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Recovery.gov To Get $18 Million Redesign

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the rube-goldberg-economic-logic dept.

Government 434

barbarai notes a report by ABC News's Rick Klein: "For those concerned about stimulus spending, the General Services Administration sends word tonight that $18 million in additional funds are being spent to redesign the Recovery.gov Web site. "Recovery.gov 2.0 will use innovative and interactive technologies to help taxpayers see where their dollars are being spent," James A. Williams, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, says in a press release announcing the contract awarded to Maryland-based Smartronix Inc. according to the ABC news blog."

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cash4cronies (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28638799)

$18 mil for a website and in a total coincidence the contract goes to a company run by people who have given tens of thousands of dollars to house majority leader Steny Hoyer (D)

Re:cash4cronies (3, Funny)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638863)

Your shocked they are giving the contract an existing large military tech contractor? Or are you shocked that an existing large military contractor is giving campaign contributions to the house majority leader?

Personally I'm with the latter, why should they need to continually bribe if their foot is already in the door.

Re:cash4cronies (4, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639501)

Because the sort of person who requires a bribe in exchange for awarding a contract probably doesn't care who has a foot in the door, they care only about the bribe.

Duke Cunningham [talkingpointsmemo.com] made lists and, although there were some advantages of scale in his bribe menu, there were no 'foot in the door' clauses.

Re:cash4cronies (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638889)

I wonder if I could subcontract to them for about 1/3 of that? Leave 2/3 to them for 'overhead'??

Re:cash4cronies (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638917)

$18 mil for a website and in a total coincidence the contract goes to a company run by people who have given tens of thousands of dollars to house majority leader Steny Hoyer (D)

And the same company gave tens of thousands of dollars to the House majority leader when the House was controlled by Republicans.

This is not a partisan issue, I hope you weren't trying to make it into one. Because that would dodge the core issue.

This is just another example of a fundamental flaw in how campaign finance works in the US, and the current party in power shares the culpability with the prior party in power.

Re:cash4cronies (2, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639071)

> This is just another example of a fundamental flaw in how campaign finance works in the US, and the current party in power shares the culpability with the prior party in power.

A fair, reasoned, objective response. This is slashdot! Not allowed!

Re:cash4cronies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639151)

Yes, but corrected the problem with bitter sarcasm. Bravo!

Re:cash4cronies (5, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639195)

>>This is just another example of a fundamental flaw in how campaign finance works in the US, and the current party in power shares the culpability with the prior party in power.

Out of curiosity, since corporations can't vote, why should they be allowed to donate money to campaigns at all?

Re:cash4cronies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639413)

Of course corporations can vote. They give the politicians money and the politicians vote for the corporations. See how easy that is? If corporations weren't allowed to give money to the politicians how would the politicians know what corporation to vote for??? In fact, if corporations weren't allowed to give money to politicians that would be anti-American. You're not anti-American are you???

Re:cash4cronies (4, Informative)

cml4524 (1520403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639453)

Two things:

1) Corporate personhood: the notion that a corporation is a person entitled to the same rights as a natural person, or some subset of those rights (e.g. due process, free speech, etc.)

2) Money as free speech: the notion that campaign donations are a form of constitutionally protected speech

Therefore, a person - or company legally recognized as a person - cannot be restricted from donating money to a campaign because that would be an infringement on their constitutionally-recognized right to free political speech.

The legitimacy of this position, and either of its two components individually, has been and continues to be a matter of substantial debate.

Re:cash4cronies (0, Offtopic)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639477)

I really wish I had mod points right now.

Re:cash4cronies (3, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639487)

Most large corporations rely on Political Action Committees to raise money which is then donated to one of two groups.

1) Politicians who support that business sector, geographical area, or tax breaks. I really don't have a huge problem with that, essentially this is individuals donating money to people who will work to improve conditions for the business they work for. Though I would prefer to see a system where you can only donate if you can vote in the election, with the current situation of national and multinational interests that may not be possible. For example, the company I work for has offices all over the US but the main office is in Iowa, if taxes go up in Iowa that would effect all the employees no matter where they work.

