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Larry Ellison Rejuvenating Hawaii's Sixth-Largest Island (Which He Owns)

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the go-big-or-go-home dept.

Oracle 297

McGruber writes "In June of 2012, we discussed news that Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle, purchased the Hawaiian island Lanai for $300 million. Ellison now owns nearly everything on the island, including many of the candy-colored plantation-style homes and apartments, one of the two grocery stores, the two Four Seasons hotels and golf courses, the community center and pool, water company, movie theater, half the roads and some 88,000 acres of land. (2% of the island is owned by the government or by longtime Lanai families.) Now Ellison is attempting to win over the island's small, but wary, local population, one whose economic future is heavily dependent on his decisions. He and his team have met with experts in desalination and solar energy to change the way water and electricity are generated, collected, stored and delivered on the island. They are refurbishing residential housing intended for workers (Mr. Ellison's Lanai Resorts owns and manages 400 of the more than 1,500 housing units on the island). They've tackled infrastructure, such as lengthening airport runways and paving county roads. And to improve access to Lanai, Mr. Ellison bought Island Air earlier this year and is closing a deal to buy another airline."

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297 comments

impossible (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 10 months ago | (#44021181)

This is impossible, no private enterprise builds infrastructure, works on long term projects, etc. Only governments do that.

--

For the sarcastically challenged: Ellison is expecting some form of a return from this purchase, all purchases that are not for consumption are investments and he is not going to 'consume' his properties, so whatever it is he does with infrastructure, etc., it's all designed to try and create revenue streams, which is what private enterprise does and which is why infrastructure projects should all be privately funded, then their economic viability, success or failure are on the backs of the owners and not tax payers.

Re:impossible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021225)

Well, governmens are supposed to provided efficiently and often fail. But that's still better than private corps who only exist to deliver goods as inefficiently as possibly - i.e. with maximum profit.

Re:impossible (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021247)

Well, I tend to think people go overboard with the whole private enterprise / government debate. I tend to lean a little towards private enterprise, if only because if I don't like a company I can boycott them and take my money elsewhere. Government, not so much.

I think the proper balance is to let private enterprise to the work, try to maximize profits, but under heavy government oversight and regulation, because corporations have no ethics or morals other than the profit motive - all other things and people are secondary. And if you notice, a lot of the whining coming from the corporate class is about too much regulation. Not a coincidence.

Re:impossible (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021333)

On the other hand, with private enterprise, boycotting them is about all you can do, which sucks if your whole life is there. If someone bought your county and made your life unbearable, would you consider moving away an acceptable remedy? What if that meant leaving your friends and family and maybe the business that you worked your whole life to build.

competition (2)

sanman2 (928866) | about 10 months ago | (#44021403)

Private companies may exist to profit for the most part, but the fact is that competition forces them to become efficient and sacrifice profit.

Re:competition (5, Insightful)

txoutback (1886680) | about 10 months ago | (#44021501)

but the fact is that competition forces them to become efficient and sacrifice profit.

Sadly, this is too often accomplished by externalizing costs to the environment and to the general long-term physical health of the population... ultimately putting whatever expenses can be externalized onto the government and tax payers.

Re:competition (3)

abirdman (557790) | about 10 months ago | (#44021739)

More and more legislation is being written to guarantee profit for business ventures. Look at the Monsanto Protection legislation that was recently tacked onto the budget. When profits are guaranteed by legislation, competition no longer functions as a control to efficiency.

Re:competition (1)

PatentMagus (1083289) | about 10 months ago | (#44021877)

People keep saying " look at the Monsanto Protection legislation," but pretty much no one actually looks at it.

Re:impossible (2, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about 10 months ago | (#44021455)

if I don't like a company I can boycott them and take my money elsewhere. Government, not so much.

What's stopping you from moving to a country that has a government more to your liking?

Re: impossible (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021669)

They won't grant me citizenship.

