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Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title

Soulskill posted about a month ago | from the knows-how-to-program-her-VCR dept.

United States 117

theodp writes: Bloomberg is reporting that Google X's Megan Smith is the top candidate for U.S. Chief Technology Officer. With a BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and experience ranging from General Magic to Google, Smith would arguably be the first U.S. CTO worthy of the title (the outgoing U.S. CTO has a bachelor's in Econ; his predecessor has a master's in Public Policy). "Smith joined Google in 2003. As vice president of business development, she oversaw many of its most important acquisitions, like Keyhole, the service that underlies Google Earth. She has led the company’s philanthropic division, Google.org, and served as a co-host for Google’s Solve for X forum, where distinguished thinkers and scientists brainstorm radical technology ideas with Google executives."

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First Aristocrats Joke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792573)

OK, so this family walks into a talent agency, it’s a mother, father, their son and daughter, and a little baby. The father says to the talent agent, “Sir, our family has an amazing act, we know if you would let us perform it for you, you would want to sign us.” And the talent agent says, “Sorry, we don’t sign family acts, they’re too cutesy.” But then the mother goes, “Please sir, if you just give us two minutes I know you’ll like our act.” So the talent agent says “Alright, ya got two minutes.”

So the family jumps right into it. The mother smiles and points at the son who hits “play” on a boombox. Thrilling circus music starts to play as the father spins his daughter around, bends her over, lifts up her skirt, and starts licking her asshole. Then the son lays down on the floor and opens his mouth and the mother tears off tear-away pants, squats down over his face and starts shitting all over him. The father grabs the baby, takes off his diaper and starts sucking his cock. While the son, still with his mother’s shit in his mouth, goes over and licks the baby’s tiny little balls.

Now the mother lays down on the floor while the daughter gets up high on a chair and starts pissing all over her. Then the father and son take the baby and start stuffing it head-first back into the mother’s vagina, while the daughter’s piss rains down on all of them.

They get the baby halfway in, so that just its legs are sticking out all flailing around. The son takes the mother’s shit out of his mouth and starts rubbing it all over everyone, while the father sticks his cock in the baby’s asshole and fucks it while it’s still inside the mother, until he comes all over the baby, the wife, the son and the daughter.

Then the father gets up and says “And now for our impersonation of the victims of 9/11.” The whole family starts running around the room screaming and laughing with their dicks and titties all flapping around covered with shit and piss and cum going “Aaaaugh! Aaaugh! The building’s coming down! Help!”

And finally the family runs back to the center of the room and goes “TA-DAAAA!!”

And the talent agent he just sits there for the longest time, and finally he says, “Jesus, that’s a hell of an act. What do you call it?”

And the father says, “The Aristocrats!”

Re:First Aristocrats Joke (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | about a month ago | (#47792587)

I'm not even going to waste mod points on this. I'd rather this just sit here at +0 and contribute my points to other, more worthy discussions on other posts.

Re:First Aristocrats Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792651)

Kewl!

Re:First Aristocrats Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792713)

I'm not even going to waste mod points on this. I'd rather this just sit here at +0 and contribute my points to other, more worthy discussions on other posts.

Apparently not in this discussion, you won't. Well, barring sockpuppets, that is.

Also remember, mods, it's not even enough to check the "post anonymously" box... your mods will be undone unless you are literally logged out.

Re:First Aristocrats Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792743)

I've once "posted anonymously", and could mod after that.

Re:First Aristocrats Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793075)

I'm not even going to waste mod points on this. I'd rather this just sit here at +0 and contribute my points to other, more worthy discussions on other posts.

No, now it's going to benefit from you using your karma bonus. You should have just kept your metaphorical mouth shut, you fuckwit.

Moderators! You *MUST* read this. :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793337)

Mod parent up!!!

Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

John3 (85454) | about a month ago | (#47792589)

Because while she is quite qualified for the position I can bet that some in Congress will not only have an issue with her gender but also her sexual orientation.

