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What Happened To Obama's Open Source Adviser?

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the get-over-it dept.

Government 296

gov_coder writes "Back in January of 2009, various news articles announced that former Sun CEO Scott McNealy was to become the Obama administration's Open Source Technology adviser. Currently, however, a search for Scott on the whitehouse.gov website yields zero results. Searching a bit more, I found that Scott is currently working on CurriWiki, a kind of Wikipedia for school curriculum. So my question is, what happened? Did some lobbyist block the appointment? Did Scott decide his other activities were more important? Scott, if you are out there — please tell us what happened. There are many people working in government IT, such as myself, who were really excited about the possibilities of an expanded role for open source software in government, and are now wondering what went wrong."

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296 comments

Isn't It Obvious? (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046440)

What Happened To Obama's Open Source Adviser?

He was invited to One Microsoft Way in Redmond, WA and while there discussing standards had a very unfortunate ... shall we say ... "accident?" Which left his voice sounding very metallic and his movements very jerky and unnatural. It was shortly after this that he stood up at the next White House IT meeting and declared, "Whitehouse.gov should be running on Silverlight and Silverlight only let's set so double the killer delete select all blue blue blue blue blue blue ... " At which point the administration decided that it just wasn't working out and removed the position quietly altogether and unexisted Mr. McNealy (or what was left of him anyway).

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (0, Flamebait)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046508)

Let me fix this for you.
s/Microsoft/Oracle/g
s/Silverlight/Java/g

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046540)

The question I have for Obama is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single fat colored mammy sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

And as far as open source software goes, I'm sure B. Hussein Obama doesn't give a rat's ass. For my part, I give open source software two thumbs up.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046616)

The latter. Her and the millions like her are making sure that KFC, Church's Chicken and Popeye's don't go out of business.

obvious flamebait is obvious (0, Offtopic)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046640)

the single fat colored mammy sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

Sure, because only 'colored' mammys do this.

Re:obvious flamebait is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047148)

Pink is a color, people forget this sometimes. Obviously albinos are the only people who don't do this.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (0, Offtopic)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046798)

Dewd,

Cut and paste much? You posted in the poke-solar thread too.

- Dan.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046854)

is your business predatory lending? Just another control freak who thinks because he can lie better he's entitled to boss ppl around.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (2, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046856)

"Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs"

Wow, you're so generous allowing those lucky 14 people the opportunity to kiss your behind.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (2, Funny)

robi2106 (464558) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047134)

well, how good is the pay at that behind kissing job? I spent 2yrs unemployed. If your butt pays more to kiss, then let me send you my CV.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (-1, Offtopic)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047070)

The question I have for Obama is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single fat colored mammy sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

And as far as open source software goes, I'm sure B. Hussein Obama doesn't give a rat's ass. For my part, I give open source software two thumbs up.

I thought that was a pretty funny post, until I realized you weren't talking about your prostate.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046802)

in other words.....

Eaten by a Grue?

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046914)

No, turned into a CyberMan running on Windows.

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047116)

In other words, it all started like this:

West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of the White House, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.
> open mailbox
Opening the mailbox reveals a leaflet.
> read leaflet
(taken)
"WELCOME TO POLITICS!

POLITICS is a game of adventure, danger, and low cunning. In it you will explore some of the most amazing territory ever seen by mortals. No country should be without one!"

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (-1, Troll)

aurispector (530273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047318)

LMAO. These idiots are still expecting obama to keep his promises. Too bad it doesn't work that way.

What's better? (2, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047396)

the guy who tries to do good and sometimes fails... or the guy who tries to do bad and often succeeds?

Re:Isn't It Obvious? (4, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046998)

He was outsourced.

yes, that's right, the OpenSource Advisor was Outsourced to India. He now goes by the title Indian Outsourced OpenSource Advisor. (But his friends call him Bob)

MicroSoft sponsors Denver Open Source User Group (2, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047108)

They arent the sole sponsor, but generously provided a meeting room every month. Several of their employees attend these meetings. I dont recall any of them giving a presentation there. But I havent been attending very long.

And the answer is... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046462)

It was just another lie from the WH. More broken promises.

