I asked that would he be so kind and tell me who they hired. He said that he couldn't tell me details.
This is annoying, but it's something that legal tells most companies. If you were not hired for some reason that is not directly related to your ability to perform the job, then you might have grounds for a lawsuit. It's best not to give out any information.
If you only got a free lunch, then you did the interview wrong. The trick with Google interviews is to make sure they take place in a country you want to visit. They'll pay for your flight, meals, and one night in a 4* hotel, and then you can tack on extra time if you want. If you visit somewhere where you have friends and can get free accommodation, then it's a good idea to go through it fairly frequently. Interestingly, even if you turn them down, their recruiters will start sending you emails about six months later about coming back to see if they have more interesting jobs for you.
For a lot of tech jobs, the answer to the second question would probably be 'no' for Woz, Jobs, Gates, Brin, and Page. That doesn't mean that they're not competent, it just means that they wouldn't fit in with the existing team, and that can be highly destructive to a creative environment. That same attribute makes them more likely to go and start a company, which also makes them less attractive to a big company: employees who leave to start a new company often take the best of their colleagues with them, so they increase turnover of the staff that you most want to keep.
The UK tech companies found it hard to export to the US
Because, at the time, the US government would only buy from US tech companies, and most big businesses had their purchasing decisions strongly influenced by what government bought (often for interoperability reasons), which influenced small businesses (for the same reason). Marketing in the USA required a big budget to get national penetration and there wasn't an obvious place to start.
In contrast, a tech company in California could start selling locally and then just expand slowly into more states. Their existing supply chain didn't need many modifications to sell things one or two states over. A British company trying to sell in the USA needed to establish a foothold somewhere. They needed to ship either components for assembly or completed devices to the USA.
Selling to mainland Europe required translations
Is that a big deal? Especially if you went for a few major languages, like German, first. I would think that European manufacturers would have been more used to the need for translations than American companies.
P.S. Wish I had mod points to bump up your post.
For a small company, the cost of translation can be the difference between making a profit and making a loss. You need a big investment to sell enough in France or Germany to recoup the cost of localisation. In contrast, a US company had an English-speaking audience on its doorstep and so could ramp up to economies of scale in the tens of millions of units before they needed to consider localisation. At this point, the incremental cost is sufficiently low that it makes economic sense.
No. The GPL does not say you have to give back to the community, it means that you have to pass the source to anyone that you give the binary to. When Google extended Linux to run on their cluster infrastructure, most of those changes remained private. Given that 90% of all software development is in-house and not for public release, this only means that 10% of developers would be compelled to release code by the GPL. The remaining 90% are not affected, but often avoid GPL'd code because of possible future problems.
Giving back to the community is a lot more about culture than license. Companies like Juniper, Yahoo! and NetFlix contribute a lot to FreeBSD, because it reduces their cost to maintain a smaller fork and because the more they give back, the more other developers are likely to care about bugs that they report.
Recovering from the security incident is not just a matter of reformatting the machines. You don't just turn things back on and hope. All of the code that is being used to build the packages is being audited (this is now basically done). The FreeBSD cluster is now running auditdistd, so that auditing logs of all of the build machines are preserved even in the case of a compromise. The goal is to ensure that a compromise like this can't happen again, not to rush out packages and then have to do the whole thing again next time there's an incident.
For what it's worth, with Poudriere, you can build the entire ports tree into pkgng packages in about 48 hours on a reasonably powerful machine. If you don't want all 20+K packages, then you can do it a lot faster. If you trust iX Systems, you can just point pkgng at the PC-BSD repository...
The UK had a thriving computer industry even into the '80s. Companies like Sinclair did well in the home computer market and Acorn was selling desktops that ran a multitasking GUI very cheaply, with a lot of success in the home and schools markets. The decline started as the IBM PC gained prominence. The UK tech companies found it hard to export to the US, and didn't have as large a domestic market. Selling to mainland Europe required translations, so US companies were able to ramp up economies of scale that left them unable to compete. The ones that were successful, such as ARM (an Acorn spin-off) and Symbian (a Psion spin-off), did so by selling through existing large companies that had an established supply chain.
One of the big problems with getting large multinational companies in the UK is that it's much harder for tech companies to do well on the LSE. A startup in the US wants to get to be worth about a few hundred million and then IPO and continue to grow. A startup in the UK wants to get to be worth a few hundred million and then sell out to a big company. There are a lot of startups in the UK that make it to a few million market cap mark, but almost none that make it past the billion. A lot of this is due to different investor culture, rather than anything related to the people running the companies.
Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.