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Comment How does this differ from John Holland's work ? (Score 2) 85

Only having read the abstract, and the linked article, I don't really see how this is different from the "2 Armed Bandit" theory which John Holland Laid out 40 years ago in "Evolution in Natural and Artificial Systems". Holland laid out how the combination of sexual reproduction with mutation within a population otpimises search across the space by combining exploitation of good areas of the search space with exploration to find better areas.

Can someone more up to date enlighten me?

kind regards

tree frog

Comment Re:Not just dated... (Score 1) 435

True in many respects :-)

Actually, my original post was not really meant as a Rubyista fanboi statement - I have worked with a whole host of languages over the past 30 years (Is it that long!!)

15 years ago when I first discovered Ruby, I used it for scripting data handling from C++ simulations, and then for sketching out ideas on large scale telecoms simulations which were then implemented "properly" in C++. I now can't remember when I last coded in C++ - I use Ruby pretty much everywhere (with the C API where I need real speed and low level interfacing to hardware.

I guess the point is that things move on and times change. C++ hit the spot in the late 80s and early 90s as it combined Object Orientation with compiled speed. But processors are much faster now and memory is cheaper. So dynamic languages like Ruby and Pythoon become more attractive, as (amongst other things) they are optimized for programmer effort. I have no doubt that they will be eclipsed in their turn by newer and better languages. Particular issues are around concurrency (putting multi-threading across multiple cores) and (for Ruby at least, as has been pointed out) library dependency handling.

If we can see further, it is because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. Bjarne Stroustrop is one of those giants, and we should be grateful for his efforts, and those of his colleagues on the C++ committees.

Comment Re: Combined with the ringing phones ? (Score 3, Informative) 382

Not completely correct, but on the right lines...

GSM and 3G phones listen to the cell tower's Pilot carrier, which contains a whole bunch of data (which network, neighbouring cells etc). thenetwork will broadcast a request for a particular phone to contact it when there is incoming traffic (eg call or SMS) for that phone.

To reduce the volume of traffic, it only broadcasts this request over a small(ish) no of cells, called a Location Area (LA). And how does it know which LA to poll - because part of the broadcast data on the pilot channel is the LA identifier - so when a phone switches from listening on one cell to listening on another (which it doesn't inform the network about unless it is mid call) it checks the LA number, and then updates the network with it's new LA when the LA identification changes.

So if anyone on the plane left their mobile switched on (and with a couple of hundred people on the plane this is a racing certainty), then by checking the operater records for all the phones, LA updates will be there (and yes, operators are required to keep this meta-data for the intelligence services).

In consequence, I would be extremely surprised if the NSA / GCHQ / KGB and Chinese Military Intelligence did not already have a good indication off where the plane was (or was not).

Comment Re:Or maybe Apple is complying with the law ? (Score 1) 465

This is exactly correct.

As executor of a will you have to get probate, which means that a court has to confirm that
1. The will is valid
2. You are appointed as executor of the estate by the will
3. You are a fit and proper person to be appointed as an executor (eg no convictions for fraud, etc)

This is (in most cases) a rubber stamp - you send off the documents, and an official letter (the Grant of Probate) comes back from the court a few weeeks later.

Until you have this, you have no legal standing. Once you have this, you have the right to dispose of the estate as per the will. Any organisation will ask to see the Grant of Probate, and will refuse to deal with you until you have this.

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