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oops

c|net (and lots of other news sites and blogs) report that AOL accidentally released data containing search queries. The general sentiment is that this is going to land AOL in hot water; not good considering it is trying to reverse its fortunes by using ads as a replacement for revenue from its broadband users, who will now be able to access AOL for free.

The article mentions that AltaVista released data from its logs for research purposes a few years ago. I remember being contacted by someone at AV who wanted me to provide (anonymized) log data to a research group at the 'tute. I don't remember offhand what group it was, however. In fact, I was ticked off about this because the contact wouldn't let me communicate with the MIT people directly, even though I was perfectly capable of doing so. This was around the time I started feeling unhappy about my role within the company.

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