adapted from AJ Blechner’s and Heather Joy’s “Lightning Lessons,” but the topics were expanded beyond legal research to include contributors from academic technology, career services, legal writing, and pro bono.

Gary Moore of Academic Technology gave the first Tech Talk in Fall 2018, entitled “Backing Up Your Computer.” In Spring 2019, 15 more tech talks were given by eight different contributors, some in the Student Commons and some in the Perrin Family Lobby.

Legal Research Takes Off!

We’re excited for our 1Ls who are doing the research for their first open memo this week. This is how it feels when your legal research takes off!

Chat and Text with the Law Library

The law library is proud to announce that the same reference services that have long been available by phone, by email, and in person at the reference desk are now also available via online chat on our website, as well as by text to 803-219-2529.

We hope law students will find chat and text to be convenient ways to interact with the law library.

How to Use our Chat

When you see the “Chat now with a reference librarian” indicator on our website, you may click on it to begin a chat.

This message appears on our website when a reference librarian is available for chat.

Then a widget will pop up. Type in the lower portion of the widget to chat, and press Enter to send your message to the librarian. The librarian’s response will appear as part of a conversation with you in the upper portion of the widget. The chat software also allows you to send a file to the librarian, or to email a transcript of the chat to yourself.

This chat widget pops up when you click “Chat now with a reference librarian” to begin a chat.
Hours of Chat Availability

Reference chat is only available during our standard reference hours, Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, on days when the library is open. Because at times the reference librarian may be responding to multiple needs, chat may be temporarily unavailable during reference hours. During busy times and off-hours, online patrons will be advised that email may be the best way to contact us, so that we can reply as soon as we are able. Our email address is lawref@law.sc.edu.

This message appears on our website when no reference librarian is available for chat.
Reporting Noise Issues via Chat

The circulation desk also has an online chat component available through our website for reporting noise issues in the library. The same caveat applies as to the chat function occasionally being unavailable when circulation librarians attend to other duties, and at that point phone reporting is recommended.

When this message appears on our website, circulation staff is available for chat.
When no circulation staff is available for chat, this message appears on our website.

AI Applied to International Law

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applied to Chess

Twenty-one years ago today, on February 10, 1996, an IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue beat then-reigning world champion Garry Kasparov in a game of chess, although Kasparov won the six-game match. In a rematch 14 months later, Deep Blue won the match.

chess set
photo by Alan Light
AI Applied to International Law

To win at chess, a computer has to predict how its human opponent is likely to move in response to moves the computer makes. So can a computer today predict how a human tribunal is likely to rule in a case? The answer may be yes.

Researchers have now created a machine-learning algorithm that has predicted the outcome of cases decided by the European Court of Human Rights with 79% accuracy. The algorithm was given text from the publicly available HUDOC database—summaries of submissions to the court. Based on language used, and topics and circumstances mentioned in the summary of each party’s submission, the algorithm predicted what the court would decide.

Would the results have been as accurate if the algorithm had been given the original submissions to the court, rather than the summaries? Unfortunately, the originals are not publicly available, so the answer is unknown.

Courtroom - European Court of Human Rights
photo by Adrian Grycuk CC BY-SA 3.0 pl
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