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Jeffrey Ullman
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I had not heard of LBRY, but it seems to be doing an important service here. I'm all for facilitating access to educational materials for those with handicaps, and I do my best to make my own MOOC's accessible. However, I also think that MOOC's and other free materials should not be inhibited by ADA concerns. To quote an imaginary Vulcan sage: "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

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Last week I was in Italy. The main reason was to participate in the "winter school" in Bari, named "BigData 2017." This is part of a series of winter schools of this type, and they seem to be getting bigger and bigger as time goes on. My lectures were on "Big-Data Algorithms That Aren't Machine Learning." Here are some pictures from the trip.

1. The Information Sciences building at the Univ. of Bari Aldo Moro, where the winter school was held.

2. Holly in the old city of Bari.

3. Details of an arch at the Roman Forum excavations in Rome.

4. St. Valentine's Day seems to be St. Valentine's Week in Italy. One of the least raunchy artifacts: a heart-shaped pizza.

5. Holly and I got to visit the Vatican Museum. The highlight is the Sistine Chapel, which you are not allowed to photograph. But they have moved a number of other painted ceilings to the museum, and the last photo is one example. There were many other truly impressive artifacts: Roman statuary, tapestries, and such. You should try to make the visit if you can.
5 Photos - View album

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I just learned about this survey being taken by Trump.
I answered it, not the way he would like to hear. They ask for your name and email at the end, and I was happy to supply mine, but do be warned that you need to do so.

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if you are a liberal who sees Israel as a first-world country beating up on poor third-world Palestinians, you should read this and think again.
“I started to notice that the media were unusually fixated on highlighting the moral shortcomings of Israel, even as other countries acted in infinitely more abominable ways. If Israel threatened to relocate a collection of Palestinian agricultural tents, as they did in the West Bank village of Sussiya in the summer of 2015, for example, the story made international headlines for weeks. The liberal outrage was endless. Yet, when Egypt’s president used bulldozers and dynamite to demolish an entire neighborhood in the Sinai Peninsula in the name of national security, people scarcely noticed.

“Where do these double standards come from?

“I’ve come to believe it’s because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appeals to the appetites of progressive people in Europe, the US and elsewhere. They see it as a white, first world people beating on a poor, third world one. It’s easier for them to become outraged watching two radically different civilizations collide than it is watching Alawite Muslims kill Sunni Muslims in Syria, for example, because to a Western observer the difference between Alawite and Sunni is too subtle to fit into a compelling narrative that can be easily summarized on Facebook.

“Unfortunately for Israel, videos on social media that show US-funded Jewish soldiers shooting tear gas at rioting Arab Muslims is Hollywood-level entertainment and fits perfectly with the liberal narrative that Muslims are oppressed and Jewish Israel is a bully.

“I admire the liberal desire to support the underdog. They want to be on the right side of history, and their intentions are good. The problem is that their beliefs often don’t square with reality.”

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Interesting how this moron (here I'm talking about the stupid mullah who runs Iran, not the stupid real-estate mogul who runs the US) talks about Trump "showing the true face of America," given that this mullah has never hesitated to spew hatred at the US (viz. "Death to America") or Israel. Apparently it is OK for Iran to show its true, and extremely ugly face whenever it wants to, but when someone does it to them, they start to whine.

The two MOOC's I was running on Stanford's platform have now been converted to self-paced courses. Everyone is welcome to join at any time, and if you pass the course, you can even earn a statement of accomplishment. The URL's are:


Data Mining:

I will try to check in on the discussion boards periodically, but no promises.

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I want to remind everyone of the BeyondMR 2017 workshop for research on modern parallel-programming systems and languages.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is Jan. 27, and it will be held (I assume) May 19. However, because it is associated with SIGMOD/PODS, which has just been moved from North Carolina because of the problems with anti-LGBT legislation there, we are not sure exactly where the meeting will actually be held. 

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good to see somebody's still standing up to Trump and his deplorables. 
The SIGMOD Executive Committee decided to move the SIGMOD / PODS 2017 Conference to a different location. Please, do not book flights to North Carolina or make other travel arrangements at the moment. We are currently looking for a new venue. Furthermore, the SIGMOD Executive Committee will make an announcement explaining the reasons and impact soon. 
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