Wires Crossed #120 – June 24

Google Does Away With Brainteasers

Google Does Away With Brainteasers
Google is often cited as one of the best companies to work for in the world, but what they don’t tell you is that trying to get your foot in the door is like trying to cut open a diamond with a box cutter. And that’s because their interviewing process has always been a little outside the box. They ask questions like “How many golf balls fit in a lounge?” and similarly abstract ideas. Not so much that they want answers, but to see how people react to such questions. Now Laszlo Bock, the company’s Senior Vice President of People Operations has admitted that the questions don’t help the company in any way when hiring so are now going to do away with them. However, don’t expect them to go any easier with you during the interview process – it’s still a hard gig trying to get your foot in the door.

Streetview Data Collection Causes Headache For Google
Google is also in the news for all the wrong reason over the information its Street View cars collect as they go around mapping roads. The company had undertaken to obey orders set out by Great Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office to destroy data that it collects from unsecured wifi networks. It failed to do so and now might incur a fine if it doesn’t destroy the discs that contain the information within 35 days. Privacy campaigners are up in arms over the fine stating that they think that it is nothing more than a slap on the wrist – and with the company have total equity worth of over US$53 billion you can’t help but feel they have a point.

HTC Execs Get Hit In The Back Pocket
On the back of a recent report that Panasonic was cutting the pay and bonuses of its executive team, mobile handset maker HTC has done the same. The amount of money being paid to those in charge has dropped more than 50 percent – from US$45 million to US$21 million. With Apple successfully cutting HTC’s smartphones out of the lucrative US market, topped off by modest sales around the world, the company thought it prudent to tighten the belt, and started doing so at the top. Still, its One device looks like being a strong seller, and its rumoured that the company has hired Iron Man/Sherlock Holmes actor Robert Downey Jnr to be the face of its brand in order to up its sales and profile.

Mob Rule As Tweets Ask For Head Of Birther Reporter
When is a birther not a birther? When you’re a Yahoo reporter that’s when. The Twitter sphere went off the deep end when Yahoo reporter Rachel Hartman said that President Barack Obama would not be visiting his homeland on his recent trip to Africa – the inference being that he was not visiting his father’s birthplace of Kenya. For those not in the know, a Birther is the derogatory term liberal politicians and media give uber -conservatives in the US who believe that President Obama was not born in Hawaii but Africa, and therefore ineligible to be Commander in Chief of the United States. So when Hartman wrote her piece, liberals and Obama supporters let her know exactly what they thought via Twitter. However, there is something weird about the whole thing. Two years ago Hartman wrote a piece slamming birthers for accusing the president of not being born in the US. She put it down to latent racism on the part of the far right conservative movement. Also, the background picture on her Twitter page is of the first lady, Michelle Obama and her daughters. Yahoo has since made a correction to the article, and there hasn’t been a peep out of Hartman.

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