Re: impossible (5, Insightful)

Shark (78448) | about 10 months ago | (#44021781)

The way to solve that was to have 50 states and very little federal law thus creating competition among the states for population, which directly correlates with their tax revenues. Now that the federal government took over everything and made most of the states indentured servants, finding another country is the only real option left if you don't like your government's way of managing things.

Re:impossible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021299)

Well, governmens are supposed to protect civil rights and often fail.

Fixed that for you. This is often not efficient at all and that's okay. A totalitarian police state is an efficient gov't. It's companies that are concerned with efficiency.

Re:impossible (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 10 months ago | (#44021465)

I always hear the term civil rights? What is the difference between civil rights and individual rights? What rights do you have as part of collective that you don't have as an individual?

Re:impossible (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021539)

Don't you know? As part of a collective you can steal from the rest and give yourself a nice subsidy. You can force an obligation upon the rest of the people and give yourself a nice entitlement.

That's what 'civil rights' are there is no such thing, there are only individual rights.

There are no 'women rights', there are no 'gay rights', there are no 'children rights', there are no 'minority rights', there are no 'disabled rights', there are no 'worker rights', etc.etc.

There are only individual rights and when some group (any group) is given what the modern collectivist state likes to call 'civil right' what it actually does it puts an obligation upon some people to provide entitlements to some group. This is the exact opposite of the meaning of the concept of 'right'.

A right is only a meaningful concept in the context of a relationship between an individual and the State, not 2 individuals, not an individual and a business. A right is limitation of authority of the collective to destroy rights of an individual.

'Civil right' is the exact opposite of an actual right, 'civil right' relies on destruction of actual real individual rights, it's Orwellian doublespeak.

roman_mir [slashdot.org]

Re:impossible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021867)

There are no 'women rights', there are no 'gay rights'...There are only individual rights and when some group

Individual rights are not equally unimpeded for all groups. The names like women's rights, gay rights, etc., are used to highlight specific cases of that. To say they don't exist is to say that the government restricts or doesn't restrict rights of everyone evenly.

Re:impossible (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 10 months ago | (#44021883)

You're drawing rights a little too narrowly. For instance, a person has the right not to be murdered, regardless of whether the murderer is governmental or not.

Re:impossible (2)

budgenator (254554) | about 10 months ago | (#44021793)

It's not the difference between civil rights and individual rights, it's the difference between Civil Rights and Natural Rights. Natural rights are rights that exist due to the fact that you exist, they are often called "God Given Rights" by the Theists. Civil Rights on the other hand are Government Given Rights and what Government gives, tyhe Government can take away

Re:impossible (5, Insightful)

flyneye (84093) | about 10 months ago | (#44021235)

With enough money, you are the government. Haven't you been paying attention to U.S. history at all?

Re:impossible (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 10 months ago | (#44021277)

There is difference between money and power, not understanding the difference doesn't change that fact.

Power is what either a dictator with an army that is head of State or some other government system (including democratic system) has over lives of people in either the legal sense and or ability to modify what legal is or go outside of boundaries of legal without being challenged, because it is perceived as legitimate or it just has majority support, explicit or implicit.

Real money is a function of productivity, productive output and savings. Ellison is one of the more productive people in the world, he was able to devise a machine that is his company, that makes him one of the most productive people out there. All of his employees, all of his properties, they are all extensions of this machine.

This machine is powerful in its industry, but IF the government is NOT corrupt, then it cannot be used to obtain government level of power.

Of-course if and when people give government unauthorised power (which is given to governments in order to create discrimination, to steal from minorities, like the rich, and to redistribute to voting majority and then this process is what starts the destruction of a lawful government, which grows in size and creates new branches and laws and systems that destroy individual freedoms and take over everything) then largest companies, wealthiest people MUST fight against such systems before they are devoured by them and possibly they just want to buy power because they also like wielding it.

So if your complaint is that with enough money one can buy power, you should really ask yourself: who gave government all that power to sell?

Re:impossible (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#44021307)

Ellison is one of the more productive people in the world, he was able to devise a machine that is his company, that makes him one of the most productive people out there. All of his employees, all of his properties, they are all extensions of this machine.

