Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bill Joy For New National CTO Post?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the yeah-that'll-happen dept.

United States 393

jddeluxe writes "In an article in today's NY Times, John Doerr of Kleiner-Perkins proffered up Bill Joy's name when queried by Barack Obama for a recommendation for the position of Chief Technology Officer of the Unites States which Obama has promised to create and that the country is overdue to have. I think that's a brilliant idea, and while you're at it, have the FCC report to him as well, why don't you?" If Bill is unavailable, I'll throw my hat in the ring, although I'm holding out for Secretary of Tubes.

cancel ×

393 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

vi (5, Funny)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660559)

Under Bill, vi will be the national standard. Yeah!!!

We will fight! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660863)

Under Bill, vi will be the national standard. Yeah!!!

There will be a revolt! We, the Emacs revolutionary council, will take up arms and fight to the death!

Re:We will fight! (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660957)

isn't there a key board shortcut for that?

Re:We will fight! (5, Funny)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661107)

i think its:

ctrl-meta-shift-r alt-ctrl-p ctrl-' alt-meta-1 shift-2

then recomplie without perl extensions.

Re:vi (4, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661105)

I'll use vi when you pry my butterflies from my cold dead hands...

Re:vi (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661193)

Now, that's bringing religion into politics. Holy war anyone?

Re:vi (2, Insightful)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661221)

Last I heard, Bill prefers ed to his own vi.

REVIEW: You don't even try to use vi?
JOY: I'm used to having a 24-line terminal with no ability to scroll back. The reason I use ed is that I don't want to lose what's on the screen.

Of course, that was a long time ago, when vi was only 10 years old. Here's the interview from Unix Review [pdx.edu] . In the interview, he likens vi to a piñata.

On a more serious note, he does — gasp — criticize vi and say that it needs features and is a little complicated. It's an interesting historical read.

Re:vi (1)

xhanjian (1401179) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661361)

Cheers

Re:vi (4, Funny)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661521)

Under Bill, vi will be the national standard. Yeah!!!

If you ask me Bram Moolenaar would be an IMprovement over Bill.

I'd rather see someone involved in Free Software (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660569)

While Sun has made efforts towards open source, Bill Joy still belongs to a community of developers who believe in hoarding. Would that Stallman would get a role in this administration.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (5, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660627)

While Stallman would make an excellent adviser to the National CTO, he's too much of a "Throw the baby out with the bathwater" kind of guy. While I agree with RMS most of the time, that kind of personality doesn't last long in US politics.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660831)

I don't think RMS would even take it. Being in government requires adherence to a set of principles that many people end up finding reduces their ability to be principled. As an example, RMS would be required to back, in public, copyright law policies that he in private would vehemently disagree with. I just don't see RMS doing that, he's too much of a man of principle.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (5, Insightful)

Alomex (148003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660949)

I just don't see RMS doing that, he's too much of a man of principle.

It goes beyond that. Certain people define themselves as opposition, as being not-the-man, and as such are uncomfortable in any position of authority, even if their principles were in no way being challenged.

These people serve a valuable role in society, but it is not within the corridors of power.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661145)

also, I could not imagine rms shaved and in suite.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660653)

Believe in hoarding? You realise he made massive contributions to BSD, including the TCP/IP stack, which were released under a permissive license allowing anyone to use it?

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (0, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660669)

Yep, anyone to use it, and anyone to hoard their improvements to it.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661563)

Bill Joy is also the guy who keeps warning of the end of the world if we don't stop developing various technologies. He wrote a number of articles and did a bunch of interviews about the world turning to gray goo if we don't kill nanotech research, how computers and weapons will kill us all, etc.

He started work on a self-sufficient, solar powered sailboat, presumably his form of a bomb shelter for the coming techpocolypse.

Basically, he has turned in to a crazy old coot.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660719)

This thread points out the problem of anointing one person as CTO. Hate to say it but this is one of those things that might do better with a board, not a leader. That is to say that while there may be a judge, it's the jury that counts. Using one man is not enough, even the SCOTUS has nine. When it's important enough to do something, it's important enough to do it right. RMS should probably be on the jury, along with other notable technology evangelists.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660947)

Hear Hear...

A board of 7. must have a mix of OSS and Closed source experts, as well as hardware experts.

