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America's New CIO Loves Google

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the government-in-the-clouds dept.

Government 208

theodp writes "On Thursday, Barack Obama tapped Vivek Kundra for the post of Federal CIO, giving him responsibility for establishing and overseeing enterprise architecture across the federal government. So what might that look like? Well, little more than a month ago Kundra was slated to sing the praises of Google Apps to government officials in a webcast. A Kundra quote from the presentation slides: 'Why should I spend millions on enterprise apps when I can do it [with Google] at one-tenth cost and ten times the speed? It's a win-win for me.' You can follow Kundra's love affair with Google on YouTube, from his announcement of the Google-Washington DC partnership he brokered through a co-starring role with a Google attorney on a video pitching Google-enabled technology for the Obama Administration. Not surprisingly, some say Obama's choice of a Google-party-goer who worships Google could cause big headaches for Microsoft."

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Linux users are steers and queers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090903)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Linux users are steers and queers (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091691)

Mr. Ballmer, is that you?

Steve Ballmer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090905)

should throw a chair at Vivek

google running our government IT? (4, Insightful)

arkowitz (1185265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090925)

I for one have a problem with our government documents and processes being hosted by a private company. At least Microsoft just sells software.

Re:google running our government IT? (3, Funny)

ritcereal (1399801) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090951)

On the upside, it'd be a lot harder for the Obama administration to misplace millions of e-mails...i mean Google does no evil!

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090977)

On the upside, it'd be a lot harder for the Obama administration to misplace millions of e-mails...i mean Google does no evil!

No conversations in the Trash. Who needs to delete when you have over 2000 MB of storage?!

Re:google running our government IT? (4, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091349)

Hi. I'm from Google, and I'm here to help you.

Re:google running our government IT? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090983)

I don't. We might actually have access to our own damn documents this way.

Re:google running our government IT? (2, Insightful)

Ed Bugg (2024) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091217)

Exactly... It's the move to a more transparent govt. of course. No more need to file that silly Freedom of Information Act form. Everything will out in the open.

Re:google running our government IT? (5, Insightful)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091509)

What makes you think it will be out in the open just because it is hosted by Google?

Just because it is POSSIBLE to be out in the open, doesn't mean that it will.

I agree with your sentiment that we need a more transparent government, but I disagree that using Google will necessarily achieve that.

I use Google every day and have seen no reason to suspect they are up to no good, but it makes me a bit nervous when I see that people seem to trust them completely.

They are a large, powerful corporation. Even if the current management proves to be saintly, a corporation can change its management. Sometimes against the will of the current management (I'm looking at YOU Yahoo).

Having the government's information held by a private corporation seems a bit dangerous.

Cheaper, definitely. More transparent, maybe. Good idea, remains to be seen...

I certainly hope that if the govt. really goes down that road, that the process by which they do so is absolutely transparent.

Really well written contracts (and possibly legislative actions) need to spell out EXACTLY what Google can and can't do. It could be implemented very well or very badly. AND there needs to be a fall back. It may be unthinkable for Google to fail, but not that long ago people thought the same of GM, AIG, Citigroup, etc, etc...

Re:google running our government IT? (1, Interesting)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091933)

Exactly... It's the move to a more transparent govt. of course. No more need to file that silly Freedom of Information Act form. Everything will out in the open.

Silly citizen. FOIA doesn't apply to private entities. And if Google doesn't want to be transparent, well, no FOIA is going to make that happen.

It might also lower the barrier to the gov't strong-arming Google for personal information on the users.

Now, get back to work so you can pay your entire wage in taxes, komrade.

Re:google running our government IT? (1, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091011)

I hear ya...and also, with EVERYTHING being tied to one company...one set of servers, when Google has an outtage, that means our government comes to a grinding halt?!?!

There are valid reasons for a heterogeneous computer system, spread out, with different servers and OS's...so that one event doesn't bring everything down to a complete standstill. Haven't we all learned that single point of failure is a dangerous thing?

