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Mochi (1)

In 1985 David Masser proposed the abc conjecture. You probably don’t want to know exactly what it is, and you certainly don’t need to for this article. But for those who are curious I give a few details at the end (under Technical Details). The important point is that after twenty years it was coming […]

Trussell Trust

Paddy and Carol Henderson were activists employed by the UN and working with street children in Sofia. Carol’s mother, Betty Trussell, had left them some money and in 1997 they established the Trussell Trust, a registered charity (no. 1110522). In 2000 they decided to switch operations to the UK on hearing about a mother having […]

Administering noxious substances

Last night Greater Manchester Police confirmed that Mr Crompton had been arrested for administering a noxious substance. A spokesman said: ‘On Tuesday, 2 Apr 14, police in North Manchester received a report of concern over medicine administered to a resident at a Blackley care home. Officers from the public protection investigation unit started an investigation […]


Codejam is here again. It is a test in devising algorithms against the clock, open to all-comers world wide. It was supposedly started by Google as a way of trying to select good programmers to work for them, or at least of providing a more objective measure of candidates’ abilities than the usual interview process. […]

WebVan Mark 2

Webvan is a strong contender for the biggest dot-com bust ever. In the increasing frenzy of the late 1990s Louis Borders persuaded the boys at Benchmark Capital that he had an even bigger hit (at that point Borders bookstores, which he had founded in 1971, were doing well). It was so exciting that due diligence […]