Experts... not some guy that was CTO for some corperation, I want people that are either leaders in IT technology, or people that made a difference.. Being able to Code or design is a requirement for the position. too many time I have seen CTO's that were promoted from the Sales department.

Oh wait ,that will never happen... because it would be fair and balanced.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661183)

I like the idea of 1 person better. With that, it's very clear where the accountability lies and you don't get the groupthink that plagues many councils and meetings. Perhaps there should be a board that supports him with recommendations though.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (2, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661213)

A board? Oh, dear. No. It'd be a quagmire, a committee designed by a committee. icann did that, whciuh is why it takes $62M to replace what used to be literally a $15K/yr part time contract.

Brian K. Reid. Everybody else is either too corrupt or too bizarre to actually do the job. Brian understands people, unlike most geek geniuses.

Nobody else can do as good a job in that role. Plus, never forget Sun was founded by the commission of a federal crime.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661233)

So you're proposing we form a committee? :) I know where you're coming from, but remember this is a government implementation.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661597)

Yes, I know what you're saying also, but let me quote rs79, a /. oldtimer:

Brian K. Reid. Everybody else is either too corrupt or too bizarre to actually do the job. Brian understands people, unlike most geek geniuses.

Now, limiting the controlling input to such a function for the ENTIRE COUNTRY to one person is fraught with problems as illustrated by the quote above. Even one President is backed up by House, Senate, and SCOTUS. See, if it's important, there should be some checks and balances. Just the mere mention of M$ on this site is cause for a flamewar. How would a single CTO personage be able to deal with all the crap/politics/bribery/governmental interference and all that will come their way? Even the DoJ was not free from corruption. One person, without a jury behind them, will fall prey to special interests. It seems inevitable. The idea is right, perhaps even the execution of that idea will be, but I have doubts about a single person as head of that implementation.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661627)

While Sun has made efforts towards open source, Bill Joy still belongs to a community of developers who believe in hoarding. Would that Stallman would get a role in this administration.

Stallman is an idiot zealot...a very talented idiot zealot but an idiot zealot nonetheless. Get someone who understands the issues without all the ideological baggage. Get Bruce Schneirererer...um Cryptoboy or another well-informed executive. It isn't about personal ideology it's about bringing some badly needed understanding and expertise to government without turning off everyone else or making backlash enemies.

Re:I'd rather see someone involved in Free Softwar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661675)

RMS? Really?

While we're at it, I'll recommend Leonard Peltier as FBI Chief!

RMS? Way too radical, even for this administration.

Finally its over (1, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660595)

vi wins! Fatality!

In other news, what happened to Slashdot's RSS feed? I used to be able to get the feed based on my subscription, but that stopped worning yesterday.

Re:Finally its over (1)

xaositects (786749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660673)

it was over-worned

Isn't this like having... (1)

shoppa (464619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660619)

Isn't having a Chief Technology Officer like having a Chief Refrigeration Officer or a Chief Vending Machine Officer?

Re:Isn't this like having... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661553)

Exactly. It is silly and irrelevant, and possibly dangerous. Look what happens when cabinet members are in charge of organizations that they don't know about? The FCC is about technology, but it's about so much more. Technology is a component of the agency's mission, not the other way around.

One thing that would be helpful is something (the only thing, really) that the governor of Illinois has done- information technology used to be handled agency by agency. A hodgepodge of duplication and incompetance. He changed the mission of a department, and is in the process of making that department the sole "provider" of technology to the state's agencies. The directors of the various agencies shouldn't have to deal with managing the technology. Technology is a tool, not a end onto itself. So, this agency provides what the individual agencies need, leaving them to focus on their mission.

The US gov't needs more of that. I know a guy who worked in a small office of a large Fed agency for a few years. An agency that had nothing to do with technology, and his job had nothing to do with technology. And two of the projects he had to work on were- picking out a new copier and picking out a new phone system. Why in the world should that happen? The office should have had a 20 minute meeting deciding what their needs were, and pass that onto the technology department, who would simply deliver those needs.

It's silly.

Maybe the Dept. of Commerce needs a "Technology advocacy" department to help technology companies succeed. But not any kind of quasi-cabinet CTO guy.

There can be only one (0, Redundant)

raffe (28595) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660625)

RMS!!!!