Re:google running our government IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091107)

give the collossal government failure, a government shutdown may be the only thing which prevents complete destruction of the economy.

Re:google running our government IT? (1, Troll)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091973)

^Ah yes. Nothing is hindering our economy more than pesky things like schools, road and bridge maintenance, national defence, and police & fire protection. Shut it all down! That's the ticket!

Re:google running our government IT? (5, Informative)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091135)

You do realize that Google also licenses out their applications for you to run internally right? Or how about the fact that even government applications experience outtages, it's not like the hardware they purchase is magically protected by a "never goes down" forcefield. Google as an entity isn't going anywhere and you can't call a business a single point of failure, trust me, their infrastructure is well built to sustain multiple failure. Better yet, I would prefer if our government leveraged Google's superior and private workforce and farm of server hardware that has proven itself than try to build the infrastructure from the ground up. Particularly if in 4 years or 8 years when the administration changes all of that work setting it up prefers to go with M$ exchange or Zimbra, or Netscape Mail, or Lotus, etc.

I work in government IT. Government doesn't have the buying power to hire the trained workstaff to set up an infrastructure like this reliably. I would prefer they "outsource" to Google.

In other words, shut the hell up because you don't know what you're talking about.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

beschra (1424727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091299)

No, they don't have a "never goes down" forcefield. They have an SEP field.

Re:google running our government IT? (2, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091443)

Google as an entity isn't going anywhere

As a Google fanboi you would know that Google's primary source of revenue is advertising. If that ever dries up or declines for whatever reason, there is no way in hell they could afford to keep going without actually charging large sums of money for all the free services they provide that are currently funded by ad revenue. This is Google's single point of failure and Achilles' heel. In other word, only an idiot would outsource a companies IT infrastructure to an advertising company.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

fatrat (324232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091455)

You do realize that Google also licenses out their applications for you to run internally right? erm. No. They don't. The only thing you can run internally is a Google search appliance. No gmail. No apps. No docs. No chat. In other words, shut the hell up because you don't know what you're talking about. hm.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

iivel (918436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091889)

Patently wrong. I have a Google Earth server sitting in the rack 10 feet away from me right now. How do you think the DoD could ever use these for classified networks if they can't buy the applicance? It's amazing what the right amount of money does to the decison making process.

Re:google running our government IT? (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091461)

Reliability is not the problem. A private company handling documents is. Especially if that company is great in doing searches.

What if in 5 years time Google starts abusing its monopoly and the government decides to take action? If they decide to buy the apps from Google AND they are open source, great. But somehow I doubt that.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091661)

Reliability is not the problem. A private company handling documents is.

I hate to break it to you but private companies already do handle secret government documents and have been for decades.

Re:google running our government IT? (3, Informative)

Rary (566291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091821)

Reliability is not the problem. A private company handling documents is. ... If they decide to buy the apps from Google AND they are open source, great. But somehow I doubt that.

Read the presentation linked to in TFS. He specifically talks about using Google appliances for internal stuff — meaning it's nicely hidden away from the public and from Google — and using Google-hosted applications for documents that are supposed to be publicly accessible — meaning the public has greater access to information.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091495)

People said the same thing about GM.

Never say never.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

krewemaynard (665044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091687)

You do realize that Google also licenses out their applications for you to run internally right?

I didn't know they did that, but I don't see why they couldn't. With a client as big--and with as many special requirements--as the federal government, it would make total sense for Google to help the feds set up their own servers running Google apps. That would address security/privacy concerns and give the government access to all that Google goodness.

Microsoft should worry.

Re:google running our government IT? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091925)

"I would prefer if our government leveraged Google's superior and private workforce and farm of server hardware that has proven itself than try to build the infrastructure from the ground up."

Superior to what? Maybe what we have now, but that's like saying you live in a tent and are moving up to a hut.

And why only Google? Isn't that fascism? (socialism and fascism are eerily similar in results, but I'm an idiot, right) Even our defense industry, which has major flaws, isn't so woefully dependent on one provider.

