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When Smart People Make Bad Employees 491

Posted by samzenpus
from the boss's-favorite dept.
theodp writes "Writing for Forbes, CS-grad-turned-big-time-VC Ben Horowitz gives three examples of how the smartest people in a company can also be the worst employees: 1. The Heretic, who convincingly builds a case that the company is hopeless and run by a bunch of morons; 2. The Flake, who is brilliant but totally unreliable; 3. The Jerk, who is so belligerent in his communication style that people just stop talking when he is in the room. So, can an employee who fits one of these poisonous descriptions, but nonetheless can make a massive positive contribution to a company, ever be tolerated? Quoting John Madden's take on Terrell Owens, Horowitz gives a cautious yes: 'If you hold the bus for everyone on the team, then you'll be so late that you'll miss the game, so you can't do that. The bus must leave on time. However, sometimes you'll have a player that's so good that you hold the bus for him, but only him.' Ever work with a person who's so good that he/she gets his/her own set of rules? Ever been that person yourself?"

Comment: Re:Business Plan? (Score 1) 80

by zulux (#32445388) Attached to: Iridium Pushes Ahead Satellite Project

Iridium airtime generally costs around $1.50 per min if you shop around. you can get prepaid service at around $2.00 per min, or with a big enough pool of minutes you can get it down to $1.0 or so.

The airtime is cheap enough that I brought mine to Japan and Europe so I didn't have to pay crazy roaming costs. Oddly it was a great conversation starter in Japan - people assumed I was some sort of awesome dude to have a sat phone.

Really oddly, I have an original Motorola Iridium phone and it's value has gone up ever science I bought it.

Comment: Re:Business Plan? (Score 3, Interesting) 80

by zulux (#32445324) Attached to: Iridium Pushes Ahead Satellite Project

A friend borrowed my Iridium phone and had to use their emergency services (911) - the call center that they were hooked up to was in his words "frighteningly competent." ...

Rambling Iridium thoughts:

I've enjoyed the service myself - with the phone and and a Psion Revo (It has a native serial port), I can telnet to any of my severs while in the woods. Strangely, it let's me relax knowing that I can help out my users.

At around 2400 baud - don't use SSH. Oh... Screen is your friend as it does cut out enough.

If you use a PC - it come with some proxy software and a proxy server that will remove/compress images, but any computer with a serial port can use it as a modem. Sadly, modern pdas lack serial ports, but old Posion Revos/5-series are cheap, last a long time, and have awesome keyboards and work well.

I have an older Motorola Iridium phone, so I don't know if this setup would work with the more modern phones.

+ - Wikipedia: No such thing as Medieval Warm Period

Submitted by zulux
zulux (112259) writes "In a manner startlingly reminiscent of Orwell's Memory Hole, Wikipedia's articles have been purged of most references to the Mideval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in order to bolster the current threat of Global Warming. According to The National Post "Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions."

Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/18/370719.aspx#ixzz0acuhm3RB"

Comment: Re:ZFS, supported equally on your OSes (Score 3, Interesting) 484

by zulux (#30541396) Attached to: Best Filesystem For External Back-Up Drives?

Did you "zpool export tank" before you moved the drives over? If not, then the FreeBSD box saw the drives but said to itself "Those drive don't belong to me!" I've done a migration from FreeBSD to Solaris, but always with full drive devices ie /dev/ad0 - thus ignoring partitions tables and other such cruddyness.

Comment: It depends (Score 1) 467

by zulux (#29725993) Attached to: Is Working For the Gambling Industry a Black Mark?

Honesty mode, and only speaking for me:

If you're clean cut, articulate and not at all slimy - then it will be a good thing to have gambling experience.

If you're even remotely suspicious looking, it will hinder you as it will give seemingly tangible evidence that you *may* by a risk. ..

That said, I did hire someone who worked at at offshore gabling site, and the stories were awesome. He came across as someone who I could trust - so that made the hire easy.

Comment: Re:BS (Score 0, Troll) 219

by zulux (#29622095) Attached to: Postmortem for a Dead Newspaper

>>Conversely, most informed audience: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Oops.

I'm a Daily Show viewer here.... and I don't read too much into "being informed."

Sure - knowing the triviality of short-term world events is great and all.

But raising a family, working hard, being kind, helping your friends and neighbors, looking around for love and perhaps spirituality are worth so much more in the long term.

I have more respect for a man who can drop a transmission than one who knows the top three reasons why Chavez is an awesome leader.

Comment: Re:This is just sheer stupidity. (Score 1) 417

by zulux (#27477821) Attached to: Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

Thanks for the nice posting, I was hoping it would degrade to name calling and then I'd win :)

When most of us right-wing-nut-job think of Socialism, it's Stalin, Pol-Pot, or Cuba. As you would term it "Authoritarian Socialism" - and I don't see any practical difference between it and Fascism. Both are devolve into one-party states that kill millions of people and have shitty economies.

But here's my silly point - democratic Socialism is not the panacea that we all wish it was, as there's no democratic socialism state that can even support it's own population. All of western Europe is having trouble keeping their birth-rates up. My pet theory, is that mentally people are so taxes that they can't even thing about having children - especially when both parents work.

Socialism also removes a bit of Darwinin strees on a culture/people - it protects people who don't or can't contribute. This may or may not be bad given your long term viewpoint.

Our family fought this by just not being greedy - we don't own a bunch of junk so we have enough money and time to spawn. ...

I do love a good CoOp - but they work simply because you can leave whenever you want to and thus have to 'compete' to survive. ...

Enjoy your latte - I hope it's shade grown organic fair trade. ;)

Comment: Re:This is just sheer stupidity. (Score 1) 417

by zulux (#27407975) Attached to: Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

Nazi was short for National Socialist or more specifically Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei - National Socialist German Workers' Party.

Facism/Socialism/Communism are all the same thing: Collectivism. Where the good of the group is put ahead of the individual.

While it sounds good, I haven't seen an examples of where it works out. Even the in the best example, Norway can't even produce enough children to maintain their native population.

The scientist in me rejects collectivism - the evidence points to it not working.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure