Monthly Archives: January 2018

Trust in Computing II

I asked last week, “So whom can you trust?”

Well, not Intel which tried to suggest that all CPUs had this problem.

And not Microsoft, who put out a patch and then told some users to not install it but not other users.

Considering Apple’s behaviour with their battery debacle, they are not on the list either.

Whom do you trust in the computer field?

Odd Language #240: Which Bacon?

I often chat with the tellers at my credit union when I bank on Friday. A couple weeks ago, I was describing a sandwich that I used to get at my alma mater. It was a turkey-bacon sandwich (or maybe the bird meat was chicken). The teller said she preferred the real thing. I was confused until I realised …

The issue: … that the teller thought that I meant a sandwich made with turkey bacon which is turkey processed to resemble bacon. I was referring to a turkey and bacon sandwich.

Puzzle #243: Five Nickels

You put five nickels in a bag. Four of them are ordinary nickels, but one is a fake with two tails sides. A random coin is drawn from the bag and placed on a table so only one side (which is randomly chosen) is showing. The coin shows tails. What is the probability that the coin drawn is not the fake?

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, January 31, 2018 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #241 Solution: Fluffy to the Rescue

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Puzzle #242: 2018

Using the digits 2, 0, 1, and 8, and the operations addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and factorial, form expressions evaluating to the integers from zero to nine. For example, 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11 and (2 + 1) × 8 – 1 = 23. The digits need not be used in the order 2-0-1-8, but you might try anyway. (In other years, I have come up with such solutions for all ten, but for this, I only managed five. Can you do better?)

[Zero factorial (written 0!) equals 1. For a higher integer n, n! = 1 × 2 × 3 × … × n. For example 3! = 6.]

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, January 24, 2018 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #240 Solution: The Bet

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Different Thinking

If you had your smartphone stolen, you probably would not be feeling very positive, maybe somewhat victimised. After all, what can you do about it?

This xkcd strip shows an example of different thinking. Enjoy. Now, read the mouseover text, and enjoy some vicarious revenge.

It is not a good idea to do that, but it might help you pick yourself back up.

Odd Language #238: Located How?

“HMAS AE1 (pictured), a Royal Australian Navy submarine lost at sea in 1914, is located off the Duke of York Islands.” — Wikipedia main page for 2017-12-30

The issue: Does the sentence mean that the submarine is at that place or that it was found at that place? It turns out to be the latter. The distinction might be clearer if you consider this sentence: “The submarine, lost at sea in 1914, was located in the maritime museum.” There, the two situations have been separated.