2) Politicians who are willing to grant 'favors' in exchange for contributions. This is where the real problems begin. Pork barrel spending, pet projects, and downright bribes. The only way I can foresee this going away is to make all campaign contributions anonymous which at best would be an accounting nightmare. Either that or outlaw PACs and other groups that pool contributions into a single fund, but there would be nothing to prevent an unofficial system from springing up to replace them.

Re:cash4cronies (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639285)

So you only trust corporations that are politically indifferent.

Re:cash4cronies (3, Interesting)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639459)

Proves what I have said for years: Party doesn't matter, they are all crooks and only worthy of our contempt!

You can not come up with a website complicated enough to justify an $18 million price tag!

Every member of Congress who voted for Spendulous without reading it should be recalled or impeached!

Re:cash4cronies (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639227)

Yea this is crap..18 million for a web app? Give me a break. This is a total rip off of tax payer money...btw I need to sell the gov't my used wal-mart hammer for $350. Oh it's the gov't, I'll give them a deal...$250...see $100 off the "retail" price. Who in their right mind believes building a web app for $18 mil is a good price?

Re:cash4cronies (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639563)

To answer your very last question the people who believe its the right price are the ones found on capital hill. So the rest of the nation is with you but you must remember to our "ever so great and mindful" elected crew we don't matter only they do.

Re:cash4cronies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639441)

As an American and fellow patriot, I'm willing to do it for $5 million.

Re:cash4cronies (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639607)

A 10s of thousands offer would be outbribed I think.

According to this [talkingpointsmemo.com] an $18 million contract would require a bribe of a boat + 100k. Presumably 240k cash would work as well. Those are 2005 dollars though.

HOLY CRAP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28638805)

That's a little TOO MUCH MONEY.

Who does the estimates on that? Peoplesoft?

Re:HOLY CRAP!!! (1)

wstrucke (876891) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639017)

wow, totally did not expect to see a reference to Peoplesoft here. but seriously, peoplesoft sucks. not flaming, I can provide specific examples if the community deems it necessary. i expect, however, that most people who have been forced to use it will agree.

Finally we get our bailout (2, Funny)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638809)

Well, I've heard several web folks bitch about where their bailout was... and here it is!

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638901)

Just so I know how to direct my rage properly: am I supposed to be mad that the government is going to launch a site to add sunshine to the recovery bill grant process, or that they couldn't make it appear online for free?

Re:Finally we get our bailout (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638975)

Just so I know how to direct my rage properly: am I supposed to be mad that the government is going to launch a site to add sunshine to the recovery bill grant process, or that they couldn't make it appear online for free?

I don't know about you, but I'm going to be a little pissed off at a web site that cost eighteen million dollars and doesn't have blackjack and hookers (which I'm presuming is the case).

If you're gonna spend money, fine. But spend it on useful things.

Re:Finally we get our bailout (2, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639103)

I don't know about you, but I'm going to be a little pissed off at a web site that cost eighteen million dollars and doesn't have blackjack and hookers (which I'm presuming is the case).

It doesn't have blackjack and hookers, but it will have their receipts.

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639241)

To paraphrase Bender:

Fine, I'll go build my own website! With blackjack and hookers! In fact, forget the website and the blackjack! Ah, screw the whole thing.

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639401)

Maybe this is why we can't have nice things?

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

pigwiggle (882643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639141)

This has been on the net for free, for quite some time. There are several organizations that have been compiling this information in a nice interactive format, and making it available - no tax money involved. I've looked over a few of these sites, and the feds as well. The federal site doesn't have much in the way of extra information, other than feel good descriptions (read advertising) of the way the money *will* be spent.

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639295)

"This has been on the net for free, for quite some time. There are several organizations that have been compiling this information in a nice interactive format, and making it available - no tax money involved. I've looked over a few of these sites, and the feds as well. The federal site doesn't have much in the way of extra information, other than feel good descriptions (read advertising) of the way the money *will* be spent."

Hell, if that's true, then the govt. could have just screen scraped, and deep-linked into these sites to provide the information, and done the whole shebang for like $32.50!!!

