G-Speak Spatial Operating Environment: A Next Frontier in Solutions for Professionals

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on July 11, 2012

As Wendy Gardiner noted in her post, one of the keynote speakers at Wolters Kluwer’s Technology Conference was Kwindla Kramer, CEO of Oblong Industries. Oblong created the gestural interfaces in the film Minority Report (see this TEDtalks video given by John Underkoffler, the science advisor for the film). Oblong’s mission is to remake the world of computers and part of that effort was the development of the g-speak Spatial Operating Environment. Its current customers and partners include Boeing, SAP, GE, and others. My question is how this operating environment can be relevant to Wolters Kluwer’s customers. How might g-speak augment Wolters Kluwer’s solutions for its professional customers? Can g-speak enhance professionals’ solutions for their clients? Read further >

When Will the e-CFR Become Official?

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on June 20, 2012

Suppose you are a tax, legal, regulatory or healthcare professional representing a client in the United States. You want to help your client understand the full extent of fedeal regulatory activity. Inevitably, your research will involve the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”) and the Federal Register (“FR”). I already have posted about the added value of Federal Register 2.0 in this context. But now I want to add some thoughts about the e-CFR. Read further >

Emerging Hybrid Content-Software Products for Tax, Legal and Regulatory Professionals

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on May 09, 2012

In the software and information services industry, I foresee a merger of software and content. We’ve certainly seen over the past decades software supplementing or replacing tasks that formerly were performed through use of content assets. Example: tax software for filling out tax returns that in the 1950’s required pencil, paper and some sort of tax reference book. Tax calculation has a level of predictability and standardization not present for many other tasks performed by tax, legal and regulatory professionals (these principles apply equally to the health sector, but my background is not in health). Content fully integrated into the tax compliance software environment can increase customers’ confidence in act on a particular workflow step in the software. But I see a an even bigger future for these two inputs. Read further >

More on Social Media in Government as Inspiration for the Private Sector

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on March 19, 2012

Recently I posted about social media in government, particularly government’s presence in social media. I noted how government’s increasing presence in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., can inspire the private sector in integrating social media with commentary and explanations. I’d like to dig deeper into the topic from another perspective. Take a look at Regulations.gov. Click on “Advanced Search.” Place a checkmark next to “Open for Comment” and click “Search.” You’ll see a results list of US government regulatory activity that is, literally, open for comments. You’ll also find several submissions of comments by citizens about regulatory activity. You can click “Submit a Comment” to offer your own thoughts about regulatory activity. Every comment receives a “Comment Tracking Number” that enables its later retrieval. Users also can find comments by keyword search. Regulations.gov reminds me a bit of Facebook but with a focus on regulations. Each proposed regulation in Regulations.gov has its own “wall” just like each member of Facebook. Read further >

Understanding Big Data in the Context of Legal Publishing

Edward Bryant
Written by Edward Bryant
on March 12, 2012

The idea of utilizing big data has been getting a lot of attention lately. It promises companies the ability to respond to changes in the marketplace by collecting, storing, and analyzing the ever-increasing amount of data about the behavior of its customers to make quicker and more well-informed decisions. It was not that long ago that a publisher would be forced to speculate about which parts of a print product influenced a customer’s decision to purchase it or which parts they found most useful. The move from print to electronic, and then to mobile, has brought with it vast amounts of data about its customers from an increasing number of sources, including online usage, sensors, and other smart devices. The challenge for companies facing this data-driven future is in finding a way to make use of this flood of data, rather than being overloaded by it. Read further >

The Battle Over BPA

Danielle Capilla
Written by Danielle Capilla
on February 29, 2012

Bisphenol A or BPA is an organic compound that has quickly fallen out of favor and into the news headlines in the past few years. Used in making polycarbonate polymers and epoxy resins which are materials to make plastics, BPA emits hormone-like properties that are weak but detectable, leading to a public outcry of its use in items such as food storage, baby bottles, water bottles and plastic utensils. As with many substances, the United States and countries of the European Union remain divided in how they are handling BPA. Read further >

Open Government Data: Risk or Opportunity?

Christian Dirschl
Written by Christian Dirschl
on February 27, 2012

From 21st to 23rd March, the LOD2 consortium will hold its plenary meeting in Vienna, Austria. As with the previous plenaries, there will be an evening event with local governments and administrations around Open Government Data (OGD). One key aspect in this meeting will be the focus on what impact OGD has on business. I personally think quite a bit, especially for a legal publisher like Wolters Kluwer. Read further >

Federal Register 2.0 & Regulations.Gov: Examples of the Open Government Initiative

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on February 24, 2012

Compare the official electronic version of the Federal Register with an unofficial version called Federal Register 2.0. Which do you prefer? I prefer Federal Register 2.0 which is based in XML and a manifestation of the US government’s Open Government Initiative. This initiative aims to make government more transparent and collaborative as well as to enable citizens to more easily participate in government. One of the ways that the US government is fulfilling that goal is making Federal agencies’ work product more accessible through the use of XML. You can learn more about Federal Register 2.0 by watching one YouTube video from the US Government Printing Office and a second from the US National Archives. The video from the National Archives describes how the technique of open innovation was used to create Federal Register 2.0. Read further >

Auto-Complete and Pre-Search Suggested Searches for Searchers

John Barker
Written by John Barker
on January 20, 2012

A value-added service in many public search engines has been auto-complete and pre-search suggested searches for searchers. You go to Google or Bing and begin typing a query, for example, “bus”, and Google’s auto-complete suggests “bus times,” “business links,” “business for sale,” and “bus timetable.” This feature is very helpful in several aspects. By displaying alternative word forms, the researcher has the opportunity to discover a better formulated version of his or her query. The suggestions might be words that are directly related to the searcher’s intent but which also serve to expand or refine the user’s search. Auto-complete in mobile devices, where the logic seems to be driven by an app in the smartphone itself, such as in my iPhone, can be quite annoying because frequently the suggested terms are wholly unrelated to my search intent and I experience it as low value-add, in fact, a nuisance. But I’ve adapted my search workflow to the iPhone. Read further >

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