I thought Larry (evil_1) might actually have some different gripe with Larry (evil_2), but he's still just beating the dead Java issue. Nothing new here.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has nothing but praise for the US National Security Agency's domestic surveillance programs, but he's far less kind when it comes to Google – and in particular its CEO, Larry Page, whose behavior he describes as "evil." "I know his slogan is 'don't be evil,'" Ellison told correspondent Charlie Rose in …
Now if Larry (evil_1) would get his own Java sandbox in order so it wasn't quite the colander of security that it is, I might actually listen to the guy.
On a side note, is there some magical marketing Kook-aid these folks drink that puts them so far out of touch with reality and is it expensive or does it make you rich? It always seems like some chicken-egg thing to me.
What I don't get is why Larry(evil_1) is still beaing the dead horse over the java issue. It's as good as over, the courts have sided with Larry(evil_2) repeatedly. Moreover Larry(evil_2) had the java clone made when Sun owned it, and Sun have testified in googles favour!
That and comparing not the competing company, but the individual Larry(evil_2) to criminals, accusing him of theft, accusing him of being 'Absolutely Evil' etc. Isn't he opening himself up to some kind of libel case?
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Government is not a group of people who are called "secretary of state for this or of that" and that is headed by the President. Government is the sum of all powers and influences in the country. Mr. Ellison is a very powerful and influential person. He is therefore as much part of the US government as Mr. Obama, Mr. Gates and millions of other influential people, corporations and organisations in the US, even though he may not wear a badge that says so. With all that this implies about what value should be attached to what he says or doesn't say.
It's the best model I could come up with so far to describe what is "government". According to this model, government does indeed include everybody, but each person's input is weighted to the extent of their relative power and influence. For instance the head of the US Army or President of America has more influence than the person who does the gardening for Mr. Joe Bloggs. But the gardener might be part of a pressure group which he is able to leverage in order to exert some influence on the way things are done locally in his town. Or he might be secretly shagging the President's wife, and therefore has more influence than you'd expect. In that way he might influence the government of the country in a small way. There is thus no such thing as "The Man". There are only interests and influences that are more powerful than your own and appear suspect as a result. With this model, there is no need to engage in endless conspiracy theories to explain what's going on. There are powerful people, there are powerful groups of people called organisations or corporations or government bodies, there are ways in which one can join them, and barriers to joining them, and they will squash you without a second thought if they can and it is in their interest, just as you would squash them if you were in their shoes. There are alliances and associations between powerful people and organisations. And there are rivalries, threats and competition.
All this may of course be wrong, but just as with science, you have to build sociological models to explain that which you cannot see.
"All this may of course be wrong, but just as with science, you have to build sociological models to explain that which you cannot see."
Alternativey you could take a civics class and use the word 'government' in the way the framers of the constitution intended (yymv if you're not talking about the US)
[The following is intended to be highly controversial, please forgive me for offending any sensibilities]
To the untrained, non-US educated observer, the framers of the US Constitution mostly intended to rid themselves of the colonial tax collector and rule their own, profitable affairs. What else would a group of well-connected, upper-middle-class white, male, Protestant, wealthy plantation owners want? They could not possibly have intended that they should share power with their slaves, or with the American Indians whom they were trying to con into selling them land, or with their wives who were in charge of cooking, cleaning and taking care of their children, or with the scummy hordes of cheap labourers who were the foundation of their fortunes and of their high standard of living (including those transported by the old colonial power). And they did very well for themselves as a result.
Of course they also were Catholic (Maryland) and various flavors of Protestant (Rhode Island, Massachusetts), merchants, artisans, and tradesmen as well as plantation owners. Some were quite opposed to chattel slavery (leading to several anomalous provisions). Who could vote was left to the states, and at the time I think the pressure to extend voting to women was quite limited. And while the upper middle class white males and their issue did fairly well going forward, they had placed no legal restrictions on others and not a few of the well-off in later decades and centuries had humble origins, and not a few of those who immigrated without much in the way of resources have done well also.
The framers (and many others) fought a war between 1776 and 1783 to rid themselves of the colonial tax collectors and oversight, and established the U. S. Constitution as a second attempt at setting up a flexible and extensible framework for governing a large and varied nation. Imperfect, as all things are, it has served most of us well for more than two centuries and I expect it will continue to do so for some time ahead. We'll get by the present problem with government intrusiveness, and probably Larry Ellison too.