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639351)

Just so I know how to direct my rage properly: am I supposed to be mad that the government is going to launch a site to add sunshine to the recovery bill grant process, or that they couldn't make it appear online for free?

Many Slashdot readers (myself included) write software and/or websites for a living, so we have some perspective on the costs of such a project. If you're not familiar with that subject, let me be one of many to tell you that $18 million is so far beyond reasonable as to make people want to cry.

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639125)

Yea, I feel so stimulated! How long will it take to finish? When will we be able to find out where all the trillions have gone? What are the chances the new Recover.gov will be available during Obama's first term?

Re:Finally we get our bailout (1)

jenn_13 (1123793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639385)

FTA:

The contract calls for spending $9.5 million through January, and as much as $18 million through 2014, according to the GSA press release.

This doesn't say it outright, but I'm assuming from past experience that the site is probably supposed to go live around January, with the 9.5 million being for the site creation, and then the rest of that money being potentially spent on maintenance, change requests after the fact, etc.
Now, in addition to that speculation, what are the chances that it goes into production when scheduled...

Where's the Money Going? (4, Funny)

virtigex (323685) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638815)

Will we be able to see where the money is going to redesign this web site? Will this amount of money be sufficient to ensure that it doesn't get hacked for, say, 24 hours, or do we have to pay extra for that?

Re:Where's the Money Going? (1)

DragonMantis (1327751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638963)

That will be another 9 or 10 million.

The correct question (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638817)

Who will get the contracts for the reconstruction?

Ah, thats where we will see what all this is about.

First Item on list... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28638829)

$500 million: compiling a report on how much we are spending to report on what we spend...

Re:First Item on list... (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639393)

There needs to be a "sad but true" moderation option.

To see where there tax money is going... (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638841)

I had to laugh a bit... Maybe they should also decorate a big hall, with all kinds of ferrari's and bugatti's... So the people see where their money is going. 18 million dollar to see where your money is going. Lol. Kudos to the guy who got the contract.

WTF? (4, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638899)

$18 million to redesign a website? WTF are they doing with it?

From TFA, they're going to spend $9.5 million over the next 6 months or so. Assuming $75k salaries for the web developers/DBAs/etc (generous), they'd be hiring 250 people to design a website.

And Americans wonder why they have such a big deficit.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28638957)

If you think you can hire anything but very junior developers for $75k in DC you're sadly mistaken.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639003)

If you think you have to hire web developers in the city where you live, you don't understand the web.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

sucati (611768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639211)

sorry, you can outsource gov't contracts

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639339)

Sure you could... to a company in Oklahoma... Like another gov't agency does... FAA/DOT anyone?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639593)

The cost is in the content, not the design.

Re:WTF? (5, Informative)

aengblom (123492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639161)

$18 million to redesign a website? WTF are they doing with it?

From TFA, they're going to spend $9.5 million over the next 6 months or so. Assuming $75k salaries for the web developers/DBAs/etc (generous), they'd be hiring 250 people to design a website.

And Americans wonder why they have such a big deficit.

I'm guessing this isn't just build the web site, it's to build and run it through January 2014 (See the GSA press release). Remember, they have to buy equipment and bandwidth too, although I'm betting the biggest issue is collecting, entering and sorting the massive amounts of data related to all the projects. Still sounds like a lot of money.

Re:WTF? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639361)

$75k is a little low.

Let's go for $750k. Multiply by 10. Divide number of people by 10, 25. You could hire 25 developers at $750k each for 6 months.

Ridiculous...

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639431)

The cost of an employee is not just their pay, but the employer's portion of taxes, health insurance, 401(k)s, etc. A 75K/yr worker can easily cost an employer $125K/yr.

Disclaimer: Small business owner, I am.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639409)

Cut your number of people in 1/2. The total cost of employing someone (benefits, facilities, management, HR, ...) is about 2X his or her salary.

OTH mabey we should look at this as stimulus spending for programmers.

