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See Inside October/November 2007

From Russia, with Love

How I got fooled (and somewhat humiliated) by a computer

IT ALL STARTED with an online dating service. I was looking for a date. Like most men (we dogs), I made my initial judgment based largely on a photo. Yes, that's shallow, and when one is online, it's also fairly stupid because photos are all too easy to fake. But this time, I really blew it.

The main photo showed a slim, attractive brunette, supposedly living in California not far from me. She didn't say much about herself, and her English was choppy, suggesting that she was a recent immigrant. That's okay, though; all four of my grandparents were from Russia, after all.

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