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When Smart People Make Bad Employees 491

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?"
Data Storage

Submission + - New neurons preferentially replace active neurons

Danny Rathjens writes: "Science Daily reports that, "Like any new kid on the block that tries to fit in, newborn brain cells need to find their place within the existing network of neurons. The newcomers jump right into the fray and preferentially reach out to mature brain cells that are already well connected within the established circuitry, report scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the online edition of Nature Neuroscience." Most interesting was that, "Providing the mice with a stimulating, enriched environment — large cages filled with running wheels, colored tunnels and playmates — boost the number of neurons that manage to hook up with the existing network to 80 percent [from 50%], reinforcing the observation that using one's brain cells is the best way to optimize brain function throughout one's lifetime." Plus it is just really cool that they can observe these types of things like new neurons extending protrusions to find active neurons and take over at the nanometer scale."

Submission + - Shredded secret police files being reassembled

An anonymous reader writes: German researchers at the Frauenhofer Institute said Wednesday that they were launching an attempt to reassemble millions of shredded East German secret police files using complicated computerized algorithms. The files were shredded as the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and it became clear that the East German regime was finished. Panicking officials of the Stasi secret police attempted to destroy the vast volumes of material they had kept on everyone from their own citizens to foreign leaders.

Comment Re:A Classic Book (Score 3, Informative) 317

It's funny you should mention this. I am finishing up my MBA (MIS concentration) and in my system analysis and design class, we studied nearly all of the topics discussed in this book. I believe the text that we used even cited many passages from this book. We then had to complete a group project, which forced us to utilize the material in a somewhat realistic setting (creating a project time tracking app). So the MBA's that want to work in technology are getting at least exposed to this. Hopefully this will make for better management, but who know's.

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