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!

Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the touchy-touchy dept.

Businesses 600

theodp writes "At the World Economic Forum, Michael Dell's pitch to help Russia with its computers got the cold-as-Siberia shoulder from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. 'We don't need help,' shot back Putin. 'We are not invalids. We don't have limited mental capacity' (video — rant starts at 1:24). 'Our programmers are some of the best in the world,' Putin continued. 'No one would contest that here — not even our Indian colleagues.'"

cancel ×

600 comments

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

In Soviet Russia (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668467)

the State tells you what it needs...

Re:In Soviet Russia (4, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668507)

Actually, ex-soviet computer scientists apparently where not happy with the former governments choice to use non-soviet produced computers and protocols. They felt that it dampened the ability for them to make their own technologies.

Check out the history of Soviet computer technology on wikipedia sometime, its interesting. Most of it cuts off in the 60s and 70s and then they just started using IBMs and stuff.

Re:In Soviet Russia (3, Informative)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668569)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_hardware_in_communist_countries [wikipedia.org]

What I mean by cut off is that they mostly just started using processors from the free world instead of making their own.

Re:In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668711)

It's just as well. They can configure the OS scheduler to divide time equally between all processes.

Re:In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668851)

Unless, of course, the owner of a process is a Party official.

Re:In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

samriel (1456543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669143)

"Mister SVCHost, Tear Down This Thread!"

Re:In Soviet Russia (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668703)

Most of it was also just a carbon copy of what was being done in the US. At some point in time, intelligent people say 'lets just buy the wheel and move on to making a cart.'

Not Invented Here slows down a lot more progress then it helps.

Re:In Soviet Russia (3, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668859)

Not Invented Here slows down a lot more progress then it helps.

Maybe in the short term, but in the long term when you are talking about a whole society inventing things. The USSR, having different needs and different mindsets, may have come up with unique technologies that where not tried here. For instance, what if they would have gone the trinary route instead of binary, or if they had made their first computers more like the ideas behind the thinking machine from MIT. I think then you wouldn't be saying that it was a waste of time because their technology would show more of what is possible.

Re:In Soviet Russia (2, Interesting)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669145)

Um, given the nature of computing based on electricity trinary computing would have simply been higher order code, unless your talking about levels of electric power, say 0, 1/2, and 1, but then the tech would have been vastly more complicated and almost certainly more prone to breakdown for a relatively small return.

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26669011)

where not happy

were not happy

And Michael Looked Back (5, Funny)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668469)

and said "Well ... ok then."

Re:And Michael Looked Back (5, Insightful)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668623)

Of course, Putin is actually also correct to be worried. The 90s was full of foreign consultants coming over to Moscow and giving unbelievably bad advice that lead to premature loosening of all controls and a kleptocratic oligarchy shortly after that.

Now imagine that combined with a foreign profit seeking company offering to do the helping. I'm not entirely surprised Putin reacted as you would if Bill Gates came over to your FOSS startup and asked if you'd like an MS sales team to give you some free help and advice. Quite how naive do we assume Putin to be here? Russia isn't some failed state that cannot run it's own programs and make it's own choices. Authoritarian, yes, but competent at it.

Re:And Michael Looked Back (4, Insightful)

El Torico (732160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668885)

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Re:And Michael Looked Back (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26669019)

Beware of geeks bearing gifts.

Fixed that for you.

Re:And Michael Looked Back (4, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668901)

Don't give them too much credit. Now that the petrodollar tap has been turned off, Putin is terrified of any real decline in standard of living. Like China, authoritarianism works on a population accustomed to it and enjoying a rapidly rising standard of living. Manufacturing brought this to China, and oil exports (and some raw materials exports) brought this to Russia.

With the collapse in oil prices and raw materials demand, Putin is in a tough spot. His currency sucks and they've wasted a ton of money trying to defend the ruble, pissing away a lot of their foreign currency reserves in the process. The stock exchange has been closed down a number of days due to declines.

