It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

Steve Davies said it one year*
mini me + poo
lovingboth
'If you can play like it means nothing when it means everything...'

It's what Stuart Bingham managed to do and, right at the end, Shaun Murphy couldn't.

A great end to a great tournament.

* I think after scraping through the first round...

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This is the anti-death penalty bleeding heart liberal BBC for you...
mini me + poo
lovingboth
Three people, one of whom is blind, are each given a hat from a supply of three white and two red ones. Without anyone being able to see what hat they have, can any of them deduce what colour they have?

In the BBC's Today programme version they're prisoners and will all be given their freedom if any can state it correctly. As stated by them the answer is trivial: if all of them say 'white', at least one of them must be correct and there's no punishment if anyone is wrong! But you're expected to work out how the third, blind, one can be correct after the first two say that they don't know.

OK, what are the possibilities? Normally with three either/ors, they'd be 2x2x2 = eight of them, but they can't all be red, so that leaves seven:

W W W / W W R / W R W / W R R / R W W / R W R / R R W / R R R

The point of this puzzle is that we don't need to know which of the seven it is, just what the last letter is.

When the first one says they don't know, we know that the two they can see are not both wearing red, otherwise they'd know they had white:

W W W / W W R / W R W / W R R / R W W / R W R / R R W / R R R

Obviously, the second person must also be able to see that the other two aren't wearing red..

W W W / W W R / W R W / W R R / R W W / R W R / R R W / R R R

So that means four out of the remaining five possibilities have the blind one wearing white, but how do you eliminate the WWR combo to make it four out of four?

Imagine that it is WWR. The first one sees W&R. Hmm, their hat could be either. If the second one also sees W&R, they could announce that they have a white hat - if they had a red one, then the first person would have seen two reds and thus known their hat colour. So if the first two can't answer, it can't be WWR:

W W W / W W R / W R W / W R R / R W W / R W R / R R W / R R R.

.. so without looking at the other two, the third person knows they have a white one.

The WP version sensibly adds mass execution if any get it wrong, and also restricts people's vision so that the second person can only see the third one's hat...

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'It's all going too fast!'
mini me + poo
lovingboth
I'm in Berlin until tomorrow. I'll do a travelogue 'soon', but I just wanted to talk about one bit of it before I forget more of the details. Contains operaCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/545956.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.

I really don't watch much TV
mini me + poo
lovingboth
Apart from the recently mentioned House of Cards 3 and some classic Who, this is more or less it for drama and comedy.

I saw a repeat of the first Plebs by accident and liked it so much that I saw the rest. It's a 'poor people in ancient Rome' sitcom, with the two poor Romans (and their slave) trying to have sex with the poor Briton (and her slave) in the same tenement block and almost anything else that moves. The production values are particularly good: it was made at a permanent Rome set in an Bulgarian studio complex. If only I, Claudius had had that...

The second series of Bluestone 42 ended with a huge cliff-hanger, resolved that in the first episode of series three and has then taken a huge risk with the second... I wonder how it will work out, because they have a very high standard to match.

Speaking of third series, that of The Americans is managing to be even better than the first two. It's a disgrace that ITV decided not to buy it.

Better Call Saul is also very very good. In both cases, we know the final result - the KGB do not win the Cold War and we know at least three characters from the latter are going to survive to make it into Breaking Bad - but the journeys are done with real respect for the viewers' intelligence and attention span.

Not yet done, but I will: Wolf Hall.

Was the second series of Broadchurch any good?

Anything else? I've seen the first episode of Powers despite it being a superhero show. I'm wondering if it will be worth watching. I'm looking forward to a second series of Fargo, the ninth (and last, sniff) series of Peep Show and it'd be good if there was another Episodes.

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Meet the old boss, better than the new boss
mini me + poo
lovingboth
While I'm talking about old stuff being better than the new..

.. the Horror channel have been showing some of the very best of the classic Dr Who stories recently. Especially for the ones from the Tom Baker era, these show why I've never liked the new version: stories spread out over as many episodes as they deserve, with cliff-hangers, are better than 'we have to start, develop and finish this in 50 minutes' ones.