I'd put it a little differently. Ellison is a very clever man who has devised a way of diverting a fraction of the productivity of over 100,000 people into his pocket. That way is the Oracle Corporation. Indirectly, his company diverts a fraction of the productivity of about 390,000 corporate customers comprising the efforts of millions of people into his pocket.

Nobody ever accumulated great wealth any other way. The most you can ever achieve from your own productivity is to be moderately comfortable.

Re:impossible (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 10 months ago | (#44021323)

BS., that productivity did not exist until Ellison created that productivity, created the very idea behind his products, sold them as a concept.

The people he hires are not on their own able to deliver any of the products that Ellison creates and sells.

Your comment makes as much sense as 'the house steals productivity of nails that are part of the structure'.

Re:impossible (2, Insightful)

sanman2 (928866) | about 10 months ago | (#44021431)

Ellison is a clever man who helped invent the modern RDBMS, which is the basis for much of today's information technology.

What have you invented lately?

"Henry Ford was a clever man who invented the otherwise useless automobile, which helped him to divert the productivity of his newly created workforce into filling his personal pocketbook"

"Edison was a crafty fellow who invented this light bulb thing which wasn't very useful, except to divert the productivity of many workers into fattening his own wallet"

"Einstein was a cunning patent clerk who came up with this stupid Relativity thing, which wasn't very useful to anyone except Einstein, because it allowed him to cleverly gain the confidence of the so-called scientific community, while also turning him into a household name."

"Slashdot was invented just to provide an outlet for too-clever-by-half Tinfoil Hatters (Haters?)..."

Re:impossible (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021557)

Ellison is a clever man who helped invent the modern RDBMS, which is the basis for much of today's information technology.

Oh please.
Ellison is a clever man who implemented parts of a modern RDBMS. The invention happened elsewhere, and without Ellison the field would have been advanced at pretty much the same pace. He is noted mainly for his business acumen and inhuman practices to achieve his goals.

That's as stupid as saying Steve Jobs invented the iPod, the Mouse, the Desktop, or Multitasking. He didn't.

Re:impossible (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 10 months ago | (#44021763)

The same goes of Ford. Ford didn't invent the car he invented the assembly line which made car production cheaper.
Some of the bests inventions aren't of actual products but ways of building/using those products in better ways.
Steve jobs didn't invent any of those things. he did bring them to the masses in an easy to use form however.

Re:impossible (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021789)

Wrong. Ellison did not help invent the modern RDBMS. The concept of a DBMS started with Charles W. Bachman and later Edgar Codd refined the concept into the relational model. Please vacate my lawn.

Re:impossible (4, Insightful)

abirdman (557790) | about 10 months ago | (#44021819)

Ellison didn't invent the Oracle database, he bought the efforts of those who did. Larry Ellison is the same as every Afghan warlord, Saudi princeling, or Russian oligarch-- a twisted parasite on the planet. His efforts did not create productivity, they stole productivity.

Re:impossible (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#44021837)

> Nobody ever accumulated great wealth any other way.

Some are good at patter and getting large masses behind them, and then forcing everyone, not just those masses, to give them money.

Doing so without seizing power, by offering things free people freely choose to buy, is completely different.

Re:impossible (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44021709)

You just don't get it. Economic power and state power cannot exist without each other. All governments are set up by the economically powerful. And to speculate that a government or any other authority won't be corrupt?? How naive can you be?

Re:impossible (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#44021257)

This is impossible, no private enterprise builds infrastructure, works on long term projects, etc. Only governments do that.

Ellison hasn't done anything but buy a bunch of stuff yet. And by the way, he bought most of the island of Lanai from another private enterprise.

Further, if the people don't like what Ellison is does with the place, what can they do, vote him off the island?

Anyway, might be worth keeping an eye on this project a little longer before you start your Galtian touchdown dance, roman_mir, the history of private enterprise owning islands really isn't all that pleasant, at least for the people who live in those places.

