* Posts by Chris Evans

451 posts • joined 27 Jun 2008

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AI taught to beat Sudoku puzzles. Now how about a time machine to 2005?

Chris Evans

Brute force or logic?

I often do the Sunday Times 'Very Hard' Sudoku and most weeks I can work it out by reasoning, but about 30% of the time I get stuck (The on line solvers I've tried also can't solve them) I then look for an 'X' must be 'here or there'' and try that.

I do wonder if sometimes they are only solvable by brute force. This paper doesn't seem to answer that question.

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ARM chip OG Steve Furber: Turing missed the mark on human intelligence

Chris Evans

Great article

Great article and good to read the correct original etymology of ARM

"the original Acorn RISC Machine (better known as the ARM chip)".

When they set up ARM PLC this was changed to "Advanced RISC Machine" though I think it has for many years been just plain ARM.

Their website I see "arm, ARM and Arm" on the same page!

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Chris Evans

Acorn NEWSPad Re: Ancient history

I recall hearing from Acorn that when Larry Ellison visited them about the NC reference design they showed him the NEWSPad he was impressed and he wanted to take one back to the states, when they said they couldn't give him one he replied but I might buy the company! They then explained that they only had two prototypes.

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Outage at EE wrecks voice calls across the UK

Chris Evans

"How hard is it to compare SMSs to a list of legit numbers from banks, gov agencies and utility companies?"

Comparing would be easy, it is keeping up to date the list of legit numbers that is the problem. I doubt any company/organisation is going to volunteer to do it.

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Chris Evans

Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

I wonder why is Blue is associated with Intelligence?

Any ideas?

https://www.colorpsychology.org/blue/ tells me:

"Dark blue is the shade that is associated with intelligence and lack of emotion. Blue is an almost universally liked color. It's positive aspects are that it is a calming and safe color. It can lower the heart rate, improve mental clarity and inspire creativity."

For me an Intelligent blue would be bright, mid to light (Electric blue?)

Welcome back Alistair you were missed!

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Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

Chris Evans

It's Friday. So where is Alistair Dabbs?

Good as it is 'On Call' can't hold a candle to Alistair Dabbs's "Something for the Weekend, Sir?".

His last article was 28 Jul 2017:-(

Please come back, we miss you.

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Snopes lawsuit latest: Judge orders disputed cash can flow to fact-checking site

Chris Evans

Re: Great site!

"Whose interests are paramount? The reader's or the advertiser's?"

Long/Medium term there won't be any readers if the Advertisers interests are followed. But I admit short termism is the norm nowadays:-(

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Chris Evans

Great site!

I hope they sort it o.k. It is one site I trust.

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DJI drones: 'Cyber vulnerabilities' prompt blanket US Army ban

Chris Evans

Can't fly anywhere as standard?

"Irritated hackers later modified DJI's firmware to allow flights outside of these no-fly zones,"

I suspect they meant write "INSIDE of these no-fly zones"...

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Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

Chris Evans

The drivers name!

Was it Damien by any chance:-)

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Ofcom pops 37% spectrum cap on mobile providers' domes

Chris Evans

Mmmm I'm torn.

The 3G auction raised £22.5 bn. As someone who doesn't use a mobile much and so don't pay a lot. It would nice if they raised a lot more than the £2.3 bn of 4G. Now if only we knew the government would spend it on the NHS or Education....

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TfL, WTH is my bus? London looks up from its mobile

Chris Evans

Re: WTF is my bus?

I suspect most TFL bus users are on routes that have one every 10-15minutes ore so. So the app has little benefit. It is those bus routes that are half an hour or longer between that would really benefit. I wonder how many 'out in the sticks' routes have the information available and a suitable app?