Note that I do not believe this should be an issue at all, but reality is often different from what we would hope.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792663)

Discriminating based on sexual orientation violates federal law.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792821)

That doesn't mean anything and you know it. These people write the law, remember? Also the law can't enforce what it doesn't know about.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (2)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47792909)

Only if it's overt and provable.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a month ago | (#47794793)

Like racial, national, religious, and age discrimination, gender discrimination can often be hidden behind other practices. The old Youtube video about hiring only H1B candidates is an excellent guideline on how to hire only members of your preferred social groups. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] ) Simply fillin your preferred gender, age, skin color, religioon, or nationality for the word "H1B" in the presentation.

One of the most powerful forms of gender discrimination in the technology world is the inevitable discrimination against mothers who need maternal leave, or women who may become pregnant. Illegal or not, it colors every hiring review of younger women, for logical even if illegal reasons.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47794799)

Reducing the competition for the really hot interns, however, is a tempting hiring practice and a *mother* to prove in court.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (-1, Flamebait)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month ago | (#47792793)

Well, these days, it's the lefties who poison the well of every issue with race and sex to justify passing laws that legislate privilege; a defacto segregation policy on attributes that aren't supposed to matter. I suppose the neo right still has their equivalent in their religious fundie population, but they're not exactly in ascendancy like they were during bush 2.0 (and no, that doesn't mean they're not still a threat to the liberty of people like her).

The best way to deal with and keep irrelevant attributes out of the decision making process is not to fan their flames every time a decision is made. All it does is polarize decision makers when the goal is objectivity, leaving only relevant attributes on the table. This makes affirmative action the worst form of organizational bigotry in force today. Without that, this new cto would stand (or fall) on her own merits instead of shut down (or raised up beyond reproach) due to her sex or orientation.

The feminist bias of the slashdot summary comes in where the relevant achievements and backgrounds of her male predecessors are downplayed and made to look like they weren't qualified, while hers are placed on a pedestal, whether they're relevant or not. Surprisingly, though, the bloomberg link appears quite neutral, almost like a real news article.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about a month ago | (#47792829)

this is incredibly naive. to even think the current process is devoid of any sort of gender or racial bias, without "fanning the flames", is incredibly, incredibly naive.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792855)

You know I've never come across a single Filipino relationship where the woman wasn't routinely beating the shit out of the man.

And I've come across many.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792867)

No it is not naive, it is idyllic but definitely not naive. So presume otherwise as you have done is to make racism/ genderism/sexualism/%ism% permanent.

What the parent you are arguing against is espousing is the real conservative viewpoint. Can she do the job? Yes -> Is she the best available person for the job -> If yes then hire, if no approach the best person available and go down the list until best person available = willing to take the job then send them before congress for approval.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

lgw (121541) | about a month ago | (#47793215)

Fanning the flames only makes it worse, is the thing. To most people, left and right, it simply doesn't matter. Let it be. Deny the stage those who want your gender or whatever the only thing that's important about you. End the conversation, deflate the energy, lets things that shouldn't matter lie there and not matter.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month ago | (#47793369)

I never said there wasn't.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (3, Insightful)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about a month ago | (#47793629)

Well, these days, it's the lefties who poison the well of every issue with race and sex to justify passing laws that legislate privilege;

Since she's gay, I would assume what you're ranting about in this case is the "privilege" of being allowed to marry the person you love.

Nice.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about a month ago | (#47792847)

Yes, many in Washington will want her as CTO specifically because of her gender and sexual orientation.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47792907)

Pfft. She's more likely to be discriminated against because of the uppity black man who nominated her.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792971)

I think that the best part about your post is the assumption and insertion of those qualities as being negative traits. Before you bringing it up, I had no idea that she was gay and I did not care that she was in fact a she. I still do not, but obviously you do.