Thirteen Stripes (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660633)

Not eleven, not twelve, but thirteen. If you guys keep putting only 12 stripes on our flag, then the terrorists have won.

Re:Thirteen Stripes (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660965)

It's ok, we're just disowning Georgia.

Re:Thirteen Stripes (0, Troll)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661153)

Georgia was never represented by any of the stripes.

Re:Thirteen Stripes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661493)

Really? 'Cause I'm finding it mighty hard to get thirteen colonies without Georgia, care to enlighten me?

Isn't he the pessimist? (5, Interesting)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660641)

I seem to recall Bill Joy having some decidedly pessimistic and even luddite attitudes towards future tech, but it's been so long since he's been in the news that I don't remember now what. Paranoid about nanotech, I think, for starters.

Re:Isn't he the pessimist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660955)

Yes, he's a genius programmer, but also an authoritarian crank. Read his grey goo article and see for yourself. This is not a man who favours open democratic access to knowledge and technology.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html

Furthermore, he's Canadian!

Re:Isn't he the pessimist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661039)

You're probably thinking about his article "Why the future doesn't need us" (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html).

Re:Isn't he the pessimist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661127)

yep [wikipedia.org] , he's scared of the future. Personally, I cannot wait, but I cannot seem to reach it.

Re:Isn't he the pessimist? (3, Informative)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661227)

You're probably thinking about the 2000 article in Wired, 'Why the Future Doesn't Need Us' [wired.com] , which he said in a 2003 interview was Wired's title, not his. [wired.com] . It was criticized in quite [slate.com] a [archive.org] few [reason.com] places, but there were plenty of people who gave merit to what he was saying.

I think it's wise to understand that there are risks inherent to almost any solution, and no just adopt technology for technology's sake -- look at what happened with the election machines, and those damned flash splash pages in the late 90s. I probably need to re-read his article, as I can't remember most of it, but I don't remember it being as pessimistic as people made it out to be.

While we're at it (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660643)

How about Bruce Perens running the good ol' NSA? :-)

Re:While we're at it (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660951)

I'd rather see Marcus Ranum there.

Re:While we're at it (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661275)

Bruce Schneier [wikipedia.org] perhaps?

Bill Joy's terrorist connection (3, Insightful)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660659)

If the Republicans went crazy over Obama's friendship with Bill Ayers, just wait until they find out what Bill Joy said about Ted Kaczynski (the unibomber) in Wired.

Re:Bill Joy's terrorist connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660943)

What, like this? Please.

"Kaczynski's actions were murderous and, in my view, criminally insane. He is clearly a Luddite, but simply saying this does not dismiss his argument; as difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in this single passage. I felt compelled to confront it."

Re:Bill Joy's terrorist connection (5, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660959)

You mean this? [wired.com]

"I am no apologist for Kaczynski. His bombs killed three people during a 17-year terror campaign and wounded many others. One of his bombs gravely injured my friend David Gelernter, one of the most brilliant and visionary computer scientists of our time. Like many of my colleagues, I felt that I could easily have been the Unabomber's next target. Kaczynski's actions were murderous and, in my view, criminally insane. He is clearly a Luddite, but simply saying this does not dismiss his argument; as difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in this single passage. I felt compelled to confront it."

Bill Joy doesn't sound that out of line. If you're going to confront terrorists, you need to understand their doctrine and motivation so that you can discredit the entire philosophy, rather than just turn them into martyrs.

Re:Bill Joy's terrorist connection (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661141)

You're assuming that the context will be presented, or matter. Clearly, you've not paid attention the last few years.

Re:Bill Joy's terrorist connection (0, Troll)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661321)

Are you implying that there is context under which Bill Ayers saying that he didn't plant enough bombs is not very incendiary? It may be that there is context in which what he said does not imply that he wishes that the Weather Underground had killed more people, but if so, why didn't any of Obama's supporters bring it up during the campaign?

Re:Bill Joy's terrorist connection (1)

jaraxle (1707) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661569)

Serj Tankian (System of a Down) did something similar when he wrote an essay regarding the 9/11 attacks. While his essay in no way condoned or praised the attacks, it was forcibly removed from the website by the record company (and then put back up elsewhere, sorry I don't have a link). All it did was show an understanding of why outside nations, particularly fundamentalist Islam nations, would hate the U.S. so much as to resort to these attacks.