If a bad global economy wasn't enough, the little tete-a-tete they had with Georgia made a lot of nervous investors even more nervous and they pulled a lot of resources out of Russia fearing all the usual problems that come with a nationalist thug like Putin.

We've seen what the USSR could accomplish as a go-it-alone economy, and it wasn't enough. Having a nominally capitalist system will help, but Putin needs to stop with the saber rattling and the blind nationalism.

Re:And Michael Looked Back (3, Informative)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669153)

With the collapse in oil prices and raw materials demand, Putin is in a tough spot.

Not quite as tough a spot as those European nations who are dependent upon Russia's natural gas, I don't think.

Re:And Michael Looked Back (2, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669009)

Authoritarian, yes, but competent at it.

Bollocks. Competent at being authoritarian, yes, as you'd expect from a bunch of Chekists.

Oil production (output) has fallen since the re-nationalisation by Putin and his cronies, and now that oil prices have fallen, the dependance of the Russian economy on commodity exports, and - shock - foreign investment has been revealed.

Make no mistake, they're in big truoble just like the other major world economies.

Re:And Michael Looked Back (3, Insightful)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669151)

Make no mistake, they're in big truoble just like the other major world economies.

If this state is shared with the other large economies, it would fail to support your argument that the Russian government is not in fact reasonably competent. Other than that I would have to infer that you are claiming that all governments are incompetent. While I appreciate that this is a popular position for the Norquist/Libeterian crowd, I do not agree.

A failed state? (2, Insightful)

swm (171547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669129)

From

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia [wikipedia.org]

Lower birth rates and higher death rates reduced Russia's population at a 0.5% annual rate, or about 750,000 to 800,000 people per year during the late 1990s and most of the 2000s. The UN warned that Russia's 2005 population of about 143 million could fall by a third by 2050.

From

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/state [merriam-webster.com]

State: 5 a: a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory

If you need a body of people to be a state,
the I'd say that Russia is on its way to failure.

Russia - Where Russians go to die
-- The Onion

Obligatory ... (-1, Redundant)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668471)

In Soviet Russia, computers program you!

Wow. You guys missed the obvious. (-1, Redundant)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668681)

In Soviet Russia, Dells get YOU!!!!

The Cold War Called ... (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668479)

"We don't need help. We are not invalids. We don't have limited mental capacity. Our programmers are some of the best in the world. No one would contest that here -- not even our Indian colleagues."

Failure to address the real issues (corruption, economy, etc) plaguing your society? Check.

Playing up a sense of extreme national pride, isolation and bullheadedness? Double check.

Burning a bridge? Triple check.

Putin, you would have made a fine leader during the Cold War for either side.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (0, Flamebait)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668519)

Failure to address the real issues (corruption, economy, etc) plaguing your society? Check.

Playing up a sense of extreme national pride, isolation and bullheadedness? Double check.

Burning a bridge? Triple check.

Putin, you would have made a fine leader during the *past eight years* for either side.

There, fixed that for you

Re:The Cold War Called ... (4, Insightful)

freedomseven (967354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668805)

Cheap shots at Bush are tired and old. The guy was a bad president. We get it. The thing that you need to worry about is the God like persona that the media is painting Obama with. He may wind up being a good or even a great president, but no one is going to be able to live up to the hype that is being heaped upon him.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (2, Informative)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668845)

Speaking of God-like personae...

He Must Be Like Putin [youtube.com]

Re:The Cold War Called ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668863)

Cheap shots? More like mere observations. Wonder whether you'll defend them when you lose your job, assuming you're old enough.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (2, Insightful)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668893)

I couldn't have said it better. Bush is gone, now everyone please shut up and move on.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668925)

GOP still

Re:The Cold War Called ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668933)

Bush is gone...

But his mess isn't.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (5, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669123)

That's an unreasonable expectation. If you fuck up for eight years in a row, you don't simply stop hearing about it a few weeks after you begin to stop.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668545)

Sometimes, a nation with a spine is more respectable than one without.