Just looked at my local bus companies website Stagecoach

"No service updates

Sorry, there are no service updates matching your selection"

And no app that I can see:-(

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Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

Chris Evans

Re: Mis-spelled Names

Trademarking is only part of the reason, I suspect search engine results are even more important.

swonsong comes top in a google search. Unless it caught on massively swansong probably wouldn't be on the first page.

n.b. Apparentlly Google is an inadvertent misspelling of googol (10 to the power of 100)

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No way to sugarcoat this: I'm afraid Uranus opens and closes to accept particle streams

Chris Evans

Re: 98 degrees tilt? I'm confused!

I follow what you say but think it might probably be more understandable to call it 82 degrees tilt with reverse spin.

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Chris Evans

98 degrees tilt? I'm confused!

A tilt of axis up to 90 degrees I can understand but how can you have more than 90 degrees?

98 degrees would be 82 degrees the other way surely?

Which way is up?

n.b. I keep my globe with the south pole at the top to demonstrate to my grandchildren that there isn't a right way up, only a relative positioning.

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Virgin Media to close flagship Oxford St store in August

Chris Evans

Consultation?

"We will not be going into detail of all the roles impacted as we want to make consultation meaningful, however we can let you know there are further reductions proposed to the head office teams. Once collective consultation has concluded we will share with you the impacted roles.”

Not sure what effect any consultation will have as they seem to have already decided who gets the chop! Notification would probably closer to the truth, though I do understand that the law very optimistically calls it a consultation.

Anyone ever heard of a 'consultation' changing what was planned?

Also the obvious question: How many stores will be left?

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

Chris Evans

"Every time I saw Concorde fly, it sent shivers down my spine, the most beautiful aircraft I have ever seen."

I agree, seeing it flying was mesmerising. I was in the grounds of Windsor Castle with my family twenty years ago when Concorde flew over, whilst routed to the spot admiring it I happened to look down, everyone had stopped walking and were gazing skywards:-)

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Info commish: One year to go and businesses still not ready for GDPR

Chris Evans

Missing link?

A link to a guide about what GDPR is all about would have been useful (and good journalism)

I've found the official ICO page: here

and what seems like a better article with some useful links: here

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Plutus Payroll finally pays up ... but pays people TOO MUCH!

Chris Evans

Risky

"Always presuming that the contractor is still working in Australia and now, having just received 4x the amount owed, has not transferred all the money back home and shut down his account."

The courts in the UK can take a very dim view of such actions and may consider that criminal. I could move the money to my 'offset'. account and if 'reclaimed' my main account is automatically replenished from the offset account. Money in my offset account reduces my mortgage interest|

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IBM's pension fund sells most of its IBM shares

Chris Evans

All your eggs in one basket?

Whilst nick has pointed out that 82,000 shares is insignificant regarding the total fund. I've read of quite a few Pension funds that had more than 10% in there own company. I wonder if there should be a legal limit of 10%. If a company goes bust the last thing you want is to also lose your pension.

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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

Chris Evans

Professional duty?

Many of my IT friends and I feel it is our Professional duty to string these scammers along for as long possible. I don't always have time the time but I've managed to keep them on the line for over an hour a couple of times. "I'll go and turn it on.... The computer is upstairs and doesn't have phone near it... Oh its crashed I'll have to reboot... Should I turn my router on... My keyboard hasn't got a windows key... " When I eventually give up, i do try the what does your mother think or what are you going to tell your children. I've had them phone me back to tell me how bad I am. One friend managed to string them along for two and a half hours (respect). I don't think I've got the patience or skills to last that long even if I had the time.

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DSL inventor's latest science project: terabit speeds over copper

Chris Evans

Re: Showing my ignorance probably..

"Why would you still need the slower signal? "

You don't need it and you don't want it, but wouldn't it be there and interfere with the faster signal. I guess they must have a way of filtering it out.

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Chris Evans

Showing my ignorance probably..

but I wonder how (When it eventually arrives) the much slower signal that goes down the center of the wire doesn't interfere with the data then being received from the edge?