Re:And the answer is... (0, Troll)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046576)

It was just another lie from the WH. More broken promises.

who would have modded this informative?

Re:And the answer is... (0, Flamebait)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046636)

It was just another lie from the WH. More broken promises.

who would have modded this informative?

who would have modded that a troll?

Re:And the answer is... (-1, Redundant)

socz (1057222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046708)

It was just another lie from the WH. More broken promises.

who would have modded this informative?

who would have modded that a troll?

why no one modded that last one?

Re:And the answer is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046972)

who would have modded that redundant?

Re:And the answer is... (5, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047074)

Who would have modded that recursive?

Who would have modded that recursive?

Who would have modded that recursive?

Who would have modded that recursive?

Who would have modded that recursive?

Who would have modded that recursive?

Re:And the answer is... (1, Funny)

vil3nr0b (930195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046592)

Even the Teabaggers from Glenn Beck's website get to post as AC. Pussies.

He was replaced... (4, Funny)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046498)

...with a small shell script.

Re:He was replaced... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046624)

eh I modded this informative
I meant +funny

Re:He was replaced... (2, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047174)

Can't it be both?

Re:He was replaced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047386)

...with a small BAT script.

There, fixed for you.

If You Want The Answer: Ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046500)

Dr. Evil [microsoft.com]

Yours In Vladivostok,
Nick Haflinger

Re:If You Want The Answer: Ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046678)

Nicholas Kenton Haflinger?

Not a lobbyist (0, Flamebait)

endikos (195750) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046502)

A lobbyist cannot block an appointment. A lobbyist is someone that beseaches an appointed or elected official on behalf of someone else, usually a special interest group or corporation. Look it up. [merriam-webster.com]

Re:Not a lobbyist (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046584)

A lobbyist cannot block an appointment...

It was a "figure of speech", not a literal suggestion.

Re:Not a lobbyist (5, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046600)

Just because a lobbyist has no legal authority doesn't mean they're powerless or without influence.

Did you learn everything about politics and government from Schoolhouse Rock?

Re:Not a lobbyist (5, Funny)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046874)

Did you learn everything about politics and government from Schoolhouse Rock?

Well...... yes.

Re:Not a lobbyist (3, Funny)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046940)

Did you learn everything about politics and government from Schoolhouse Rock?

Actually, I think that was the Simpsons.

Re:Not a lobbyist (4, Insightful)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046964)

Lobbyists have no power when the electorate is well informed and active. WE are failing and causing these problems by allowing these lobbyists to have influence. The only way a lobbyist can have influence is if the gain from more money to a campaign offsets the number of people who leave because a politician was bought off and voted against his constituents interest. Please keep money in government especially when it helps the candidates I like. If a politician votes against my interests I refuse to vote for him. No amount of fancy campaign ads will ever change that. However there are more people who will vote for a candidate just because of a fancy and expensive ad. These people offset me and many other voters who vote not for nicest campaign ad but voting record and their ability to represent us. This is the fundamental problem with our country. Believing anything else is delusional and seeking a simple short term solution, the voters are the problem, until they take their civic duty seriously by ignoring nice haircuts and expensive ads and voting for actual substance we will not have a government that represents us.

Re:Not a lobbyist (5, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047078)

Lobbyists aren't always bad, they don't always achieve their goals by unscrupulous means, and they don't always represent corporate interests with tons of money to throw around.

Lobbyists are an exceptionally effective means for people to communicate with their elected representatives, being a sort of representative themselves. They can provide a clear voice for large groups of similarly minded people, who would otherwise be lost in the noise.

Re:Not a lobbyist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046610)

HAHAHA. Mod this man funny. He actually thinks lobbyists don't run Congress!

Re:Not a lobbyist (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047398)

My understanding is that lobbyists don't run congress. Who runs them is staff. Staff tell them how to vote they had better follow orders or the party will not support them. It's all about divisive party politics now.

Re:Not a lobbyist (3, Insightful)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046720)

Lobbyists block appointments like unions pass legislation.

Re:Not a lobbyist (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046826)

Oh, I am sure that, with a considerable campaign contribution from one or more lobbyists, any appointment can be blocked.

