Anime Gems Season 2: Hyouka

I hope you like Sherlock Holmes style mystery. Because if you do – then Hyouka is for you. But don’t be disappointed if there is neither murder nor crime…

A mystery can be found everywhere, if you just look close enough. This is what Eru Chitanda does. And some mysteries need a mind as sharp as a blade to solve them. This is what Hotaro Oreki does. Because Eru won’t stop pestering him otherwise… Continue reading

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The curious case of the Windows Phone UI

In a recent article I wrote about how Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s late entry to the smartphone game and how they reinvented their own wheels with it. Turns out I was a bit off the mark.

While the first WPhone7 device was certainly released much later (Nov 2010) than its Android (Sep 2008) and Iphone (Jun 2007) counterparts, its underlying operating system and the user interface actually predate both.

It turns out that the missing piece of this puzzle is the Zune. The Zune was Microsoft’s attempt at designing a portable media player to counter the Ipod. The Zune 30 was the first Zune device. It was released in November 2006 and came with a 30gb internal harddisk (hence the name). What’s curious about the Zune players is their UI. Continue reading Continue reading

Wikipedia: Michael Fagan incident

Michael Fagan is a Buckingham Palace intruder who broke into the palace and entered the Queen’s bedroom in 1982.

At around 7:00am on Friday morning, 9 July 1982, Michael Fagan scaled Buckingham Palace’s 14 ft perimeter wall – topped with revolving spikes and barbed wire – and shimmied up a drainpipe before wandering into the Queen’s bedroom at about 7:15am.

Fagan entered the palace through an unlocked window on the roof and spent the next half hour eating cheddar cheese and crackers and wandering around. He tripped several alarms, but they were faulty. He viewed the royal portraits and rested on the throne for a while. He then entered the postroom, where Diana, Princess of Wales had hidden presents for her first son, William. Fagan drank half a bottle of white wine before becoming tired and leaving.

On Fagan’s second attempt, an alarm sensor detected him. A member of the palace staff thought the alarm was faulty and silenced it. En route to see the Queen, Fagan broke a glass ashtray, cutting his hand. The Queen woke when he disturbed a curtain, and initial reports said Fagan sat on the edge of her bed. But in a 2012 interview, he said that she in fact left the room immediately, seeking security.

She phoned twice for police but none came. Fagan then asked for some cigarettes, which were brought by a maid.

Wikipedia: Parity of zero

Zero is an even number. In other words, its parity—the quality of an integer being even or odd—is even.

The simplest way to prove that zero is even is to check that it fits the definition of “even”: it is an integer multiple of 2, specifically 0 × 2. As a result, zero shares all the properties that characterize even numbers: 0 is divisible by 2, 0 is neighbored on both sides by odd numbers, 0 is the sum of an integer (0) with itself, and a set of 0 objects can be split into two equal sets.

A 1972 study reported that when a group of prospective elementary school teachers were given a true-or-false test including the item “Zero is an even number”, they found it to be a “tricky question”, with about two thirds answering “False”.