I was mildly appalled to see a selection of familiar channel names in rundowns - compiled by "career community" Glassdoor - of the 25 toughest and most odd questions asked at job interviews.
Apparently Gartner has asked applicants "how would you describe an atom to a child?" (I wouldn't - I'd give them a fiver and tell them to run off and buy some sweets), while Rackspace wanted to know "how would you react if shot in the head with a Nerf gun?" (angrily, thanks for asking).
Trend Micro was interested in which Disney character potential staff would compare themselves to (dunno - is Scarface a Disney film?), while social media data-filtering firm DataSift enquired "everyone at DataSift is brilliant; why are you brilliant?" (perhaps because I've managed to accomplish my many successes without ever having heard of DataSift).
Apple asked job seekers "if you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?" (I suppose I could trim bits off a meat feast that were small enough not to arouse suspicion), and Dell wondered "are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?" (I see myself as more of a Saracen, with a bit of Rhino thrown in).
We don't mess about with any of this ridiculousness here. I have only two questions for wannabe Dodgiers: 1) you don't read the local press, do you?; and 2) will you waive your right to an employment tribunal?
Slice of the action
I was horrified to learn this week that hackers had finagled their way into the databases of Domino's Pizza and made off with some of its customer records.
The Belgian and French operations of the popular dough-manipulators were recently compromised by a group calling itself Rex Mundi, although it is not yet clear whether this refers to the Latin for "king of the world", or the progressive Dutch trance musician of the same name (thanks, Wikipedia!). The naughty computer wonks claimed to have laid their hands on the customer data of 592,000 Frenchian pizza-munchers, as well as 58,000 Belgists.
"That's over six hundred thousand records," pointed out Rex Mundi, helpfully, "which include the customers' full names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passwords and delivery instructions. (Oh, and their favorite pizza topping too, because why not)."
The hackers claimed that if they were not furnished with €30,000, they would publish the details and told anyone affected they would "have the right to sue" Domino's. As CRN went to press, the pizza hawker had not caved to the demands, and the stipulated deadline for releasing the records had come and gone.
This came as a huge relief to me; I'd never live it down with the boys at The Dog and Duck if they found out my regular order is a small, low-fat Veggie Surprise and a side salad (no dressing, please).
A model consumer
I was boggle-minded to learn this week that you will soon be able to purchase an unsettlingly accurate and detailed statuette of yourself when you do your weekly supermarket run.
Asda recently trialled its first 3D-printing scanner at the retail behemoth's store in the Trafford area of Manchester. The contraption takes a full-body scan in a reported 12 seconds, and the info gathered can be sent away to the supermarket's facility in Sheffield. Shoppers can then pick up a full-colour eight-inch model of themselves back in-store a week later.
The installation of the booths follows the rollout of less-sophisticated 3D printing services that work from photos of the desired print target. But before you get all excited, dear reader, the scanner was only in situ for the week commencing Monday 16 June as a trial run.
But don't be surprised to see the technology deployed on a much wider basis in the not-too-distant future, as Asda reckons Joe and Josephine Public have been crying out for miniature replicas of themselves. In an irritatingly matey and grammatically lax promotional release, the retailer claimed "there are loads of different reasons people have been getting lifelike 3D replica model made".
Narcissism being chief among them, I would imagine, followed by spite, hubris, boredom, excessive intoxicant consumption, stag/hen-do japery, and misguided and really rather creepy notions of romance.
CRN pulls out the key information from Microsoft's Q4, which took the vendor above $100bn for the year
Investment will include an AI research centre in London
John Coulston outlines Rackspace's plans to partner with the channel in the UK
Chris Bunch of Microsoft partner Cloudreach gives his take on this year's Inspire conference