Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Tech That 2018 -- Annual KQA Tech Quiz -- Prelims

Questions and Answers from the Tech Quiz that @venkyiimb and I conducted @kqaquizzes

1. In the mid-2000s, the web was generating more and more information on a daily basis, and it was becoming very difficult to index over one billion pages of content. In order to cope, Google invented a new style of data processing known as MapReduce.
A year after Google published a white paper describing the same, Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella, created ______ to apply these concepts to an open-source software framework to support web indexing. Today, it is used for large-scale data management.

What did they create?
In India, what is the best example of a system built on this?

Apache Hadoop

2. Given that in the tech world, this word refers to a common and multi-pronged carrier of data and signals, it should not surprise you to learn that it is the contraction of a Latin word you have come across in a similar context in the publishing world.
What word? What’s the Latin word?


3.Identify the speaker from the 1974 interview.

Arthur C Clarke

4. Eugene Garfield, the founder of the magazine, The Scientist, was also a professor in the University of Pennsylvania working on citation analysis.

Massimo Marchiori, an Italian Mathematician and scientist created an engine based on link analysis.
Jon Kleinberg is a professor of Computer Science at Cornell University and is known for his work in algorithms and networks, as well as creating the HITS algorithm.

Which paper that later formed the basis of a patent owned by a university, references the work of these three scientists in its set of citations and influences?

Google PageRank

5. This logo made up of 4 minimalist slashes, represents the wordmark used by the company. It was developed for the company as part of a brand re-design study in 2011 by Moving Brands.
The management of the company decided against adopting this logo in 2011. However, post the mid-decade split of the company, the spun-off company started using the minimalist logo on their high-end consumer products.
Which company is this?


6. A quote from X, “I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure the phrase “________ __ ______” started life as the title of a presentation I made at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. Linking the new idea of RFID in P&G's supply chain to the then-red-hot topic of _______ was more than just a good way to get executive attention. It summed up an important insight which is still often misunderstood.”
X was a British pioneer who co-founded the Auto-ID Labs and Centerat MIT.
Identify X and the phrase he coined, used widely today in the context of a connected world.

Kevin Ashton
Internet of Things

7. Apart from replicating homely experiences and providing comfort to the limited set of people involved, the operation of this customized invention is also used to study fluid dynamics, and the impact of microgravity on liquids.
The said device is heavier than the normal ones, and is more complex with steel hydraulic ducts (instead of plastic), and has a set of microswitches that prevent leakage. There is also minimal residual water.
What is the portmanteau name of this innovation, undertaken in partnership with an Italian giant in the industry? Also name the Italian co.


8. Cases like the one shown below were used for computers or network switches, and tended to be wide and flat, with one or two rack units.
Data General advertised their Unix servers in 1991 with the tagline, “Who just fit mainframe power into a _____ ___?”.
The most common usage of this two-word term was in reference to the Sun Microsystems workstations launched in early 1990s.
What is the two word term?

Pizza Box

9. When this movie came out in 2010 , the founder of this platform was asked if the platform was named after the character in the movie. The founder denied this, and laid down the criteria that he had used along with his co-founder for arriving at the platform’s name:
Something that probably was two syllables long
Ideally something you could spell after hearing it
A word that wasn't commonly used by anything else, so you could search for it easily and not get false positives
Starts with an unusual letter
Ideally something with double Os in it for good luck (Yahoo, Google, Facebook)
Something that made sense for what we were working on

While the name doesn’t meet 2 of the 6 criteria mentioned above, they still went ahead with the name rather than Quiver, which was the alternate option.
What is the name of the character/ name the platform?


10. The name of this scalable routing service is derived from a legendary road that ran from Chicago to Santa Monica, and the port number used in TCP/UDP for accessing a hierarchical, decentralized naming system used by computers/services or other resources connected to a network.
What is the name of this service and who provides it?

Route 53

11. In 1973, 239 institutions from 15 countries got together to solve a common problem: how to communicate about cross-border payments. The banks formed a cooperative utility headquartered in Belgium.
Quickly name this in-the-news system.

The technology they replaced was a slower, electro-mechanical communication method that had started in Germany, being used by Reichspostin 1926, before spreading to Europe and the rest of the world. Name it.


12. Referred as the Apple 871 drives in service documentation, the File-ware floppy diskettes were designed as a high performance alternative to the Disk II that was used on Apple II machines.
It is however commonly known by its codename among computer enthusiasts, comparing the slimness of the drive to the person in the picture.
What was the code name of this product?
What does the 871 stand for in the Apple 871?


Formatted disk capacity of 871kb

13. SS Great Eastern was an iron sailing steamship designed by X, and built in London. She was by far the largest ship ever built at the time of her 1858 launch, and her length and gross tonnage was not surpassed for many years. The designer died in 1859, shortly after the maiden voyage of the ship, when there was an explosion. Name the designer.
Given her size, she was the first ship to use the contraption shown, which was designed by Scottish engineer John McFarlane Gray–a feature common place today in many forms of vehicular transport.
What feature?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Steering Engine / Power Steering

14. The aforementioned SS Great Eastern failed at its original purpose of being a passenger ship. However, a few years later, in 1865-66, captained by Sir James Anderson, the ship played a critical role in installing, repairing, and ensuring the smooth functioning and stability of something pathbreaking –the same is commemorated in the stamp. What?

Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable

15. The Automated Musical Instrument Company was founded as National Automatic Music Co. They primarily manufactured nickelodeon pianos.
In 1927, they introduced the National Automatic Selective Phonograph. Enclosed in wooden boxes, they made several improvements to these over the years, including fluorescent lights, plastic parts and other fancy-looking designs. The first time this two-word term was used to describe this was in a Time magazine article in 1939.
What was this innovation?

Juke Box

16. The Microsoft ______ originated in 2009 in the Microsoft Redmond campus with Chris Pratley and a handful of engineers working on a few specific projects after hours. The name was appropriate, given the origins of several other start-up successes and captured the notion of innovation and the start-up culture.
One of the Indian apps that has come out of this project is a productivity and information sharing app for workplaces, available on Android, iOS and web versions, and is named after an informal greeting in the western part of India, roughly translating to, “What’s up?”.
What is the Microsoft initiative called? What is the app called?

Microsoft Garage

17. What is the issue that is being discussed in this comic strip?


18. A documentary series on a famous scientist/inventor by PBS as part of its American Experience series, has a chapter named The Contract that explores the perfect partnership between the scientist and another inventor-cum-entrepreneur.
The latter made his fortune in the railway industry by pioneering safety features to braking and signaling systems, which are used to this day.
Who are the two people?

Nikola Tesla
George Westinghouse

19. This 1973 film, has been back in the news since 2016, when it was adapted for the small screen. The film, which was nominated for the Hugo, Saturn and Nebula awards, marked the directorial debut of a writer.
The film also heralded a landmark in the industry –this came about when the director-writer found the cost of animating a particular sequence very costly, and went to a firm called Information International, Inc. instead.
Identify the film. What first was achieved?

First use of digital image processing/CGI

20. About six years ago, when this particular social media site starting gaining popularity, there was some speculation that the site was named after the man of letters seen in the picture. When asked about this, his widow, Lady Antonia said, “I cheer it on, I encourage anything called _____”. The association seemed plausible with the first six letters in both names being the same.

Identify the site, which is still in the Top 10 list among social media sites, and the person.

Harold Pinter

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