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Facebook fake news: Sort it out yourself, readers

Chris Evans

Just NOT TRUE

I follow the axiom: Just because something is in the newspaper, on the TV/Radio or the internet doesn't necessarily mean it is false!

The trouble is who do you trust?

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Unpaid tech contractor: 'I have to support my family. I have no money for medicines'

Chris Evans

@ 5% interest! Re: How it made money is therefore a mystery...

Do tell me where please?

0.5% or even 0.05% on instant demand accounts is common nowadays!

Also they are probably only sitting on the money for a handful of days each month.

So still a mystery to me.

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BBC hooks up with ITV, launches long awaited US subscription VoD

Chris Evans

But it reportedly has somethings we don't have!

Many BBC programs are only available on iplayer for a few weeks after broadcast. e.g. iPlayer says about Blackadder: 'This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer' and last week I wanted to watch the first program in the 'Inside no. 9' series only to find it wasn't available despite being broadcast less than three weeks before.

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Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

Chris Evans

"they may SEEM TO be cheaper ....

There is a very important difference!

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HP Ink says ink sales are down but PC sales are up, up, up!

Chris Evans

Tip!

Even after selecting 'remind me in 50 pages' option on our HP Colour M451DN printing slowed to a crawl. Opening the door to the toner tray, pulling it out and then pushing it back in. Fixed that.

I've lost count as to how many 'remind me in 50 pages' selections I've done and still all colours are printing fine.

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Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10

Chris Evans

Re: -0.8 A clearer option?

Using a full stop as a non decimal separator helps put off potential users. Why not use say a dash or a letter?

So for Release 4 Version 9 Build 2

4.9.2

4-9-2

R4V9B2

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Last Concorde completes last journey, at maybe Mach 0.02

Chris Evans

Concorde replacement.

"...hope to debut a new supersonic airliner in 2023"

I do hope that they do get it into service, though I doubt it will happen. There have been many plans for Concorde replacements over the last 30+ years but none have got very far. That is a great pity as delta winged aircraft look beautiful, especially in flight. They are also the only planes that look like they should fly!

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Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Chris Evans

They don't help their case.

“Three or four cases have gone to prosecution,” Matthew confirmed.

Making statements like that makes them look inept. Either a case has gone to prosecution or it hasn't.

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Virtual monopoly on UK cell towers and TV masts up for sale

Chris Evans

Re: "The truth is that the strong British Pound..."

Yes buying something NOW in GBP is cheap. But the problem for the current owners is that they bought years ago. Any income sent out of the UK will now be lower when converted Canadian Dollars etc.

Whenever there is currency movement there are just as many losers as winners!

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals to be made from old electronics

Chris Evans

Re: Calling Tim Worstall

I was going to give you an upvote but then read your last paragraph about athletes, so a down vote it is!

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Mr Angry pays taxman with five wheelbarrows worth of loose change

Chris Evans

Re: Weigh the coins

"There are ways to make it awkward if you feel really passionately"

I think few people will find the time and effort worth it! Though if you're planning on getting publicity with a view to getting something changed then I can it might work!

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TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

Chris Evans

Re: @ Lee D

"I can generally type faster than I talk".

I wish I could!

A quick google tells me that "The accepted average typing speed is 41 WPM (words per minute), and professional career typists can exceed 100 WPM"

Also: "..average American English speaker engaged in a friendly conversation speaks at a rate of approximately 110–150 wpm."

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Don't believe the 5G hype! £700m could make UK's 4G better than Albania's

Chris Evans

Faster capacity?

"one-hundred-times-faster speeds, and one-thousand-times-faster capacity."

Shouldn't that be "Greater capacity"

I realise that there is normally a trade off between speed for an individual user and total capacity.

Or have I misunderstood things?

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Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

Chris Evans

Sorry and Welcome back

My condolences on your loss and welcome back.

Almost every day of December I looked your column and was disappointed!

Very glad you have returned, here's hoping for a better 2017 for you.

