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(CharlieAnderson)   Microsoft's job interview brain-teasers   ( divider line
    More: Amusing  
•       •       •

11789 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Dec 2001 at 6:30 PM (19 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

140 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-12-08 6:36:32 PM  
Jerkface, it is not Fark's job to give you something to photoshop.
2001-12-08 6:37:32 PM  
i had some of these questions at an interview with Stream International... aparently i got them right.
2001-12-08 6:41:03 PM  
Bill_Cosby, I've submitted several pictures, and I'm sure there are many other who have done the same thing...why haven't they posted any of them?

2001-12-08 6:41:23 PM  
Nothing to see here...on to the Boobies thread before it gets farked
2001-12-08 6:41:45 PM  
Does the water level stay the same?
2001-12-08 6:42:44 PM  
well, at least this threat may give us something to talk about...but probably not
2001-12-08 6:42:58 PM  
A rectangular birthday cake has a single rectangular slice missing, and you want to divide what's left equally between you and a friend, with a single straight cut. How?

Easy. Make a single straight cut along your friends neck. Dead people don't eat cake... at least I don't think they do.
2001-12-08 6:44:27 PM  
Microsoft teases
Its nervous job applicants--
Until one comes strapped.
2001-12-08 6:45:16 PM  
Geddysciple, it's more the whole photoshop thing, getting to see what everyone does with the pictures...

2001-12-08 6:45:36 PM  
Cut the cake horizontally through the middle (separating the top layer of the cake from the bottom).

Mr Gates, when do I start?
2001-12-08 6:52:08 PM  
Oh, wait, is that what they mean by 'edgewise'? Dayum!
2001-12-08 6:58:34 PM  
Gates plays games with minds,
Those who do not play games lose,
Competition? Ha!
2001-12-08 6:59:09 PM  
The water level stays the same; while the rock was sitting in the rowboat, the boat was displacing water proportionally to both its mass, your mass, and the rock's mass. When you move the rock from the boat to the water, it has no effect on the water level.

I'm still not sure about the cake one...
2001-12-08 7:01:47 PM  
I think the cake one is:

Trim off the parts of the cake with the slice missing so the pieces left are rectangles and the parts you trim are rectangles. Split them all in half giving half to you half to friend.
2001-12-08 7:03:02 PM  
For the cake wouldn't you just cut the cake from the middle of where the original piece was cut.
2001-12-08 7:05:58 PM  
Caustic: The water level would fall. It is Weight vs. Volume.
2001-12-08 7:06:27 PM  
Cake solution:

Find the midpoint of the cake before it was cut. Find the midpoint of the piece of cake that is missing. Draw a line connecting the two points. Cut along this line. Voila.
2001-12-08 7:06:48 PM  
What if the rectangular piece missing was directly in the center of the cake, then you would only have to cut right down the middle.
2001-12-08 7:08:51 PM  
Jpk173: No it wouldn't. The weight and volume will remain the same; part of it will just be in a different place.
2001-12-08 7:10:08 PM  

Don't think so. The cake's already cut. The way I mentioned seems to work and is more elegant I think.
2001-12-08 7:10:55 PM  
Caustic, MacFrugal:

I think that the water level actually decreases, for the following reason:

In the first state, the weight of water displaced is equal to the weight of the boat, the person, and the rock, as you mentioned. Since buoyant force is equal to the weight of water displaced, the forces are in equilibrium.

In the second state, the weight of the water displaced is equal to the weight of the boat and the person, plus the weight of the water displaced by the sunken rock, which is equal to the volume of the rock times the density of water.

To express the problem another way:

Wb + Wp + Wr =? Wb + Wp + Vr * Dw
Wr =? Vr * Dw

The weight of the rock can be expressed as the volume of the rock times the density of the rock.

Vr * Dr = Vr * Dw

Since the rock sinks, the density of the rock must be greater than the denstiy of water. Therefore, there is less water displaced in the second state. The water level drops when the rock is thrown into the tank. (I think ... please check for errors)
2001-12-08 7:12:42 PM  
Who cuts the middle out of a cake first?
2001-12-08 7:13:08 PM  
Caustic: You're right on the water thing.
2001-12-08 7:15:42 PM  
Nebby: You're missing a key element - it says one single straight cut - what you're saying would take five cuts.
2001-12-08 7:17:29 PM  
No, the water would fall.
When the rock is in the boat it's displacing water based on it's weight.
When it's out of the boat, it displaces water based on it's volume. And because the rock weighs more than the water it displaces, it sinks.

Imagine if you an air tight 55 gallon drum that was held to the bottom. Now if you took the lid off, the water level would go down because, it now has a lot less volume than before, but essentially the same amount of weight considering air doesn't weigh much.