This smacks of AT&T during the telephone era. We had enough of that. We've moved beyond that with computing and infrastructure. I don't want to return to that crap.

Google is a decent company, now. But they've made a lot of moves that are crappy in my book since there "do no evil" talk. I've heard their CIO speak, and it's sickenly left wing (if we combine this, and this, we get cost savings, can do so much, and don't worry about your data being in one place, or if some other tech comes along that is better, we'll be here for you).

Yeah, Google, the company that keeps products in perpetual beta, supplying the government. Google, the company that hoards private data for years, supplying the government. Yick, Google to the US as IBM was to Germany...

There is a reason why paper is often better than an electronic trail people. You can secure paper. You can burn paper. Frankly, I'm not looking forward to the mob outside my door in 10 years when they find I was treated for genetic disorder Z because some hacker found 1 loophole in Google's hit and compromised the entirety of the database, while some ridiculous anti-Z movement is going on. I don't want a consolidated database, I want it isolated from them and corporations.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092047)

You do realize that Google also licenses out their applications for you to run internally right?

Not to my knowledge. The only Google app you can host internally, entirely disconnected from Google, is the Google Search Appliance. The rest are all cloud apps with a 99.9% uptime SLA which Google has failed to deliver on 3 of the last 6 months.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091235)

There are valid reasons for a heterogeneous computer system, spread out, with different servers and OS's...so that one event doesn't bring everything down to a complete standstill. Haven't we all learned that single point of failure is a dangerous thing?

No worries, mate. I hear that a copy of everything important gets downloaded to Woodlawn, Maryland [wikipedia.org] for safekeeping and isn't accessible by anyone without top secret clearance.

Bonus points for anyone who can come up with a Chris "Red Hat" [wikipedia.org] Cooper joke.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

rarity (165626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091953)

one company...one set of servers

Seriously? One company, yes, but not one set of servers. In fact, not even one physical location. Google's datacentre distribution and redundancy is seriously impressive; after World War III, nothing will be left save for cockroaches and Google. Presumably so that the cockroaches can search for...um, whatever cockroaches search for? And get served adverts on h4wt female cockraches while they're at it.

Re:google running our government IT? (3, Informative)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091093)

I doubt the IT heads of individual departments are just going to turn over their IT operations to him. In any case, a lot of government documents are hosted by large private sector contractors like Lockheed and EDS.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091103)

At least Microsoft just sells software.

Xbox

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

arkowitz (1185265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091247)

yeah I was referring to Microsoft Office as opposed to Google Docs. Zune! Windows Live! The Google Docs angle is very dangerous because it provides an alternative to Microsoft other than linux+openoffice... an alternative which is even more closed than Microsoft Office because you can only run it off Google's servers and they see EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON. I can't believe this Google fanboy Obama brought in would even consider this. Arkowitz

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091431)

because you can only run it off Google's servers and they see EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON. I can't believe this Google fanboy Obama brought in would even consider this. Arkowitz

calm down, sit back, wait for the news reports of the next "leaked" email scandal :)
He'll get the security and privacy message pretty damn soon you know.

Re:google running our government IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27092075)

...you can only run it off Google's servers and they see EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON.

Wrong. You can also run Google applications on your own servers, so that Google has no access to your information. You may not be aware of that fact, but according to the information linked to in TFS, Obama's "Google fanboy" is.

Re:google running our government IT? (2, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092103)

Xbox

The important word was sells not software. He likes the fact that after a transaction with Microsoft, their employees have no ongoing access to what you bought.

Obama won't stop until... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091159)

the private wealth of every American worker is destroyed. Get out while you can, people. It's time to start buying art, rare coins, etc., and selling them to overseas buyers and having the money deposited into accounts that are out of reach of the IRS. He STILL has yet to unveil a viable bank recovery plan. But taking on Rush Limbaugh and Jim Kramer is curiously at the top of his list of priorities.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

Altreus (1492723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091207)

At least Microsoft just sells software.