WTF? We're doomed (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638903)

And I was so hopeful this administration wasn't going to be full of idiots like the last one was. Jesus, I could probably code their whole damned site in a day, I'm sure I could do it in a week (and it would be standards-compliant and work on your phone, too). Can I get millions?

I'm starting to understand the teabaggers.

Re:WTF? We're doomed (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639069)

What? Were you really fooled into thinking that one administration was going to be heads and tails above another? If you were let me be the first to say I'm sorry.

Why is it that in a nation where we swing between two parties in power every decade or so that people really think that one has that much on the ball and the other is full of gimps and morons? The fact is that they're roughly the same entity and every couple voting cycles people get sick of hearing what one has to say and goes to the other to hear the same thing they were hearing from them the last time they got voted out of office. The difference is that most voters have an easier time remembering Terry Bradshaw's pass completion percentage from the 1975 season than the hollow promises made to them by politicians in the same time frame.

We will not see a truely progressive politician make it to the presidency until we get a viable third party. And even then it's a long shot.

Re:WTF? We're doomed (2, Informative)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639427)

57.7%. He was actually a highly over-rated QB. In today's game, he'd be kicked off the team or relegated to a 3rd string backup role before he ever had a chance to start that HOF career.

Look at his first three years worth of stats:

1970: 218 attempts 83 completions completion percentage of 38.1 TDs: 6 INTs: 24
1971: 373 attempts 203 completions completion percentage of 54.4 TDs: 13 INTs: 22
1972: 308 attempts 147 completions completion percentage of 47.7 TDs: 12 INTs: 12

He'd be out of the league by the time his third year started these days.

Re:WTF? We're doomed (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639587)

What? Were you really fooled into thinking that one administration was going to be heads and tails above another? If you were let me be the first to say I'm sorry. We will not see a truely progressive politician make it to the presidency until we get a viable third party. And even then it's a long shot.

I don't think we will see a truly progressive politician until we (the people) elect one. But instead we continue to be shepherded by mass media and corporations.

I used to get upset about it, but I have now decided that we actually have the government we deserve. The majority of voters devote minimal time to researching our candidates and mostly select them by party affiliation, by their standing on hot button issues like abortion and gay marriage, and by who our friends are voting for. No one votes for the independent candidates because they "want their vote to count." So in the end, we make our vote count by voting for someone we aren't really happy with, but hate less than the other guy.

The truly progressive candidates never make it out of the local or state governments, because they aren't supported by corporations or the media. Also, their nonstandard opinions on basic issues confuse people. And when I say "people," I don't mean some arbitrary retarded scapegoat in some backwoods state, I mean you and me.

If we could focus a little harder on the candidates and the local level, things would eventuall... OOOOH LOOK! SHINEY!!!...

$18 million for a website (4, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638913)

Well, they can certainly say "come and see where you tax money is being wasted", one needs look no farther than the website.

Re:$18 million for a website (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639215)

I'm reminded of a sig I saw at slashdot: "Oh look, my tax dollars at work coming to arrest me". At least this money isn't going to people who want to jail all the dopers, now THAT'S even worst waste of tax dollars, and evil to boot.

I wonder how much they waste on their "partnership dor a drug-free Amerikkka web site?

Re:$18 million for a website (1)

cthulhuology (746986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639273)

I can't wait until the website is complete and consists of a single JPEG with the CEO grabbing his nut sack to a caption of, "Come and see where you tax money is being wasted! I gots it right here bitches!"

Re:$18 million for a website (1)

JiffyPop (318506) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639535)

It reminds me of a road sign (that a friend subsequently stole, and which still resides in his garage). Around ten years ago the Michigan government had just finished spending money to fix up a pretty rural road. When they were done they put up the round, brown sign featuring a dollar bill in a hard hat with a shovel. It read "Your tax dollars at work".

How they should do it... (1)

Guillermito (187510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638925)

"will use innovative and interactive technologies to help taxpayers see where their dollars are being spent"

My advise? Set up a page with an animated GIF showing an odometer counting up with blurry numbers, and just take the $18 million.