Keep on pointing out stuff that does not matter just to race, gender or orientation-bait people into crap and it will always be a problem because you are as much a part of it assuming that it is a problem.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

John3 (85454) | about a month ago | (#47793013)

It's cute how you are surprised there are people in the US that would 100% vote against a gay person no matter how qualified they were. Me pointing it out has no bearing on the discussion, because those who are opposed to the "gay lifestyle" are likely already mounting a campaign against her. They didn't me to make this observation.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | about a month ago | (#47793651)

It's cute how you completely ignore that there are people who would 100% vote FOR a person because they were a woman and/or gay. Those on the left ADORE such people. I suspect the support FOR such a person is, these days, approaching the level of the bigotry AGAINST such a person so as to cancel each other out.

Similar is the harping on the left about the racism Obama overcame to become elected, completely ignoring the racism that worked FOR Obama, who achieved about 95% of the black vote. This put him over the top... most white people did not vote for Obama (feel free to look it up), it was the fact that black people voted as a block and almost exclusively for him that the man is now president.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793687)

People who vote for or against based on this are fucktards. Anyone who would ague about this, is one too. Shut the fuck up.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793695)

You're just mad that most white people didn't vote for Obama.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793727)

... and that the country is fucked and we have an incompetent in the White House because of black people.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793035)

Is she gaaaaay? (a lesbian, lesbian)
Is she gaaaaaay? (a gay, gay lesbian)
Is she gaaay? (GAY)
Is she gaaay? (GAY)
Is she gaaaaaay? (a gay lesbian, lesbian)

Gay, gay, gay, gay like two men sunbathing together on a beach
Gay, gay, gay, gay like two men sunbathing together on a beach
Gay, gay, gay, gay like two men sunbathing together on a beach
Or something like that
The White House denies her gayness
But she got Village People on her iPod playlist

excerpted from:
The Gregory Brothers – Auto-Tune The News #12 – Weed – Lesbian Allegaytions

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a month ago | (#47793065)

Because while she is quite qualified for the position I can bet that some in Congress will not only have an issue with her gender but also her sexual orientation.

Note that I do not believe this should be an issue at all, but reality is often different from what we would hope.

Trust me, congress doesn't give a crap about who or what she is. What they care about is if they can use her to hurt their political opponents.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (2)

John3 (85454) | about a month ago | (#47793109)

Or rile up their base.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

lgw (121541) | about a month ago | (#47793431)

No one in either party's base gives a fuck about the gender or orientation of the holder of some office they've never heard of and will never care about. Maybe a few geeks care about this? Maybe?

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about a month ago | (#47793637)

No one in either party's base gives a fuck about the gender or orientation of the holder of some office they've never heard of and will never care about. Maybe a few geeks care about this? Maybe?

No position or issue is too obscure for congress and their PR agency, Fox News, to use as ammunition against the president.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about a month ago | (#47793757)

Funny, I didn't realize that Fox News was the PR agency for the Senate - you know, the body of Congress that actually approves the President's nominations (the House has nothing to do with the process). Perhaps a brush-up on civics is in order?

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

lgw (121541) | about a month ago | (#47793847)

Man, you're so right: Fox News will totally sabotage Obama's re-election chances over this! News of the complete disaster which is the president's foreign policy will be bumped below the fold for 24-hour coverage of "office no one cares about"!

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month ago | (#47793197)

Definitely. Members of both parties will use her that way, without giving a crap who or what she is.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793077)

It is the Senate that approves or denies Presidential appointees that actually require approval.

For what it is worth, the US CTO position was created by President Obama, just as he and his predecessor made up numerous Czar positions. Unlike the Czar positions that are created, this one actually does go through the approval process. However, considering that the first person to gain the title of the position was the secretary of technology (effectively the state-level equivalent) led to the near-collapse of the DMV by single-sourcing its data center through a major defense contractor (I believe Northrup Grumman), which they failed to distribute across the state (therefore causing many state-wide failures on a regular basis). By contrast, Megan Smith is probably far too qualified for the position as she actually understands how to get things done and how to get them done correctly.

