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According to my calculations, that is the number of times a day, on average, that my 9-year-old daughter, Ella, asks me when we will be able to buy the fourth book in the Harry Potter series.\"
\"416. That is how many times I respond in a reasonable tone, explaining patiently that we will have to wait until July 8, the worldwide publication date for all English language versions.\"
That is how many times -- usually after supper but before the dishes are washed, while her little sister is mashing red Play-Doh into the dog\'s tail -- that I say: \"Leave me alone about the Harry Potter book! I can\'t take it anymore! I can\'t take it, I tell you!\"
\"...My daughter, like generations of intrepid young hackers before her, had begun to address her repetitive questions to an authority figure infinitely more patient -- and logical -- than the average parent. She had turned to the computer. In an exhaustive question-and-answer session at the Ask Jeeves search site, Ella had typed, \"How can I buy the fourth Harry Potter book?\"
Instead of countering that if she wanted an answer, she had first better go make that bed and put away that stack of clean laundry that had been sitting on her dresser for three days, the wise computer offered Ella what seemed like a solution. It told her that a number of online booksellers were already taking orders.\"