Link Round-Up: Mar. 24, 2016


‘Link Round-Up’ gives you a glimpse into the articles that got the most airtime around the Loom Analytics water cooler this week. Published every Friday, article topics include access to justice, big data, legal technology, and what’s happening in the Canadian legal landscape.

Author note: We’re moving the link round-up to Thursday this week because of the holiday Friday tomorrow in Ontario. Happy long weekend!

  • The Supreme Court of Canada will have a vacancy come September 1st. Justice Thomas Cromwell, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2008, announced his retirement on Tuesday. The only Nova Scotian currently sitting on the bench, Justice Cromwell will retire at the age of 64.

    Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, commenting on Justice Cromwell’s retirement, said, “Justice Cromwell’s tireless efforts to increase access to justice will continue to benefit Canadians long after his retirement from the bench. We will miss him greatly.”
  • In data news, Twitter has said that early retention and usage data indicates that few users have opted out of its algorithmic timeline, which displays recommended tweets at the top. Earlier last month, Twitter announced that tweets that a user is “most likely to care about” will appear at the top of their timeline while the rest of the tweets will appear below in the usual reverse chronological order.

    Many users criticized the change, saying that Twitter was turning its timeline into a Facebook-like, out-of-chronological-order feed. #RIPTwitter started as a trending hashtag full of criticism related to the change.

    But as TechCrunch reports, early data from Twitter suggests that users are not opting out of the algorithmic timeline -- in fact, Twitter said the opt-out rate is in the “low single digits”:

    “Combined, these shifts represent a realization that real-time content and recency aren’t necessarily what makes a service compelling to its users. Instead, what users want to see is interesting content that matters to them.”
  • Is machine learning just for companies with huge R&D budgets? No, and it has wider applications than self-driving cars and personal assistants, according to TechCrunch’s Lukas Biewald

    For example, machine learning can understand consumer behaviour through social media monitoring by  separating the signal from the noise in millions of tweets to give companies the edge in a product launch or ad campaign. With so much data now openly available,  innovations in machine learning will continue grow rapidly.