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Alex Fabrikant
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At Dick Karp's 80th birthday celebration. Don Knuth is speaking. He just fished out Karp's 1959 PhD thesis, put Karp's code on a slide (UNIVAC microcode! for...Euclid's algorithm), and is publicly going over all the bugs he found.

After confessing that Dick gave him a copy back then, but that he hadn't gotten around to reading it until now.

In case you ever wonder what it takes for anyone to ever read the details of your dissertation. All you have to do is be Dick Karp. And wait a few decades.

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Read this. +Hope Wabuke gives the crispest first-hand view I've read all year into exactly what is so infuriatingly wrong. You don't have to pick a side in the Ferguson mess. You don't have to pick a political label to identify with. Just read this as a human.

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Have an opinion on things like biking through stop signs?

If yes, then fill out this survey for a study being run by the University of Colorado.

"The difference between a cult and a religion? In a cult, one guy knows it's all a scam. In a religion, that guy is dead."

(via +Troels Sørensen...but how is it that the Internet doesn't have a reliable source attribution?)

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Over the last year I've worked with some awesome folks (+Kester Tong  +Mark Sandler, +Corinna Cortes , +Matthew Turk,  +Gideon Mann  +Arnaud Sahuguet, +Adam Berenzweig) to understand how people collaborate on data analysis and to build better tools to support them. Yesterday, with the help of +Fernando Perez and +Wes McKinney we revealed this work at PyCon APAC.

We've created an interactive, collaborative analytics tool by integrating Google Docs, Chrome, and IPython. You can open a notebook from Drive. You can share notebooks like you would share a Google Doc. You can comment and edit collaboratively, in realtime. There is zero setup, because all the computation happens in Chrome. You can even quickly and easily package your analytics pipeline into a GUI for folks that don't want to program. In effect, you can go from zero to analytics with little impedance.  

What's even better is that you can build on our work. It will all be open source on top of public Google APIs. We'll have a larger Google Research blog post about this work when we release the code and the Chrome application.

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Dear public spokespeople for computer science at large(*),

May I please request a loud public rebuttal to this take by Justice Scalia on the distinction between a cotton gin and a universal computing device?:

" 'Why isn’t doing it through a computer not enough?' Scalia asked sarcastically. 'I mean, was the cotton gin not an invention because it just means you’re dong through a machine what people used to do by hand?' "

This is as good a time as any for it to enter the public conscience that the transition from "I have a sequence of steps X" to "Let us now perform my sequence of steps X by <the currently popular format of Turing machine>" is never a fundamentally novel invention, and even less so when the steps are already mechanistically described by patent language.

(*) - I'm looking at yall, +Scott Aaronson +Lance Fortnow +Moshe Vardi +vint cerf 

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IEEE- and Springer-branded "conferences" printing SciGen-generated papers, in bulk.

San Francisco PD decides to jail and abuse a random good Samaritan for shits and giggles. How is this not in the mainstream press yet, +SFGate?

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Update: Thanks +Sheila Eldred for getting this fixed!

Apparently, the problem came from +Corbis, which has a bunch of A. muscaria photos mislabeled as A. phalloides:

Dear +Discovery :

You are spreading deadly misinformation with your choice of clipart. The below article on "death cap" mushrooms, Amanita phalloides, is currently decorated with the extraordinarily distinctive (and somewhat less deadly) Amanita muscaria. How many readers' lives can you save by showing a real phalloides photo -- a nondescript mushroom with a greyish-to-brown cap that looks like many others to an uneducated eye?

See, e.g.:
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