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Gov claws back £440m for rural broadband

Chris Evans

Re: Super fast 24mb ...

If you hadn't made a typo and had actually written "30Mbps" I'd have given you an up vote!

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Chris Evans
Chris Evans

Please stop repeating BT's and the Government's lies!

They call it 'Super Fast broadband' but it isn't ,when compared to many other countries. FTTC (BT Infinity etc) is a maximum of 76Mbps. Hong Kong and Singapore already have an 'Average' speed higher than that.

[url=http://www.internetsociety.org/map/global-internet-report/?gclid=Cj0KEQiAkO7CBRDeqJ_ahuiPrtEBEiQAbYupJdjxXSonBF773AFO-VKkQllypAtMGTI4i4_W_3SimuEaAicw8P8HAQ#download-speed-fixed] www.internetsociety.or [/url]

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Jimbo Welshes on pledge to stop fundraising

Chris Evans

Re: Big John

Who writes the 'sub-headlines' of articles the Journalist or an Editor?

I know the later is the norm for Newspapers but for on-line I suspect it may vary.

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Macbook seized or stolen? But you've set a FileVault password, right? Ha, it's useless

Chris Evans

Why give full details so soon?

I never understand why full details of such vulnerabilities are given so soon after a fix. I wonder how many susceptible computers have yet to be updated. In this case as physical access is required the problem is not massive but why make it easy for hackers?

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NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft

Chris Evans

"from the GPS system work out the wind speed on the surface." How?

"CYGNSS satellites just have receivers. They take their signals from the GPS system [PDF] and use those to work out the wind speed on the surface."

I can see how GPS gives their position and any possible movement but how does that give "wind speed on the surface." Tracking cloud movement is the best I've though of.

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If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

Chris Evans

Re: Remarkable

"It's almost like they only want us to buy through Amazon."

I think some of the regulations have been made with Amazon in mind and were actually trying to restrict them but the result ended up to Amazon's benefit as many other sellers find it difficult to implement. e.g. cross border VAT on digital downloads.

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Linus Torvalds releases 'biggest ever' Linux 4.9, then saves Christmas

Chris Evans

Re: 4.10 later than 4.9?

"It's not a decimal dot, it's a separator!"

Yes I know that, but how many non geeks do?

If geeks want to encourage computer literacy use of jargon and non standard usage of things like the decimal point should be avoided.

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Chris Evans

4.10 later than 4.9?

Version numbering can be very confusing for the uninitiated. If you suspect you might need more than 10 versions before incrementing the digit before the decimal place why not start at 4.01?

Getting more people using Linux is a good thing but some people need gentle guidance. The command line is very scary for the uninitiated and whilst very powerful it seems very awkward.

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I was a robot and this is what I learned

Chris Evans

Event capacity?

Whilst I can see using telepresence units as being a bit more efficient at events (you could log in and start the moment the doors open) there is limited capacity on the event floor[1]. Given the saving on travel and accommodation and possibly more importantly time It would be a sort after resource.

So I'd expect market forces to come into apply and you'd have to pay to use one or some other form of distributing the limited resource.

[1] 'Robot wars' could find a new outlet!

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US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

Chris Evans

Press reporting of Polls

I saw no mention of how accurately (complete with caveats) the poll results were reported! I'm sure that has had a significant effect on the four recent unexpected results (General Election, EU Referendum, US Presidency and the vote in Italy this weekend).

Voters don't seem to like to be told how to vote!

I can't see any politician around the world calling an election unless they absolutely have to or have fixed the result in advance (Russia?)

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Chris Evans

Most of the creationists I know also believe in evolution! They are not necessarily mutually exclusive, especially if you are thinking of the start. Scientist keep coming up with new ideas about the big bang. AIUI many/most see flaws in the various current theories.

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Banks' bid to board iPhones' NFC chips rebuffed

Chris Evans

Re: They ain't dumb Apple you know

"Apple was happy enough with a tiny percentage"

Figures please?

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