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food / travel

Dim Sum Search: The Obsessively Innovative, All-You-Can-Eat Google China Cafeteria

The Chinese have a saying: ordinary folk regard food as important as heaven itself. The tech world's motto is "Innovate Or Die." At Google's Beijing headquarters, one can taste what happens when these two philosophies m

Get your hands dirty at Google China HQ (bfishshadow)
Get your hands dirty at Google China HQ (bfishshadow)
Zhang Yan

BEIJING - If you are invited by a Google staff member to eat in the canteen of the company's Beijing office, do not turn down the opportunity. By now, the American search giant's cafeteria has achieved a fame to match the firm itself. And like the corporate "Innovate or Die" culture, Google's chefs come up with new ideas every day.

At 11:30 each morning, as the sun streams in through the bay window of Google's canteen, an aroma starts to make its presence felt. It's time for those hoodie-and-jeans sporting IT workers to march in with their identity card hanging round their necks – ready for a good meal. They are calm and in a good mood: they know what awaits them. For those of us who do not get to enjoy this as our daily fare, we can feel reasonably envious.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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