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Comment Re:Our collective memory (Score 1) 124

Thank you for these words. I never knew him personally, but his ideas have affected my thought even when I did not know it. I am often pleasantly surprised to find his work and vision close to my own endeavours. I wish I was able to have met him.

Comment Re:Uh what? (Score 3, Insightful) 105

"'There's a societal ideal that what you read is nobody else's business,'"... no, no there isn't.

When speaking about the act of reading, there is some expectation of privacy, at least from the government. This isn't related to businesses per se, but librarians have fought to keep library records private and as such, their policies and software try to keep records for only as long as necessary (e.g. the duration of loan). Librarians often refuse to give out information on their patrons unless there is a court order.

This same sort of ideal can be applied to businesses in the form of opt-in data mining, but U.S. society needs to make this sort of decision in the form of information privacy law.

Comment Re:Why do you need an example? (Score 1) 498

If high schoolers can compete in the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad , they can surely teach themselves the concepts behind regular expressions and then whip up a bit of Perl to implement it. I know I could. In fact, another competition, ACSL, has existed for a very long time (late 70s) for high-school students that want to improve their CS theory and it tests regular expression knowledge from time to time.

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek