Biographies of Les Earnest
Curriculum Vitae of Les Earnest, February 2013. An orderly summary of a random walk.
My life as a cog, mostly published in Matrix News, January 2000. Reviews encounters with advancing technology from age 2 to 22 and acquisition of an FBI record.
. Possessing a cryptographic key was viewed as a suspicious activity during World War II. Bobby Bond and I then got into more trouble but later engaged in a successful conspiracy that changed the world.
At MIT in the period 1959-63 I developed the first cursive handwriting recognizer, which included the first spelling checker. In 1966 I initiated the much simpler task of creating spelling checkers for use in editing text files. We gave that software away beginning in 1971 and it soon spread around the world via the new ARPAnet.
ROUT, the first search engine (1961), and NS, the first network news service (1975). These services both used inverted indexes to provide rapid retrieval of documents based on content.
recognition of cursive writing, IFIP Congress 1962 (
CIA’s security theater, 1962. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) likes to pretend that everything is secret and that it is acceptable to lie whenever their misconduct is exposed.
Radio markers needed, Feb. 1965. A letter to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior advocating that roadside signs indicating points of interest and providing historical information be replaced by low powered radio systems providing this information so that motorists could get it without pulling off the highway received a prompt favorable reply from a representative of the National Park Service (attached), but then nothing further happened, as usual. This proposal still makes sense and modern digital technology could substantially lower the cost but will government authorities ever figure that out? Probably not.
Can computers cope
with human races? CACM, Feb.
1989. Racial classification was
invented long ago by racists for the purpose of discriminating against people
they viewed as inferior. Even though there is no scientific basis for such
classifications they have since been adopted by modern society as if they meant
something, have been incorporated into certain laws and this nonsense continues
today. It is possible to define races based on
Testimony on Software Patents, 2003, argues that they are a bad idea even though venture capitalists and lawyers love them.
E2A is worse than Y2K CACM July 2000. A wry look at Y2K doomsters, avaricious contractors and military acronymiacs.
lies and politics: Part 4. Terrorists and the politicians who love them,