Scattershot 2013-12-09

Random shots around the web:

The ACLU tells an effective horror story about what can be done with all that GPS data the NSA is gathering.

The ATF continues to make wonderful ethical choices.

Bill Otis at Crime & Consequences says sending people to prison doesn’t ruin their lives. Because holocaust survivors.

Today’s Google front-page doodle is about Admiral Grace Hopper, who would have been 107 years old today. In my line of work, software engineering, she’s one of the gigantic figures of history, inventor of the COBOL programming language, and of the concept of machine-independent languages in general.
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COBOL is a wretched language compared to today’s modern wonders — Java, C#, C++, Python, Ruby — but it was the first real programming language, and it was so successful that there are still probably tens of billions of lines of COBOL in production over 50 years later.

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