Assorted links


LET'S FLY -- Indicates an order to be expedited. ("Let's fly on Table 12!")

This is gripping stuff. I don't know how the NYT ever got the clearance to introduce us noobs to the secret codes in the restaurant business.

And this is the first in a series? You're telling me there is MORE to come? Wow.

Pulitzer material, as always, from these people.

#2 -- instead of charging just for items of food or drink, why not also charge for time spent at one's table? That is, why not allow patrons to bid for tables?

With the "Free WiFi" they are paying us to occupy their tables.

I like the idea of a Kickstarter contribution to fund an author's research.

Today, we fund authorship and research with little public participation. it's called a foundation grant. From AEI, from the Koch Foundation, from Mercatus. From a small elite.

What if we had publicly funded, via Kickstarter, research grants to sponsor a book or author.

Would it be funding what we know will be produced, or will it be funding discovery?

Only now you wonder, Bill? But let alone the FDA, DoD, NSF you call out AEI, Koch, and Mercatus and neglect ACLU, SPLC, Brookings, et. al.? Are you trying to be a parody of yourself?


You would have insulted me if you had said I was being a parody of you.

Be that as it may, include Brookings, but I am unaware that the ACLU funds books or Southern Poverty Law.

How about Heritage and Cato?

2. The PBS documentary "The Ice Cream Show" showed the teenagers and college students who worked behind the ice cream counter talking about their codes: "check vanilla" meant a very attractive female had just walked into the shop. But they admitted that the code hid nothing, since they would all turn their heads and look whenever someone called check vanilla. And then the women working behind the counter came up with "check banana".

#4: I just realized filipinos don't speak spanish while puerto ricans do. Even tough puerto ricans are US citizens..........I can not elaborate an idea, just wondering about this situation

I suspected that #3 was going to be about Rakuten, as I interviewed for a software development position there several months ago. The whole experience was bizarre. In the US, the normal format for a software engineering interview is to have one or two technical phone screens. These consist of the interviewer asking some basic programming and computer science questions to make sure that the candidate is not grossly incompetent before taking the time to set up a full-day on-site interview and, for out-of-town candidates, paying for travel expenses.

Then there will be a full-day on-site interview, consisting of interviews with 3-5 engineers and often an HR representative. These mostly involve difficult technical questions, and a small amount of time will be devoted to assessing "culture fit," which is basically trying to determine whether the candidate is someone they'd like to have as a coworker. Then an offer is made, or not.

By the way, the sort of non-technical brain-teaser questions that are featured in those "Interview Questions from Microsoft/Google/Facebook" articles appear to be extinct in the wild. The only time I've ever been asked such a question was when interviewing with a company in Shanghai.

Anyway, my interviews with Rakuten were done with Skype videoconferencing*. There were two interviewers with extremely limited English skills, each positioned such that only half of his face was visible on the screen. It was horribly awkward, and they asked me no technical questions at all.

Given how badly the interview went, I wasn't expecting a follow-up, but they did request a second interview, saying that they were very impressed with my technical skills, which they hadn't evaluated in any way. The next interview was slightly more technical, in that the interviewer asked me if I had any prior experience with any of a list of technologies, but there were no follow-up questions to gauge whether I actually knew anything about them.

There may or may not have been a third interview. If there was, it was more of the same. Then I heard nothing for a month, at which point I asked the recruiter, who told me that they were "very impressed with my technical skills"---which, again, they had not evaluated in any way---but had decided not to move forward. I later heard from a different recruiter that it was because they weren't considering candidates requiring visa sponsorship. All well and good, but I had made my visa status clear through the entire process.

*It's funny how videophones were an iconic Future Technology for so long, and now that we have them no one cares.

I think everyone realized Wallace's scenario was likely and basically side stepped the mask arms race:

"*It’s funny how videophones were an iconic Future Technology for so long, and now that we have them no one cares."

The video phones are great. The future sucks.

India is getting killed by oil and coal imports. Yeah the lack of reforms is bad but the trade deficit is disasterous.

Trade deficits in any one particular category should not have any influence in a countries ability to grow. To take but one of many examples, Japan grew strongly for many many years importing virtually all its energy. China is also growing strongly and is a big energy importer. India also has lots of indigenous coal.

I am no expert on India, but it seems pretty clear that the main problem in India is too much Government of the wrong sort, intrusive and dysfunctional. You only need to see how successful Indians are outside of India in a freer environment. Sort of like how East Germany is the poster child for how a bad political system can destroy potential.

#5: When India was "growing", where were all these clairvoyants?

Always wiser after the event, hurrah!

#3. Completely makes no sense for a Japanese firm to use English.

The employees were asked to do more with the same nominal wages -- how is that an example of flexibility? If they did change wages, then what, one wage change is supposed to imply wages aren't sticky?

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