Friday, March 09, 2018

Tech That 2018 -- Annual KQA Tech Quiz -- Finals Clockwise

Questions and Answers from the Finals of the Tech Quiz -- Clockwise round that @venkyiimb and I conducted @kqaquizzes

1.        X was drawn to develop alternatives to the traditional springs-and-shocks suspensions after his experiences of owning a 1957 Pontiac with a fledgling air suspension, and a 1967 Citro├źn with an always-leaking hydraulic suspension.
The active suspension system borrowed heavily on the technology used by the company that X created. This was created as a skunkworks project inside his company, and was named Y, to hide the true nature from the company’s accounting department.
It uses electro-magnetic motors powered by electric power amplifiers and switches, which work together to make the wheels bounce up and down over obstacles, while the body of the car remains still. The technology received great acclaim technically for the ride quality that it provides when it was launched in 2004, but never became a commercial success.

Who was X?
What was the name of the Project (Y)?
Why didn’t the technology become a commercial success despite being the best available?

Amar Bose
Project Sound
The usage of special metals and a powerful computer system made the system extremely heavy and unsuitable for commercial cars

2.        Born in Vermont, he trained to become a blacksmith in the mid-19th century and moved to Illinois to ply his trade. Almost immediately after moving there, he found that the cast iron plows were not working well in the tough prairie soil.
He remembered the needles he had previously polished by running them through sand as he grew up in his father's tailor shop, and came to the conclusion that a plow made out of highly polished steel and a correctly shaped moldboard would be better able to handle the soil conditions with its sticky clay.
This plow became a great success, selling more than 10,000 in a single year and is known by a moniker that indicates the plow’s contribution to farming in the region.
Who was the inventor of this plow and what is the moniker?

John Deere –“The Plow that broke the plains”

3.        Before 1948, clocks from other parts of the country, when used in Southern California would lose 10 minutes every hour. When newcomers moved from outside the region, they paid to have their old devices retro-fitted to work in SoCal, or simply bought a new device that worked in SoCal. This peculiar issue is attributed to a decision by Louis Bell in 1893.
SoCal itself regularly saw such scenes from 1936 onwards after a particular ‘source’ went live.
What is happening in the pictures and why did this start happening in 1936?
What was the decision taken by Louis Bell in 1893 that led to these issues?

Resetting of Electric Clocks from50Hz operation to 60Hz operations
1936 –Power from Hoover Dam started flowing into SoCal at 60Hz, that required re-calibration of devices
Louis Bell had decided to use 50 Hz when the Mill Creek Plant (plant from which SoCal drew power) was installed with 3-Phase transmission. This made SoCal an electrical enclave as the Rest of the country worked at 60Hz.

4.        The Literary Digest was a magazine that is largely remembered for the circumstances surrounding its demise. In 1936, it had polled ten million individuals (of whom about 2.4 million responded, an astronomical total foranyopinion poll), and had predicted Alfred Landon’s win over Franklin Roosevelt. However, FDR won with more than 61% of the votes. The magazine was so discredited by this discrepancy that it soon folded. One of the reasons for the failure of this poll is attributed to sampling bias, given that they polled three wealthy groups, who turned out to be outliers.
Which three sources did they get the list of 10 million people to poll that led to sampling bias?

Their own readers, registered automobile owners, telephone users all of whom were wealthier than the average American at the time.

5.        The logo shown below was created for a problem discovered by Jann Horn as part of his work for Project Zero.
The problem gets its name because of the root cause - speculative execution (a technique used by modern CPUs) –and the fact that it was not easy to fix and would haunt the industry for some time.
Name the problem.
Why is Project Zero called Project Zero?

It is Google’s Security team to find Day Zero vulnerabilities (or vulnerabilities not yet discovered)

6.        An open source system for automating deployment , scaling and management of applications, it was originally designed by Google and donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
Commonly referred as K8s it gets its name from the Greek word for, ”helmsman or pilot”.
The original codename for this was Project 7 to indicate that they were building a friendlier version of the existing in-house system, referencing a TV series character, who was a friendly, foil to the female captain.
What is the name of this project and why was the codename Project 7 used for this project?

The “Seven of Nine” borg from Star Trek

7.        In exploring different ways to increase the downforce in a Formula 1 racing car, this designer took inspiration from the Chaparral 2J “Sucker Car”. The modification was covered by a dustbin lid when not in use, but using the modification would prove to be tricky as there was a rule banning moveable aerodynamic devices.
Who was the designer?
What was the modification?
How did they overcome the rule to use the modification?