As far as you know

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

morgauo (1303341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091463)

"..at least Microsoft just sells software"

Hopefully that's exactly what they are doing. But, if they are actually leaving important government docs on Google servers it's not really Google's fault. I'm sure Microsoft would love to be in that same position but if they were it wouldn't be their fault either. It's Vivek Kundra's fault for making the decision to do so, and also Obama's responsibility for chosing him.

Re:google running our government IT? (5, Interesting)

Danathar (267989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091511)

Really? Uh..it's been done for close to 40 years. The government has been using offsite contrators with mainframes and servers at corporate locations since the 60's.

What's the fuss? Google is a contractor like any other out there that deals with the government and has to abide by the same rules. Your data is as safe with google as it is with any other contractor that works onsite or offsite with the government.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

Maximalist (949682) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091529)

It's not like the government contracts out most of its operations to private companies now, or anything unthinkable like that, right?

Re:google running our government IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091549)

I for one have a problem with our government documents and processes being hosted by a private company. At least Microsoft just sells software.

Agreed; malware is best hosted by the government, as that is their area of expertise.

Re:google running our government IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091601)

At least Microsoft just sells software.

Yeah... speaking of selling, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Yeah, thank god that MS... (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091703)

Yeah, Google has WAY too much power by being a major search engine, and an email hosting.
Why if they were power hungry, they would be
  1. run a major search engine,
  2. Run a major email hosting site,
  3. part owners of news outlet,
  4. sell internet connections which can be trivially tapped or can even be used to send spam,
  5. control access via their software by excludding others,
  6. download your data with out your knowledge,
  7. Create an OS that is trivial to spam from,
  8. Put ppl out of competition by either buying them, or
  9. Steal other ppls ideas and declare them to be their own. Then tie them up in court until the original company is dead.

Yeah, thank God that Google is not that bad.

Re:google running our government IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091783)

I for one have a problem with our government documents and processes being hosted by a private company. At least Microsoft just sells software.

What is the difference between buying Microsoft Office to store documents on your PC, and buying a Google Appliance to store documents on your PC (or file server)?

At least MS just sells software, but at most they have a track record of forcibly pushing out upgrades to software that make backwards compatibility [com.com] a pain and expensive, where Google does not.
MS also has a history of holding data hostage [nerdblog.com] where Google does not.

I'd rather trust my data to a Google appliance server in my house, than trust it to MS office.

Re:google running our government IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27092113)

Our government contracts out constantly (blackwater anyone?). I'd rather have a private company providing good efficient and effective services (obviously I would want them on private isolated servers) than have the government try to reinvent the wheel (poorly).

What is important is that there is transparency. What is awesome about SaaS, is that it is way easier to switch from vendor to vendor when you want to.

Re:google running our government IT? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092189)

You mean by being held hostage by storing your files in a proprietary format which forces you to by the vender specific product and thereby continue to by the vender specific product in order to read YOUR FILES! Nice one genius.

Am I the only one who cringes at "America's CIO"? (1, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090937)

It sounds as idiotic as "America's Sweetheart" or "America's Team" or anything else that assumes some kind of lockstep agreement.

America's CIO -- bitching about timesheets, hiring H1-Bs, taking kickbacks from vendors, expecting unpaid overtime & on-call time and canceling vacations at the last minute.

Re:Am I the only one who cringes at "America's CIO (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091295)

You are not alone. Using google apps are fine for your run of the mill type up needs. But for government documents especially that of the sensitive issue, google apps are horribly inadequate. For starters, google stores the documents on their server farms and do not really delete anything. This can be a security issue. Second, the default for ssl is log in only, potential for unencrypted transmission of sensitive data being intercepted is huge. Data retention, data backup, and data recovery are also huge issues with google docs. This guy is obviously an idiot and a business man wearing an IT guy suit. When the requirement can't even be met, saving money is a moot point.

Re:Am I the only one who cringes at "America's CIO (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092155)

Not from the U.S., but I suppose I would assume that the US Government would have some pull to get some of that stuff customized and to develop their own solution on top of Google's infrastructure.