Perhaps if you were better informed rather than frothing at the bit to announce that she is a she, and that she is gay, then you would have realized it was a non-issue. Yes, there are people that care (you being in the "care too much" category), but no one of relevancy is going to throw themselves under the bus to stop a Googler from getting a CTO position during an election cycle that the Republicans hope to win the majority in.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

John3 (85454) | about a month ago | (#47793125)

but no one of relevancy is going to throw themselves under the bus to stop a Googler from getting a CTO position during an election cycle that the Republicans hope to win the majority in.

They don't just throw themselves under the bus, they pile up in front of it. It whips the base into a feeding frenzy.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month ago | (#47793209)

It whips the Democrats into a frenzy? Indeed. It even stirs up some of the Republicans.

They need an issue beyond 'Incompetent President' to stir up voters. That elephant is in the room but it's boring to the public.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793101)

Personally, I despise anyone who believes they should get special privileges based on social ambiguities. Nevertheless, she's well qualified but I believe this fits in with the agenda to get more young women into the science and technology industries( which Google has been fairly persistent at.)

However, I feel as though the end results will be the same as those early feminists from the 1960s who stripped men of all parental rights:

\\http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act

I have personally dated 3 women who have both beaten me, stole from me, and cheated on me...Yet there's no legislature protecting men like me (which I hope there never is since no sex nor race should be given a legal disposition) from violent women...Instead, violent women are given a free pass 90% of the time because of acts like these which have been in the working for nearly 40 years now.

So now it's moving on to the education system in which female students will be given privileges that trump their male counter parts...How is that creating equality if a single sex is targeted?

http://www.boston.com/business/technology/2014/06/21/google-launches-program-get-girls-code/7a1ZGpwt7kYQM0mgKGZ7mO/story.html

Why not both sexes equally?

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793379)

^^^ privileged conservative white man.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793521)

I was homeless from the time of 13 to 17...Hence the bad crowd of women I was around at the time. Don't see how that makes me a "privileged conservative white man."

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about a month ago | (#47793653)

"I have personally dated 3 women who have both beaten me, stole from me, and cheated on me..."... Don't see how that makes me a "privileged conservative white man."

Not even a marginally educated man. Re-read that first sentence you wrote, and you tell us what's wrong with it.

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793341)

For all you haters out there, this is proof positive that the American government just works.

From a Public Policy ass kisser, to an Economics ass kisser, now on the third time at bat, they finally got an ass kisser with at least the proper paper works.
It's just too bad none of her career accomplishments has any connection with mechanical engineering, US CTO included. What a waste.

Indian->Korean->lesbo->?Negro fudge packer?

Re:Does this office need Congressional approval? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793447)

How does having undergraduate and graduate degrees qualify Ms. Smith for the position of US Government CTO any more than her predecessors? Oh that's right...she'd a woman and that's the only thing of importance. No offence but most CTO are idiots and deserve to burn in Hades with their MBA-touting mandarins. I hope the Congressional Committee asks about her sex life just to give the feminists something to complain about this month before their monthly period.

Revolving door (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792637)

Her coming from Google matters more than her degree. Revolving door politics is bad news for the consumer and for smaller businesses.

Re:Revolving door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792771)

A lot of the higher ups at Google, including the one in question, were also huge shills for Obama. I'm sure that has nothing to do with it though.

Re:Revolving door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792781)

I see this complaint a lot. Who should be the CTO of the United States if not somebody with relevant industry experience and qualifications? Do you think a career bureaucrat would do a better job?

Re:Revolving door (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month ago | (#47792823)

Revolving door politics is the foundation of the ruling class, the true elites, the true 1%. It's probably the largest discriminator of all

Re:Revolving door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793405)

You didn't answer the question at all. You didn't even try to address it.

Re:Revolving door (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about a month ago | (#47794139)

How about any competent tech person whose company isn't on the president's top donor list [opensecrets.org] ? There are lots of smart people who don't work for Google, Microsoft, etc. Why start with someone who has already walked inside the revolving door?