Re:Not a lobbyist (1)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046890)

Boy, are you a rube, or what? Lobbyists, by definition, buy influence. With enough money (or other "currency") one can buy anything at all in Washington.

Re:Not a lobbyist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047404)

Boy, are you a rube, or what?

Oh man, I haven't heard someone called a rube in at least the last 10 years. That made my day. That's definitely Number 1 on my insults list, followed closely by plebe and dope.

And yeah, the parent is right. The guy was probably nixed by someone with money.

Re:Not a lobbyist (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046900)

It's clear from the context that he meant a lobbyist influenced someone in the administration to block the appointment. Stop being pedantic.

Re:Not a lobbyist (1)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047084)

Commendable troll. Condescending and pedantic, and convincing enough that most people are taking it at face value. I salute you!

Who wants to know? (5, Funny)

Obama (1458545) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046510)

Who wants to know?

I've never met the man. (3, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046518)

But from what I've read about him and the things he was quoted for, I really don't see him fitting in at Washington.

The same goes for: Gates, Jobs, Ellison, and every other Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

Re:I've never met the man. (0, Flamebait)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046864)

you mean because they are all capitalist? Yeah, you're right. They'd be run out as soon as it's found out they like making as much money as they can. Forget that they all give massive amounts to charity and provide jobs to massive amounts of people.

Re:I've never met the man. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047244)

Forget that they all give massive amounts to charity and provide jobs to massive amounts of people.

The only difference between them, and the people in Washington.

Re:I've never met the man. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047260)

In Soviet Russia, Washington fits in with YOU.

Maybe it was all for show? (2, Interesting)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046550)

Just a guess, but typically that's how things roll in politics...

His brain ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046594)

was extracted by two tiny white mice.

He's abandonware (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046630)

He's still got a page at Sourceforge, but he hasn't been updated in months and his developer stopped answering emails.

Confirmation hell? (4, Interesting)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046674)

I would not be surprised if McNealy's appointment is stuck in confirmation hell. He probably requires confirmation by the Senate (see Article II, Section 2 [wikipedia.org] of the Constitution). The Obama administration has been very slow in getting their people confirmed, in part because of the concentration on the Supreme Court vacancies, in part because of Republican intransigence (continuing the Democratic intransigence during the Bush administration, which harks back to the conflicts with Clinton, and back and forth it goes ...).

Re:Confirmation hell? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046834)

except now the Republicans have gone crazy with here Obama hate.

It could just be their turn at the cycle, but have you watched? jeez, they literally say one thing, then say the exact opposite an hour later.

I have never seen any party be this bad at it. Sure, a party will try to block, but usually it has a specific reason.

It's one thing to have issue with a specific policy, and the facts there in, but lately it's just been about making stuff up.

And the worst part is when you specifically point out when they are speaking lies, the people who are behind that just pick the lie they want to believe and refuse to acknowledge they other thing that was said. Even when you show them a video or transcript of it happening..

I know this will be taken as some sort of anti republican/pro democratic rant. but it's not. It's observation that it's just gotten stupid.

Re:Confirmation hell? (3, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046926)

I'm a Republican and I agree, it has gotten stupid.

It was stupid when the liberals were going after Bush following his reelection, but this is extra stupid.

Re:Confirmation hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047418)

Drill baby drill! Wait, Obama proposed it? Vote nay!!!!

Re:Confirmation hell? (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046982)

Are you suggesting that Democrats didn't go nuts with Bush hate, or that Republicans didn't go nuts with Clinton hate?

It isn't new.

I'm generally of the opinion that if you truly believe the other party is completely evil, and your party is perfect, you're delusional. Both parties are largely filled with corrupt politicians who want to line their pockets, and cater to special interest groups. Both parties overspend and pass mammoth bills filled with crazy riders. Both parties have compromised personal liberty to appease knee-jerk reactions. Both parties have helped build a larger federal government.

They flip-flop on policy so much, it is hard to keep track. For instance, when McCain proposed a cap-and-trade system, every Republican loved it, and every Democrat hated it. When Pelosi proposed a cap-and-trade system, ever Republican hated it, and every Democrat loved it. Which is it?