Re:How they should do it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639519)

I have an innovative way to show where I am spending my money. My wife calls it a checkbook, but I call it a "speadsheet"

This is idiotic (3, Interesting)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638931)

Whomever is purchasing this is a plain idiot: there is NO WAY a site costs that much.

I mean, guys, the horrid system for paying taxes in Mexico is only two million more expensive than what they are attempting here and hey, the mexican system sort-of works (it has to: gov only takes taxes through the site nowdays).

That one is also hugely overpriced, but also my country has very poor transparency in government spending: we expect this kind of things to happen here in thirdworldland: are you guys heading this way?

If so, as a fellow citizen of the world, I bid you: TURN AROUND NOW.

Demand, regardless of partisanship, to know exactly how and in what is all that and all other money being spent.

Demos did it very well with halliburton (and now THATS money: 20 mil is chump change for those guys), reps should drive this one to the last consequences accordingly: without a vigilant opposition, democratic governments cannot be called that anymore.

Already exists (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28638937)

There's already a website that clearly illustrates where the tax dollars towards stimulus are going, in innovative and exciting ways!

I think it's called goatse.cx, or something like that.

Re:Already exists (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639471)

You sir have given me a brilliant political activism idea. Take the goatse picture, blow it up, put it on a poster, and put the tag line "Pull Your Head Out Of Your Ass!". It would be the perfect sign, and it would work for almost any protest!

Irony (4, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638941)

You have to wonder if these people have either a wonderful sense of irony or no understanding of the word at all. To pay 18 million to create a website that will show where our money is going is so ludicrous I thought I had clicked the bookmark to go to The Onion instead.

"Interactive" (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638953)

I don't like that word "interactive." All web sites are interactive - this ain't TV. Usually "interactive" means "uses fancy animations via Flash and/or Silverlight." Which means "is slow and not very accessible."

If they went with someone like Happy Cog [happycog.com] they would have a standards-based design that would be fast and accessible and look shiny too. I guess we'll see what they come up with.

(Of course, I haven't discussed the server side, which no doubt will be the heavy lifting.)

Drupal (2, Interesting)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638977)

I wonder if they're going to replace Drupal or if they are cashing out $18 million for an interface/theme overhaul.

Re:Drupal (0, Offtopic)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639265)

Maybe they'll spend the $18 million on fixing Drupal?

Re:Drupal (1)

daemonc (145175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639473)

That's funny, after using Drupal to build dozens successful of websites, I wasn't aware it was "broken".

However, if by "fix" you mean "further improve", then yes please.

So let me get this straight.. (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28638987)

They are spending money to show where they are spending money, and still keeping the Fed and the way it handles monetary policy under wraps?

If they aren't showing us how they are creating inflation, they aren't showing us anything important.

The Definition of "Design" (3, Insightful)

waldoj (8229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639001)

Those of us who are website developers will recognize the misuse of "design" committed by ABC News here. To a layperson, "design" means "make" when it comes to websites. They're not spending $18M to redesign the website (presumably), but presumably on a total overhaul of the thing.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639111)

At $100,000 per employee, you could hire 10 developers, buy all the best equipment and development tools and spend 10 years on the project and still have money left over.

Remember, this is the kind of process they would bring to health care.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639137)

I forgot to add, they could start from scratch and build it from the ground up.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (2, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639197)

At $100,000 per employee, you could hire 10 developers, buy all the best equipment and development tools and spend 10 years on the project and still have money left over.

Remember, this is the kind of process they would bring to health care.

Someone in the government makes a bad IT contracting decision and that somehow reflects on how a health system will be run? Whatever you're smoking I want some.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (1)

notarockstar1979 (1521239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639291)

I don't think that was the point. I think the point is that everything the government touches becomes this bloated waste of taxpayer money rather than whatever the original intent of the project was.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639445)

Someone in the government makes a bad IT contracting decision and that somehow reflects on how a health system will be run?

If this were an isolated incident you'd have a point. But it's not.

If we're going to go to a government-run health care system, at least we should do it at the state level. Some of the states will screw it up badly, of course, but others will do it well, and (with one or two notable exceptions) the states have proven to be much more fiscally responsible.

