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March 4, 2013 Last week the ‘Prince’ reported a groundswell, or at least a tremor, of support for a plan to make the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a de jure vacation day — currently, it is merely a de facto day off. The price would be starting classes a day earlier in September, which would cut …

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February 22, 2010 Big numbers are everywhere these days, what with lost jobs (millions), bailouts (billions), and the budget and its deficits (trillions). I think most of us don’t grasp these numbers at all, to the point where words like million, billion and trillion have become synonyms for “big,” “really big” and “really really big.” …

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April 20, 2009 It’s hard to sit through a meeting or go to a lecture these days without seeing someone lovingly stroking an iPhone, perhaps researching some vitally important topic or (much more likely) reading e-mail or playing a game. The iPhone was always a sexy toy, but it’s become the geeky tool of choice, …

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1. The Imitation Game I propose to consider the question, “Can machines think?” This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the terms “machine” and “think.” The definitions might be framed so as to reflect so far as possible the normal use of the words, but this attitude is dangerous, If the meaning of …

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In case you expect me to give a complete, well-balanced and neutral survey of the advanced programming activities of the world, I must warn you that I don’t feel inclined, nor entitled to do so. My title already indicates that I am going to meditate on the subject, which is something quite different from giving …

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Not only are there no silver bullets now in view, the very nature of software makes it unlikely that there will be any–no inventions that will do for software productivity, reliability, and simplicity what electronics, transistors, and large-scale integration did for computer hardware. We cannot expect ever to see twofold gains every two years.

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