Putin, you are fine.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668621)

Not going back far enough. The Russian fear of being perceived as backass country folk goes all the way back to the Tsars. Russia really wanted to be counted among European nobility, but could never really cut it, so they are hyper-sensitive to anything indicating that they are not up-to-date/cutting edge. AFAIK, "nekulturny" (literally, uncultured) is still the highest insult you can throw at a Russian.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (3, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668841)

...the highest insult you can throw at a Russian.

Not a shoe?

Re:The Cold War Called ... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669115)

Very true. Tolstoy's War and Peace depicted a French-speaking Russian aristocracy even at the time of the Napoleon's invasion of Russia!

Re:The Cold War Called ... (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668629)

Yeah because Reaganomics didn't work, did they? Oh wait.....

Re:The Cold War Called ... (1, Flamebait)

Ninnle Linux (1460113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668763)

They worked at giving us hundreds of billions in national debt, for sure.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668969)

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth recovered strongly after the 1982 recession and grew during Reagan's remaining years in office at an annual rate of 3.4% per year,[13] slightly lower than the post-World War II average of 3.6%.[14] Unemployment peaked at over 10.7% percent in 1982 then dropped during the rest of Reagan's terms, and inflation significantly decreased.[15] A net job increase of about 16 million also occurred.

    I would say he helped topple the USSR but it's coming back :(

Re:The Cold War Called ... (-1, Flamebait)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668637)

I was going to say, Putin's comments sounded like they could have easily been spoken by anyone in the Bush regime. Except instead of saying our programmers are awesome, he'd make a comment about how all of our programmers are now in India.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (2, Insightful)

X.25 (255792) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668753)

Failure to address the real issues (corruption, economy, etc) plaguing your society? Check.

Playing up a sense of extreme national pride, isolation and bullheadedness? Double check.

Burning a bridge? Triple check.

Putin, you would have made a fine leader during the Cold War for either side.

I'm sorry - what country are you talking about, because quite few fit into this profile.

Re:The Cold War Called ... (2, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668975)

Sounded like a clumsy translation more than anything... that translator is working on the fly in a literal word-for-word sense. Get a spin-meister on the transcript and you'll get something out like "Thank you for your generous offer Mr. Dell, however, Russia is a proud and self-sufficient nation who can provide for her own IT needs."

Full of shit you are, young Jedi (4, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669029)

1. Putin has been addressing the economy pretty darn well. There was pretty dramatic GDP growth during his tenure.

2. While corruption is still high, it is MUCH lower than it was during Yeltsin years. Oligarchs don't open the doors in Kremlin with their foot anymore. The guy who tried to buy up enough of the parliament to pass his own laws (Khodorkovsky) is in the prison, where he will remain for a long time. Needless to say, the Russian people have much less sympathy to him that those who don't know what he's really in the prison for.

3. It's about time Russia asserted itself internationally. For nearly a decade and a half, Russia did exactly as IMF and Washington DC told it. Needless to say, neither of the two had Russia's interests in mind.

4. Putin was merely putting Dell in his place. Just because you got a ticket to Davos doesn't mean you're entitled to any kind of preferential treatment from the government. Dell is just "screwdriver assembly" company. There are plenty of those in Russia.

Questions?

Re:The Cold War Called ... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669119)

I'd like to know if Putin took off his shoe, and pounded it on the stand while making his "we're not invalids" speech.

That's how you know we've returned to Cold War-style Russia.

Real World Experience (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668503)

"Our programmers are some of the best in the world,"

Of course - after all, those viruses don't program themselves, now do they?

Re:Real World Experience (4, Interesting)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668795)

Exactly. Most of the best Russian programmers are currently either making botnets or breaking DRM. During the late stages of the Cold War, they spent most of their time buying or stealing code from the West. A fact that the CIA once exploited to cause one of the largest non-nuclear man made explosions [builderau.com.au] .

While you might like the DRM breakers, nothing here is much to get excited about.

Prideful Putin ? (2, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668511)

Pride goeth before a fall.

Re:Prideful Putin ? (-1, Redundant)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668551)

In Soviet Russia*, Dell gets YOU!

