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A Coveted Landing Strip for Google's Founders

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the he-who-has-the-gold-makes-the-rules dept.

Google 427

An anonymous reader writes "The NYT reports, "In the annals of perks enjoyed by America's corporate executives, the founders of Google may have set a new standard: an uncrowded, federally managed runway for their private jet that is only a few minutes' drive from their offices. For $1.3 million a year, Larry Page and Sergey Brin get to park their customized wide-body Boeing 767-200, as well as two other jets used by top Google executives, on Moffett Field, an airport run by NASA that is generally closed to private aircraft."

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Nice one (0, Redundant)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585105)

Of all the corporate CEO's, I think these guys deserve it!

Re:Nice one (1)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585207)

I believe you just set the new fanboi standard for years to come.

Or at least that's what you thought you did.

Because I think they are so great, that they should have a private space shuttle and launch facility to dispose at their will.
For free of course(i won't mind). And with blow jobs happening by default, so they don't have to demean themselves by having to ask for it.

That's not evil... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585115)

...it's just badass.

Larry's had that for a while (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585119)

I had something witty and intelligent to write, but I just got an email notification that a message just arrived from Northwest Airlines. I get to fly in economy, those guys get to fly in their own plane.

The only consolation is that I get to rack up miles while they don't. Are first class accomodations and free blowjobs from hand-selected stewardii worth the loss of airline mileage?

Sadly, I don't think I'll ever know.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585191)

Does anyone else remember a time in American history when people would here something like this and go "I want to try and become like them" instead of "I want what they have" or "they can't have that because I don't"?

Why have we as a society become so filled with entitlement and laziness? If you have the money, you can get it. If you don't have the money, work for it. These guys were nobody's once upon a time as well... it's not like the American dream is dead, it's the American dreamer that's dead.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

ngworekara (1027704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585261)

You make a comment deriding others' entitlement and laziness... when the article is about some guys getting a taxpayer funded private parking space so that they don't have to walk as far to the front door. You're gonna turn me into a Paultard.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Informative)

mlk (18543) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585315)

. For $1.3 million a year
To me that sounds like is not "taxpayer funded".

Re:Larry's had that for a while (3, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585573)

Well considering they probably have 10 accountants who work year after year on schemes on how to get Larry and Sergey's taxes minimized, it probably is taxpayer money. Then again I'm one of those crazy people who think you should just pay whatever your tax is without trying to do a dozen shady schemes in order to avoid it.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585693)

Welcome to Slashdot. Someone civilly expressing his desire for people to pay the taxes they are legally required to pay is "flamebait." The reaction to this article exposes geek libertarianism for what it is: the law of the jungle. Instead of an argument to help us determine whether Larry and Sergey's $1.3 million is actually covering the government's costs here, or to determine whether anyone with a large private aircraft could get the same treatment, we have a whole bunch of posters blindly getting on their knees for the silverback geek.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585781)

If we're going to throw around implications of "theft wrapped in a perfectly legal prophylactic", let's also consider the amount of economic value they inject into the economy via their products and services, not to mention jobs they bring to strange places by dropping big data centers in the hinterland.
Google is a an economic driver, not a load.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (2, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585339)

They are paying for the ramp space. No way is this a loss to the taxpayer (the ramp was already there) and it makes a few bucks for NASA. That much money more than covers their few launches and recoveries.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

ngworekara (1027704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585443)

Hey, since the place is already there, why not just open it up to any commercial flights that want to come in? Speaking of which, Al Gore has some coax he'd like to sell you.

private airstrip (2, Funny)

MindKata (957167) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585489)

"just open it up to any commercial flights"

You can't open it up to commercial flights. Everyone who's seen a bond film knows the bad guys need their own private airstrip.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Insightful)

slashdot.org (321932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585525)

You make a comment deriding others' entitlement and laziness... when the article is about some guys getting a taxpayer funded private parking space so that they don't have to walk as far to the front door.

Actually, the taxpayer has been paying to maintain a perfectly usable, but practically unused airstrip because of your typical Bay Area NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

The peninsula has many resources that can't be used because certain people, and forgive my generalization, who are often paying negligible property taxes thanks to California's brilliant (NOT) Prop 13, want to keep things the way they were 50 fucking years ago. That's great when other people are paying for the facilities and infrastructure that those assholes enjoy on a daily basis.

At the same time tons of people with an otherwise considered extremely well paying job (that bring in the actual tax $$$) will only be able to rent or perhaps if they have dual income they can get a $800K condo with $400/mo HOA fees. Interestingly enough I never hear those people complain about stuff like this.

