Being able to answer these trivia questions isn't
necessarily a "pass".
Indeed, for some company cultures, "I don't know" may
well be the "pass" answer. After all, as you point out,
maybe they want to avoid hiring fad-driven
developers and cyber-loafers.
Though these questions are quick to ask (and therefore cheap)
for the interviewer, their drawback is that the act of
asking them may well put the applicant off the company --
as you were. I need to re-think these type of questions.
As pointed out to me by Rhose, and pontificated
on by Paul Graham in
The Python Paradox,
these trivia questions
may also help identify those people who actually
enjoy programming and computers.
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