As long as he can separate business from tech (1, Offtopic)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090947)

As long as he can separate business from technology, he'll be fine. Google does have some amazing technology - Gmail, Chrome, GoogleBooks, etc, etc, etc. And some iffy business practices, such as scanning books in copyright, a near monopoly in search and advertising, and a few employee accusations. As long as he can keep the two things distinct and treat each accordingly, there shouldn't be a problem.

Re:As long as he can separate business from tech (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091381)

And some iffy business practices, such as scanning books in copyright

Why is that an iffy business practise?

Re:As long as he can separate business from tech (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092011)

As long as he can separate business from technology, he'll be fine. Google does have some amazing technology - Gmail, Chrome, GoogleBooks, etc, etc, etc. And some iffy business practices, such as scanning books in copyright, a near monopoly in search and advertising, and a few employee accusations.

Iffy business practices? Really? Their "monopoly" in search and advertising is far from a monopoly. They just do it the best and, as a result, businesses are flocking to them.

Employee accusations is not an "iffy business practice." Heck, I don't know of a single, reasonably-sized company that hasn't had accusations leveraged against it by its employees. It's not like you're hearing the complaints that EA got regarding their work hours or anything like that. If something like that comes up, then I'll agree something not-so-good is going on.

As for the book-scanning copyright call out, well, I haven't personally seen anything to suggest that it's a bad thing they are doing. Even if they made some mistakes at the beginning, it looks to me (based on some recent Slashdot articles) that they are trying to do the right thing in obtaining permission for scanning, etc.

Aw shucks. (2, Funny)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090949)

"Not surprisingly, some say Obama's choice of a Google-party-goer who worships Google could cause big headaches for Microsoft."

Man, that's just terrible news.

Re:Aw shucks. (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091149)

"Not surprisingly, some say Obama's choice of a Google-party-goer who worships Google could cause big headaches for Microsoft."

Man, that's just terrible news.

It kinda is. While I understand the CIO's point that their solution is inexpensive (I don't know if it's faster), I'm concerned that the CIO might make another party just as much of a government supported monopoly as Microsoft used to be. Do we really need to have that sort of thinking occurring?

While I'm a current supporter (and by supporter I mean user) of Google and their applications, I fear all big businesses, regardless of whatever marketing mantra holdover they may provide to the public, especially those that are supported by government and you probably should too.

Re:Aw shucks. (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092235)

I don't know what you're talking about -- I just hate headaches.

Re:Aw shucks. (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091473)

Right now, Ballmer is drawing a nice warm bath. He just came back from the drug store where he bought some sharp razor blades.

Finally someone who gets it (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090981)

I work in the intelligence community, and I have to say we are way behind the commercial side in application development and other IT areas. We spend millions in development of programs that can't begin to match free programs available on the internet like Google Earth. Open Source to us means unclassified information; hardly anyone is aware of Linux, Open Office, or other open source solutions. Having someone who is not beholden to government contractors can only be a good thing. And I say that as a government contractor.

Re:Finally someone who gets it (1)

Morris Thorpe (762715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091047)

Sounds like the intelligence community is not.

Re:Finally someone who gets it (5, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091153)

Well, about 13 years ago, when I joined the community, we were way ahead. Our networks and applications were robust, and nothing on the internet could compare to what we had. All of our research was done on our classified networks; tryig to find something useful on the internet then was hopeless. But our slow acquisition and testing process held us back as the internet and commercial applications grew at a dizzying pace. Now with web 2.0 and the like, we're trying to play catch-up. We started Intellipedia (wikipedia for intel subjects) on our classified networks, but these days a lot of our basic research is done on the internet.

A lot of the complaints from other posters so far are about Google owning the govt's data, but that's not necessarily true. We can take their applications, like Google Earth as an example, and run it on our classified networks without Google seeing any of our data.

Re:Finally someone who gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091393)

Sounds like the intelligence community is not.

I tend to distrust anyone who, in a public forum, claims to work in the intelligence community. Either they don't, or they do and don't know how to keep their mouth shut.