And after the War of 1812, the Brits realised they didn't need to own the American colonies to profit from them -- in fact, it was cheaper not to pay to defend them and to pay for an administration system for them just to get them as a more-or-less captive trading partner. And, compared to India, the American colonies were small economic beer.
You are not forgiven because contrary to your pre-apology it was intended to give offense.
In point of fact, Jefferson did draft the Declaration of Independence with phrases that would imply chattel slavery should be done away with if the government followed the proclamation. It was only because the group had previously decided unanimous consent to the declaration would be required that the leaders of South Carolina were able to leverage their strong objection to the inclusion of the phrase. Jefferson only reluctantly agreed to it, and it has generally been properly referred to as the Devil's Compromise ever since. Your characterization is one of purely socialist/marxist propaganda. Propaganda whose sole purpose is to undermine the legitimate will of the people to oppose the Statist agenda. An agenda that has always, everywhere it has been tried, resulted in the death of tens of thousands or millions of people once its objectives have been achieved.
I wouldn't restrict it to just the US government. The civics class definition works pretty well for all forms of government so long as you stick to it. Where it starts getting fuzzy is with Marx because he never accepted the civics definition and explicitly defined everything as government.
Please just go join Ted in the mountain hideaway. Your screed makes as much sense as any of his did.
Granted if used as Exhibit A for the prosecution, it goes a long way to explaining why so much is so frelled on both sides of the pond. But that really is all the more reason for you to go join Ted.
The traditional way of lumping the govt. with the rich and powerful is to refer to them as 'The Man'
I thought they were "Them"... if they're "The Man" and not "Them", then who is "Them"? Are they a subset of "The Man" or an entirely different 'they'? Or is it the other way around, is "The Man" one of "Them"? Are "Them" 'international' whilst "The Man" is 'domestic'?
To rephrase an earlier post:
"Government is not a group of people who are called "secretary of state for this or of that" and that is headed by the President. Government is the sum of all powers and influences held by both the elected and unelected officials who work in the name of that government."
Can't remember the last time I voted for a General, or for the people who run the secret services. In fact, if I recall correctly, they are the same people no matter which party gets elected! How would one go about getting them replaced, in a democracy where the "voice of the people" is a respected and potent tool?
> Can't remember the last time I voted for a General
Last time there was a General in the White House, he issued a stern warning that is as relevant now as it was in 1961 ...
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.
Hindsight is, indeed, 20/20, eh. Upon finally leaving the US Presidency, poor Ike must have felt the right fool for giving in to his corporate masters on the overthrow of the elected democracy of Iran. But he did get to put the verbal boot in, for all the good that would prove to be. Just goes to show that a brilliant General may not make an equally brilliant President. Don't get me wrong, he certainly did lead the US well in most respects, but I would bet that he died wishing that he had listened to his predecessor on that one wee thing...
"It's great," Ellison said of the domestic spying. "It's great, it's essential. President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."
For all their combined spying powers the NSA, the CIA and the FBI didn't have a clue that the Boston bombing was going to happen. Shit, the FBI had to plead for the public's help to identify the bombers from the grainy CCTV footage.
If you've got nothing to hide, you don't need to worry about government surveillance eh?
Don't forget that FBI had "interviewed" one of the bombers not so long ago and their Russian counterparts had given the FBI a heads up. One might think if you were told to watch out for some guy and had personally spoken to him that you might at least identify him from the pictures.
Yeah the Boston Bombing is proof that it's a massive waste of time/money - lets hold the privacy bus a minute - they prove beyond all reasonable doubt the money/time thing.
If you've got something to hide you have no reason to fear surveillance. If you have nothing to hide, you have reason to fear them stealing business secrets and generally invading your life.
Ellison is a power crazed, corporatist shrill, A-hole. His comments about Apple and Jobs ironically show just how stupidly fragile the prevalent top-heavy, corporate, limited liability, management pattern is; Oracle included!
Nicholas Taleb explained why it is such a futile waste of time to attempt to predict events in stupidly fragile, thus Black Swan prevalent, areas in his book Anti-fragile; this does rather suggest that these huge centralised government bodies are a colossal waste of time and money, because any crippling threat is likely hit before they even have a clue. What should be happening is that all these fragile big structures are broken up and decentralised, which parasitic control freaks, like this douche bag, won't like!