I'd like to see how people that pay tax as if their property was worth $200K would like to live in a place in California that _actually_ is worth $200K. See how much they would object to some rich dudes parking a plane somewhere if that also meant that finally electricity would come to town.

If this is the beginning of the erosion of the out of balance power of the NIMBYs, then that is excellent news. Unless of course you'd prefer the bay area to become a Route 66 (See also: Cars).

Anyways, I'm glad to see that Anna Eshoo had a healthy response to this.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Interesting)

thogard (43403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585331)

Its because making it big is 99% luck and less than 1% hard work. These guys made their money because they were in the right place at the right time which lead to meeting the right people (when the people with the money were willing to spend some). They also lucked out getting into a university that helped get them into the right place. Look at all the other dot com millionaires and look at how lucky they were to be in the right place at the right time. Even BillyG lucked out to have contacts into major companies like IBM thanks to his mother. With out her assistance, there would have been no way his company could have ever gotten the meetings that landed them their big contracts.

I know plenty of people who worked harder but got no where mostly due to things out of their control.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (3, Informative)

JordanL (886154) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585351)

Having an idea that works in the market is luck? Getting into MIT is luck?

I think if there is one thing that is just plain hard work, it's getting into MIT.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585435)

Luck? Hard work? As if: Getting into MIT is who your parents are.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585535)

No, that's Harvard. At MIT, you have to make the grade.

-jcr

Re:Larry's had that for a while (2, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585585)

Having a good grade is often reliant upon having good parents who create an environment conducive to you giving a shit about school.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585465)

There are lots of people who go into MIT but never hit it big. (I'm sure they were moderately successful.)

There are a lot of people who work hard - and the majority of 1st gen. billionaires are no exception. But reading Bill Gates history, I believe there was a definite element of luck there - right place at the right time - along with some cunning to get where they are at.

With the same skill set and drive, just with different luck, I could definitely see Gates as head of just another software company and be worth "only" $50-100 million.

I don't think he's the exception among the billionaires. I could see a lucky break at the difference between moderately sucessful multi-millionaire businessmen no one heard of and the ultra-rich - in fact it seem to be that the once in the lifetime jackpot is what propels them to ridiculous wealth.

The one exception to this I think would be Steve Jobs - that guy could probably make fortunes several times over starting from scratch.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (3, Insightful)

thogard (43403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585541)

Somewhere I have my rejection letter from UC Berkeley. It said they had over a million applications since they filled up and they didn't even bother considering my application. That was when UCB had a better comp-sci program than MIT did. I applied the 1st day I could based on when my high school did its testing. That was just bad luck and completely out of my control. I had a better chance of getting into Stanford or MIT than most students in my state but I went to one of the best high schools in the state and both schools limited how much aid could go to people from one high school and I lost out even if my parents had enough cash to pay for either school. There is a huge amount of luck required to get into the best schools in the world.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585421)

luck is where preparation meets opportunity

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585593)

Right. And how many people prepare and don't make it for the one that did? Sounds like luck to me.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585529)

Its because making it big is 99% luck and less than 1% hard work.

That may be true in Hollywood, but it's not the case in the business world. Every rich person I know worked like crazy for years before they made it, and most of them still work sixty hours or more a week because they got rich doing something they love to do.

These guys made their money because they were in the right place at the right time

Don't forget that they also had the crucial insight that links to a page were a more useful ranking indication than keyword hits. Google isn't a case of catching IBM's fumble like Microsoft did. They had a great idea, they implemented it, and they figured out how to get paid for it.

-jcr

Re:Larry's had that for a while (3, Insightful)

thogard (43403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585695)

All the very rich people I know worked about as hard as most of my successful friends. Thats based on a small sample sizes (no billionaires but a handful of those who got 9 digit checks). They all were very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I know lots of others others who worked hard and had it all destroyed by bad luck.

Google making money out of the idea was a result in being able to talk to the right people at the right time. They didn't have any magic technology at hand but they were unique compared to their competition in that they had enough resources to demo their early work. They could pull that off because they had been in the right place at the right time a bit before they where in the right place earlier. Most what is now considered their innovation was all discussed on usenet news groups long before their research was done. You can even look it up in google groups if you want.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

JoelKatz (46478) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585653)

"I know plenty of people who worked harder but got no where mostly due to things out of their control."

How hard you work has nothing to do with anything. It's how much value you produce how much more value you let other people produce. These folks didn't work hard, they worked smart and they took risks.

You seriously think they got into universities that helped get them into the right place by luck? That's kind of crazy.