Gordon Murray
The Fan in the BT46B “Fan Car”
Brabham claimed that the fan was for cooling the engine, and not for improving the aerodynamics

8.        This machine was primarily designed and used to calculate artillery firing tables for the US Ballistics Research Laboratory.
However the first programs that were run were to check the feasibility of thermo-nuclear weapons, and in the development of Monte Carlo methods.
Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Meltzer, Fran Bilas, and Ruth Lichterman worked on these machines, but were not recognized for over 50 years, and most historians termed them, “Refrigerator Ladies”.
What is the name of this machine ?
What work did these women do?
What does the term “Refrigerator Ladies” mean?

First programmers of ENIAC
Historians mistook them as models like in Refrigerator ads

9.        The system was introduced to the Tour de France in 1937, greatly helping the riders faced with changing gradients. The name of the system is technically incorrect as the components either drive or are driven by a chain rather than being driven by each other.
Campagnolo, SRAM and a Japanese company are the major manufacturers of this system.
A British band’s 1967 album’s title is a malapropism of this system’s name, and alluded to a 19thcentury Prime Minister.
Name the system.
What was the title of the album?
How did riders handle the changing gradients before the arrival of this system in Tour De France?

Derailleur Gears –Shimano being the Jap company
Disraeli Gears
The riders dismounted and changed the wheels before the Derailleur gears were allowed.

10.     In 1963, Robert Kearns was driving through a light rain, when something irritated his already troubled vision. He went on to create a breakthrough that was modelled on the human eye.
He showcased his creation to Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, but they implemented it without giving him any credit. Kearns fought against the auto industry, which argued that any inventive act must come into the mind of an inventor as a kind of epiphany, and not as a result of tinkering.
This specific argument in patent law is known by a 3-word phrase that was effective from 1941 to 1952. The same phrase is also the name of a movie about Robert Kearns’ struggle against the auto industry.
What was the creation? Please be specific.
What is the 3-word Phrase?

Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Flash of Genius

11.     This subsidiary of Western Digital announced in 2013 that they had replaced air in spinning hard drives to increase the spin speed, as well as the density of drives, while reducing the noise and power consumption significantly.
The effect of this technology is seen in the consumer market, with higher density drives with capacities of 10 TB/12 TB per drive at lower price-points and power consumption. The technology however, requires a hermetically sealed compartment to ensure that the element replacing air does not escape from the drives.
What was the element that replaced air?


12.     An erroneous example cited for perpetual motion is that of an overbalanced wheel. The wheel consists of a cog and several spokes with weights on the ends. Hinges allow the weights and spokes to move, altering the center of gravity of the device and causing it to spin. However, as it spins, the spokes at the top of the wheel flip down, adding to the momentum by keeping it off balance and cause the wheel to turn indefinitely.
A variation of this kind of wheel consisting of curved or tilted spokes partially filled with mercury, was first suggested in the 12th century.
Who was the person who suggested this or by what name is this hypothetical perpetual motion machine commonly known ?

Bhaskara/ Bhaskara’s

13.     The French word for whirlwind is an addition to the mechanics of a watch escapement to counter the effects of gravity. This is normally done by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, to negate the effect of gravity when the timepiece is stuck in a certain position.
While it was originally an attempt to improve accuracy, these mechanisms are still included in modern expensive watches as a novelty.
The first production of this mechanism was in the 19th century.
What is the mechanism called?
Who first produced this mechanism and for whom?

Louis Breguet created the first tourbillon for Napolean Bonaparte

14.     This instrument, displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, was operated by the keyboardist of the band that performed the first concert with surround sound. As he operated the joystick, the sound would move from one speaker to another.
The instrument is a panning control for a sound system consisting of four speakers (the equivalent of a modern day 4.0 system). It derives its name from the Arabic word meaning, ‘direction’, and is also an angular measurement in a spherical co-ordinate system.
What is the name of the instrument and what’s the sound system called?
Which band performed the first surround sound concert?

