Changes (Good Ones) at Jurist

I don’t think that anyone can seriously dispute my claim that Bernie Hibbitt’s Jurist web site at the University of Pittsburgh has long been and continues to be one of the top few legal web sites. The site has so many great resources, especially the links to law professor pages for their courses – an excellent way to get up to speed and find major cases on specific areas of law.
Bernie has announced a series of major enhancements to JURIST. “The site upgrade, which is both substantive and technical, will be ‘rolled out’ gradually over the next two months as we test new structures and features.”
The first set of changes involves bringing in student editors to increase the amount of legal news coverage.
I love to hear that a great site intends to get even better.

A Graphic Illustration of the Impact of a Blog on Web Site Traffic

Legal tech guru Jeff Beard presents a graphic illustration of the impact that adding his blog made to the traffic to his web site.
Jeff finds that over 40% of his traffic comes via newsreaders.
Jeff’s stats are quite interesting. Most of what I’ve heard about the impact of a blog on traffic is anecdotal or estimated. My sense has been that my web site traffic has roughly tripled since I started my blog, but I haven’t looked closely enough to draw any conclusions and I have a lot of other content on my site.
Now, there are a lot of different stats and a lot of ways to look at them, but I think Jeff’s little study bears out the general premise that a good, well-publicized blog with an RSS feed will definitely increase your web site traffic.

Langa on Recurring Microsoft Security Problems

Fred Langa’s column in Information Week today is called “Enough Already: Microsoft Must Change” and does a great job of explaining the recurring Microsoft security problems.
But he doesn’t stop there.
Langa focuses on an important theme – why do buffer overflow flaws still continue to show up in Microsoft software when they’ve clearly been a major source of problems for years?
Langa doesn’t leave the problem entirely at Microsoft’s doorstep. Security issues are amplified by the huge number of people running old, unpatched software without even rudimentary firewall protection.
Langa argues, I believe correctly, that getting us out of the current security quagmire is a two-step process. First, software vendors have to step up and do a better job than what they have been doing. Second, we users must take a far more active and attentive approach to security issues.
We are part of a network and being part of a network brings both benefits and responsibilities.
Langa ends with some tough, but spot-on, comments, that we all need to think about:
“I think running an unpatched, unprotected PC is a form of negligence analogous to driving a car with bad brakes or broken headlights: You’re going to get yourself into trouble, and also make things worse for everyone around you. Just as drivers who share the road must also share responsibility for safety, we all now share the same global network, and thus must regard computer security as a necessary social responsibility. To me, anyone unwilling to take simple security precautions is a major, active part of the problem.”