Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Value (Score 2) 44

by dr_blurb (#46646863) Attached to: Data Mining the Web Reveals What Makes Puzzles Hard For Humans

Absolutely spot on.

I wrote a Calcudoku generator/solver a while ago (now in heavy use at and spent a _lot_ of effort on the difficulty rating bits (and still know there is room for improvement).

One idea that isn't in there yet is to somehow incorporate the distance between the solving steps: if the next logical step is in a cell very near the previous one, you see it more quickly, hence the puzzle is easier.

Comment: do what you love (Score 1) 379

I'm an older programmer (yes past 40, programming for about 30 years) and find no problems at all with finding work.

You'll bring more experience than the hipsters. Only issue with some companies is the higher rate/salary.

Ridiculous that once you're older you should be managing a group of 20-something programmers: do what you love, and if that's programming and not managing, stick with it.

Comment: lesser known but useful (Score 1) 531

by dr_blurb (#46382973) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

Some of the lesser known high quality & useful software (so won't be listing emacs here):

  • sox: commandline audio processing
  • cdparanoia: CD ripper
  • inkscape: SVG editor (ok pretty well known by now)
  • xwrits: primitive but effective "RSI prevention" software
  • valgrind: memory leak checker (and much more)
  • gnuplot
  • xxdiff: great graphical diff
  • testdisk: data recovery
  • ...

+ - The World's Easiest Logic/Number Puzzles

Submitted by dr_blurb
dr_blurb (676176) writes "Sure enough, trying to find the hardest puzzles is all good and well, but what about us mere mortals? Puzzles should be entertaining, a short and mild diversion, and not keep you up three nights in a row. So for everyone who's looking for puzzles that are definitely not taxing, check out The 5 Easiest Logic/Number Puzzles In The World."

Comment: Re:More reprsentative stats please (Score 1) 390

by dr_blurb (#46118167) Attached to: IE Drops To Single-Digit Market Share

some stats for a Calcudoku number puzzle site with about 65000 visits/month:

Chrome 29.2%
Safari 23.2%
IE 21.3%
Firefox 20.3%

Smaller interesting ones:

Android 3.6%
Opera 0.7%
Amazon Silk 0.3%

Operating systems:

Windows 60%
iOS 16.8%
Mac 13%
Android 6%
Linux 3.3%

Up and coming (?) Firefox OS has 0.5%
Not so up and coming (?) Windows Phone comes in at 0.2%

Comment: Re:The question (Score 3) 171

by dr_blurb (#45888157) Attached to: TorrentFreak Blocked By British ISP Sky's Porn Filter

Obscene and Tasteless - This category will block sites that offer advice on how to commit illegal or criminal activities, or to avoid detection.

The trick is to combine things that parents will obviously want
to block (in that category: "how to commit murder, build
bombs, " and "gruesome or even frightening content such as
shocking depictions of blood or wounds, or cruel animal
treatment.") with stuff that the MPAA/government etc. want to
block: "Sites with information about illegal manipulation of
electronic devices, hacking, fraud and illegal distribution of
software will be blocked along with ..."

... in the same category!

"Illegal manipulation of electronic devices, hacking" is nice and
broad as well, so plenty of sites to block.

Why is hacking "obscene and tasteless" anyway?

Comment: bitcoin tweets available for analysis (Score 1) 157

by dr_blurb (#45491641) Attached to: Cyprus University Accepts Bitcoin For Tuition Fee Payments

I've posted a (torrent of a) 6 month archive of tweets about bitcoin at

To be precise, it's 50% of all tweets (every other tweet), so it can be used as a training set, with the other 50% to be used as a test set later (for your sentiment tracker / price predictor, etc.)

+ - Venezuela and Nicaragua offer Snowden asylum

Submitted by 0111 1110
0111 1110 (518466) writes "Following an UNASUR bloc meeting of South American leaders in Bolivia on Thursday and as Spain corroborates Bolivian President Morales' account of the effective grounding and search of his aircraft in Austria by France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, President Maduro of Venezuela has made NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden an offer of unconditional "humanitarian asylum" in his country. Following this announcement President Ortega of Nicaragua also offered asylum "if circumstances permit it". Snowden had previously applied for asylum in both countries."

+ - The 10 World's Hardest Logic/Number Puzzles

Submitted by dr_blurb
dr_blurb (676176) writes "If you like your logic and number puzzles to be of the harder variety,
check out "The 10 Hardest Logic/Number Puzzles": we've tried to identify
the World's hardest puzzles in categories like Sudoku, Kakuro, and chess.
There are 9 on the page so far, so your suggestions are needed for the
10th entry. And what is it that makes these puzzles so difficult?"

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.