It's unfortunate that "terrorism" has whipped people up in such a frenzy that the simple act of trying to understand so-called terrorists is seen as sympathizing.

~jaraxle

About time (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660683)

Isn't it time we had someone in charge of evaluating new technologies who actually KNOWS how computers work, rather than having to refer to the opinions of out of touch people who still struggle with their VCR flashing 12:00 over and over since 1986?

Re:About time (3, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660867)

Actually, a lot of the younger politicos would probably struggle with VCRs, since all they ever knew was iPod or TIVO. Makes them smart rather than dumb, in my opinion, (VCRs used to be a bitch to program).

Do we really need people who know how things work 'under the hood' to make smart tech decisions? Or do we need smart people with vision, who then consult with or employ the right people? Not sure that Kennedy knew how the rockets worked, but he got people to the moon just the same.

Now get off my lawn.

Re:About time (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661507)

Actually, the people who know things under the hood are the best ones to make good decisions. It's just that sometimes people in those positions are prone to being headcases, Bill Joy no exception.

I'd rather see someone who is open to new viewpoints/researches the topics they are assigned to with minimal prior knowledge, than someone that could possibly be closed to new viewpoints even if they very proficient in a specific field that is related to whatever the issue is.

In both situations, it's a complete gamble as to whether the person ends up actually good for the position or not anyway.

Re:About time (3, Insightful)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661567)

Anyone who can't program a VCR probably can't program much else, nor follows instructions very well. I agree with the OP.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661595)

The simple answer is BOTH. We've got 300 million people, surely we can find a few who have a reasonable amount of both technical competency and vision. One without the other to balance it is worse than useless.

Re:About time (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660989)

Isn't it time we had someone in charge of evaluating new technologies who actually KNOWS how computers work, rather than having to refer to the opinions of out of touch people who still struggle with their VCR flashing 12:00 over and over since 1986?

People still have VCRs?

yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661261)

because it is cheap as can be to pick up used tapes/movies for like 25 cents now. You can rip and burn or stash on harddrive as you please.

No need (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660699)

We don't need a national CTO. We can make our own technology decisions without the government telling us what to do.

Re:No need (4, Insightful)

Deton8 (522248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660753)

Amen, brother. How about a national "Chief Keep the Fucking Government the Hell Out of our Way Officer"?

Re:No need (3, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660927)

Yes, because that approach has worked so well with the financial industry.

Re:No need (3, Informative)

gregoryb (306233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661327)

If you think the government has been staying out of the financial industry for the past 70+ years, you haven't been paying attention.

Re:No need (0, Troll)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661337)

Until the government decided that the financial industry needed to make "affordable housing" loans to poor people that couldn't afford them, it did.

Re:No need (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661663)

Exactly. Please mod parent up.

Re:No need (0)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661369)

Yes, because that approach has worked so well with the financial industry.

We'll never know, because the financial industry is heavily regulated and policed. There's a good argument that some of the regulations (especially the Community Reinvestment Act and various follow-on legislation) was part of the problem, and it's a certainty that investors' confidence that the SEC wouldn't allow people to sell AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities that were actually crap led to overconfidence and a lack of due diligence.

Would the subprime mortgage fiasco have happened in an unregulated financial market? Who knows? Maybe so, maybe not, maybe something worse would have happened. In any case, your analogy between technology regulation and finance regulation is a very poor one.

Re:No need (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661623)

First Bill would make an excellent CTO for the country, but I agree with other posters that this position isn't needed. However, I would agree that RMS would fit more closely with Obamas political views. Bill is definitely smart and considers ethics with technology, although he is about as dry as you can get.

Now you point about the government staying out of business causing the financial mess we are in now. You do realize that this all started because the government wanted to secure loans for low (no) income people? You do know what a GSE is? Specifically lower income minorities that would otherwise never be able to afford a home, but because they couldn't specifically target minorities they also gave ridiculous loans to the middle and upper class people. This is EXACTLY the fault of the government and it was the President and the majority of Democrats who voted for the bailout. Don't try and twist history and blame this on "lack of government control" or the Republicans. There is plenty of blame to go around, but the core issue is that the government went to secure loans and thus mucked around in the corporate world and then when those businesses started to fail they made a socialist decision to get more involved. Again a majority of Republicans voted against the bill.

