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Tom Moertel
Works at Google
Attended Pennsylvania State University
Lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
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Tom Moertel

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Hey, +Infiniti USA . It's not cool to require potential customers to give up their mailing addresses before you'll answer pre-sales questions via your website's Live Chat feature. Do you think invasion of privacy is the new luxury?

Chat log:

You: My question: If I buy a 2014 QX60, is there any accessory package that will allow me to remote start the car from half a mile away?

Matthew L: Not a problem! I'd be more then happy to answer your questions today. If I could however get your last name and your address, so that I can note the conversation that would be greatly appreciated!

You: I'm sorry, I'd prefer to maintain my privacy.

Matthew L: I understand your concern. A last name and address are needed in order to log our chat today for quality assurance purposes; however a last name and zip code will suffice. This information is only used for proper documentation and not to be sold or redistributed.

You: In that case, my last name is Smith, and my address is 1234 Privacy Lane.

Matthew L: Perfect, and may I please have a zip code for your home address please Tom?

You: Yes, it's 12345.

Matthew L: Excellent! That is Schenectady, NY, is that correct?

You: Sure!

Matthew L: Thank you so much for verifying that information Tom, I really appreciate it!

...
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Tom Moertel

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It must be New Year's Day: the whole house is fragrant with onions and sauerkraut on the stove.
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Tom Moertel

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For Christmas, my parents got me a raclette set. I had never heard of the technique – grilling cheese and then sliding it onto other foods – but it sure was fun and delicious. Here are some photos of the set's inaugural meal.
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If you're about to interview for a technical software position, read this short article. It is gold.

Having just been through the process multiple times, I will emphasize one point from the article: Practice, practice, practice at the whiteboard!

It is 100% unnatural to stand before a whiteboard and put on display those things that normally happen inside of your head and without your notice. Even worse, the better you are at coding, the more these things will have become internalized, and the harder you will have to work to drag them into the light. And you must drag them into the light: that's the only place where the interviewer can see them and measure them.

So: practice!
 
(Another) great article on the interview process at Google, from a fellow Pittsburgh Googler.

http://xrds.acm.org/article.cfm?aid=2539270
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Tom Moertel

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In the day of 8-bit video games, you often had to do crazy, crazy things to make games fast enough to be fun. This is a story of one of those things, a story I had almost forgotten. Luckily, something jarred my memory last week and, from that flash of remembrance, I was able to piece together the rest, including old 6809 assembly code. A fun trip down memory lane.

P.S. It was a little weird waking up this morning and seeing my nostalgic little blog post on the front page of both Hacker News and Proggit. I guess I'm not the only person with a soft spot for the hacks of yore.
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Finally! I figured out what has been causing the crashes that prevent me from using Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV: some kind of weird interaction between recent changes to #chromecast  device discovery on Android and the #sonos  audio system I have on my home network. For the full details (including a stack trace), see the linked-to summary I've attached to this post.
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Tom Moertel

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What a great gift! I love it.
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Some good tips for upgrading from Fedora 19 to 20 via FedUp.
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Tom Moertel

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The one thing that bugs me about browsing on my Android tablets is that the system font lacks the symbol for the function-composition operator, which makes reading math and functional-programming articles annoying. (The operator should appear, for example, between the following two words: reverse ∘ concat.)

Is there any good way to layer in missing symbols like this?
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Today was a good day for receiving deliveries. Via postal mail I received the ICFP 2013 Conference Proceedings – tons of great papers [1] to read – and via electronic delivery I received Android KitKat for both of my Nexus tablets. Truly, I'm living right ;-)

[1] https://github.com/gasche/icfp2013-papers
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People
Have him in circles
576 people
Satnam Singh's profile photo
Brandon Cody's profile photo
Zachary Madden's profile photo
Work
Occupation
I solve problems with math, data, and computing.
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2014 - present
  • Smash Technologies
    Core Software Guy, 2007 - 2012
    Designed and coded most of the company’s core systems, which route, render, and bridge media for millions of text messages between consumers and cloud-hosted business applications.
  • Exploratory property-valuation startup
    Founder, 2013 - 2013
    Bootstrapped a startup to use inferences drawn from sales and property-valuation data to help people appeal inflated property assessments.
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Currently
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Story
Tagline
Life-long programmer, solving problems with math, data, and computing.
Introduction
I'm a software guy with a background in electrical engineering and computer science. I like math and data, statistics and causality, and functional programming and algebraic approaches to software construction. For a decade, I ran a software consultancy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now I'm at Google. In between, I started a property-valuation startup and was the lead engineer at another tech startup where I designed and implemented the core software systems that powered new text-messaging and mobile-computing services.
Education
  • Pennsylvania State University
    Electrical Engineering, 1987 - 1991
    With tons of CompSci for fun.
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Male
Good selection and service. Carries Commonwealth Ciders and New Planet beers.
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