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Comment: Re:What I want to know.... (Score 1) 159

by etwills (#35172560) Attached to: Thrifty, Anonymous Benefactor Backs Up BBC Websites Before They Go Dark

Its' not the cost to date, but this morning's Metro stated:

The BBC announced last month it would remove the sites from the web as part of cuts to its £34million online budget. It is also axing 360 staff.

and

While the torrent was created anonymously, some sources have suggested that the person behind it is Ben Metcalfe, also known as dotBen, who posted a link to the archive on Twitter with the message: ‘So here it is... if you want to download the torrent backup of all the sites the BBC are closing.’
Metcalfe is a former BBC software engineer, who helped launch the BBC blog network, now living in the US.

Comment: Re:Who are you? (Score 1) 273

by etwills (#35018648) Attached to: Facebook Launches Social Login and HTTPS

Or people with friends who only use random cartoon characters as their profile pictures.

(In my case, that would be pictures of pets. So yeah, that's going to work)

Given that the ToS implies you're not supposed to put false or misleading information into profiles in the first place, presumably this will lead to pressure on the offending parties (from fellow users) to conform. Which is fair enough.

...and also increases the quality of the underlying data, which I can see is an outcome that's going to have its detractors...

Comment: Re:Four by four? (Score 1) 86

by etwills (#34267092) Attached to: Problem-Solving Bacteria Crack Sudoku

While Sodoku is usually played with a 9x9 board, any square number would work. 4x4, 16x16, I've even seen a 25x25 in a Sodoku book before. (Started it, but didn't want to spend that much free time finishing it.) Technically you could have a 1x1 board but there's not much fun in that!

It isn't necessary to have a square number size, it just means that you are forced out of having a puzzle comprising row-, column- and square-based "house"s when you do. Various polyomino forms have been done, from plain rectangular to the the "Squiggly" variety at dailysudoku.co.uk

Being reasonably competent at the various 9x9 forms (I seek puzzles online because the only puzzle I've found in the national press that I can't solve is the supposed-world's hardest [solution]), I can't see that there's any great complication possible in one of 4x4 size, although I'd imagine it was precisely the point to have *some* complexity but not *lots*.

Comment: Re:Can you even buy a netbook without windows? (Score 1) 317

by etwills (#34255470) Attached to: Comparing Windows and Ubuntu On Netbooks

every time I try to run the Compaq XP Recover CD, it gives me an error: "Not enough free space."

You don't say anything about the model or age of this laptop, but if it's anything like the Compaq I had then its install disk will want to make multiple partitions (some of which will be specially marked) on the disk and get upset if there aren't enough free slots or decides it doesn't dare risk trashing a existing system if it finds one (especially likely since you've currently got one that clearly isn't Windows). This was a while ago, but something roughly analogous is true of the more-recent EeePC 700 series where Linux versions have (AIUI) a system, user, and and additional DOS-readable partition for handling BIOS updates.

If you're lucky you'll find that the Linux install you completed recognised a valid partition table and backed up the relevant disk sector, complete with any magic bytes that may or may not have been originally there [Google can advise if these are necessary!] compared to what's in the standard Linux MBR. If not, you couldn't do worse than 'dd' a sector's worth of zero bytes over the existing partition table and see if your reinstall disk starts to behave as a result of blanking it completely, putting Linux back again if you really have to.

Comment: Re:I can see the 3D fine... (Score 1) 495

by etwills (#31829110) Attached to: Do You Have a Secret Immunity To 3D Movies?

Lazy, astigmatic, squinted, and very happy to have seen Avatar's 3D effect work :)

Background: I get kind of travel sick with FPS games and can't do Magic Eye at all, but have successfully observed 3D film presentations before (a six-minute ride at the National Space Centre which I felt only kind-of-worked but looking back I was probably suffering the FPS effect too much to gauge it effectively).

I had at least been firmly forewarned that staring at the out-of-focus things to try to "fix" them would disconcert, so I knew what to expect to an extent. One of my 20/20 friends had nothing of this, however, and he got the headaches something rotten! Go figure.

Comment: Re:Simply, no software required. (Score 1) 483

by etwills (#31083768) Attached to: How Do You Accurately Estimate Programming Time?

I take the amount of time I think it will take, double it and move it up a time unit. So, if I think it will take two days, I estimate 4 weeks. If I think it will take a week, I estimate two months and so on.

Mod parent insightful. I actually worked somewhere this was reasonably sensible; okay, the granularity of what we actually had was "hours", "mornings", "days", "weeks", "fortnights", "months" - (pretty much doubling again, looking back at it written down), but there really were so many meetings and other overheads that it made sense (that's probably what killed us, but I digress).

...and then sometimes management did the same again, which was nice. One demo I delivered in the predicted "few days tops" (including several additional features I anticipated followup requests for) which "we told [the customer] we'd need three months". The graphics design guy got plenty of time to beautify it and everyone was *very* happy :)

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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