sony book reader thing

March 25, 2009

Paper is so passe these days and to prove it, Waterstones have the new Sony Book Reader thingy on display. The spangly gadget I toyed with in the Ipswich branch was actually a real one (which shocked me when I tinkered with some buttons and the dratted thing did something).

The hardware looks so much nicer than the shitty Amazon Kindle thing (which appears to have been designed by a blind man suspended by one leg from a rope, using a blunt pencil whilst the drawing paper is attached to a balloon floating in a swimming pool).

I’ve not looked at the whole DRM thing and how it communicates back to the Big Brother Book Server, but I assume that as this is Sony, it does, and often.

The only issue I could find is that no matter how “niace” it looks, all sleek and silvered plastic, I was unable to rotate the virtual page from being in landscape mode to portrait with the buttons available to me. I can only guess that in order for it to do my bidding, I would have to read the instruction manual, mutter the password and make the secret hand gesture (fact fans, it isn’t a mumbled “well fuck you” and a two-finger salute).

(boredofjam technology reviews. Proving that research is out and parentheses are utterly necessary).

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just like the buses

March 24, 2009

Nothing for ages and then three updates all at once.


regarding whowerd

March 24, 2009

Hands up who thinks that David Tennant’s Doctor in the BBC’s eponymous time-travel show, Dr Who, has a touch of the Frankie Howerds about him? All that “Don’t.. don’t… don’t…” nonsense is surely a give away.

How long before RTD gives up completely and we get prime examples of this in an upcoming special?:

“OoooOOoooh! Donna! OoooOoh he’s The Master, he says, oooOoooOOoh! Now… well… you wouldn’t oooh, you mustn’t… mustn’t mock the regenerated, no..”


times are hard, jobless numbers increase

March 24, 2009

I was rejected, by my own best friend, a man I would call “brother” (if we were related), for a job today.

Here’s the interview question posed:

1) The Fibonacci sequence is a well-known sequence of numbers which occurs frequently in natural processes. It is defined thus;

Fib[1] = 1

Fib[2] = 1

when n>2, Fib[n] = Fib[n-1]+Fib[n-2]

i.e., each term in the sequence is the sum of the previous two terms; and so the sequence starts 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21…

a) On the whiteboard, in whatever language you like (or pseudo code), write a recursive function to return the nth term in the sequence.

b) Write an iterative function to return the nth term in the sequence.
Can you say anything about the comparative speed / memory usage of each version?

My answer:

I’d just like to say that the recursive code I’d write would be tremendously slow when compared with the iterative version. But this is expected and whilst the code would look nicer, we should not, even in these days of incredible computing power, reject the more efficient iterative code simply because we like a tidy bush.

So do I get the job?

Sturge’s reply:

Purely for the use of the phrase “tidy bush”? Err, no, ‘fraid not.


one wonders

March 11, 2009

Is my soul safe if the most exciting thing to happen to me so far today has been the new scrolly-news-headline application on the BBC News website?