Go to youtube and search for Fanny and Freddy. I believe the top search will show you a brief history of some brave people trying to put some "control" on this madness.

Re:No need (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661093)

Please tell that to all the Comcast users.

Re:No need (1)

Haig (113291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661135)

Yes, imagine what a paradise we would live in if we had only been exposed to forced migration to the latest Microsoft products at three month intervals. We could even rent time on Microsoft's much cooler version of the Internet.

Re:No need (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660755)

We don't need a national CTO. We can make our own technology decisions without the government telling us what to do.

I think such things as the prevalence of spyware on PCs and the reluctance of many people to offer music or movie shares stands as proof that most people actually can't make their own technology decisions.

Re:No need (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661439)

You're right. We need the Secretary of Internet Safety and Niceness to make Norton 360 required software on everybody's computer, so the internet will be safer for all.

Re:No need (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660765)

We don't need a national CTO. We can make our own technology decisions without the government telling us what to do.

I really hope you're being sarcastic. Otherwise, you just come across as an idiot. It's not like the government is essentially a very large organization that would benefit from someone overseeing how technology is implemented and deployed within it.

Re:No need (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660887)

It's not like the government is essentially a very large organization that would benefit from someone overseeing how technology is implemented and deployed within it.

Shrink it then.

Re:No need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25660999)

Shrink it then.

To the point where there's no technology to oversee? Yeah, great fucking idea, genius! Oh, and BTW, utilizing technology in the right ways will shrink the government.

Re:No need (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660977)

Okay fine, but FIRST we start with a Chief Financial Officer of the US...

Because, really, the last thing you want is everybody in the government using the SAME architecture on the SAME networks. Oh yeah, that'll be secure...

Re:No need (1)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661223)

Because, really, the last thing you want is everybody in the government using the SAME architecture on the SAME networks. Oh yeah, that'll be secure...

It'll probably be better than what's there now. I've worked with a lot of different government systems, and in my experience the really nasty security holes aren't due to obscure platform bugs, they're due to the really stupid shit that people do to get these different systems to talk to each other. A common architecture would get rid of a lot of that crap.

Of course, the point here is moot. Even if we had a national technology CTO, getting government agencies to move from old systems to new systems is like pulling hens teeth. They love picking up additional funding for these things, but hate making the actual conversion.

Re:No need (3, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661371)

Security through shit just plain not working in the first place? That's innovative, I like it.

Re:No need (1)

fishdan (569872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660805)

I hear you brother in small government, but to have someone with that much common sense and technology experience in cabinet meetings makes every decision that much better. I guarantee you there are plenty of areas of government that can be optimized with better tech. I go to 10 meetings a week (because my life sucks) where I don't think I need to be there, but I end up making suggestions about ways to use technology that make this project or that project MUCH better. Bill Joy will do the same. He won't make technology decisions, he'll be advising others how they can use technology they may not be aware of.

Re:No need (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25660869)

But the government itself uses a lot of technology. A technical seeing-eye dog is useful for any politician to have.

Re:No need (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661097)

Insightful? Think about it, the comment isn't even on topic. Why would anyone think that the government having a CTO (even companies with less than 100 employees have one) translates into "government telling us what to do"?

I think having some standardization and efficiency across agencies would save some money, and, the parent poster probably agrees with that. Maybe he's still on that first cup of coffee.

Re:No need (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661515)

You dolt.

The government has millions of computers, and you don't want someone to set policy? Look at what the mindless, out of control, dead in a ditch projects have cost us.

They're not setting policy FOR YOU, nitwit-- for the government. DO what you want. Let someone put reason into executive branch decision making in government IT!!

This is a huge opportunity (4, Interesting)

Haig (113291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661037)

The Obama administration may be the place where the driving of the golden spike uniting open source development with open source government takes place. Using Federal IT standards to drive proprietary formats out of the government departments will create a cascade of rationalization and standardization throughout the US economy. Our creaky and costly medical care system desperately needs this kind of rationalization.

Accordingly, a prominent and effective member of the Open Source community should occupy this position, not a big-time software corporatist.

