Four short links: 13 October 2016
Cake Cutting, Tea Making, Google Interviewing, Automation Puzzling
- Fair Cake-Cutting — But in April, two computer scientists defied expectations by posting a paper online describing an envy-free cake-cutting algorithm whose running time depends only on the number of players, not on their individual preferences. […] The algorithm is extraordinarily complex: dividing a cake among n players can require as many as n^n^n^n^n^n steps and a roughly equivalent number of cuts. Even for just a handful of players, this number is greater than the number of atoms in the universe. You can’t have your cake and compute about it.
- English Man Spends 11 Hours Trying to Make Cup of Tea with Wi-Fi Kettle — Three hours later and still no tea. Mandatory recalibration caused Wi-Fi base-station reset, now port-scanning network to find where kettle is now. I can never remember whether to portscan before or after adding milk. (via BoingBoing)
- Google Interview University — A complete daily plan for studying to become a Google software engineer. (not from Google) A reminder to be careful what you ask for, lest people study for years to give it to you. I look forward to achieving a solid B+ in FizzBuzz 201.
- The Paradox of Automation (Guardian) — The better the automatic systems, the more out-of-practice human operators will be, and the more extreme the situations they will have to face.