Yes, some luck is involved. If you don't think there's some moral problem with luck being a factor in wealth, work to ban lotteries.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

laparel (930257) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585777)

Making it big requires hard work but working hard doesn't mean you will make it big (especially financially). Granted there are those few who are born in royalty, but that's just the exception and not the rule.

I hate it when people belittle other people's achievements - claiming that they're born a genius, they were lucky, etc.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

imdx80 (842737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585409)

Does anyone else remember a time in American history when people would here something like this and go "I want to try and become like them" instead of "I want what they have" or "they can't have that because I don't"?

Maybe when it was a colony? thats the standard attitude to anyone who shows a sign of doing better than the average in england. Whether it be through luck or skill, "Wahhhh, they've got something i haven't, tax them more" (and thats a newspaper headline)

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585483)

Examples?

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585475)

Does anyone else remember a time in American history when people would here something like this and go "I want to try and become like them" instead of "I want what they have" or "they can't have that because I don't"?
Why have we as a society become so filled with entitlement and laziness? If you have the money, you can get it. If you don't have the money, work for it.

To an European, this aspect of the American way of thinking is one of the more astonishing of all. To see why, let us analyze the logic carefully:

  • Google funder's got rich after working hard.
  • Therefore if I work hard, I will become rich.
Up to now it may seem ok, but now let's do the parallel:
  • The lottery winner's got rich after playing lottery.
  • Therefore if I play the lottery, I will become rich.

The problem is that "working hard" is not the key and only ingredient of success ; just like playing lottery is not the key ingredient of success. To win at the lottery, you need sheer luck. To really succeed in business, you need luck, money, talent in about every possible domain (vision, scientific and accounting ability, human management, human relations, manipulation, greed, ... and so on), and a lot of other things... Most of the time, not just working hard.

There is no way, you take J.Random.Guy and make it work hard, and make him become a top football player, basketball, pianist, scientist, or whatever; although of course you will improve his performance by training.

The same applies to professionnal life: the average schmuck will not become the highly successful entrepreneur or professional, even if he works like a madman - on average. Of course, there is a chance, just like the lottery, or like sports.
But most of us won't get a chance... of course we could get some small success, at the expense of some work. It's a cost/benefit analysis - do you want to play this lottery, and sacrifice your free time. Every one of us will have a limited time on Earth - our time is our most precious ressource, it should be spent very carefully.

These guys were nobody's once upon a time as well... it's not like the American dream is dead, it's the American dreamer that's dead.

For one reason, my friend: that was just a dream. Reality is catching back.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585491)

The only thing that makes me not want to be them is not that they are filthy rich and having fun with it, it is some of their business decisions. Specificly, the particular two tiered scheme of stock and the sheer ego when dealing with the SEC. The stock scheme leaves the Google founders with almost all of the voting rights, because their premium stock gives preferencial voting rights. This means that the shareholders have no control over a company they own, without the founders needing to worry about common stock amounts. It is odd to see that in trading today. When they went public, Google try to tel the SEC that they didn't need to make all the filings that the SEC requires. That is just pure ego and allows for the shareholders to be screwed. Some days, I think Lary and Sergey need to have someone whispering in their ear, 'Remember, shut the hell up. Remember, shut the hell up.

Author's Note: I did make a crap-load off of GOOG stock though.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585493)

it's not like the American dream is dead, it's the American dreamer that's dead.

Sounds like you need to find a new social circle. Here in the silicon valley, there's no shortage of people trying to get rich and/or change the world.

-jcr

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585639)

Does anyone else remember a time in American history when people would here something like this and go "I want to try and become like them" instead of "I want what they have" or "they can't have that because I don't"?

Perhaps it starts in high school, where some kids are rich and others are poor, largely due to their parents rather than hard work or skill? The young might perceive (e.g.) owning a sports car to be vulgar showing off of unearned wealth. And perhaps that perception of wealth is maintained into adulthood.

At least, that's the impression I got when I drove my solid gold Cadillac out of my personal tiltrotor transport plane arriving at my last high school reunion - people acted like I was "showing off" my wealth and that was somehow a bad thing.

welfare state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585641)

you gets what you pay for.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585643)

If you don't have the money, work for it.

Nobody works their way to becoming multi-billionaires... There's absolutely nothing one man could do that could possibly be worth that kind of compensation.

They, like many others, hit the stock-market lottery. There's enough stupid people that will buy stocks for millions of times what they're actually worth, that early buyers can become billionaires just because they happen to be there.

