taking on giants and living to tell, and misc. law school thoughts

My buds at stopbadware.org released a report Monday, finding AOL 9.0 to be… well, not perfect. And today it makes the NYT. Good for them.

We wrestled a lot with the notion of language at stopbadware- how to define badness beyond a porn-like ‘know it when I see it‘. Ed__ said it well in one of the comments to my post about law school– there is no ENGLISH99, and it is all downhill from there. :) [For any non-coders reading this, ‘C99’ is the standard that tells coders exactly what the ‘C’ language means. No ambiguity, no penumbras, no emanations. Those kinds of things drive coders (all engineers, really) out of their minds. To see an example of what coders have done to give english slightly more reliability, see the RFC on language for RFCs, which specifies what words like ‘MUST’, ‘SHOULD’, etc., mean in a technical context.]
Tangentially, the slipperiness of language here at law school has made it clear that this will be more fertile ground for the politicized teaching that I keep hearing a lot about but never seriously saw at Duke. Should be interesting, especially as my own political views have gotten more defined and slightly less mainstream (on either side) since I left Duke.

Met the campus tech law group this evening. Small, but good folks, seemingly. Hopefully I’ll be able to get involved there. No one looked at me too funny when I occasionally let drop that I’m not in it just to make a huge pile of money as a patent lawyer. :)

Updated a wikipedia article about a case the other day, and saw a classmate doing the same today. I’m wondering if there is not enough energy/interest to do something more comprehensive in that direction, perhaps along the lines of Life of a Law Student, but textual. (I find Life of a Law Student’s choice to use audio as the primary format a little odd, given the enhanced searchability and remixability of text. I’ve asked the author, who appears to have done great work in audio, why he chose that- we’ll see :)