Re:Finally someone who gets it (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091581)

Unless he's Chuck Norris, in which case, it doesn't matter who knows he works in intelligence. Chuck Norris is so stealthy, they'll never catch him!

Re:Finally someone who gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091713)

Yeah, that guy's just an OSS fanboi making things up.

Re:Finally someone who gets it (1)

Phasma Felis (582975) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091721)

I tend to distrust anyone who, in a public forum, claims to work in the intelligence community. Either they don't, or they do and don't know how to keep their mouth shut.

The CIA is not Fight Club, dude. American intelligence guys are allowed to discuss non-classified aspects of their jobs all they want.

Re:Finally someone who gets it (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091887)

I'm not giving up secrets, nor my identity. And you could just read my blog if you doubt me.

Re:Finally someone who gets it (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091291)

I work in the intelligence community

The first rule of Intelligence Community Club is...

Re:Finally someone who gets it (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091489)

Don't worry, the black helicopters have already locked on to him. We've entered his coordinates into Google Earth (Special Operations Edition) and they'll be there shortly.

BTW looks like they caught him working on his truck when they took the photos with the KH-13. Nice butt crack, dude.

Huh? I always thought Google *was* the NSA? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091653)

Now you just confounded me. Or aren't you just allowed to tell us? Come on ;-)

(FWIW: captcha is "evident". Spooky, ain't it? :-/

Change of the guard (1)

cepayne (998850) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090985)

Microsoft has had the computer business to itself for decades
now. And they have done very well. How else would they become
such a giant behemoth(err monopoly).

It is only fair (and it is time) for the world to spread their remaining
IT dollars elsewhere.

With Google apps being available for next to free, that should
not hurt us as much as rebuying MS OFFICE every 1.5 years
from Redmond.

Hope it pans out for Google.

Re:Change of the guard (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091793)

I don't.

I think the government tying themselves to any contractor and using leased apps is a bad idea. It will eventually back them into a corner and they will be looking at more huge costs to migrate to something else.

I think Open Source software is the only course right now. If there are going to be conversion costs, spend them to migrate to software that doesn't cost out the wazoo or that ties you to any single vendor. There will be support costs no matter which path they take, but getting away from proprietary applications and operating systems should be a priority.

Continuing to use Microsoft products is the biggest mistake possible. The fact is that with Microsoft Windows, we might as well run telnet on every networked system with user name guest and password guest.

Win-Win? Really? (1, Redundant)

godfra (839112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090999)

Kundra's enthusiastic comment about saving millions by using Google apps instead of buying enterprise software would worry me if I lived in the US.

I don't particularly care if MS loses a big sale, but the question of ownership doesn't seem to come up.

How safe is government data if it's stored on someone else's servers?

Also, why is Google being pitched as the only alternative?

Re:Win-Win? Really? (1)

zer0that (1418047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091147)

I agree, good know I am not the only one worried about this. Wouldn't all this information be better safe guarded on an internal network / enterprise server? While I am sure its fine for the average user, spending a year to crack the presidents Gmail password is actually worth the time to do it. Its also a web based app, meaning hiring someone to pull something off Google would be a lot easier than trying to get a tech in the White House. Especially considering this environment and the ease of finding a disgruntled employee.

Re:Win-Win? Really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091425)

Except for the fact that Google's software can be hosted privately, and is done so in many businesses. That's another way Google makes money, besides advertising.

Re:Win-Win? Really? (1)

whoop (194) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091469)

No. The truth is that posters on Slashdot are far, far wiser than anyone in all of the government's IT departments.

Oh, and pay no attention to the myriad of posts claiming they could run Google appliances internally. They are just posts by The Man, trying to throw you off. Keep up the good conspiracy work!

Re:Win-Win? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091325)

How safe is government data if it's stored on someone else's servers?

To be fair, you can buy your own boxes - Google appliances [google.com] - to run everything on. No Internet connection needed to your datacenter. Of course, there are some advantages to having an email server that can connect to the outside world.

