Odd Language #154: Solid

From http://www.breakingcatnews.com/comic/the-tub-has-a-new-bathmat/: “Elvis, on a scale of one to baby chick, where would you rate the fluff factor?” ‘A solid “bunny rabbit.”‘

The issue: “solid” can mean definite, but it does not really fit when discussing fluffiness, does it?

I mentioned “Breaking Cat News” once before. If you love cats, this is an excellent slice-of-life comic: great art, great humour, and great knowledge of catness.

My whiskers! Are you still here? Go read it.

Puzzle #157: Dogged

You should not have done it (whatever it was), and now, you are being tracked by dogs. It is hard to see in the dim moonlight, but you know that three of the dogs have white in their fur, three have black, and three have grey with each dog having at least one of the colours of fur. If at least one dog has solid white fur, and at least one dog has all three colours in his fur, what are the minimum and maximum numbers of dogs tracking you?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #155 Solution: Sandwiches

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Unexpected Answers

Many Websites give bogus answers in preference to giving an error message or asking for disambiguation. Google Maps has gotten better over the years, but still does this at times.

I recently wanted to know where the city of Ontario, California is. I typed in “Ontario, CA” and got the Canadian province. I had to append “, USA” to get the U.S. city to see what I wanted.

I did not get asked to clarify, but at least Google Maps did list both in its top five list. I have sometimes been unable to find a community in some countries where community names are often repeated.

Try looking for Springfield if you do not know which state it is in. You can not get a full list on Google Maps, because there are so many. (Most U.S. states have a Springfield.)

If you specify “Paris, UK”, Google Maps will serve you Paris, France with no indication of an error.

As a parting shot, did you know that New York is in the U.K.? It is just northwest of Boston.

Odd Language #153: Slip Up

After correcting a banking error, the teller told me that she would be stepping away briefly “… while you make your next slip up.”

The issue: The meaning was “… while you make your next deposit slip up.”, but as we had just corrected an error, “slip up” could be taken as “slip-up” (as in another error).

Puzzle #156: Cheap, Digital LEDs

You just bought some digital LEDs for really cheap. The manufacturer states that one of the seven segments might not light up. Assuming you do not want confusion between two digits, you should use only those LEDs where the failing segment is which one(s)?

Another batch has a segment that is always on. Which segment will cause the least trouble and why?

(In your answer, number the segments from top-to-bottom, left-to-right so 1: top, 2: top left, 3: top right, 4: middle, 5: bottom left, 6: bottom right, 7: bottom.)

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #154 Solution: Marbles

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

User Interfaces

Sometimes, we can get so used to a way of doing something that we lose perspective that there are different ways to do things. Sometimes, these ways could be better and should be considered.

Many years ago, I read an article criticising the way scrollbars are handled. It made the excellent point that scrollbars as they are implemented in Windows and other systems are awkward in some cases.

One can click in the space between the position indicator and one of the arrows to move one page in that direction. Or can you?

If near either end of the data, there may not be space to click in. This means that to move closer to the end, one can not go by page.

Another arrow in each direction to click on for moving pagewise would be very useful.

I have frequently wished for this over the years. Why can’t we have it?