When McCain was pushing for oil drilling, Pelosi threatened to drill in people's heads because it was such a stupid idea. When Obama suggested oil drilling, Pelosi said it was a great idea.

Look at major players in the Liberal/Democrat party like Biden and Reid. Both pushed for warrantless wiretapping very early, even though it is supposedly against the common Democrat platform. Biden was pushing for it after Oklahoma City, and bragged about it during the debates.

Look at Reid's Wikipedia page. It sure reads like a Conservative platform on many levels. And yet he is one of the highest ranking Liberals. The truth is both parties are far more similar than anyone wants to admit.

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

Re:Confirmation hell? (3, Informative)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047230)

Are you suggesting that Democrats didn't go nuts with Bush hate, or that Republicans didn't go nuts with Clinton hate?

It isn't new.

I'm generally of the opinion that if you truly believe the other party is completely evil, and your party is perfect, you're delusional. Both parties are largely filled with corrupt politicians who want to line their pockets, and cater to special interest groups. Both parties overspend and pass mammoth bills filled with crazy riders. Both parties have compromised personal liberty to appease knee-jerk reactions. Both parties have helped build a larger federal government.

They flip-flop on policy so much, it is hard to keep track. For instance, when McCain proposed a cap-and-trade system, every Republican loved it, and every Democrat hated it. When Pelosi proposed a cap-and-trade system, ever Republican hated it, and every Democrat loved it. Which is it?

When McCain was pushing for oil drilling, Pelosi threatened to drill in people's heads because it was such a stupid idea. When Obama suggested oil drilling, Pelosi said it was a great idea.

Look at major players in the Liberal/Democrat party like Biden and Reid. Both pushed for warrantless wiretapping very early, even though it is supposedly against the common Democrat platform. Biden was pushing for it after Oklahoma City, and bragged about it during the debates.

Look at Reid's Wikipedia page. It sure reads like a Conservative platform on many levels. And yet he is one of the highest ranking Liberals. The truth is both parties are far more similar than anyone wants to admit.

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

Reid is a great example -- I am constantly defending him in the firearms community, as he has always been a friend to gun owners. He's a liberal in many regards, and there are lots of valid issues that I take with his voting record - but that isn't one of them.

Re:Confirmation hell? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047364)

Are you suggesting that Democrats didn't go nuts with Bush hate, or that Republicans didn't go nuts with Clinton hate? It isn't new.

No, but not being new doesn't make it the same, and because Democrats opposed Republican administrations in the past doesn't mean that their tactics were on the same level.

Republicans have set filibustering records and then shattered those records in term after term. [cwa-legislative.org]

Republicans last night broke the all-time Senate record for filibusters in a two-year term when they forced the 62nd cloture vote of this session on the omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 2764. The previous record of 61 cloture votes in a two-year term was set in 2001-2002, the last time the GOP comprised the minority in the Senate.

Just halfway through the session, they broke the old filibustering record that was set by them.

Similarly, we have Republicans placing holds on every single one of Obama's nominees -- something that has never happened. Why? In this particular case, it was so Senator Shelby [huffingtonpost.com] could get some pork for his state. But there has been a great deal of other unprecedented obstructionism on the part of Republicans toward Democrats. For example, accidentally "losing" their voting cards to delay everything, preventing the usual unanimous consent motions to go about business, shutting down the Senate at 2PM. A classic example of this would be Republicans filibustering a defense spending bill just so it would take longer to get to the filibuster vote on health care reform. (Imagine what the media reaction to that would be if Democrats had done it -- instead we get deafening silence.)

Yeah, Democrats have obstructed Republicans in the past. But to compare that with what's going on now -- or in previous Republican-minority Congresses -- is completely insane. We're talking about an entirely new extreme (which the Democrats have been ineffectually responding to with "well, maybe if we play nice they'll play nice again!") that has never before been seen.

Re:Confirmation hell? (5, Interesting)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047410)

Are you suggesting that Democrats didn't go nuts with Bush hate, or that Republicans didn't go nuts with Clinton hate?