Not everyone is a cheapsake slavedriver in a 2 man operation using 'teh free intraweb stuff' to power and enable their business model.

google apps? (1, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091025)

No responsible business (or government!) would use Google Apps. Would you want all your most important company data, as well as all of your customer's information, in the hands (and datacenter) of a search company?

Re:google apps? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092207)

As has been pointed out by many people already on this thread: you can host google apps locally on your network. Google doesn't see anything, track anything, save anything. You run their software on your server. This is not a valid argument against using google apps for government or business.

Google may be the next evil empire but.... (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091037)

...At least Microsoft won't hold a monopoly on that title anymore.

Do you even have to ask? (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091099)

'Why should I spend millions on enterprise apps when I can do it [with Google] at one-tenth cost and ten times the speed? It's a win-win for me.'

Well, for one, you cannot use Google Apps on any classified network (that would cover most federal employees, as most of the federal government is DoD) unless Google is willing to sell a permanent, certified copy of Google Apps to be loaded onto each network and isolated from the rest of the world. For another, the federal government is already starting to look at using open source software to replace existing components like Oracle that cost way too much for what they are commonly used. Just switching to PostgreSQL for all of the federal databases that are just large bit buckets would probably save a few billion dollars.

Re:Do you even have to ask? (5, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091229)

We already use Google Earth on our classified networks, quite extensively actually. The kml is quickly becoming the file type of choice for geospatial information, replacing the shapefile (shp) used in ArcGIS.

What's to stop us from using some of their other applications as well?

Re:Do you even have to ask? (1)

module0000 (882745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091857)

ArcGIS is an overgrown piece of junk and I'm sick of having my flight-lines drawn in it.

~disgruntled aerometric worker

Headaches for Microsoft (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091173)

You don't need Google for that. Microsoft has been more than capable so far to dig its own grave, and a big chunk of lobbying is was kept them out of it several times. Obama policies against lobbies is what will do the biggest damage.

Google is not exactly hostile to well-behaved competition. They helped Yahoo when they started to have troubles (and yahoo is the company that matches most of google services since the start), and didnt stop helping Firefox after releasing Chrome. And don't think they are in very bad relations with IBM, Sun or other big players on the field. But Microsoft... well, is Microsoft.

Gooverment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091267)

Nationalize google!!!!

Re:Gooverment (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091503)

Nationalize google!!!!

That would never happen. We only subsidize failure. We tax the hell out of success to discourage others from attempting it though ;)

RTFM on google apps before posting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27091313)

If I see another whining post about "...but they should not have a third party host their data" my head will explode.

1. Google apps can be run in house on a PRIVATE NETWORK.

2. Even if they had Google host it, I have more confidence in Google administering gov't data than the government. Since when has the US Gov't been ahead of the curve on technology? The US Gov't has NEVER launched a large scale IT initiative, on time and on budget. If they have, post it.

Not perfect, but... (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091367)

Nothing is. And the thing about Google is that if the government contracts out with them, Google is contractually obligated to facilitate data migration should the government decide to switch.

Microsoft has no such commitment to data openness. So sure, we're trading one monopolist for another, but the new one has contractual obligations that ease the transition should a better alternative appear.

Hope he helps with ODF (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091379)

I mean, I hope the new appointee helps in pushing `open standards' including ODF. For Google, while I love the company itself, I do not understand why it still has no filter for searching ODF documents just like PDFs and MS Office documents.

Have a look [google.ca] .

What also does not help is the fact that there is not a single application in the Open Source world that is 100% compliant to ODF! Think about it...we push open standards (when attacking Microsoft), but cannot create an application that is 100% compliant with existing and a fairly popular standard!

There are suggestions that OpenOffice.org is not [openoffice.org] 100% compliant either. This is shameful in the least.

Re:Hope he helps with ODF (1)

bami (1376931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091557)

It has?

Just append "filetype:odf" to your search query. It even converts them to html for most documents.

Or do you mean that they didn't add it to that drop-down list.

