Feeds

Podgy Googlers get shrunken plates

Data lords put staff on subliminal diet

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

In a calculated effort to halt the expansion of its staff, Google has shrunk the size of its plates.

The data-obsessed search colossus recently ran a study that showed its employees would eat less if it gave them smaller plates. So it gave them smaller plates. Google's on-campus eateries are inordinately famous for serving unlimited amounts of free and extremely tasty victuals, and this led to what you might call a hefty problem.

New hires have been known to lament the addition of the "Google fifteen" somewhere around the waist line. And we can only imagine the lamentations of the older hires.

On a recent visit behind the walls of the Googleplex, we were alerted to the shrunken plates by a member of the company's staff. And we witnessed the plates first hand. We even ate off them. But when we revealed our inclination to discuss the shrunken plates in the pages of The Register, the Google staff member promptly retracted claims that the plates had been shrunk in an effort to curb overindulgence.

The first rule of Google club is: you do not talk about Google club.

But in shock fashion, Google open source guru Chris DiBona has broken ranks, confirming that the plates were shrunk after the company ran a study proving that employees were less likely to gorge themselves if they couldn't fit as much on their dishes. Not that you would expect anything less from a company that believes it knows when an employee will jump ship before the employee knows. "[Our human resources algorithm helps Google] get inside people's heads even before they know they might leave," said human resource head Laszlo Bock.

Google's oh-so-successful search and online ad platforms shun subjective human judgment in favor of unfettered data analysis (most of the time). And the company believes this model can be applied to, well, everything. "All [existing subjective] models are wrong," Google research director Peter Norvig has said, "and increasingly you can succeed without them."

The question, Chris DiBona says, is whether the company has shrunk the plates enough. Except for the rim around the edge, he explains, the old plates were no larger. "What were people doing before?" DiBona said during the farewell episode of John C. Dvorak's Cranky Geeks, due online this week. "Stacking up food on the rim?"

And so, it's unclear whether Google has solved its chunky engineer problem. But don't tell anyone. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.