Re:Revolving door (1)

plover (150551) | about a month ago | (#47792899)

Don't underestimate the importance of the right education. Our company almost collapsed under the stupid organizational structure put in place by our last CIO, who was not an engineer, and had no idea how engineers work. I never before realized how much damage an org chart could do.

Re:Revolving door (2)

Cederic (9623) | about a month ago | (#47793243)

Do not base your opinion on someone by the subject of their degree.

You can be an engineer without ever attending university.
You can get a Masters in computer science and still know fuck all about technology, information or otherwise.

I'd far rather have someone with in-depth hands-on industry experience making decisions than some academic with no real-world understanding, whatever their underlying academic discipline was.

Professional Engineer with no degree here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793437)

Yup.. Licensed by the state of California as a PE. 30 years plus experience Engineering (with a capital E). But darn it all, back in the late 70s, colleges didn't have software engineering curricula, and we can all agree that CS (as in theory of algorithms, big O()- which I'm not sure existed, meta-compiler design, and LISP) wouldn't be particularly useful in a lot of production software development. So I bailed on the CS (Math/CS actually.. there was no pure CS degree) and did *real work* building *real production systems*. With gradually increasing responsibility, etc.

So I'd agree.. some theoretical knowledge is useful (even essential), but there's a lot of ways to pick that up along the way.

Re:Revolving door (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month ago | (#47794489)

I'd far rather have someone with in-depth hands-on industry experience making decisions than some academic with no real-world understanding, whatever their underlying academic discipline was.

Academia is part of the real world, easily as much as industry is. Furthermore, the most fundemental breakthroughs tend to come from academia. So, what's your beef?

Re:Revolving door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47794815)

>> than some academic with no real-world understanding

>Academia is part of the real world,

He acknowledged that. He didn't say academics have no real-world understanding, he pointed out a very real and quite dangerous group of job candidates who cause enormous damage. Too bad that your support for "academic" experience apparently involves failed reading comprehension. My thesis reviewers, for example, would have torn me a new one if I was ever so careless.

Re:Revolving door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793045)

Wait - this got modded interesting? I thought term limits were in style, and they're nothing more than enforced revolving door politics. At least those who want to stay in their job for life aren't spending all their time pleasing their next employer, and if we could fix election financing they could spend their time pleasing their current employers.

YAY! I love cronyism!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792639)

This is going to be AWESOME!

Story is false (4, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a month ago | (#47792645)

From the link BY THE FUCKING CONTRIBUTOR HIMSELF:

Prior to his career in government, Park was the co-founder of two successful health information technology companies.

So a man who started two IT companies by the age of 35 doesn't have a background in Technology, because he got a graduate degree in business?

Re:Story is false (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a month ago | (#47792729)

possibly not they might have just been the money man just because your an accountant at a tech company does not mean that you know that much about the technology involved

Re:Story is false (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792751)

If you knew anything about the current state of health information technology, you probably wouldn't hold that up as a credential for how well you understand technology.

Re:Story is false (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793661)

I have worked for numerous health information technology companies (both insurance companies and their vendors, including BPO's), and I can attest to the fact that none of them knows, even slightly, what the fuck they are doing with technology.

Story is false (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793059)

Todd Park and Jonathan Bush were health care consultants who met working for Booz Allen. They hired Todd's brother Ed Park (a software engineer) to develop a software solution to automate insurance claim processing for their womens health clinic business. The software written by Todd's brother was such a money saver they turned it into a business, Athenacare. Doesn't sound to me like Todd Park is a computer guy. Sounds like Todd Park is a professional health care consultant with some experience managing businesses that dwell on the interface between health care and IT. In light of the Affordable Care Act's prominence in the current administration, it doesn't seem surprising that they chose him despite his obviously very narrow IT knowledge, though I can't even imagine why they'd elevate him to Chief CTO from CTO of HHS when his resume leans more towards being HHS specific more than CTO. It is a bit suspicious that Booz Allen (his former employer) was picked to build the massive cock-up that was the ACA web site, though. Sounds like we had a shity Chief CTO who let his old friends blow sunshine up his ass and promise him the moon with healthcare.gov, and then delivered him a stinking turd. Maybe we should have had a Chief CTO who knew more about technology than about health care.

