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Some people may sit back and say, "I want to solve this problem" and they sit down and say, "How do I solve this problem?" I don't. I just move around in the mathematical waters, thinking about things, being curious, interested, talking to people, stirring up ideas; things emerge and I follow them up. Or I see something which connects up with something else I know about, and I try to put them together and things develop. I have practically never started off with any idea of what I'm going to be doing or where it's going to go. I'm interested in mathematics; I talk, I learn, I discuss and then interesting questions simply emerge. I have never started off with a particular goal, except the goal of understanding mathematics.

Michael Atiyah



 

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First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 4/3/2014

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Update every 30 minutes. Last: 1:44 PM Pacific

 
   |  Cupertino, PI

posted at 03:50 PM | | [2] |

Colleague David found a real, live example today of what has been termed the "Cupertino effect." This refers to "runaway spellcheckers" that suggest some pretty wacky alternatives for what the spellchecker thinks is a misspelled word.

This is from an article in today's online version of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Moon decided on the tactic after reading on misplace about a boy who claimed he regularly drove 100 mph on Interstate 5 and avoided detection by knowing how to spot patrol cars, relying partly on whether the plates were in-state, Hullinger said.
In case they get around to updating the version online, here's a graphic of it:


Can you tell what they actually meant to say? I didn't get it right away, but almost certainly they meant MySpace. David did the legwork and reports that for MySpace, "Word 2003 suggests my space and misplace". (He also notes: "Word 2007 suggests MySpace and my space. Moving with the times, is Office.")

Moral: check your spell checker's checks. Which of course you already do, right?

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