To this level? No. Have a look at the Senate voting history [senate.gov] . Go to 2010 and click on a few, scroll down to the senators list. Republicans are always, without fail, either the exact opposite of the majority of Democrats (usually Nay) or Not Voting. Now go back and click on 2005. Pick any issue you want, and either some Democrats voted with Republicans or vice versa. It's not just people's imagination, the country really is more polarized than ever.

And the worst part about it is that the rest of your post is correct.

Re:Confirmation hell? (2, Informative)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047022)

A little tip, if you have to put a line at the bottom of a rant to state what it isn't, then it probably is. It is an anti repub/pro dem rant, which appears to be rooted in confirmation bias. Both sides have been doing the same thing for decades, but based on which news you expose yourself to, you only see one side of the story. Its the reason I check CNN, Fox, and NBC for mainstream news rather than just one of them.

When people stop listening and start ranting, they stop absorbing information. This is why flamewars rarely end in any side giving ground, because they start with people who have already decided what they want to beleive.

Re:Confirmation hell? (2, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047188)

And the running joke among Democrats was the Bush was a Nazi as well as the rest of the Republicans, that wasn't over the top was it? Just a bit of Democrat hyperbole? Or was it more a sinister campaign to derail anything Bush was for?

Both parties do it, it simply has now gotten obnoxious enough for all to see. If you go back to Lincoln's era, the politics was just as nasty. Politicians do it when they have nothing to contribute but are afraid their opposition does.

Re:Confirmation hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047400)

And the running joke among Democrats was the Bush was a Nazi as well as the rest of the Republicans

Never heard of that. Who told you that was true and why did they want you to demonize the other side?

Re:Confirmation hell? (3, Informative)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047194)

Both parties have gotten to the point where they don't have a coherent platform anymore. The GOP is "anti-Democrat" and the Democrats are "anti-GOP". This has allowed those with their own agendas to rise to power, such as Obama, Pelosi, Palin, Huckabee, etc.

Re:Confirmation hell? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047390)

Both parties have gotten to the point where they don't have a coherent platform anymore.

This implies, falsely, that there was a time when either major party had a coherent, uniform, national platform to which candidates and members of the party in government generally adhered. There have been occasional points in time when one party or the other was momentarily unified on one issue, but that's been pretty rare, and even more rare if you onky count the times when the issue on which one party was unified was one that significantly distinguished them from the other party, rather than merely the subject of a broad national consensus.

Re:Confirmation hell? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047206)

I have never seen any party be this bad at it.

I have never seen any party be this good at it. It's working out well for them. The constant repetition of bald face lies is shaping public opinion.

Re:Confirmation hell? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046896)

That is not possible.

If it was an official cabinet position, the appointment would be announced, debated publicly on the floor, aired on c-span, covered in newspapers, and eventually voted upon.

Re:Confirmation hell? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046952)

Well, yeah, but I don't see anything in the article that suggested this was, for example, a cabinet level appointment, All I see is McNealy submitted a position paper and is described generically as an "advisor".

If Scott McNealey is working in an informal capacity, then he would be where Warren Buffet and Rev. Billy Graham (other "advisors") are: going about their own business.

Curriki (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046706)

Fantastic! The Open Source model make even more sense for education than it does for software. I'd like to urge all you nerds out there contribute content to this site -- Java Apps, coding tutorials, etc. In a few years, School Districts should be able to "Just Say No" to expensive textbooks!

Sun's "open" play was never convincing for me (4, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046726)

Am I the only one here who never really bought-in to Sun's latter-day 'open' evangelism?

To me Sun's 'open' efforts always seemed to me to fall into one of the following categories:
1. "Fsuk M$!" - e.g. Open Office
2. Forced to do it by their own guys - e.g. Java
3. Desperate attempt to stay alive/relevant (too late) - e.g. 'open' Solaris, (a bit of a FOSS joke, since most of the work was done by Sun employees)

I'll admit that I'm not fan of Scott McNealy, who - in my opinion - failed to navigate the dotcom bust, and subsequent massive fall in hardware revenues, and then presided over the gradual, sad demise of a formerly pretty good company.
Putting aside my bias, I'll still advance that there are plenty of other people better qualified to be a FOSS tzar.
Your nominations?

Re:Sun's "open" play was never convincing for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32046814)

i think Scott McNealy is a pretty cool guy. eh sells out companies and doesnt afraid of anything.