I have more respect for Google staff than Oracle staff, despite its intrusiveness (and suggested CIA associations), because its software is far easier to us than the deliberately, or lazily, obfuscated Oracle Database product line, which makes me loath o attempt to work with these products, unless I absolutely have to for work (I am). I _really_ hate any product which requires use of a mess of *nix style command line tools, for stuff much better done by GUIs, and worse based on bizarrely custom DB concepts, just so that they can charge a fortune to train a DBA 'priesthood', and their demos are a shamefully poorly documented (amateurish); my pet hate, Microsoft, do much better, as do many OSS projects like PostgreSQL! Even the GUIs and web interfaces for Oracle DB leave a lot to be desired for usability!
I hope PostgreSQL and NoSQL databases eat Oracle alive, and the MySQL branches make MySQL irrelevant, just like the LibreOffice branch has effectively made the failed OpenOffice annexation and retirement to Apache irrelevant.
There is a huge mistake in that statement. It is a mistake our enemies exploit and one that the powers that be paper over because it tends to make us more complacent. For all the data they collect, for all the intrusiveness they exude, for all the rights they violate in collecting all that data, they are not combined. Each still sits in its silo, not talking to the other so the dots can be connected. Not focusing on the enemy, but focused on maintaining its own power base, and only focused on stopping the enemy to such extent as is necessary to maintain its own power base. If they were combined for the good of the people it could be a good thing. The risk we conservatives join our libertarian brothers in raising is that we cannot guarantee it will only be used for good. And there is not merely a measurable but a large chance the statists will seize it for their own uses. When combined with the blinders of a PC outlook, it is always a recipe for disaster.
Yeah, yeah. Gotta keep the proles living in fear of imminent attack so the money keeps flowing to Oracle, SAIC, Lockheed, Boeing and every other pig with a snout in the trough...
I haven't read so much bullshit since I read Larry Ellison's comments in the main article.
It's pretty simple Larry E:
1: hire lawyers to check the licences
2: follow their advice scrupulously about what is allowed under those licences
Ellisons problem is Google understands Oracles licences better than Oracle does. Not a big surprise someone like Larry E didn't understand the implications of permissive licences, even ones deliberately booby trapped like Java. As it is, having been alerted to just how screwed they are, Oracle are busy trying to find loopholes to make the licence rights less useful. Not working out well for him.
Surely it is more a method of:
1) Buy the product (Java, MySQL etc)
2) Change the GPL to something else (Sun Binary Code License etc).
3) Bitch publicly about the GPL since you can't retroactively apply the new license.
4) Start throwing your toys out of the pram.
"If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government."
Oh, and "Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? In what way?" IBM has.
"If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government."
I'm intrigued by that statement - is he following the fallacy that electing people who have been chosen for not rocking the boat (too much) will actually be able to do anything useful against the entrenched civil servants, or is he advocating something a bit more ... revolutionary?
Whether your tracking the sexual proclivities of 6 billion people, or just discrediting a peaceful political movement, you need a RDBMS that can scale with your needs! Only Oracle can deliver the feature set required by shadowy, crypto-fascist cabals, and with our global support it's "Today, Cheltenham! Tomorrow--THE WORLD!!!!" Now offering an API to the popular Nab'Em Rendition Dispatching System, increasing the throughput of your kidnap squds by 21% through automatic dispatching based on real-time triggers pulling from your Oracle RDBMS! Track and disappear your opponents without ever having to issue a written order, both increasing productivity and assuring plausible deniability!
On a more serious note:
P.S.--Larry, NSA surveillance did jack squat to prevent the Boston bombings, despite the elder Tsarnaev brother being ID'd by the Russiand and interviewed by the FBI
P.P.S--When did these activities ever hurt anyone? Nixon and the Plumbers? McCarthyism? The several hundred thousand people put on the "No fly" list because some terrorist used a name as an alias? I could go on....
Just as an aside, McCarthy was right that the state department was riddled with russian spies, and in fact the organisation responsible for blacklisting wasn't Senator McCarthy's investigation, but the House Committee for Un-American Activities - in other words it was members of the democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
Calling it McCarthyism isn't really a fair application of credit. It was a superlative example of just how effective bipartisanship can be.