No amount of (legal) work can guarantee you that level of riches. You can only hope to be in the right place, at the right time. You'd do just as well to buy a $1 "Power-Ball" lottery ticket as to invest many thousands of dollars (of cash, or your time/service) in some start-up, hopping it'll be the next ridiculously overhyped and unbelievably overpriced stock-market darling.

it's not like the American dream is dead, it's the American dreamer that's dead.

That's crap. There are more American entrepreneurs making themselves rich right now than there ever have been before. Few or none are naive enough to believe they can work enough to make themselves billionaires on merit.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585705)

it's not like the American dream is dead, it's the American dreamer that's dead.

The American dream is certainly cheaper to make abroad. Trust me, you don't need a first class seat to get a free blow job.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585725)

Remember?

?

But...

?

No, I use Google.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585749)

They are still nobody's, even more than they used to be.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

the grace of R'hllor (530051) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585769)

That idea, "I want to try and become like them", is still firmly an American idea. The vinegar-pissers would be more at home in a country with socialist influences, like my Netherlands. Much as I tend to like it here, the attitude that people who made it big somehow should don't deserve it is not conducive to entrepeneurialism (not sure that's a word, but you know what I mean). In fact, it's leading to an emigration wave of even mildly financially successful people.

I also find myself occasionally thinking "It's not fair", but I have a functioning brain, so I get over it. Probably not the best investment they can make, and it's showy, but hey, it's their money and they worked for it.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585825)

"I want to try and become like them"

Lucky?

Seriously, there are lots of people equally talented, driven, etc as they are. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Re:Larry's had that for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585415)

'Stewardii' is wrong in many, many ways.

It appears to be an attempt at the plural of 'stewardess'. If the word were instead 'stewardus', and derived from Latin, the plural form of the noun _might_ be 'stewardi'. In no case would the plural ever have two trailing Is, as in 'stewardii'. Stop being pretentious, /. !

Re:Larry's had that for a while (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585455)

Fortunately, that's how it works. A world without hierarchy would be a world without leaders and without people with billions who can invest in ideas that could create thousands of new jobs. And why would anyone want to become a brain surgeon (aside from helping people) if it wasn't for the good money?

Aside from my sarcasm above, a company like Google has only a few executives "up there". Don't you think their time is better spent on meetings rather than being forced to travel for hours to the airport? You're flying economy because you didn't end up well like the Google execs did. That's life. That's hierarchy.

not evil? how about global warming? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585127)

they dont seem to care about their carbon footprint, i dont see that going hand in hand with being not evil.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (-1, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585141)

With all due respect, Mr. Gore: blow it out your ass.

-jcr

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (2, Interesting)

wwwrench (464274) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585369)

Yeah, I agree. Even a singleeconomy ticket on a transatlantic flight uses about a ton of CO2, which is far far more than you should be using all year for all your needs. Once the effects of high altitute emmission of the CO2 is taken into effect, the airline industry contributes 13% of our emmissions here in the U.K. and it is the fastest growing source of emmissions, effectively cancelling out all our other efforts. What is more, the airline industry is heavily subsidised, and jet fuel is not taxed. Emmissions from airlines are not even included in our EU limits here. We just had a Camp for Climate Action [climatecamp.org.uk] here at Heathrow protesting the expansion of the airport. Private jet flyers and short haul flights should just be stopped completely, there is absolutely no reason for them, and it will kill people, plain and simple.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585597)

Private jet flyers and short haul flights should just be stopped completely, there is absolutely no reason for them, and it will kill people, plain and simple.

That's just being silly. There are reasons. You may not think they're good enough, but it doesn't stop them being reasons. For example, flights from Belfast to London could be considered short haul as they're round about an hour, but there is nothing else that can get you there in a comparable period of time because of the Irish Sea. Short haul flights are very useful for students, businessmen and people who have friends on the other side of the Irish Sea.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (1)

JoelKatz (46478) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585689)

"Private jet flyers and short haul flights should just be stopped completely, there is absolutely no reason for them, and it will kill people, plain and simple."

Absolutely! Also, skiing and car racing. There's simply no reason for these things, and they kill people.

Oh, also driving. I mean, you can always walk or ride a bicycle. No reason to drive, even though it's more convenient. Heck, you can live closer to where you work.

Perhaps people should have to prove that their need to drive someplace outweighs the harm done before they're allowed to start their car.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (0, Redundant)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585727)

Fools like you give environmentalists a bad name.

Even a singleeconomy ticket on a transatlantic flight uses about a ton of CO2, which is far far more than you should be using all year for all your needs.

Right... People shouldn't be allowed to travel. No.

