August 2006 Quick Links (Volume 1)

By Eric Goldman

So many good links this month, I’m breaking up this quick links post into two installments. The first installment:

* When Internet start-ups want to hire their first lawyer, they typically have three immediate legal needs—they want help with securing financing, procuring a domain name, and running a sweepstakes. Yes, sweepstakes typically make the “top 3” issues on an entrepreneur’s mind. Unfortunately, the world of sweepstakes and contests is pretty murky to those of us who don’t practice it regularly, which is why I always referred these matters to specialists. Fortunately, one of those experts, Tsan Abrahamson, recently published a nice primer on the subject in the Business Law Today.

* Web users are using the back button less frequently. I’m not sure what to make of this. Are search engines doing a better job delivering relevant results or giving previewing content, so that fewer searchers are “pogo-sticking”? Does this reflect the proliferation of toolbars so that unsatisfied searchers just conduct a new search in the toolbar window rather than hitting the back button? Some other explanation?

* The Federal Trade Commission released its Annual Report to Congress for FY 2005 Pursuant to the Do Not Call Implementation Act on Implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry. An amazing 107 million phone numbers are now registered on the registry.

* Information Week provides one person’s perspectives on the 12 best software programs ever. I thought this was a pretty good list. I do think we should give even more credit to the early coders who worked for the space program—they wrote amazing and (usually) reliable software using limited lines of code operating in extreme environments (very low power, very limited processing power, cold as Hades).

* Brief recap from our roundtable discussion at the ABA Annual Meeting on blog law and virtual worlds.

* A blast from the past: the famous 1993 New Yorker cartoon.