.. I see ITV4 are using Clive Everton as a snooker commentator. He's not been part of the BBC's World Championship coverage for years now, ever since they ditched everyone who's not an ex-top 16 player. Some of those are very good: Hendry, Davies, Taylor, Thorne, and Virgo* bring loads of value to the microphone. But not all of them do and at least one is almost an embarrassment. Clive knows as much as anyone about the game and is a great commentator, especially with a more informal one for 'colour'. If only he had been a better player...

* That's definitely in decreasing order of playing success, and probably increasing order of commentating ability, although it's always amusing to hear Stephen's 'I'd have won this by now...'-style comments.

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Insufferable but puzzled
mini me + poo
lovingboth
C is not my computer language of choice. My brain can cope with one set of conventions for what silly character means what, and Forth got there first (as well as being a much better language in lots of ways...)

So it's been some time - the 90s? - since I did anything involving pointers in C. (That cix program I mentioned Terry Pratchett using was it.)

The insufferable bit comes from having done something with them last night... and it working! First time! No crashes or anything!*

The puzzled bit comes from the way that the program got noticeably faster when I changed a bit of it that's done less than 1% of the time compared to how much it got faster when I changed the bit that's done over 99% of the time... in the same way.

Original algorithm: uses 8 'if' statements a lot, most of which fail to be true. It also does 8 array accesses each time. 355ms average over 1000 goes.

Second version: in the bit that's used 124/125ths of the time, replace the 'if' statements by additions and bitwise 'and's and make a simple adjustment to the final result to get the right answer. 315ms average over the same 1000 goes.

Pointer version: because I know how far apart the array accesses are, do it via a pointer instead. 307ms average.

So between them, that saved 48ms per go, 40ms of which was losing the ifs. (And about 110ms of what's left is displaying the result.)

It obviously won't make as much difference, but for the fourth version, replace the 8 ifs in the bit that's done 1/125th of the time. Because the array accesses are not as simple in those, leave them in...

... 269ms per go = 38ms saving!?!

How did losing the ifs 124/125th of the time save 40ms and losing them 1/125th of the time save 38ms? Was gcc doing better code for first version of the 124/125th bit?

If nothing else, I now know that having a series of failed 'if's on this ARM CPU must be really slow.

* Mind you, I did forget that - to save the lazy typists responsible for C and *ix a few keystrokes - when you add one to a pointer, the compiler thinks that you mean 'one lot of the size of the things you've told me I'm pointing at' rather than 'one'. But fortunately, I'm pointing at bytes, rather than anything bigger. Had I been pointing at words or anything else not one byte long, it wouldn't have worked.

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Oh poo
mini me + poo
lovingboth
As well as writing lots of very good books, Pterry was a user of the program used to access cix that I was responsible for.

I'd have kept the cheque if I thought the signature made it valuable, but he did so many signings that there were people who used to go along with books for him to unsign!

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Won't someone think about the Daleks?
mini me + poo
lovingboth
The BBC is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for matters relating to journalism, art or literature.

This means they are entitled to reject all sorts of queries made under the Act.

Some are serious*, some are from people annoyed at programmes**, and...

"3, How do you tell the difference between male and female Daleks?
4, Do you keep your male and female Daleks apart from each other?
5, Do you employ any safety measures to ensure your Daleks do not breed?
6, If your Daleks were to have baby Daleks then how old are the baby Daleks [when]
their ray gun things become operational?"

* There's a very interesting query about a specific meeting around the time of the miners' strike.

** Lots of questions about Top Gear, for example.

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The least credible email I will get today
mini me + poo
lovingboth
'Today Is Your Final Chance To Get Free Delivery!' from The Works.

If you've not used them, it's rarer that they charge for it! About the only excuse is that they are talking about free delivery on any order... that's only sometimes the case.

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Been enjoying Cucumber? (spoiled) 2
mini me + poo
lovingboth
It's been two small steps forward, one giant leap back really. TW: sexual violenceCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/542779.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.