Re:impossible (1, Informative)

udachny (2454394) | about 10 months ago | (#44021289)

I suggest you read TFA (I know, I know, a taboo around here)

some of the more relevant parts to your comment:

For now, locals appear guardedly optimistic. "Not everyone will agree with what Ellison does, and you run into opposition from a few, but how can you argue with jobs and improving infrastructure? How do you disagree with things like the reopening of the community pool?" asked Phoenix Dupree, who runs the Blue Ginger Café and has been a resident of Lanai for 22 years.

Reynold Gima, a social worker for adult mental health who started the watchdog organization Lanaians for Sensible Growth to challenge some of Mr. Murdock's efforts, said he finds Mr. Ellison's management style "refreshing." It also helps that he knows and trusts Mr. Matsumoto, as many on the island seem to; the two men were in Little League and Boy Scouts together.

"They've been promised things before, but it wasn't fulfilled," Mr. Matsumoto said. So people are saying, 'I love the vision, but is it for real?' That's fair."

Diane Preza, a kindergarten teacher who was born and raised on the island and is a member of a group called Kupaa No Lanai, founded to fight wind development, appreciates the improvements on Lanai under Mr. Ellison, but she wants to make sure new developments are done right. "We love it and feel it needs to be protected," she said. "There are sacred sites, archeological sites. There is a way of life that we love."

In January, Mr. Ellison met with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. "As far as I'm concerned, he has not made a single misstep," said Gov. Abercrombie, a Democrat. "Unemployment on Lanai has just about disappeared. Traffic to the island is up. If nothing more than the economy, I would say he is the best thing that's happened to the island in 50 years."

Re:impossible (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#44021371)

In January, Mr. Ellison met with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. "As far as I'm concerned, he has not made a single misstep," said Gov. Abercrombie

Wait, a government official approves of something a rich guy is doing?

That's unheard of!

I'm sure it has nothing to do with Ellison's political contributions, which have been sizable, both as an individual and through Oracle.

So, from your excerpt, Governor Abercrombie is creaming over Larry Ellison, the people who actually live there, not so much.

Re:impossible (4, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#44021271)

Seriously? Who is going to pave the roads in your city where the property belongs to thousands to millions of people and companies instead of just one?

It sounds to me like what Ellison is trying to create is a modern fiefdom in Lanai. Maybe the next thing you'll hear of him is referring to himself as the Prince of Lanai.

Re:impossible (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#44021851)

He's really just trying to create a stable supply of virgins to toss down Mauna Loa's throat. The only thing that produces more hot air than Larry Ellison is a volcano. And he's working to stop that.

Re:impossible (2)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 10 months ago | (#44021871)

AFAICS he's just hedging his bets for societal collapse, Island paradise, food and energy self sufficiency, supply of servants ...

Re:impossible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021293)

Finally someone in charge who can deport all the niggers back to Africa. Keep em in the plantation style housing first!

Re:impossible (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 10 months ago | (#44021305)

Companies have no incentive to invest in infrastructure if most of the benefits will be reaped by other companies. If one company owns an entire campus, town, or island, then they are generally good at improving the infrastructure. If such an area is owned by a diverse set of companies and individuals, then good infrastructure is rarely an emergent phenomenon, unless some organisation is responsible for collecting money to pay for it and for providing it. This organisation is traditionally referred to as a government...

Re:impossible (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 10 months ago | (#44021319)

Companies have no incentive to invest in infrastructure if most of the benefits will be reaped by other companies.

- I said income streams, perhaps you mistook that for 'subsidies'.

Private enterprise builds infrastructure all the time, the difference is that to use it you have to pay for it directly and not by using threat of violence (taxes) but pay for it as you use it, which is why it is preferable for all infrastructure projects to be private, that means self sustainable and not dependent on theft and subsidies.

what about toll roads that are semi private? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 10 months ago | (#44021545)

what about toll roads that are semi private? in some areas they seem to better in better shape then other roads that don't have tolls on them.

Re:impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021633)

Private enterprise builds infrastructure all the time

The difference being that they own the land they are improving. Ellison owns the land he is improving. In fact, it works great for this first round of improvements.

