Category Archives: modern life

Oh, the places I’ve been!

When I heard the rumors that my iPhone was tracking my movements and keeping a log of location data, I was annoyed. Now that Apple has fixed this bug/feature, I’m even more annoyed. There’s just no pleasing me. The fuss … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life, technology | 2 Comments

Give me that good old-fashioned AI

It is said that to explain is to explain away. This maxim is nowhere so well fulfilled as in the area of computer programming, especially in what is called heuristic programming and artificial intelligence. For in those realms machines are … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 6 Comments


Two weeks ago my wife told me about her new Googling strategy: She ignores the top-ranked items and immediately clicks through to page six of the results. All the earlier pages, she says, are larded with SEO spam—links whose ranking … Continue reading

Posted in modern life | 3 Comments

The prime twins conjecture

Over the weekend, identical twin sisters Inez Harries and Venice Shaw both celebrated their 100th birthday in California. I heard about this on the TV news, where it was the human-interest teaser story. “What are the odds of that?” the anchorman … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, modern life | 6 Comments

CAPTCHA arbitrage

What a world we live in. It seems there are places on this planet that are wired well enough to support internet commerce, yet where people are poor enough that solving CAPTCHAs for 50 cents per thousand is an economically … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 14 Comments