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Comment About time! (Score 1) 81

Ever since the iPhone launched here (particularly since the 4), network signal has been extremely poor in busy areas, due to overcongestion. Every time I hit a major train station, my phone struggles to regain its signal, and it's impossible to load anything, due to the sheer number of devices being used, since practically every single one of the thousands of commuters waiting on & off the train are using their phones at the same time (Shinjuku station alone has >3.5M passengers per day, and a single 11-car train on the Yamanote during rush hour has 2-4000 people crammed inside). I'm just worried that these access points are going to become just as quickly saturated and as slow as the cell network. Not to mention that by the time you connect to the wifi point, the train's probably already moving away from the station. -_-;

Comment On the flip side... (Score 1) 848

I'm on a small team at a large company that's in charge of accounts- creation, deletion, & password resets. When I interviewed, I was like "That's it?" Well, as I soon found out, yeah, it is- with hundreds of UNIX and database servers, and dozens of internal applications- all of which require different setups & combinations of UNIX/db/share drive/etc., it turned out to be. When I started, though, it was very clear that my team was in WAY over its head. The scripts to create db accounts, for example, required editing a file w/ the account name to create, then running a shell script that generated a small SQL batch file which created the account (all users had the same static password) and maybe sent them an email w/ the password. Several other steps were also required, including any unix/wintel stuff, entering a log into the tracking system, etc. Oh, and also, our db "admin" user account/password was hard-coded in the script as well. And each app had its own separate scripts for creation, deletion & reset.

I went to work right away, creating a command-line menu-based tool that did all that at once- prompted for admin password, generated random user passwords, handled all the different application configurations, sent the emails, & even created the log entry automatically. It was also capable of parsing bulk revocation requests which we got daily in Excel format (don't even get me started)- when a single user has literally hundreds of accounts, trying to manually delete only the ones that were requested (and no more) is next to impossible, and a task that may have taken hours (or days) now took a few minutes, tops.

Did I get any recognition for this? Sure- my team loved it, and everyone on it (and a few managers from other teams who've seen what I've done) was generally quite impressed. Unfortunately, my team isn't very important in the grand scheme of things, especially when going up to a global level, at which point nobody gives a shit because their regions don't -have- such a team. It hasn't helped that our next-level-up manager has changed about 5 times. Also, as a contractor, I have pretty much zero rights (compared to a full-time employee), no bonuses, and in 5 years I have yet to get a single raise (my contracting company gave me a very tiny bump (less than 3%) out of their cut of what they make off of me, which I'm not counting). It's possible my work has saved me from several round of layoffs, but that's about it.

So yeah- sometimes you go way above & beyond what's expected of you, and you don't get jack shit for it.

Comment doesn't have to be the sole source (Score 1, Insightful) 88

It's not necessary for solar to cover the entire power needs of a data center. It'd be nice if it did, but any power generated is money saved on their electric bill (and less drain on the general grid). And as stated above- they already have lots of batteries to cover (if) any surplus generated, and a fairly constant demand.

Comment baby? (Score 1) 229

Products include fresh produce, meat and seafood, frozen, bakery, baby, [...]

Wow, you can order babies from Wal-Mart now? Wonder if they have an "in-stock" supply, or a made-to-order system w/ a 9-month delivery period.


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?"

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