Anyone looking to move to this island and, say, open a store or a farm or something, would do well to look at Zimbabwe where the farmers do not own the land they are trying to improve and therefore cannot get loans or investors to improve the land. Enjoy being controlled by the central planner's whims.

Dogma, Apples, & Oranges (2)

cmholm (69081) | about 10 months ago | (#44021311)

Larry is developing a plantation, not a municipality, so comparing this paragon of capitalist initiative with - say - the rest of Maui County is invalid. Lanai Island Holdings, LLC is just another plantsite, no different in principle than the Oracle Corp HQ. So, he's investing just for himself and David M. Based on his expressed plans, I for the most part it works out. But, it's reasonably obvious that this is a hobbyist pursuit.

The rest of the County is home to a variety of people, companies, and competing interests, so it makes sense that infrastructure that serves their common good is held as public trusts. Quite a bit of the work is contracted out to private firms, particularly when it requires occasional use of capital equipment it doesn't make sense for the County to invest in. But, by and large, private ownership of utilities and other public services hasn't proved to be anyone efficient than public ownership. Running such enterprises pits maximizing public utility against maximizing private return on investment, and the public loses if/when rent seeking in the part of a private owner perverts the direction of public policy.

Re:Dogma, Apples, & Oranges (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 10 months ago | (#44021485)

Yes, my point precisely. Ellison invests so that HE can make money.

In the process he builds infrastructure and makes other people more productive by investing his capital into all of these projects. ALL private enterprises can be compared to 'developing a plantation', that's what we all do when we build our businesses: we develop our plantations, so to speak.

Which is exactly how all infrastructure should be built, with private individuals working to make a buck 'developing plantations'. The economies are built around biggest private plantations that the most successful are able to develop.

Re:impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021389)

so we get a pacthwork network of infrastructure were 'enterprise' can make a profit. The same entities who will then turn round and demand tax breaks and better infrastructure to do business else they will take their 'jerbs' elsewhere and all the externalties like road maintenance , water supplies etc will be dumped on the tax paper.

sometimes joined up plannig has to be done at a higher level than profit motive.

Re:impossible (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#44021421)

That works great for new development when there is a local monopoly. My area, like most of the older Philadelphia suburbs, was initially developed by the railroad companies. They made very little money on passenger service, but made boatloads selling real estate around newly installed commuter rail.

I don't think they would have bothered if they didn't own a large swath of land around the rail line, though. That would just make a competing developer rich.

Modern Feudalism (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | about 10 months ago | (#44021439)

There's plenty of precedent for this: It's called "feudalism". We can now discuss whether Ellison will be a good or a cruel feudal lord.

Re:impossible (2)

abirdman (557790) | about 10 months ago | (#44021659)

Privately financed infrastructure projects! Ahh, in the 18th century, that was called royalty. The lord of the manor controlled everything, paid tribute to more powerful entities, and exercised his droite de seigneur over the realm. This is all lovely until the lord succumbs to the moral cancer that invariably comes with that level of power, or until their finances fall apart and another mobster (err, I mean titled landowner) takes over. At that point Lanai will become a miniature, tropical Detroit.

This is disgusting, and it's probably worthwhile to point out that Oracle is among the largest and most successful gangster-based business enterprises on the planet. Go ahead and buy an Oracle product-- it will never go away. Get used to the license audit shake-downs, the version lock-in, the upgrades that cost more than the now-obsolete earlier version. Oracle embodies everything that's wrong with late-empire monopoly capitalism, and Larry Ellison is the grinning goof-ball poster boy.

And for the record, Oracle makes a fine piece of database software-- software so good, it finances Larry's wildest dreams.

Re:impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021863)

This is impossible, no private enterprise builds infrastructure, works on long term projects, etc. Only governments do that.

--

For the sarcastically challenged: Ellison is expecting some form of a return from this purchase, all purchases that are not for consumption are investments and he is not going to 'consume' his properties, so whatever it is he does with infrastructure, etc., it's all designed to try and create revenue streams, which is what private enterprise does and which is why infrastructure projects should all be privately funded, then their economic viability, success or failure are on the backs of the owners and not tax payers.