Re:Sun's "open" play was never convincing for me (0, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046906)

Scott was too busy trying to "stick it to the man" (which in this case was Bill Gates) he forgot that he was supposed to be "the man" at Sun.

Re:Sun's "open" play was never convincing for me (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047052)

I spent a good deal of time fighting him when he was in his anti-open-source mode and didn't believe in his conversion either.

Open sourced it. (4, Funny)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046736)

It's even more obvious than you think. He's open-sourced the advisory position so anyone can fill the position and make changes.

Re:Open sourced it. (1)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046850)

I really hope they're using GIT.

Re:Open sourced it. (1)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046886)

You mean they replaced him with a wiki? wow, what are we coming to?

He didn't go anywhere... (1)

lainproliant (1412961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046748)

He just has other things he is working on as well. He is likely still in contact with the White House, they may just have forgotten to add him to their registry on whitehouse.gov.

Before SUN was sold? (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046754)

This was before SUN was sold to Oracle I believe. Back then SUN was trying hard to be know as the "Open Source" company and I believe this was simply a marketing ploy by McNealy to get SUN more business in gov. I don't doubt that he spoke to Obama but I think the whole thing was over hyped by SUN.

Let's check the timeline (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046764)

Scott appointed: 1.2009....

William Gates visits WH: 10.2009

Scott MIA: 1.2010

Gates goes on college tour: 4.2010

Gates applauds Indian rich guy for sharing wealth: 4.2010 - saying that the norm in the US is 20% and that US benefactors need to give more along the lines of 40% ~ 50% while not mentioning that he & Melinda give along the lines of 1% ~ 2%.

Re:Let's check the timeline (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046908)

But that's not fair. His money pile is self replicating at a rate that he an melinda cant spend it fast enough to keep it from getting bigger. Even the Stock market crash made his pile bigger (I think it's now self away and eating people... several accountants went to his vault and have not came back.)

Although I do agree with him that the worlds wealthy need to be in line with 40% some of them here in the states are. One of the wealthiest in Michigan has his entire family funding one of the top medical research facilities in the world at an impressive rate. the number of researchers working there on their pet projects that will completely change medicine are incredible.

But on the same note, if the rich in a community gave only 3% each to the local homeless shelter, the homeless problem would be significantly reduced. Most homeless shelters are horribly underfunded and are full of mentally ill that really need to be in hospitals or group homes and not on the streets.

Re:Let's check the timeline (4, Informative)

dschl (57168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046928)

Gates applauds Indian rich guy for sharing wealth: 4.2010 - saying that the norm in the US is 20% and that US benefactors need to give more along the lines of 40% ~ 50% while not mentioning that he & Melinda give along the lines of 1% ~ 2%.

Please provide a reference for your claim.

According to Businessweek [businessweek.com] , Bill Gates has given $28 billion out of a net worth of $59 billion, placing him second on the list after Warren Buffett. That appears to be considerably higher than 1-2%.

Re:Let's check the timeline (2, Interesting)

JO_DIE_THE_STAR_F*** (1163877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047218)

This Businessweek reference seems a little hokey to me...

Bill and Melinda Gates

(2003-07 GIVEN OR PLEDGED (MILLIONS)) - 3,519

(ESTIMATED LIFETIME GIVING* (MILLIONS)) - 28,144

Net Worth 59 Billion

Percentage 48%

What is the "Estimated Lifetime giving" ? All the other Philanthropists have a much smaller difference between estimated and given. The article says that the estimated is "*Based on public records and interviews with donors"

So what I get from this is that there is a record of 3.5 billion given but when asked in a interview Bill said he has given away 28 billion. Yeah, sure Billy, and I gave 2 trillion to orphans last year.

Also is that money from them personally or money they have raised thru the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation?

I hate to be petty but it bugs me when a rich guy gets a bunch of kudos for giving away money that he could not possibly spend in his lifetime yet poor slobs who proportionally give a lot more aren't even recognized.

They were outsourced... (1)

jjrff (891275) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046898)

They work remotely from Elbonia....

I'm sure this (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046968)

"You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

didn't help.