Re:Story is false (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793221)

Well, by that logic, hiring Smith could mean they'll get Google to build the next ACA website....

Re:Story is false (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793499)

Well, by that logic, hiring Smith could mean they'll get Google to build the next ACA website....

Google developed the beta for ACA although they limited it to healthcare records management ostensibly for the "benefit of patients." Goggle shuttered the project shortly before ACA was announced by Glorious Leader Father-figure Barack Hussein Obama, relative of Uncle Richard Cheney.

Re:Story is false (2)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about a month ago | (#47793771)

I recently started a new tech company. One of my business cofounders knows essentially nothing about engineering, tech, or production - but he is a heck of a sales and marketing guy. Just because he cofounded a tech company does not mean he understands tech - at all. Just like being a CTO does not mean you know anything about marketing and sales.

Wrong. Story is deliberately misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47794401)

Those companies aren't big enough to count. Because that's what's really going on here: Big large tech companies pushing their people into key government posts. In a sense, this CTO position is created exactly for that purpose.

And long term, it's a pretty bad development, because it means the clerisy is slowly taking over. That is people who basically use science and technology as the magic sauce to justify whatever it is they're doing, whether warranted or not. A bit like how the UK says they want "science driven policy" but what they really want is the reverse, see eg. Davit Nutt's firing from his scientific advisor position with the government.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792649)

Is she the scientologist?!

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792749)

As in science? Wouldn't that be a good thing?

It Won't Make Any Difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792679)

You could have the smartest and most qualified person on the planet in that position and it wouldn't make any difference. Governments in general and the US Government especially are bunglers. They mess things up and make problems worse. If she's smart, it should only take her six months or less to figure out that she's being used for PR purposes because she's a smart women with a tech degree, not because anybody in the government bureaucracy is actually going to change anything. Think about the kind of person that's attracted to government employment. These are people who largely aren't competent enough to get jobs in the private sector and have very little ambition to take the risks necessary to run a business or be self employed. They like to play it safe, not think to hard or work to hard and take home a fat check every month. That's who she's up against in the government and that's why she will fail.

As a girl working in tech... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792719)

I hate to see things like this happen. Appointing her just because she is female cheapens what I've done. Just as the joke of a new CEO of Microsoft who was picked for his race pisses off my Indian friends, this is the same deal.

Re:As a girl working in tech... (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month ago | (#47792837)

Correct. In this case, she's female and she's gay. It's a PR stunt that hurts equal opportunity for every woman to prove herself to her peers.

Re:As a girl working in tech... (2)

TC (WC) (459050) | about a month ago | (#47793751)

So you think appointing a woman to a political position... hurts equal opportunity for women?

You seem to be working on the assumption that a lesbian inherently can't be a reasonable choice without taking PR into account.

Why don't you think this person's proved herself and in what scenario would you think that the political appointment of a lesbian isn't primarily for PR reasons?

Re:As a girl working in tech... (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about a month ago | (#47792891)

We hired an Indian CTO because he is Indian, but he has done a great job. He isn't competent technically, but considering 90% of our nearly fifty devs are Indian, he can communicate with them well. He has done a great job at understanding family obligations. As someone from Sweden, I haven't worked for an American yet that gets that. In the nine years before he was hired, I hadn't taken a single vacation day or even left work early. Since then, being able to leave work before 7pm one night a week has been great. Also, he requires us to take at least 10% of our vacation days. That is awesome since before he was hired I wasn't allowed to take a single one. I would guess that is the reason an incompetent person was promoted at Microsoft. He can relate to their average developer.

Re:As a girl working in tech... (1)

Famak1994 (3743441) | about a month ago | (#47793745)

Unfortunately, we live in a world where 'publicity' generates profits....There was a time in the 60s when feminism was a legit cause, but now it has become a tool for advertisers. I mean, Google does generate $5 per person per day that utilizes their services...That's nearly 2k a year they're leaching off of each and every one of you... The problem is not with not enough women in tech, the problem is with ads.