Its a great theory, as long as we ignore that where essential infrastructure doesnt make a profit, it gets scrapped or neglected, or turned into abysmal toll roads that *everyone* hates.

Theres a reason the economics professions largely considers the austrians kooks (That, and the last time they where taken seriously, specifically by austrian economics nut greenspan, it crashed the bloody economy)

Good luck with that (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#44021185)

Well, I hope that he manages to keep good relations with the natives or they will turn the tables on him. He had better have a backup strategy for this transaction.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 10 months ago | (#44021245)

I just heard the other day about a coalition of Hawaiian natives buying back as much land as they can for the locals.
This drama is not nearly over yet...

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021663)

I just heard the other day about a coalition of Hawaiian natives buying back as much land as they can for the locals.
This drama is not nearly over yet...

Yeah, their plan is almost complete, they just need to figure out how to get large amounts of money without expending any effort.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021385)

He lacks integrity.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 10 months ago | (#44021533)

Well, I hope that he manages to keep good relations with the natives or they will turn the tables on him. He had better have a backup strategy for this transaction.

He outer join the local Chamber of Commerce.

Incredible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021193)

Incredible what a half-assed, overpriced database system can buy.

Re:Incredible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021227)

It's not a bad database, and it's not overpriced if you actually need the features it has.

Re:Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021325)

Overpriced? Maybe. Half-assed? Doubt so.

Re:Incredible (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 10 months ago | (#44021329)

Oracle is expensive, but if it were really overpriced then you'd see lots of cheaper alternatives. For a lot of workloads, something like PostgreSQL will get the job done for a fraction of the price. When you really need something at the high end, however, Oracle or a small handful of other companies will charge you similar amounts. The real problem for a company like Oracle is the same as the problem for SGI. In the '90s, a database with a few GBs of data was something you needed Oracle (or similar) and a lot of hardware for. Now, a cheap commodity machine can keep the whole thing in RAM for read-only queries and can write to an SSD (or a few in RAID-1) for a few thousand dollars, including the time it takes someone to set it up. The number of companies that have data of a size where an Oracle DB will work is increasingly small: at the very high end, you have companies like Google and Facebook that can't use any off-the-shelf solution, and at the other you have companies that can get away with cheap commodity hardware and an open source RDBMS.

This is why companies like IBM and Oracle are focussing heavily on business applications and vertical integration. They may be expensive, but there's a whole class of medium sized enterprises for whom it's a lot cheaper to periodically give a huge pile of money to Oracle periodically than it is to have a large in-house IT staff.

example: if i want to spy on 100 million citizens (1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#44021475)

oracle just cant be beat. its open mindedness when it comes to NSA's "reboot" of the 4th amendment has made all the difference.

Re:Incredible (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#44021549)

The problem with Oracle is two-fold. Large organizations have products chosen by buyers, not developers, and PostgresSQL et al do not buy lunches, golf outings, or vacations. In addition, many people after having Oracle around for a bit make the mistake of using it as more than just a database, putting business logic, etc, in their database layer using Oracle's proprietary extensions. This makes it extremely difficult to switch products. Oracle can raise prices quite a lot and people pretty much have to keep paying. This is why typing your business to a proprietary product or format with a single provider is generally a very bad idea.

Is there a volcano? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021197)

You know, for the lair.

Re:Is there a volcano? (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 10 months ago | (#44021287)

YES! Was hoping someone would point this out. Ellison's always been made out to be the big bad Bond villain, and now he's got his own island with a 'dormant' volcano....? It'll probably turn out that all this NSA spying going on was using Oracle servers, and in that HE'S the evil mastermind behind all this. mwahahahahah!

Re:Is there a volcano? (2)

mrbester (200927) | about 10 months ago | (#44021313)

He just needs an amusingly short French manservant. That way he can be both Ricardo Montalban AND Scaramanga.