Something to remember next time an American politician says he wants to "reach across the aisle" or promote "bipartisan engagement". They're codewords for "we want to find the best way to fuck you over."
Ehm yes, but I think you'd better replace:
<<next time an American politician says he wants to "reach across the aisle" or promote "bipartisan engagement" [....] to fuck you over>>
<<next time any politician says anything [....] to fuck you over>>
Not only were the Tsaernaevs on the radar already thanks to a Russian tip off, they also IIRC posted various islamist rants to Facebook. That is, the same Facebook that the NSA has a back door into in order to spot terrorists.
As for Larry's rhetorical question about government misusing information, one needs only look as far as J Edgar Hoover's abuses of his position at the FBI to see how dirt on anyone and everyone can be used.
That is the real reason for NSA surveillance. The Boston bombers killed 3 people. Drink drivers kill more every night in the US.
Having installed and maintained Oracle DBMS I'm far from a Larry E. fan. He had a point, however. It really is not enough to say that McCarthy and Hoover did bad things - they did it the old fashioned way, with paper files and intimidation, and they did it for real, long before the NSA was doing anything like what it is doing now. It also is not enough to say that because the information NSA collects could be used for bad things, it necessarily is true that it has been. It may have been, but there is not a lot of evidence that the present or past governments have committed actual abuse of the data unless you consider the military use of NSA intelligence products to be abuse.
The problem, from the internal U. S. perspective, is that it does things that go beyond, and in some cases well beyond, what we think are the Constitutional limits of government action or the law should allow (there is no requirement that the law allow everything the Constitution would permit). That, coupled with the fact that as it is understood at present, it certainly could be used by a future government to identify dissenters for special attention and harassment. And it needs therefore to be stopped, or at least very severely restricted as to internal use and handled much more openly than the present FISA court procedures allow.
As far as those not in the U. S. are concerned it is likely to continue to be much as it is no matter what, just as many or most other countries are going to keep on doing the same type of thing to the maximum extent of their capabilities. Some of them doubtless will screen and analyze the date they can acquire with as diligent attention to their citizens' communication as to any other.
@tom dial - Thank You
I don't belong to the "OMG NSA are EVIL, destroy all government" crowd who seem to be spewing all over these boards and to be honest was getting quite tired of all the angst. However I'm glad that you can post a sane and well thought out argument for placing further limits than currently seem to be in place, whilst not just simply claiming that all US security agencies are pure evil and destroying every freedom you have. It's a breath of fresh air and one that has genuinely made me question my opinion (not saying if it changed it or not).
If more discussion about this subject were along the rational lines of your post we might actually reach a constructive consensus. Too much of this debate has been along ludicrous lines of: paranioa with a lack of perspective, versus blind faith in authority - i.e. not really an adult debate at all.
Thank you for showing that we can have some rational discussion
Sport, you're probably one of those people who laughed at me when I said the government would be doing these things. Must be a terrible shock to find out they do after all.
OK, let's look at how the NSA and other government agencies qualify as "evil".
Trashed the protections guaranteed by Constitutional Amendments.
Lied about it. Apply the draconian power of government to punish anyone who tells.
When caught red-handed, lie more, use doublespeak to dodge straight questions, and use US domestic policy to attack the whistleblowers.
Using the government's own argument against it, if they're not doing anything wrong, why the need to hide?
Why cover up an activity you're proud of? And finally, if it's so LEGAL, why not do it legally, instead of bypassing most of the laws designed to protect us?
GAME. SET. AND MATCH to the so-called paranoid.
"there is not a lot of evidence that the present or past governments have committed actual abuse of the data unless you consider the military use of NSA intelligence products to be abuse"
There usually isn't at first. The agencies have a lot of power and can sit on their abuses for decades. But the evidence is that given power people will mis-use it. Given a lot of power, they'll misuse it a lot.
Plus, all else aside, we know that they have broken the constitutional rules which, in a constitutional republic is "abuse" by definition.
@Tom Dial - The question isn't whether the NSA is bad per se, but whether Ellison was an idiot for stating (paraphrased) 'No govt. has abused data collected on citizens'. Whether it was collected electronically or by phone-taps and informants doesn't matter. Govts. that spy on their own citizens will eventually use that information to damage citizens that they find inconvenient.
This is a simple historical fact.
