1. how have you changed in the past five years?
Well, let's see... I became a crazy cat lady, picked up photography, gained a much better appreciation of the great outdoors, and (I believe) regressed socially. You win some, you lose some, I guess.
2. what's your impression of google as an employer and as a company?
Like any big company, there's internal politics and silliness, though in my 2 2/3 months there I haven't had to deal with much yet. It's really big (32k employees at this time, I think) and attempting to grow even more quickly, and while they still make some kind of effort to maintain a small-company feel, I don't think it's possible. On the flip side, the benefits are certainly noteworthy and so far, I have yet to meet anyone who made me wonder how they got hired. And there does seem to be plenty of teeth in the idea that they push internal mobility strongly.
As previously noted, the thing I find hardest to deal with is how I see Google and how that compares to how other people I know see it. It sure seems that the more technologically inclined the person, the less happy they are about Google, to the point that I know quite a few people who have jumped off the ship, say angrily that they will never return, and seem to see every piece of news regarding it to be further proof that it has attained "big evil corporation that you can never trust and that will never ever tell the straight truth" status. I understand the revulsion people have towards advertising (which is where something like 99% of the revenue comes from), but I don't see its operation as any different from, say, spam filtering.
I can say that my level of trust in the personal data Google holds about me has actually gone up since I joined, though that is in small part because they now have everything: my name, address, SSN, bank account details, and so on. But they do sandbox personal data pretty strongly. For example, I can't go nosing around Gmail accounts from the inside, not even my own.
3. what do you feel passionate about?
Tough question. Cats, I guess. A lot of what I feel passionate about I also feel strong resignation about, like politics. I do have strong feelings about how I wish things were, but I know they'll never happen. I suppose you could say I feel passionately that we're all screwed.
4. what's your favorite piece of technology that's come out in the past two years?
Y'know, I really haven't kept up. Haven't gotten a tablet, was late to the smartphone party, always finding out after the fact about some hot new game everyone's playing... so it's kind of hard to say. Maybe it's the bidets they have at Google...
5. is there anywhere that you want to travel to that you have yet to visit?
Lots of places, primarily for photographic reasons. Iceland comes to mind.