Re:Is there a volcano? (1)

DrogMan (708650) | about 10 months ago | (#44021731)

He just needs an amusingly short French manservant. That way he can be both Ricardo Montalban AND Scaramanga.

Or a fluffy white cat...

Re:Is there a volcano? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021755)

That is DOCTOR EVIL. He did not spend 6 years in evil medical school to be called mister. Thank you very much.

Reaganomics! (4, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 10 months ago | (#44021211)

This is the end result. Oligarchs. Trickle Down Economics was a scam.

Re:Reaganomics! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021297)

Unless you count the thousands of small businesses that it helped, that have flourished and some become major businesses today, employing vast millions.
I guess you didn't get trickled on, or your cranial-rectumitis is flaring up again.
It was your lefty boys who started shipping employment out of the country, what's your complaint, beef head? Obama isn't socialist enough? Daddy touched you too much/ not enough? It's always something...

the biggest socialist bailout in history (5, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#44021453)

happened under a republican president, the son of Reagan's vice president, whil the treasury secretary was a former Goldman Sachs CEO.

you are hereby banned from ever complaining about 'socialist democrats' ever again. ever.

Modus Operandi (4, Insightful)

Aaron B Lingwood (1288412) | about 10 months ago | (#44021213)

1. Buy property / imaginary property
2. Close it up
3. Anger the community
4. Wait for staff to quit
5. Replace existing features with unwanted bling
6. Force users of Island #5 to use the new facilities offered on Island #6
7. ?
8. Profit

Re:Modus Operandi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021291)

Without money you are a cog; and you do what your master tells you. The End.

Fun wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021233)

Sound like somebody's been playing too much Tropico.

Real Life Dr Evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021249)

Except he holds the whole IT industry hostage for 78.32 billion dollars.

Feaudalism is back! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021259)

Feudalism is back! Surf's up! I no kea!

Benevolent dictator (1)

countach (534280) | about 10 months ago | (#44021275)

Sounds like they've aquired a rich benevolent dictator and Ellison is enjoying playing the role of benevolent king over his mini kingdom. It's going to be nice, but since Ellison is 68 or whatever, who knows how long it can last till the next rich nit-wit comes along.

Re:Benevolent dictator (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#44021321)

This is the first time I've ever heard the term "benevolent" in relation to Larry Ellison. Not the first time I've heard him called a dictator.

Godhood? (1)

Swoopy (101558) | about 10 months ago | (#44021279)

Interesting retirement plan. By the time he needs it, he'll be as close to godhood with the islanders (no, I'm not underestimating their intelligence or thinking of them as primitive natives here), as is mortally possible ...

Secession? (1)

Dredd13 (14750) | about 10 months ago | (#44021295)

It sounds a whole lot like Ellison is planning to just break-away from the US and declare his island a sovereign state.

And, frankly, he can't do a worse job than most of the other developed nations are doing these days.

One Rich A** Called Larry Ellison (2)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 10 months ago | (#44021343)

He's got money for this, but no money to give me contact with an Oracle support engineer on my continent who speaks English, and can reach me in a timely fashion.

Re:One Rich A** Called Larry Ellison (1)

cats-paw (34890) | about 10 months ago | (#44021665)

precisely _why_ has has money for this.

you are unhappy but you are an Oracle customer.

the game is to make your customers as unhappy as possible, but not so unhappy that they stop buying your product.

Mr. Ellison's Lesser Hawaii (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021351)

Not quite (yet) Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong.

"Your Ask toolbar dollars at work" (1)

IgD (232964) | about 10 months ago | (#44021365)

He needs a big sign that says "Your Ask.com toolbar dollars at work"

Maybe he should change his name to! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021425)

Alexander Chung-Sik Finkle-McGraw would be a good choice.

And, dare I say, for fear of being labeled a rich-hater*, quite possibly he's not being taxed enough.

*I'm not, but this is ridiculous.

first step: start charging money for air (2)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#44021443)

claiming that "we cant give away products for free. it doesnt make business sense", oracle president larry elliosn announced that his ownership of the island now extends to the air people breathe. "if they are breathing my air, i want to somehow try to monetize and get a return to your shareholders" ellison said.