Re:I'm sure this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047282)

At least Scott spoke the truth. It's unfortunate that people don't want to hear the truth and only care to hear what sounds good, which is why Republicans talk, talk, talk. Don't worry. The credit cards companies know plenty about you (which is what he was talking about).

Advisor? (5, Informative)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32046986)

According to this article [bbc.co.uk] , he was merely asked to write a paper. That hardly sounds like it was a full-time position as an advisor to the administration.

McNealy contains non-gpl firmware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047036)

They have to complete sequencing and publication before he can be released.

If only Obama knew.... (3, Insightful)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047054)

Maybe there is a option not listed - Obama lied in order to help him get votes.

I know it's shocking that a career politician that rapidly rose through the ranks of Chicago in one of the the most corrupt districts there would somehow not be totally truthful. After all he talks nice and chanted "Yes we can" over and over and over. I'm certain, absolutely certain, that if you could just get a message through to him he would realize the enormous accident that occurred and go have a nice long talk with his advisers and other appointees (whom he had *no* idea were doing all these bad things) and fix everything right up.

Really, even if you think everything he has done so far is peachy keen and figure the guy is mostly honest - he is still a politician. At best I would say an open source advisory is so down the priority list that it will likely never happen. Lets face it - he promised to nix the "do not ask do not tell" policy regarding gays in the military, that one simply takes him to write out an official statement and it has been over a year (and promised more than once, basically every time that segments polling numbers really start dropping) and still not done.

In his own auto-biography he points out that people will necessarily be disappointed in him as he presents himself as a blank slate and allows people to write whatever they want on it. He isn't a blank slate - the Obama you are looking for only existed in your mind, not in reality. He never went anyway as he didn't exist. Man many many others are slowly coming to realize this, sadly Obama the idealist (whichever one you wanted to see) doesn't really exist, Obama the politician is the only one that does. He will continue to milk the blank slate and hope that the person you once saw will "return" for as long as he can too - that is the nature of a politician. Some groups have learned how to manipulate a politician and treat him as such (assuming they have enough money and or votes), others sit around confused.

But if it makes you feel better - I'll leave this one generic as it is currently the answer given for all of them: Obama has WAY too much to worry with on his plate. What with all these global crises, economic downtime, and the seditious Tea Partiers blocking real reform it is no wonder he hasn't got to yet. Since he inherited such a mess it will most likely take longer than his Presidency to fix it and get on with the real work that America needs and address your issue.

And as long as that boiler plate works with his core group he will run with it too.

He got Slashdotted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047068)

/. or rm -rf.. hmmm kill -9 either way he is gone..

It's obvious (1, Insightful)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047080)

Open source would require transparency...it the Obama administration...dah

Anyone else read CurriWiki as... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047140)

CumWiki?

Gotta get my mind out of the gutter...

yum update whitehouse? (1)

k00laid (731314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047142)

That may not be a bad idea.

Scott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047146)

He is also working with Greenplum and spoke at the gartner/greenplum convention earlier this month.

Forked (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047186)

He got forked.

McNealy Ineligible (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047266)

Scott McNealy is ineligible for a czar position in the Obama administration as he is current on all his tax liabilities.

Re:McNealy Ineligible (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32047352)

Hilarious.

I bet you have a rolodex filled with Bill Clinton cigar jokes.

Why Scott McNealy?!?! (1)

ndnspongebob (942859) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047296)

Why would Obama want Scott McNealy? Take my advice Obama! Put Al Gore in charge, he invented the Internet and Al Gore Rhythms.

Hi, Summary: RTFA -- one paper was asked for (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32047332)

Back in January of 2009, various news articles announced that former Sun CEO Scott McNealy was to become the Obama administration's Open Source Technology adviser.

Actually, the one news article linked from the text "various news articles" in the summary, as well as every other web source I can find, indicates McNealy was asked to write one position paper on the use of open source software by the administration, and that was apparently presented to the Administration shortly after the request was made (this article [infoworld.com] from late February discusses some actions that occurred after the paper was presented.)

The issue was never about McNealy being hired as for the position of "Open Source Adviser", it was about McNealy providing one-time advice on the use of open source software.

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