The Month in Technology December 2015 - not censored by JEP !

Apologies to anyone who wanted to try to solve the puzzle in the JEP, sadly they truncated the article at a critical point.  Numpties. Full article ...

So this is Christmas, and what have you done ?

For those who complain that this column is too complicated, there is even a Christmas puzzle at the end.

If you are short of a present, Martin Ford’s book “Rise of the Robots” that I have been plugging just won the FT/McKinsey business book of the year.  In case the new Adele or Coldplay albums aren’t bleak enough, giving this dystopian vision to an accountant guarantees tears before the Queen’s Speech.

It has also been called to my attention that there are still a couple of Tech BS Bingo phrases I haven’t included.  Apologies, this is an oversight.

To remedy this, let me introduce the “Internet of Things” – no, not Wikipedia but essentially everything being connected to the web.

People of a certain age will fondly hark back to Tomorrow’s World episodes presented by hairy men in beige flares demonstrating curtains opening themselves at a certain time, the fridge telling you to buy more milk or your car telling the kettle to boil itself since you are nearly home.

Fortunately it is a lot more useful than that, if not more fun.  One of the most interesting developments is Smart Cities, being led by Songko in South Korea and Santander in Spain. Closer to home is the newly announced CityVerve project in Manchester, a collaboration between tech firms, universities and local government to deliver intelligent street lighting, smart parking, health monitoring and air quality sensing.

Segueing from a Northern Powerhouse to a northern Powerhouse (clunk), it could be argued that Jersey Electricity’s smart meter network is among several similar initiatives in Jersey, mygov.je and a smart parking solution, albeit uncoordinated.  Maybe Santa will empty his sack to give Jersey a combination of Smart City and Estonia, with all of us (gasp) having a single identifying card that allows us to access, and be given, services with the utmost efficiency and quality.  Becalmed eGov has been a story of the technology year, but we can but hope…

And so to the puzzle.  No cheating, please try and remember what it was like when you had to engage your brain rather than Google !

Hint – every word is important, and no there aren’t any typos !

One day after the morning service the verger (who had not attended) stopped the vicar.

Verger:         “How many people in the Congregation?"
Vicar            “Three”
Verger          “How old were they ?"
Vicar            “The product of their ages is 2,450”
Verger          “You have to tell me more”
Vicar            “The sum of their ages comes to twice your own age"

The next day the verger met the vicar again:

Verger          “I need more information”
Vicar            “None of them is older than I am”

The verger then told the vicar the ages and got it right.

How old is the Vicar?

The answer next year, and if you can’t get it, in the words of the malapropism of the month, "Don't shoot the passenger" (HB)

Merry Change Freeze and a Happy New Year.

dan@continuum.je