Azimuth Coordinator
Quadraphonic sound
Pink Floyd

15.     The industry was a large employer in Chile employing 60,000 workers in the extraction of caliche. Before the saltpetre from caliche was discovered, the Peruvian guano was mined for the same purpose. Both these activities went into a severe decline, due to a technical process that was developed 7000 miles away.
The process today consumes more than one percent of humanity's energy production, and is responsible for feeding roughly one-third of its population. This is rather ironic as one of the inventors of the process, went on to play a major role in weapon-izing of chemicals, and the creation of a cyanide-base gas that would kill more than 1 Million people in WWII. He would personally oversee the use of his chemical weapons in a battle in WWI.
What were caliche and Peruvian guano used for?
Who was this “Father of Chemical Warfare”, and what was the trade name of this?

They were used to extract naturally forming nitrates to use as fertilizers
Fritz Haber of Haber –Bosch Process
Zyklon B

Prelims of Tech That 2018

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

Friday, November 09, 2012

Brand Equity Quiz 2012 - Bangalore Prelims

Questions from the Brand Equity Quiz in Bangalore 2012 .

25 questions with 1 pointer and 5 questions with 2 pointers.

Prelims Questions

1. It started at the Brahmin's Coffee House in 1924. How do we better know this place now?
2. What are these different sizes of -- Emperor , Crown , Royal , Princess, Elephant , Atlas?
3. Who created coins with the words Nanak Shahi embossed on them?
4. Who wrote a paper on Co-Creation , with Venkat Ramaswamy?
5. What is the name of the Merchant , in the Merchant of Venice?
6. With British Actor joined Keystone Film Studios in 1913 , for a sum of $150 per Week?
7. No Kidding. No Worries is the Tagline of which company?
8. Which State produces more than 70% of the salt produced in India?
9. Who was the first person to be inducted into the American Automobile Hall of Fame?
a. Alfred Sloan
b. Henry Ford
c. Enzo Ferrari
10. Angry Birds space edition has teamed up with which organization to creation game play based on Mars Exploration?
11. Which Stationary manufacturer has the Jousting Knights as its logo?
12. In which city would you find the maximum number of people , who are listed in the Forbes India Rich List?
13. Which Sanskrit manuscript had the first mention of Diamond in it?
14. The models of which company's ad campaign were nicknamed Cowboy Killers?
15. Which product of J & J didn't find widespread acceptance , till it was distributed to the Boy Scouts army?
16. Which Scientist created a company in 1946 called Travancore Chemicals?
17. Which commercial crop gets its name from the Sanksrit(or arabic don't remember) words meaning Twisted Hair --- "Jataa"?
18. IBM introduced 360 degree feedbacks for the first time in the corporate world in the 1990s. Serious/ Joking?
19. The Cheerleaders of which franchise are called the white mischief girls?
20. Finish this quote by Dhirubhai Ambani -- Think Big , Think fast , think ahead -- Ideas are no one's --------------
21. Visual of an ad with words -- what makes computer possible in blue and white font.
22. Id the person
23. Identify the Logo

24. Audio of an Ad for Moov
25. Id the Music Director of Barfi _ Barfi -- Murphy song was played

Idea round ( 2 Pointer questions)
26. A part of the proceed of which famous pilgrimage goes to Buta Malik?
27. In terms of the Cost of Printing vs actual value of the note , which has the highest ratio ?
a. Rs 5
b. Rs 10
c. Rs 50

28. Known in Hungarian as Kukac , which symbol is derived from the symbol for Amphora?
29. Some person from TWA came to India in 1945 to coach what?
a) Ramp Walk Models
b) Air Hostess

30) Which Asian country was the first to introduce a National Quality Prize?


1. MTR
2. Sizes of Paper
3. Ranjit Singh
4. CK. Prahlad
5. Antonio
6. Charlie Chaplin
8. Gujarat
9. Alfred Sloan
10. Nasa
11. Faber Castell
12. Mumbai
13. Arthasastra
14. Marlboro Man campaign
15. Band- Aid
16. CV Raman
17. Jute
18. Joking
19. Royal Challengers Bangalore
20. Monopoly
21. Intel
22. Ronnie Screwvala
23. Dena Bank
24. Moov
25. Pritam
26. Amarnath Yatra
27. Rs. 5
28. @ symbol
29. Air Hostess
30. Japan.

5 teams from the prelims qualified and 1 from the A& M round qualified . 6 teams on stage

1. DDB Mudra
2. Deloitte
3. ING Vysya
4. Oracle
5. TCS
6. Titan

Cutoff was 27 , highest 30.