Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I thought this was my favorite Christmas news story, but now I think it might be this.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Wave Power

So, when I was at that breakfast last week (or I guess the week before at this point) I met a guy who works for the Oreogn Department of Energy. He was on his way to a conference to hear about a plan to install a wave energy facility on the Oregon coast.

At the time, I didn't really know about wave energy, but apparently there's a facility off the coast of Scotland that would be the model for the Oregon one.

Greenpeace has a good illustration of how it works. Basically, you have a big tube with air at the top and the ocean at the bottom. As the waves roll in, they compress the air in the tube, which causes a turbine to turn, and voila, electricity. Here's another illustration.

According to the MSN article, the main obstacle is funding. Rep. Peter Defazio may be on board, though, with an "if Scotland can do it, so can we" attitude.

Pretty cool, no?

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Natural Step

One thing about working at a law firm is that you end up attending a lot of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings for various community, business, legal and charity organizations. A couple of days ago, I was asked to attend a meeting of the Oregon Natural Step Network when a partner at my firm who is a member of our Green Committee was unable to attend.

Now, those of you who know me, know that I care about the environment--I recycle, compost, and ride my bike to work--but I wasn't one of those militant environmentalists that are so prevalent at my law school. So, although I was familiar with the concept of sustainability, I wasn't familiar with the Natural Step, which originated the sustainability movement.

Today's meeting featured speakers from OMSI and Coastwide Laboratories who talked about their organization's efforts to make their businesses sustainable. It was really cool to hear about people in positions of power at their businesses talking about the importance of taking a systems approach to sustainability.

Besides the fact that 1) the breakfast was at 7:30 am on a morning following book club, 2) there was a severe lack of coffee at the table, and 3) because it was a sustainability organization, there was no bacon, I actually enjoyed going to this thing. And, as a result of my interest, I find myself the newest member of my firm's Green Committee.

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All I wanted for Christmas was a DVD of A Christmas Story. But even if I don't get that, this is even better!

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Far Out

So, my perennial absence may be a clue to you all just what it's like to be a first year associate at a business law firm. Not that I'm complaining, I've enjoyed my first three months at work as much as can be expected, but it's no joke--I'm putting in long hours and I rarely look at the Internet anymore.

Today was the first time I've visited JKF, Stay Free! or BoingBoing since I started work at the end of September. I have no concept of what's happening out there in the world, so not much to say.

I will say that on Thursday I attended an excellent CLE (continuing legal education) put on by the Oregon State Bar's Intellectual Property Section (and hosted by LC Prof. Lydia Loren). The speaker was Fred von Lohmann from the EFF. He talked about MGM v. Grokster (which I've mentioned on this blog previously). Specifically the difficulties in counseling technology clients about their potential liability for contributory infringement, vicarious infringement, and now inducement to infringe in a post-Grokster world. Basically, this new Supreme court ruling will have chilling effects on innovation simply because of what the Court didn't say, and with legal uncertainty, comes the ability of the content industry to bully technology companies with the high cost of legal fees, even without actually going to trial.

So that was a highlight. I really like Fred, and the work the EFF does. (If you're a blogger, you might consider donating some $$ to the EFF for their work on bloggers rights).

That is the one sad thing about the last couple of months--although I am very much enjoying learning about real estate transactions, and working with the folks in my group, I can't help but be a little sad about not having time or energy to keep up with the IP stuff. I guess I'll just have to make time.

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