(* since they're heading back that way anyway, it seems)

dude, (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668525)

you're getting a polonium 210!

Bah. (0, Redundant)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668761)

In Soviet Russia, polonium 210 gets you. (said without a trace of irony)

Re:Bah. (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668837)

In London, polonium 210 gets Soviet Russian.

(said without a trace of humor... but i tried)

Re:dude, (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668869)

Polonium 209 [youtube.com] is good, too. :)

Russian Computing (4, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668533)

Our botnets span the globe! Our shadowy hosting providers are without peer! Our ability to ddos former republics who move monuments is second to none...

Look out Mike! (1)

G-Man (79561) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668537)

You made Polonium Putin mad!

Re:Look out Mike! (2, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668591)

He's almost to the point of provoking pretentious Polonium Putin!

Re:Look out Mike! (1)

DougF (1117261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668817)

Did Dell previously provoke pretentious Polonium Putin's puissance?

Programmers? (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668557)

Aren't quite a few of the major botnets and viruses coming out of Russia? I don't think Dell or anyone else is questioning that there are some good anf talented programmers who come out of Russia; just that those good programmers aren't working for the government and they might want to hire some consultants for which Dell would be happy to provide at a good price if they can get a Dell on very desk in the Kremlin.

On a side note, why does he bring up that they have good programmers given that Dell is primarly a hardware company simply looking for a government contract?

Re:Programmers? (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668735)

Swell.

Your understanding of the situation reminds me of Bush looking at his polls.

Putin, not big on technology, took Dell's question as an insult, and retorted with a prideful display. Nothing more than that.

Chances of Dell selling much into Russia? Poorer-- although it would be a great counter-culture way to insult Putin. For that alone, an offset may have been made so as to prevent Dell from having to file an 8K (for downward trend warning due to sales-geek faux pas).

Don't go in to politics.

Re:Programmers? (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668945)

I'm not entirely convinced that you are 100% correct here. Recent tech spats with Russia et al include MS and piracy in Russian schools, OSS software directives, and several minor stories I seem to remember about the Russian government pulling away from outsiders. I'm pretty certain that after the cold war they have more reason to not want 'help' than any of us might imagine. My point is I don't think this is an isolated incidence of over reaction. I think it fits with an overall plan for IT infrastructure for government, as far as I can tell.

In truth, after RefFlag Linux and some other efforts around the globe, I've been waiting for Russia et al to announce something that more or less tells Redmond to get stuffed. By way of guilt by association reasoning, if Putin and Russia manage to thumb their noses at North American software/hardware manufacturers, it's nearly certain that many others will follow suit. I suspect there are a lot of politics involved though... and that causes me curiosity.

Re:Programmers? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669071)

You don't recognize a typical negotiating stance when you see one. Russian pride is important, just like German pride, Chinese pride, etc. Home grown efforts are typical chest-thumping moves. Michael Dell pissed off Putin. Putin thumped his chest.

Much of the world, including in the USA, would like to tell Microsoft to self fornicate. Do you think we LIKE to pay money to Microsoft? Microsoft is a business plan. There's no inherent love for what they produce, only the value of what they produce gives you or I.

For Putin, BeetWare is a great way to snub the pseudo-erudite Dell at a major world conference. His 'status' is therefore enhanced, in the same stupid way that the Premier of Turkey is now a local hero.

Re:Programmers? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669097)

I understand that, and agree that is an important part of what happened, but I suspect there is more behind the scenes than we are hearing about. Just a suspicion.

Re:Programmers? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668973)

just that those good programmers aren't working for the government

I wouldn't be so sure about that.

Re:Programmers? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669055)

Yeah, I felt like Putin missed the point entirely. Dell was basically asking, "What can we do to convince you to buy our hardware?" and Putin's response seemed to be, "We don't need your charity because we have good programmers!"

Now I can understand wanting to use computers manufactured in Russia for economic reasons, for security reasons, or even just for the sake of pride, but the conversation didn't make a hell of a lot of sense to me.

Russia has a cool new blackberry competitor (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668561)

It weighs in at 350 lbs and is bigger than a kaypro.