Great until you fall out with the king (4, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | about 10 months ago | (#44021479)

Benevolent dictatorships are fine as long as you agree with the king/laird/CEO/ whatever.

Fall out with him and you'll lose your house, your job, and all those related to you might suffer. Rich people running islands is not a great long term plan. Ask the population of Eigg [guardian.co.uk] in Scotland, for example. All good until your nice rich person gets bored with his toy and neglects local services that people need, or sells it to a Bad Rich Person, etc.

I would have though US citizens, of all the places in the world, would have a historical perspective on what happens when uncaring kings run your country, and what the poor but honest citizens should do to resolve the lack of decision making power.

Very curious. Of course Ellison might be a lovely chap and improve the situation - it sounds like people do need improved services... but one man owning an island and having no accountability on his decision making power over people's homes and jobs, this makes me nervous... it's not like the people living here can change employers or move down the road if they are unhappy, it's an island. I'd be interested to hear his thoughts about the democratic processes, how the local people have the option to veto his decisions if they disagree, and so forth.

If he's really in it for the long term, wouldn't it make more sense to go for independence from the USA and ask the people to elect him as their President?

Ellisonland (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 10 months ago | (#44021515)

Will I step off the plane to find Larry Ellison wearing a white suit and smiling? "Welcome! To Ellison Island" Well I guess this makes a fun experiment for Mr. Ellison. Solar power, desalination technology, etc. Sounds like the island is dependent on tourism. As long as he doesn't crown himself King and demand that the residents kneel before him.

Fantasy Island (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021553)

De plane, De plane, Boss, saz little gnome, Mark Hurd.
Ellison will meet Stevie in his Fantasy episode.

Yup (1)

blocsync (320897) | about 10 months ago | (#44021625)

If I was a multi-billionaire... I'd probably want to play "Sim City Island Paradise - Ultra Realistic Edition" too...

Good for him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021651)

I wish I could own my own island. However, I don't think I would want to make the natives restless. Natives have ancestry going back to before the monetary system that is now facilitating this gentleman to own their island. Maybe there will be wonderful java plantations, dancing in the streets and utopia.. ~not wanting to be judgemental out of mere jealosy.

Ellison's an awful person (4, Insightful)

tgeller (10260) | about 10 months ago | (#44021653)

Ellison has a history of being just terrible. When the San Carlos airport cite him for breaking noise ordinances when he flies in during "quiet" hours -- you know, waking up uncounted residents in the area -- he just laugh and pays the fine, over and over again. Now he's suing the airport in San Jose airport so he can do the same thing to that city's 800,000 residents.

Hawaiians can expct zero consideration from this proven douchebag.

Sim city fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021655)

I wonder if he has an account?

Tropico 4 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44021673)

The dude is playing Tropico IRL!

Hyperbole in a headline? (1, Insightful)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 10 months ago | (#44021753)

Hyperbole in a headline? No, I just can't beleive it.

Ellison does not own this Hawaiian island. It is a portion of a state, as in one of the states that comprise the United States. He holds title (or more likely, a bank does) for a significant portion of the lots on this island. He does not "own the island".

Even if he aquired the title to every square mm of land on that island, he still would not own it. That just allows you to build on and occupy the land at the governments pleasure. And remember, even if you have a title to a plot of land, whatever is below the surface certainly does not belong to you. And because of the construct of Eminent Domain, you only have the right to occupy/use a portion of real estate as long as the government has no use for it.

Unless you are the federal government, you cannot truly own a shred of real estate in the real sense of the word "own". It's never fully yours to do with as you see fit.

SHTF billionaire style (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | about 10 months ago | (#44021809)

Ellison is a prepper. He just has more money and resources than your average paranoid, anti-social TEOTHAWKI person.

Didn't Mr Hammond do the same? (2)

Locutus (9039) | about 10 months ago | (#44021835)

It sounds like Mr Ellison is on his way in creating his own Jurassic Park. He'll probably use *nix too so the kids can help out.

LoB
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