Boring Date (comic)
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Regular Expression Matching can be Ugly and SlowIf you open the first few pages of O'Reilly's Beautiful Code, you will find a well written chapter by Brian Kernighan (Personal motto: "No, I didn't invent C. Who told you that?"). The non-C inventing professor describes how a limited form of regular expressions can be implemented elegantly in only a few lines of C code.
A simple command line calculatorA textbook example of recursive descent parsing.
Experiments in making money onlineIs it possible to make money on the internet, if you try really hard? I want to find out. I have always been interested in getting money for doing nothing.
Asking users for steps to reproduce bugs, and other dumb ideasYou can fix impossible bugs, if you really try.
Why don't web browsers do this?Why don't web pages start as fast as this computer from 1984?
VP trees: A data structure for finding stuff fastLet's say you have millions of pictures of faces tagged with names. Given a new photo, how do you find the name of person that the photo most resembles?
In the cases I mentioned, each record has hundreds or thousands of elements: the pixels in a photo, or patterns in a sound snippet, or web usage data. These records can be regarded as points in high dimensional space. When you look at a points in space, they tend to form clusters, and you can infer a lot by looking at ones nearby.