They hope to have it scaled down in the next 5-year plan.

he sounds (1, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668573)

like a man refusing to ask for directions.

'Honey, we're fine, I know where we are, the main road has to intersect this one eventually, I'm not an idiot.'

Meanwhile dueling banjos are heard...

"Best" (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668589)

> Our programmers are some of the best in the world

Yes. Just look at how they dominate the malware industry. And nobody is better at herding bots.

Re:"Best" (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668693)

> Just look at how they dominate the malware industry. And nobody is better at herding bots.

That is one good example. They have lots of skilled people in a hellhole economy. And sending hard currency they don't have (mostly because of corrupt politicians like Putin it must be said) to buy stuff they could do themselves with labor so underutilized they accept the low returns of the malware industry out of desperation is do dumb even Putin gets it.

And I can totally understand why they wouldn't want a Dell. If they want Chinese made crap they have China's number, why would they want to cut the US in on the action just to get a Dell sticker on the box?

Re:"Best" (1)

NinjaCoder (878547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668835)

(mostly because of corrupt politicians like Putin it must be said)

Really? I'd thought one of his strengths was supposed to be his personal incorruptibility.

Re:"Best" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669091)

> I'd thought one of his strengths was supposed to be his personal
> incorruptibility.

And if you say otherwise he has some Polonium for you.

On the other hand, how could the Czar be corrupt anyway? You can't steal from yourself!

Re:"Best" (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668829)

I just heard 1 billion screamin' Chinamen boggle at your comment. It sounded... well, you can imagine.

Re:"Best" (4, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669101)

Eastern european programmers do tend to dominate things like the Top Coder and Google Code Jam competitions (although a Chinese guy won the latter last year), so there's certainly plenty of talent there. Let's not also forget that they've got things like the unmanned Progress ISS supply ship that we're totally dependent on - something that neither the US, Europe nor anywhere else has to offer.

Re:"Best" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669135)

> Let's not also forget that they've got things like the unmanned
> Progress ISS supply ship that we're totally dependent on - something
> that neither the US, Europe nor anywhere else has to offer.

The Jules Verne seemed to work pretty well.

zzzzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668595)

I watched most of the video before I got utterly bored. It wasn't much of a rant. It wasn't much of anything. Don't any of these talking heads have useful work to do at home?

HP rox, dell sux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668603)

ALL dells (no capitalization needed out of disrespect) are the suxxxxx0rz!!!!!!!1111111111 HP Pavilions ROCK!

Re:HP rox, dell sux (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668787)

Where is ESR and his guns when you need 'em?

Summary much more interesting than actual rant (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668635)

I hope their programmers are a lot better than their translators. Or was Putin's original Russian as rambling and incoherent? Reminded me of the rare times when Bush would talk at length without having written it out ahead of time.

It was a very mild rebuke (5, Informative)

MykePagan (452299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668639)

Did anyone actually watch the clip? It appeared to me that Putin gave a very mild rebuke to Dell, and then went on to do just as much marketing of Russian IT :-) It was not a big "F-You Dell, F-you The West" like the headlines imply.

Re:It was a very mild rebuke (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668727)

No, it was more like "when are you going to start treating us as equals?"

Indeed (1)

quax (19371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668849)

Slightly different account here [nytimes.com] .

Reminds me of this whole Ahmadinejad "Wiping Israel from the map" translation flap. [wikipedia.org]

Once an incorrect translation takes hold it is pretty much impossible to correct.

spin (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668647)

The media spun this as if it makes Dell look bad. It doesn't. It actually makes Putin look insecure because he felt the need to lash out like that.

Re:spin (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668983)

I wouldn't say Putin was lashing out - the bulk of his response wasn't that Russia doesn't need IT help, it was that help might be better directed to the third world or developing economies that do need it. Of course Dell - being a public company - isn't actually interested in charity - he wants a big paid-for order of computers (maybe at a "helpful" discount. I'm sure Dell's not about to start gifting IT tech to the third world.