Re:As a girl working in tech... (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month ago | (#47794495)

I hate to see things like this happen.

What appointing a CTO based on the fact that the CTO is actually substantially more expert in technology than any of the previous CTOs appointed in that position?

Appointing her just because she is female cheapens what I've done.

You seem to be assuming that the reason she's being picked is something other than her track record---a track record which is impressive. That reflects more on you than on her or the people who picked her.

Just as the joke of a new CEO of Microsoft who was picked for his race pisses off my Indian friends, this is the same deal.

If your friends are claiming that Microsoft would poor candidates based on race then I'd advise to inquire how they think Microsoft chose Ballmer. He's white in case you hadn't noticed and was terrible.

Megan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792839)

Mechanical engineering? Really? No way. Strong cyber computer science credentials are needed.

With no power comes little responsability (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a month ago | (#47792869)

This sounds mostly political, then a bit managerial, then a teeny weeny bit technical. And from what I've read before, that post is mostly a bully pulpit with 0 effective power.

I'm sure each and every budgeting unit have their own systems, their own standards, their own teams, and their own kickbacks -sorry, suppliers. Standardizing, rationalizing and unifying all that is a bit technical, but, mostly, political.

Re:With no power comes little responsability (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a month ago | (#47792911)

Umm if it had zero effective power it certainly wouldn't be a bully pulpit. In fact it wouldn't even be a regular pulpit.

Re:With no power comes little responsability (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a month ago | (#47793289)

Umm if it had zero effective power it certainly wouldn't be a bully pulpit. In fact it wouldn't even be a regular pulpit.

Agreed. The U.S. federal government is so incredibly goofed up right now that the practical impact of this appointment will be approximately nil.

Re:With no power comes little responsability (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a month ago | (#47793343)

from wikipedia:

"A bully pulpit is a position sufficiently conspicuous to provide an opportunity to speak out and be listened to."
Not to "do", not to "enforce".. just to "be heard".

Sounds apt to me.

Awful Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792871)

Who is going to protect privacy if the CTO is in bed with Google?

Re:Awful Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793115)

Typical Americans. Blaming other people instead of themselves. You have no one to blame for your corrupt spy happy government besides yourselves. If you want to do something about it then get to it. But, the typical lazy American is content with sitting on the couch eating a bag of Cheetos.

Re:Awful Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793599)

Who is going to protect privacy if the CTO is in bed with Google?

The National Security Agency, of course. ROFLMAO Sorry I forgot my own country is engaged in the same mass surveillance activity as the NSA and GCHQ. Has anyone seen an unemployed suicide bomber seeking a target?

What about the other applicants? (3, Interesting)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about a month ago | (#47792875)

Are the other applicants less qualified? Do any of them have degrees in mechanical engineering? We don't know, because the only person mentioned is Megan Smith. We can't fairly judge whether or not she'd be a good fit because we have no idea what the alternatives are.

Re:What about the other applicants? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month ago | (#47794507)

We can't fairly judge whether or not she'd be a good fit because we have no idea what the alternatives are.

No: whether a candidate is a good fit is independent of the other candidates. Whether a candidate is the best fit depends on teh other candidates. However, given the previous appointees, Smith would be the most qualified CTO so far.

So, Smith is a very good fit. Others may be better, but given historical trends it seems unlikely.

Pussy Power! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792937)

"Hi, I have a vagina and R smarts...Give all women 'more' special privileges since I'm sick of making sandwiches, being first instead of last out of burning building, want ALL parental rights during a divorce (including half of everything you haves but not halves of mine) and I wants it all on silver platters because IR female and have vagina!"

Yeah I know, that was a little extreme, but feminism these days has made every man into a criminal by default.

I mean, when was the last time you heard there isn't enough men employees in female dominated industries?

Never....