A more honest statement would be - 'No govt. in recorded history has ever refrained from using information collected on its citizens, against its citizens'
That, coupled with the fact that as it is understood at present, it certainly
could be used by a future has been used by the current government to identify dissenters for special attention and harassment
There, fixed that for you (unless you're gullible enough to believe that the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS wasn't 'special attention and harassment').
So how can the rest of the world vote the NSA away, or GCHQ for that matter.
Having spent 3 says trying to get shitty Oracle products working via a content switch, where the Oracle support team where telling us not to do completely normal things because their products couldn't cope with it.
""The great thing is that we live in a democracy. If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government," "
Because the American people voted to be spied upon in the first place, right, Larry?
Like f**k they did.
This was the work of the people behind the people who wrote THE PATRIOT Act and a group of high level Intelligence bureaucrats.
Because they could This is data fetishism. It's irrational.
You can vote the president away, and even senators and other reps. But they're not the people doing this kind of surveillance. They use it when they get in power, but throwing the democrats out and putting the republicans in will do exactly one tenth of sweet f-all to this kind of crap in the background. Both sides will happily use whatever the others have left in place. It's the same nasty motel, just with an "under new management" sign in the window to think that maybe, maybe it's better than it was last time you stayed there.
Hell, even if one side or the other commits to dismantle the NSA if you vote for them, there's nothing keeping them to that. They can simply break their promise and you still have to put up with them for another 4 years. Isn't that right Mr President? Nudge nudge wink wink Guantanamo...
"I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff. It really bothers me"
Said the man who sees nothing wrong in taking Red Hat for nothing ..
"If an open source product gets good enough, we'll simply take it .. Take [the web server software] Apache: once Apache got better than our own web server, we threw it away and took Apache. So the great thing about open source is nobody owns it -- a company like Oracle is free to take it for nothing"
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Pressed to say where he would draw the line on domestic surveillance, he ventured that it would be wrong if the data were used for political ends – "In other words, if we stopped looking for terrorists and started for looking for people on the other side of the aisle."
That horse already bolted, crossed to Mexico, married there, lived a long and interesting life, died of old age and went to the big prairie in the sky. And that happened forty years ago.
How does Larry's rationalize this comment:
"I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff. It really bothers me," the database mogul continued.
With what he has been doing in Linux for the last 5+ years. He came out and said "Red Hat is not supporting Linux properly, so we need to have an Oracle version, but it will be 100% compatible with Red Hat". This sure sounds like copying someone else's software to me.
He needs to give up whining about the position that Sun was in when Google started using Java, Where Sun begged them to please support Java, for free.
Larry, larry, larry, you are riding a slow moving boat, with many boat anchors on board (SPARC, Solaris, Oracle Apps, Fusion Middleware). Good thing you have your database. But wait, that one is taking on water also with Hadoop and NoSQL models taking shape.
Ride that baby down hard, and keep getting plastic surgery, but remember your ship is taking on water my friend.
So google shouldnt be able to use the java api which is not protected, but its ok for oracle to take redhat linux under its open source licenses, then f**k it up craptasticly and collect support $ while giving nothing back to red hat?
At least redhat fund a lot open source development and give back heaps to the community.
True oracle do invest in some linux development (btrfs comes to mind) but I dont think they can talk, here.
He should visit Solari.com, read the article on federal budget reform and the references, then STFU!
This information has been misused for years, by multiple actors, including the intelligence organisations, foreign Drug Lords, the military industrial complex, politicians, other contractors etc., to blackmail or harass less privileged entities which get in the way of these more privileged entities.
'''If some people don't like what NSA is doing, Ellison argued, the trick is to vote the spying programs away. "The great thing is that we live in a democracy. If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government," he said.'''
He is.. insane
"If some people don't like what NSA is doing, Ellison argued, the trick is to vote the spying programs away. "The great thing is that we live in a democracy. If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government," he said."
Hang on..that doesn't work: Didn't Bush tell us that PRISM was brought in under him?
An uncritical thinking Obama water boy...We are dealing with secret domestic spy program, THAT ARE NO LONGER A SECRET. All are current and potential enemies know about the wireless bugs. If your enemies know about your spy program, how can it remain effective? Realistically, the only remaining effective target is the AMERICAN PEOPLE..Mr. Ellison may be a computer billionaire but he is also a specious thinker with nothing to the domestic spying debate.
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