There is proabably a better way of explaining it but this is how I understand it.
2001-12-08 7:17:59 PM  
Caustic, Bigpenguin, you are wrong. Seal Hunter, you are right - please take this job at Microsoft as your prize!
2001-12-08 7:19:51 PM  
i bow to your infinite knowledge of space and time. that, and i was wrong. fark!
2001-12-08 7:20:13 PM  
Those who are expressing correct answers to the problem are also expressing Archimede's Principal. I guess they are Microsoft material. As for the rest of you...
2001-12-08 7:20:13 PM  
Actually Bigpenguin, Sealhunter is right, not Caustic.
2001-12-08 7:20:27 PM  
The rock one really depends on the density of the rock. If you have a balloon, the water level will go up. If you have a really heavy rock, the water level will go down. I guess the breaking point is whether it's more or less dense than water. So, if it sinks, the water level will go down.

There's a whole site devoted to these kind of interesting questions at It's fun stuff.
2001-12-08 7:22:01 PM  
note to self: reload thread more often
2001-12-08 7:22:19 PM  
As for the cake question you would have to cut a line that equally divided both the section that had been cut out and the original cake.
2001-12-08 7:23:23 PM  
Re: techinterveiw. There are no black dots, why?
2001-12-08 7:23:31 PM  
Shkoo, FYI: rocks sink in water.
2001-12-08 7:26:30 PM  
The easy way to remember the properties of meterials in water is this: Floating objects displace water equal to their weight, but sunken objects displace water equal to their volume. If it were the other way around, a sample of plutonium the size of pebble, thrown into a lake, would cause all the water to jump out!
2001-12-08 7:30:34 PM  
Ha Ha. I don't get it either.
2001-12-08 7:31:05 PM  
The one that's interesting is "why are eggs egg-shaped?"

You can tell they're looking for "because egg-shaped eggs roll in circles, so they're less likely to fall out of the nest."

In fact this is wrong: egg shape correlates to average number of eggs laid. One egg on average: it's round. A few eggs: they're egg shaped, getting pointier as the number increases so that they can be packed more efficiently. A lot of eggs: round again; the fact that the egg must be strong and capable of carrying a baby inside it obviously outweighing the packing advantage.

The nest answer is obvious bollocks: if you look at a nest, they look like bowls. Any impulse strong enough to propel an egg over the edge will propel both a round and an egg-shaped egg. Birds don't lay eggs on flat edges near precipices.

And the rock one: I've just remembered pumice floats in water...
2001-12-08 7:31:48 PM  
lots of black squares.... lots of white dots....
2001-12-08 7:31:59 PM  
The water level goes down.

Assume the boat weighs nothing. The combination of the rock's weight and the volume of the boat is displacing water.

Take the rock out of the boat, it's not displacing any water. Throw the rock in, it's displacing some, but not nearly as much as the boat was before.

The rock has very little volume. The boat has alot of volume. Take the weight out of the boat, and it doesn't displace any water.

Mass doesn't determine how much water is displaced, the combination of weight + volume does. :D
2001-12-08 7:34:48 PM  
Rock problem: yer in a tank. You throw the rock out, it splashes water out of the tank. You might even break the tank and make it all spill out. Water level decreases.

No. Not funny.
2001-12-08 7:36:34 PM  
could someone else post about how the water level will fall, someone might skip through the first 20 explanations. And we wouldn't want them to be confused.
2001-12-08 7:37:30 PM  
Two points:
1) Where the fark is the answer page?
2) Who the fark would want to work for MS?
2001-12-08 7:43:42 PM  
"why are eggs egg-shaped?"
So chickens' bums don't shut with a snap.
2001-12-08 7:52:11 PM  
It's funny that a company who's software is so illogical would ask these questions of their potential employees.
2001-12-08 7:52:43 PM  
nothing moves - the farkin water is farkin froze and the farkin boat cant move and the rock sits on top like a damn lump.
2001-12-08 7:52:47 PM  
What is a fart and why does it smell?
2001-12-08 7:54:17 PM  
Ever pull someone's finger and hear a weird noise come out of his or her butt?
2001-12-08 7:54:39 PM  
Here are the answers by the way:
2001-12-08 7:58:55 PM  
About the water, Seal hunter is right; the water level will fall. As for the cake, assume the cut piece is a corner, because that's how most people cut cakes. If you can only make one cut, Starkeffect's solution works. JPKL73 points out that you need to make a cut which divides both the original cake and the removed piece equally, and a line through both midpoints would do that.
Does anybody know a solution to the singly-linked list algorithm?

Oh, for the hot, sweet taste of ...
2001-12-08 8:00:20 PM  
Happydude: Thanks!
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