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    The friendlier one eventually described how much it had cost to investigate another recent case where a person was reported to have pulled down an American flag and stepped on it. Only after the investigation was well under way did they learn that the perpetrator of this nefarious act was only four years old.

    Was the FBI investigating these things because of WWII, or was that the norm? It seems crazy to imagine that nowadays.

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      Assuming the FBI didn’t have agents watching all the flags around the clock, I would guess somebody told somebody told the police told the FBI: we’ve got a flag stomper. So then, working with very little info, the FBI has to find the saboteur and identify their motives and all that.

      Some time ago I spent longer than you might guess trying to find the cause of some database corruption. There was very little information, other than it’s a very important customer, so find out what might corrupt the database and fix it. In the end, the issue turned out to be approximately: the database server doesn’t work when it isn’t turned on.

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      Well worth browsing around elsewhere on the site http://web.stanford.edu/~learnest/ , it’s a treasure-trove of historic stuff around early ARPA, SAIL, etc. And lots of cycling and activist stuff.