All posts by Michael Froomkin

Jotwell Needs a Student Editor

Apologies, blog readers, but this announcement is for UM Law 2L and 3L students only:

Jotwell, the online journal of reviews of recent faculty scholarship relating to the law, needs a third student editor. The ideal candidate will be organized, a careful editor, and enjoy reading legal scholarship. The workload typically runs 7-10 hours per week (maybe a little more right at the start), and is paid at the law school’s research assistant scale, which in most cases is $13/hr. Jotwell uses WordPress to publish, but it is easy to learn, so no experience needed.

If you are interested, please email me your c.v. (aka “your résumé”) and a copy (unofficial is fine) of your transcript. If you have a non-legal writing sample, please include that too.

In Which I Try to Decode ‘Resort Casual’

Our law school hosts an annual welcome event for incoming students. The dress code was “business casual.” I know how to do that. This year, for the first time, it’s a brunch. The invite from the Dean’s Office says the dress code is “resort casual”.

Eh?

Oh well, that’s why we have Google.

The first link — to couples.com — has a box around it, so I’m assuming it is sponsored, although it doesn’t say so (naughty Google). The next link is to USA Today’s What Is Resort Casual Wear?. Ok, that’s a bit MOR but let’s roll with it:

The phrase “resort casual wear” causes anxiety in many a cruise attendee with its seemingly oxymoronic nature. Is it casual? Is it formal? What kind of shoes can I wear? How long should my skirt be? While the exact rules may vary by specific resort or cruise, simply imagine that you are going to a country club with your grandmother.

As one commonly does?

Men’s Wear

Country clubs naturally conjure up visions of polo shirts, khaki pants and loafers, and these items are 100 percent appropriate for resort casual wear. Collared shirts are a must, whether polo shirts or button-downs. Although there is little limitation in terms of color or pattern, use your judgment and avoid oversized logos or text. Although khakis or linen pants are a nature resort casual choice for day wear, slacks are a smart choice for dinners and other evening events. Avoid sandals and other shoes that shoe more bare foot than a loafer or boat shoe would.

Not all that helpful. Back to Google, which offers some illustrative images:

Examples of resort casual

Somehow, I’m not finding that helpful either.

Guess I’m just going to assume it means jacket and no tie.

I Would Never Lose My Sunglasses Again?

If these Tile bluetooth tell-your-phone where it last was things worked for Android, which they don’t, I would put one in my sunglasses case.

That said, they seem a bit pricey? $20/year/tracker?

I’d buy the stock if it were available, though.

(Wait a minute: the “use other people’s participation to track your lost stuff” aspect might be a real privacy nightmare once the government starts subpoenaing the records.)

They’re Breaking Out the Champagne

University of Miami President Donna Shalala is probably doing the Presidential equivalent of the victory dance today: U.M. is not listed among the Princeton Review’s 20 top party schools — and the University of Florida is.

That means we’ve found the sweet spot between Bacchanalia and infamy.

The only thing that might dampen the celebration is that #11 on the list is “Miami University.” That’s actually Miami (Ohio) University — but lots of people might be confused.

The Curious Case of Al Jazeera’s Absence From HTC Blinkfeed

TL/DR: Why is al Jazeera’s feed absent from HTC’s Blinkfeed? It’s a mystery.

After writing up my review of the HTC One (M8) the other day, I thought maybe I ought to give Blinkfeed a try.

For those of you who don’t have an HTC phone — and it’s a somewhat specialist taste if reports of declining market share are to believed — Blinkfeed is an HTC-curated/controlled news feed (now available to all Android users). It provides an elegant magazine-like interface made up of user-selected content from among the news sources provided by HTC, and also from one’s social media. Most of the major social media choices you would expect seem to be on the available list, but the provision of news sources is somewhat erratic. There is something from just about every part of the globe, but often not much; there are two wire services, and Huffington Post but no US newspapers. If the US choices are rather spotty in news, they are somewhat heavier in sports and entertainment and various other web-based frills. Many of the news feeds on offer seem rather heavy on gorgeous photos, particularly of landscapes and animals, which I think skews the content of the feed somewhat…although as my test is only a couple of days old it might also reflect that August is the silly season for many news media.

The good news is that Blinkfeed’s options include news from many regions in their home language, so I can get the French news is in French, which I like. And even though you get other languages by changing your “edition,” which isn’t totally intuitive, it’s possible to meld feeds from different languages, so I don’t have to have my US news in French just to get the French news in French.

The bad news is that Blinkfeed is a closed system: I can’t add an RSS feed of my choice, an option that would have made Blinkfeed actually useful.

But, at least, though I, there’s Al Jazeera. Given all the turmoil in the Middle East at present, I thought it would be useful part of my media diet. Except, at least for the last three days, there isn’t any Al Jazeera in my feed. And when I go to the al Jazeera button all it says is “NO CONTENT Pull down to refresh.” Swiping down just repeats the update/nothing-happens cycle.

A Google search got me nowhere. There are plenty of links in which HTC brags about all the content deals it has signed. (I’m guessing people pay HTC for the privilege of being in their sandbox, which is why it’s such an anemic little sandbox.) And even some about HTC adding al Jazeera. But there’s nothing I can find in which HTC says it has dropped al Jazeera.

So I called it in to HTC customer support. I’d had a very good experience with them the last time I called, and no good deed goes unpunished. The support guy I got was understandably skeptical at first. He had me remove everything else from my feed. He had me reboot the phone. No change. Finally he put me on hold for a long static-filled wait. When he came back he explained he’d “gone to the lab” and gotten one of their HTC One (M8) test models, and replicated my problem.

The good news: he now totally believed me.

The bad news: he didn’t have any better ideas than I did about what to do about it.

Apparently, there’s nothing on the HTC internal system about them dropping al Jazeera. No one on the floor at the help center had heard anything like that. So all he could suggest is that I call back tomorrow during regular business hours and ask to be escalated — apparently the escalation team doesn’t work late at night.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll find out if this is a case of broken RSS (or whatever) feed, or a case of political censorship. Right now it’s just a bug report.

Don’t Just Get Mad: Do Something

My brother has a good strong item up about what should happen in light of yesterday’s revelations that CIA Director John O. Brennan lied to Congress about his agency’s spying on Senate investigators:

So if you’re the president, you fire everyone who lies. Starting with John Brennan.

I agree Brennan should go. But it rankles that we’re still stuck in a world where the coverup is punished more than the crime — and that the underlying war crime here, torture, has not been punished at all.