Plus there's also the fact that the federal government has absolutely no constitutional authority to get involved in health care, not that we pay any attention to that old piece of paper these days.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639457)

He's saying that the government spends a dollar to buy a dime. That site would cost $100,000 to put up and maybe $100,000 a year to maintain - less than 3% of the cost they're proposing. They keep at this pace and they are going to get 3 billion dollars worth for spending a trillion.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (0, Offtopic)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639541)

Do you think a health care system would be immune from the same frustratingly inefficient bureaucracy that plagues all other government programs? Why?

Re:The Definition of "Design" (0, Offtopic)

jenn_13 (1123793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639585)

Actually, I can visualize the new health care system from my experience with the VA.... Not looking forward to it.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639355)

If they brought this to health care, it would only be because we let them.

And by that, I don't mean we should stop them from nationalizing health care. What we have to stop is letting them hand out our tax dollars to people who bribe them.

Most other first world countries in the world manage to have better health care than America, while at the same time spending less per capita.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (0, Flamebait)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639377)

I love how comments with good points that make mods feel uncomfortable receive "flamebait" moderations.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639399)

$100,000 is cheap when you start thinking about overhead. And 10 employees probably isn't enough to do all of the work plumbing the data into the system.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (2, Funny)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639359)

$18 million to overhaul the whole thing is still a ripoff. Unless they are burning money to power their webserver it's incredibly overpriced.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639421)

EXACTLY, I posted a similar message, 18 million doesn't go to the developers like people are saying. 18 million goes towards, infrastructure - servers, licensing, databases, employees. Licensing alone can hit well into the millions, easily. An internal IBM license can cost a business over 10 million without thinking twice.

People that aren't web developers probably have no idea what it takes to build a site.

Re:The Definition of "Design" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639475)

I bet you get your panties in a knot over the alleged misuse of the word "hacker" too.

Heaven's Gate folks could have done it cheaper (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639007)

They may be crazy, but not crazy enough to take dollars on the mothership.

We could save them about 17.9 million (2, Funny)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639037)

row_id , capital_account, account_name, date_paid, amount_paid, scum_sucking_leech_getting_my_tax_dollars, address

That's about all taxpayers really need. The other 17.9 million is pretty expensive lipstick for that pig.

A better funding scheme (1)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639063)

Give them $1 now and then 1% of any savings the taxpayers receive from identifying wasteful spending using this new innovative and interactive web site.

Re:A better funding scheme (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639235)

But then they have to pay to get the contract :O

Death and Taxes Poster (4, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639087)

For that kind of money they could put a copy of the ``Death and Taxes'' poster:

http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/ [wallstats.com]

in almost every schoolroom and courtroom and courthouse in the country.

William

Re:Death and Taxes Poster (1)

StopKoolaidPoliticsT (1010439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639303)

Too bad it only covers about a third of the federal budget... $1182 billion out of $3998 billion. They'd rather you not look where the other 70% of the budget goes and instead focus mostly on military spending. That's not to mention the additional trillions in various bailouts and stimulus spending over the last 18 months.

Counterexample (4, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639109)

They've better not "improve" it like they are doing it to slashdot.

Worth it?? (1)

SpacePenguin98 (1533207) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639221)

Does anyone know how the government entities that are spending our money are required to report and how that will figure into our new Recovery Internet Portal Official Funds Finder?

Twitter?: $5MIL for bulldzng forest - make way for prgrss! 90\/3r|\|/\/\3|\|7 rUL3$
Facebook?: Transportation Dept has a fat pocket book thanks to the stimulus.

I'm sure someone will say it's far too much work and too much optimism to expect a referencing system with unique job numbers for each project eligible for stimulus funds that could then be tracked by those taxpayers that actually care about where their money is going and not just vague promises about more jobs to battle unemployment (although, the jobs have to end sometime, which will put us back to square-one). If I could track exactly where my money is going, I wouldn't be so upset about $18MIL to update a website with whatever buzzwords/Web 2.0 BS that the government is trying to throw at us to appease the masses that are addicted to it.