He should be Fired (3, Funny)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091411)

Why is he talking about saving money. This is the time we need to be thinking about spending. We are proposing a trillion plus dollar budget and this guy is talking about win-win situation. Tax payers have lot of money. As soon as you get to a govt position where you have some decision on spending, you need to start treating Tax payers as ATM machines. That should be the litmus test for becoming a govt. employee. This CIO seems to fail in that regard. I ask all of you call your representatives and senators to push for firing of this guy. Thank you all and God Bless the USA.

Why is everyone so worried... (4, Insightful)

jhfry (829244) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091429)

It seems every third comment is along the lines of... "do we really want our data on a private companies servers?"

Get a clue, what this guy might do is switch the government to government owned servers running google software. Right now, my email, on the DHS network, is pulled from an exchange server... MS does not own the server. The great thing about google's code is that it would scale much better than anyone else's, eliminate the need for client software on individual workstations, and prevent users from storing mail locally on their machines (archive pst's) as is so commonly done now with the tiny mailboxes and huge attachments that inexperienced users are so fond of sending around here. Because each exchange server has it's own mail store, an attachment could exist on every mail server in our organization... while on google, an attachment is stored very efficiently and only on multiple servers for redundancy purposes.

My vote is for google code on government owned equipment... it would be by far the most efficient and cost effective solution.

Forget data... (1, Redundant)

tsmit (222375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091493)

Does it bother anyone that Google (yes, google, the company whose main goal is to catalog all the world's data) will now have the US government as it's highest paying customer? What happens when the US Gov comes knocking on Google's door for some data on you, me, whoever. With money flowing in Google's direction, Google will be more likely to hand over any information that the government wants. Time for the tinfoil hats...

Oh good (5, Funny)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091619)

I'm okay with Google just taking over the whole government, really. They seem to run things pretty well. Hell, scrap income taxes and make it all add-supported.

Government should not "love" any company (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091759)

I, the customer, am responsible for that job. The customers can make companies rich and big, if I like their product. I want the government to be fair to all companies. Just be neutral.

Also, I am sure when MS was first out, people & government loved them too. Look where we are now. No one can guarantee that Google won't be the next MS.

Re:Government should not "love" any company (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091787)

The customers can make companies rich and big, if I like their product.

eee. oooo.. Yes, I will use preview next. Promise. "The customers can make companies rich and big, if they like their product."

Re:Government should not "love" any company (2, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092089)

I, the customer, am responsible for that job. The customers can make companies rich and big, if I like their product. I want the government to be fair to all companies. Just be neutral.

No. I mean, yes.

In an ideal world, it would be great if the government could be completely neutral to every company out there. They could take parts from every company and use them to build their infrastructure and everybody would be happy.

In an ideal world, though, we'd all be rich and nobody would ever fight or say bad things to each other.

The fact of the matter is, Google does a great job at what it does - manage information. At the end of the day, the government, as a voice for the people, has to make the best decisions it can given what it knows at that time. In my personal opinion, Google is an excellent choice for helping the government to set up an infrastructure and manage the data of the government. And, heck, if it actually saves taxpayers money, all the better.

good idea to have national "CIO" (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27091993)

Information Technology is such a large fraction of both the federal budget and national economy that the president should have direct point guy on it.
Just hope he doesnt cathc the democratic disease of big, pushy government.

slideshare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27092085)

If he is singing the praises of Google Apps, he should probably at least use them for the presentation

More attention to security? (1)

lbhuston (1492993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092099)

I just hope that the new CIO pays more attention to the growing needs of American companies and consumers around information security. Today, we have a myriad of standards, legal requirements and regulatory guidance, but little that has truly helped protect consumer private data and trade secrets. Maybe this new CIO will help focus more attention to securing our national information infrastructure!

I guess it pays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27092149)

I worked for a vendor at Google recently, where I got some sense of the the level of PC there. It seemed like that entire company (except me, the token non-liberal old guy) was composed of Obama girls.

Now, Google gets rich (er).

What is it? (1)

greyline (1052440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27092159)

What the heck is a Google, anyway?
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