Re:This is a huge opportunity (2, Insightful)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661519)

Open source software didn't drive the economy of the 90's, or the economy of the last few years. Forcing your ideological views on others through government is both stupid, and dangerous.

Re:This is a huge opportunity (1)

Haig (113291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661593)

One man's "ideology" (e.g., fluoridation of drinking water) is another man's public health. The US economy is crippled by gratuitously differentiated "standards" in almost every sector. A Federal CTO could begin to change that.

vi will become the national text editor too (2, Funny)

warfi380 (1309541) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661103)

300iVote for vi

How about Bill Jolitz? :) (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661109)

Now HE'S the man.

IMHO (2, Interesting)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661113)

I'd feel more comfortable with someone from the research or academic circles than I would with someone from industry for a position like that. Might just be my bias, but I feel that someone from industry might be a little more biased toward a particular set of interests. Although marginalized to some degree, I think someone like current science advisor John Marburger would be a much better choice. Just my $0.02.

What the CTO needs... (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661121)

Is some authority to set the standards as a mandate for **all** federal agencies. All of them, no exceptions. One of the first things that should be done is to mandate equal consideration for .NET and LAMP because Java has way too much of a fanboi following in the federal government.

In reality, though, the position of CTO is likely to be more of a figurehead than a useful position. Obama is not likely to hand down an executive order authorizing the CTO to impose open standards and a "use the best tool for the job" method of selecting the tools that will be used for building new federal web sites and web applications.

Pay Cut? (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661167)

Does anyone honestly think Bill would take a pay cut to be the CTO? What I'm saying is.. would he have that much free time to take up a role like this and not disrupt other projects/duties/professional responsibilities he's currently doing, whatever those might be?

Obama is not (2, Insightful)

stbill79 (1227700) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661287)

going to be the savior some would have you believe; however, from what it looks like, he will actually assign competent people to positions in his cabinet. This, btw, is the complete opposite to that which George heck of a job, Brownie has done, and probably what McCain would have done.

The president can obviously not be 100% knowledgeable on each and every issue that is to be dealt with. Choosing the right people for the jobs, instead of a crony you owe favors to, is what makes or breaks a good administration. This is one of the reasons I'm so hopeful after 8 years of morons heading up our highest offices...

So.. (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661325)

Does this mean that anyone who uses EMACS will be considered a terrorist and threat to national security?

Re:So.. (2, Funny)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661485)

Does this mean that anyone who uses EMACS will be considered a terrorist and threat to national security?

Absolutely not. Please continue to enjoy use of emacs.

alias emacs='vi'

Good Lord (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25661375)

It's amazing that there is so little debate whether the federal government should create this position. Dear lord jesus, doesn't anybody give a shit about liberty? I thought computer programmers were supposed to be smart. you're digging your own graves.

It's a sacrifice... (1)

dat cwazy wabbit (1147827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661403)

to insert an ally into a high ranking government position. "No higher cause." You gotta love it.

CTO or Science Advisor (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661429)

Would this be the same position as National Science Adviser? If it's a different position, who would be under whom? AAAS is pushing for a cabinet level scientist position. Bill Joy would be an insulting pick for that office. His fundamental misunderstanding of basic things like chemistry and physics (evident in his fear of grey goo) would be crippling. We already have enough charlatans in nanotechnology getting loads of money off of scaring the crap out of an uneducated public. Putting a guy like him in charge of the NSF funding would be disastrous to serious science.

Bruce Perens (2, Interesting)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661433)

Bruce is my vote for CTO. I'd rather have someone outspoken in the role that's only partially crazy.

What on God's Grey Earth would a CTO do? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661537)

Chief of what, precisely?

Re:What on God's Grey Earth would a CTO do? (1)

Haig (113291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661641)

He would set standards for the digital commerce and government of the United States. Have you visited a doctor's office lately and admired the paper files? How many times a month do you have to write down your SSN?

I think the national CTO is a terrible idea... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661539)

Why should we have a single czar empowered to guide the development of all software in the United States. This is liberalism gone mad. The only thing the government hasn't f--- up is the software industry and now you guys are asking the feds to wreck that too. It's insane.

"I'm holding out for Secretary of Tubes" (1)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25661613)

Watch out, the next budget cut will result in Tubal Ligation, followed closely by Tubal Litigation.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?