The Best! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668651)

Heck, Russia was the nation that granted us Tetris!

In Soviet Russia, block rotates you!

Nice slap down (5, Insightful)

MisterSquirrel (1023517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668725)

In Putin's defense, he was slapping down a marketing pitch. The linked article gets it wrong on a subtle but significant detail: Mr. Dell didn't ask "If" Dell could help, he asked "How" Dell could help.

Who can blame Putin for being offended by the implication that Russia needed Mr. Dell's help? So he let him have it with both barrels, much as any of us might react to an unwanted and annoying telemarketer, if they gave us a similarly arrogant pitch.

And by the way, shouldn't the lame jokes be changed to start with "In post-Soviet Russia"?

Re:Nice slap down (2, Insightful)

Greg_D (138979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668825)

There's a huge difference between declining assistance and going off on a childish diatribe because a businessman offered his services to you. Putin seems to be playing up to the state-owned press in Russia which lionizes everything he does.

Re:Nice slap down (1)

DougF (1117261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668943)

In Putin's Russia, if you don't lionize him you end up dead, along with anyone who sees you get assassinated...

Re:Nice slap down (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669035)

Putin seems to be playing up to the state-owned press in Russia which lionizes everything he does.

Does anyone realize this guy is a politician? Of course he's playing up to the press, that's his job, just like M. Dell's job is to hawk hardware sales.

Wow, watch out (1, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668745)

You really hit Putin's raw nerves here. Outside their country their mafia tactics are practically worthless (granted, some actual mafia tactics and the one or other radioactive sushi bar here and there) so they have little to be proud of. The Russians have let their game slide and now they are in a desperate economic state.

I would have taken Putin by the word 20 years ago and they probably would have blasted IBM out of the country with some Lada-type Diesel computer made from scrap metal and old nuclear reactors. But today. Not so sure anymore. What kind of sensible person would actually install a Russian operating system (let alone entire hardware solution)? We know they write spyware, so do the Americans but does that bother us? No. Because at least the Americans hide their stuff at all costs. Russians are just too straight forward. "I don't like, I kill you.", "I want information, I break your legs, then encryption."

The course that Putin is sailing right now leads to the edge of the world and from his point of view ... he's very close to actually falling over it. You can't keep your economy running only with gas extortion and MP3 sites.

It may be a misconseption on my part but... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668783)

"not even our Indian colleagues."

Am I the only one who thinks that even if there may be some good programers among them, most of the indians programmers are cheap labor like the chinese in manufacturing, they work long hours doing a so-so job without having much qualifications nor having to think much about the problems? This is based on what I've heard since I haven't worked with indians myself.

Re:It may be a misconseption on my part but... (5, Informative)

Puchku (615680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669161)

In India, we have thousands (literally) of kids graduating with computer engineering degrees every year. Now, the thing is, a lot of these degrees are pretty useless since the college/university that issued them is basically a money making machine, and nothing else.

However, there are a bunch of good places that produce very good engineers. The Indian Institutes of Technology are the most well known, but there are some others that are equally good (some of the top Regional Enginnering Colleges, and so on)

I think it boils down to numbers. Say we have 30,000 comp sci grads every year. Now say 60 percent of them are hacks who know nothing much and are only good for repetitive code work and stuff like that. 20 percent will be quite good, easily as competent as a good programmer in the US or wherever. 10 percent will be skilled at code and other stuff like management, the types who end up heading into upper management, 8 percent will be very good, and 2 percent will be fantastic.

The 2 percent mostly heads off to MIT, or CMU, or $TOPSCHOOL to do an MS or a Phd, but that still leaves a pretty substantial number of good people.

Now, when you realize that 30,000 is a low estimate, since the acutal figure is 175,000 (source: http://www.timesascent.co.in/index.aspx?Page=article&sectid=2&contentid=20080930200809301249051997b5b53a [timesascent.co.in] , and http://www.rediff.com/money/2006/jun/09bspec.htm [rediff.com] ) you begin to see that while we do have a huge number of terrible programmers, we have a pretty good talent pool too. It's all about the numbers!