All in all, gender equality is a misnomer - what we need to strive for is 'fairness'.:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/equality

vs

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fairness?s=t

Re: Pussy Power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793311)

Why do you accept as a given that fairness leads to surviving and thriving?

Re: Pussy Power! (1)

Famak1994 (3743441) | about a month ago | (#47793671)

The problem with equality is that it assumes that one size fits all regardless of race, sex, or culture. It's not a cut and dry subject, there needs to be boundaries that all parties can not only establish but agree upon. But we must also accept the fact that we will be arguing about this until the end of time. In which case, we need to establish certain rules that will cater to future generations as time goes on so that we're not tied down by rules, in ages passed, that may no longer apply to said generation.

Re:Pussy Power! (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month ago | (#47794511)

Who the hell modded this shit up?

This story isn't about gender issues, it's about tech issues. Smith seems to be the first candidate for the CTO who actually has a damn clue about the Tech in the Chief TECHNOLOGY Office position.

Previous appointees have been from tech businesses but have had a business background. Smith has an engineering background and has been working actually doing tech.

I mean, when was the last time you heard there isn't enough men employees in female dominated industries?

How about every single fucking time this topic comes up on slashdot and people post scads of links about campaigns to do exactly this in order to counter this ridiculous and pernicious piece of misinformation?

Private/Public Revolving Door (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47792989)

If you think about it, fascism is the best at installing qualified bureaucrats.

Fuck you theodp/soulskill (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about a month ago | (#47793107)

CxO is a whore.

Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793169)

Every time this position has been filled, the incoming 'US CTO' has been treated with effusive praise in the tech and general press, as being someone whose talents, qualifications, and multicultural background make them uniquely suited for the fast-moving times, etc.

Then they quit after about 18 months on the job.

This time around, why don't we wait until Ms. Smith actually *accomplishes something useful in her new position* before we go off saying how great she's going to be? She hasn't done anything yet.

Overqualified for the position. (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a month ago | (#47793325)

Government wasn't about your qualifications, but about which party is in control and how much the person put in that position could further their agenda.

is the degree important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47793399)

If we were hiring a 23 year old, I can see what the major/degree is being important.
But isn't it really what they've been doing *at work* for the last 10-15 years more important than what they did *at school*?

Or were you thinking that if they didn't go to the right preschool, elementary school, etc. that there's no way that they could be competent?

A real qualification should be... (2)

Mistakill (965922) | about a month ago | (#47793449)

... the willingness to admit you don't know everything, and are willing to seek expert advice...

Where's the Tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47794029)

"Smith joined Google in 2003. As vice president of business development, she oversaw many of its most important acquisitions, like Keyhole, the service that underlies Google Earth. She has led the companys philanthropic division, Google.org, and served as a co-host for Googles Solve for X forum, where distinguished thinkers and scientists brainstorm radical technology ideas with Google executives."

So... did she ever use her degree for anything after graduating?

The higher they rise, the harder they fall (1)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | about a month ago | (#47794233)

"worthy" is better judged in restrospect.

Isn't this where... (1)

kuzb (724081) | about a month ago | (#47794483)

...we start talking about how disadvantaged women are in tech, and how we need to throw money at the problem or something?

Degree is not all that relevant (3, Insightful)

Cytotoxic (245301) | about a month ago | (#47794915)

There is no doubt that she has the chops and anyone would be lucky to snare an executive with her background and talents. But the article's focus on what degree she has is just silly. The brightest developer I ever knew had a degree in chemistry. The best Director of development I ever hired was an Air Force tech. The best COO I ever worked for was a lawyer / polysci major with no business classes under his belt. The best Director of IT I ever had earned an associates degree and got her A+ certification to get her first job.

Meanwhile, the worst Director of Development I ever had was an MS of CompSci with an MBA. Guy was a tool and an idiot. The worst COO I ever had was an MBA with top grades from a top school. The worst CFO I ever worked with was a chemistry major. OK, that one kinda goes against my point. Forget about him.

  Still, my point stands:

If you are still worrying about your degree 20 years out of college, you haven't done anything.

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