Wait, what?!?!! (1)

revjtanton (1179893) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639279)

So they're spending $18mil on a site to tell you they spent $18mil on a site to tell you they spent $18mil on a site to tell you they spent $18mil...on and on. Seriously...WTF?!

I can hardly wait (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639333)

to see how their "innovative and interactive technologies" plays on dialup.

Still waiting for *ANY* high speed services that isn't satellite in my rural area.
Didn't *WE* (USGOV) pay the telecoms to provide this to rural areas?
Oh Right, If anyone in the county can get broadband, you have it in the eyes of the telecoms.

well... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28639345)

My guess is that its not 18 million on just developing the site. To get that high of a numer they are probably redoing their entire infrastructure. You're talking licensing which in a corporate envioronment can hit 10 million easy.

Then you're also talking paying developers to create custom applications, build databases, etc..

If you've ever worked in a corporate environment dropping 10 million on an infrastructure is nothing. Not saying its right or ok, just saying most people probably have no idea the cost of things.

Re:well... (2, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639447)

This is a valid point, and I'd be interested to hear from Slashdotters with experience on what they think it would take to start from Ground Zero to produce a "production quality" (including IA/North Korea DDOS attack-proof) infrastructure & content, including hosting facility costs for, let's say, 5 years.

First pass (3, Insightful)

evil_aar0n (1001515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639369)

Don't forget: this is only the first pass. I'm sure there will be overruns, missed deadlines, re-designs, etc. This $18 mil is just the start.

Well, for free... (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639437)

You can go here: http://www.treatyist.com/issue1/mystimulus.aspx [treatyist.com]

It's a cheesy ASP.NET app that lets you build your own stimulus package. You can pick out all sorts of cool stuff like windmill farms, nuclear power plants, fiestaware for everybody, camaros and the country of iceland.

It's not much more than a day's labor... but, if you want to imagine what could have been done with 800 billion dollars of stimulus money, it's kinda fun. It's my own stupid page but its relevant to the discussion and besides, its almost amusing to see how hopelessly confused Google is at it serving ads when trying to match text with iceland, fiestaware, and assault rifles...

smartronix is obviously the right choice (2, Informative)

Fanolex (49666) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639455)

for the implementation of innovative technologies and up to date standards on the web, what with their own homepage's [smartronix.com] use of a table-based design, inline javascript, and .NET with an utter lack of validation [w3.org] .

Read the RFP (5, Insightful)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639549)

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=9745fb34e48a36a32b4fc589c3e371cb&tab=core&_cview=1&cck=1&au=&ck=

The Federal Business Opportunities website listed this opportunity a few weeks ago (could've been up longer than that, who knows).

It's not "just a website". It's a bit of a cluster**** in terms of number of data sources, what they expect to do with the data, etc.

I've done my time (never again!) with sorting through data from various data sources and while the actual programming part is *usually* not that difficult (assuming the data is not too badly malformed), but there are so many problems with processes, dealing with crap data, exceptions, etc. that if I were bidding for this work, I'd inflate my estimates quite a bit, too.

The current recovery.gov site sucks, it needs it.. (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639569)

I just went to the site. It is hard to navigate and I couldn't find anything I was looking for. I don't know if 18 million is enough to fix it...

We are f***ed (1)

gogowater (913090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639581)

Spending 18 millions on the Recovery site is one of the reason our economy will never recover! -- God please help us.

Same old crap. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#28639597)

Holy crap, is my company seriously undercharging for the work we do. What in the hell is it with companies that take government contracts that get away with charging such an absurd amount of money for work?

This is what we get when idiots in government don't ever shop around like any sensible person at any company would. Although what reason do they have to care what these projects cost when it's not their own money? They'll just raise taxes on us. And then I'm supposed to feel good about the taxes I pay.

Like being assessed a full year of taxes on a car I sold barely one month into this tax period. I look forward to seeing my tax money spent having snow plows running all night to clear a dusting of snow. Or having the city overpay for a crappy website that looks unprofessional and barely functions properly.

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