Delphi (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668791)

Maybe Putin meant to say that Russians were the best Delphi programmers in the world, which is probably true.

Unfortunately no one gives a crap about Delphi.

bezumetz, begletz dorogi net.. ti vidish neverni svet...

Dell needs a class in international business (5, Insightful)

MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668801)

Not that I agree with him, but I understand Putin's response. Look at it from Putin's POV: Putin is a very strong nationalist. And just about every country, not least Russia, tends to be quite sensitive to American condescension or arrogance, real or perceived. So when Dell says, in what would be an okay-ish remark between Americans, 'how can we help you', it's easily felt as condescending in foreign eyes. Especially Russian ones and especially Putin's. Add to that the cultural factor of Russian temperament and you get what Putin said. Dell probably should have phrased it in a more neutral manner. For instance, he could have been more generalized and simply ask "How can the IT sector in Russia be expanded to better utilize the reserves of talent there?" Or something similar. By his response, you'll find out if there's a role for you or not. So simply by dropping the 'How can we help' bit, you avoid the implication that they _need_ help (even if they do, nobody really wants to be told that by someone else) and the further implication that 'we' are the only ones who can do so.

Re:Dell needs a class in international business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668989)

In other words: Do a better job of bootlicking.

World Best Hackers, Maybe? (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668883)

'Our programmers are some of the best in the world,' Putin continued.

Yes, best in the world at illegally creating a government-sanctioned (but never acknowledged), botnet of ungodly proportions.

So what exactly do the other 99% of Russians know about PCs? Not much, based on my dealings with thousands of Russians every year.

Let them eat Dells!

Summary is a bit off (5, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668887)

Putin wasn't reacting to Dell offering computers so much as Dell suggesting that Russia had a problem with technical talent that needed addressing, which *is* obviously absurd! Even if Russia did have a problem developing IT talent, the solution isn't a big order of Dell computers, even if Dell honestly thinks it is.

TopCoder (5, Interesting)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668931)

According to the TopCoder algorithm competition stats:

1 Russian Federation 2930.06
2 China 2843.33
3 Poland 2842.79
4 Ukraine 2557.06
5 Japan 2483.83
6 Canada 2426.56
7 United States 2320.98
8 Slovakia 2291.73
9 South Korea 2226.98
10 Belarus 2206.81

Let's just hope the next war isn't fought with robots.

Re:TopCoder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26669159)

Don't forget that Belarus is effectively just a state of Russia. Open borders, no visa needed. And Ukranian programmers can get to Russia (an do so, because Ukraine economy is dead) almost as easily.

Proper translation of Putin's statement... (5, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26668941)

Here [russiatoday.com] .

âoeYou know, the trick is we're not someone in need of help. We're not invalids. Help is something that you should give to poor people, to people with limited capacities, to pensioners, to developing countries... As for Russia and our partners in Europe, in the United States, in some Asian countries, there should be a partnership of equals.â

Poor translations (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26668949)

Russian to English translation was mediocre (at least for the bits I could hear Putin say), so I wonder whether Dell's question had similarly poor translation and Putin didn't get the real meaning of what was asked.

I can see how his question could be translated to mean that Russian IT still sucks and needs help.

In Soviet Russia (2, Funny)

Stoned Necromancer (926330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669015)

What comrade Putin says is that Soviet Russia produces some of the best cracks, viruses, hacks, worms, backdoors, keygenerators and hacking utilities in the world. Besides, it's all in cyrillic and nobody except soviet russians understand it anyway. :-)

Today's Top 5 In Soviet Russia... (0, Redundant)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26669037)

...help pitches YOU! ...programming talent has YOU! ...botnets control YOU! ...malware writes YOU! ...Windows boxes infect YOU!

Hm, I wonder what Polonium tastes like, because right now my Pepsi

He does not say limited mental capacity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26669155)

He says limited capacity, and the whole tone of the comment is completely different from what's discussed here.

Pretty pathetic that you link to a video but obviously none of the /. readers don't UNDERSTAND the video.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?