Your alternative option is what? Row a canoe across? If not for airplanes, expect people to travel on big, heavy, inefficient cruise ships that are sure to pollute even more.

Once the effects of high altitute emmission of the CO2 is taken into effect, the airline industry contributes 13% of our emmissions here in the U.K.

And how much of that is greenhouse effect is canceled out by the cooling effect of contrails?

Private jet flyers and short haul flights should just be stopped completely, there is absolutely no reason for them, and it will kill people, plain and simple.

That's bull. Sea levels have risen before, and significant numbers of people didn't die from it. There's no reason to believe slightly faster rise will be any different.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585401)

My carbon footprint is fucking massive.

You like the cock. Drink from the cock.

Bitch.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (3, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585447)

Well, let's compare - a Boeing 767-200 burns (on average) about 5 tonnes of fuel per hour, or about 1500 gallons of Jet A-1. That would be enough to run my (not terribly fuel-efficient) car for around 50,000 miles.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (1)

AndyboyH (837116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585623)

I bet your car can't carry 290 people though.

http://www.airliners.net/info/stats.main?id=103 [airliners.net]

In all fairness though, I bet their jet rarely carries more than 10-20 people.

For such a technologically advanced company as Google - can they not apply technology to meetings and avoid world travel (i.e. teleconferencing, whatever) rather than using a jet?

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585775)

I can carry nine people ;-)

Ok, continue the comparison - 1500 gallons of fuel to carry 290 people around 570 miles at a 767's average cruising speed gives us about 165,300 person-miles.
Let's assume I leave the rearmost seats alone and have a five-person configuration plus some luggage - that's still 250,000 person-miles albeit at around 1/6 the average speed.

Whichever way you slice it, it's more juice than I'm going to burn in two years.

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585713)

"they dont seem to care about their carbon footprint, i dont see that going hand in hand with being not evil."

Man the requirements for being evil is really slack now.

I remember when you used to have to have a white cat and wear a metal gloves, or build a "laser" on the moon...

Re:not evil? how about global warming? (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585731)

Pfft. How can you have a footprint if you're flying? Answer that one, Mr. Science.

Question (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585137)

So the experiments they are gonna do for NASA, are they with the nurses or on the nurses??

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585185)

And if it involves the nurses' landing strips, sign me up.

Re:Question (1)

ion++ (134665) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585303)

What if it involves ncurses?

Re:Question (2, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585325)

Technically, here's no "up" or "down" in space... Uhm, never mind, it seems that sex in NASA vehicles [about.com] is an urban myth... But now I have a mental picture of Adam and Jamie strapping in the next shuttle to test it :(

Money! Money! Money! (1)

superash (1045796) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585153)

Money can buy anything! Such is the pathetic state in this world right now! Or was it like this always?

Re:Money! Money! Money! (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585169)

Well usually money gains access to stuff when you spend them. The news is that now a days you get free stuff from the federal governement if you have enough money, and not just trinkets, but free stuff in the order of $200,000,000 dollars a year.

Re:Money! Money! Money! (4, Informative)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585215)

Well usually money gains access to stuff when you spend them.
Not if you have enough of it. Not only does money always fall on the biggest pile but the super rich have always enjoyed freebees that us mere mortals can only (wet) dream of.

As an example from history, when Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England went on her travels it was expected that the local gentry would provide accomadation for free. This was a double edged sword for the provider - staying in the queen's good books was important but putting her up could cost as much as six month's worth of the typical income for the provider. So the queen, the richest person in the land, was getting freebee board and lodge, and at the highest posible level.

Re:Money! Money! Money! (2, Interesting)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585783)

Actually, historically speaking, English monarchs typically weren't all that rich, or at least didn't have much in the way of what we would call disposable income. Everything they needed to pay for came out of the royal treasury - that included paying for things like ships and armies, as well as their own personal expenses.

The state of Pennsylvania exists because Charles II needed to pay back a large debt owed to William Penn's father (Admiral Penn) - the only way he could pay for it was by forking over a huge amount of land. He'd never be able to raise the money to pay it back.

Elizabeth II, on the other hand, is loaded. Mostly because of the amount of land she privately holds (as opposed to holds by right of being the crown).

Re:Money! Money! Money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585279)

It was $200,000, not 200 millions. There is a difference.

all they need now ... (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585165)

is a green-light passage for their bomb-proof motorcade and they can join APEC ... cop THAT India!

Link and Driving Directions (1)

giafly (926567) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585175)

Link [google.co.uk]

Start address: 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
End address: 37.414243, -122.048793

Start at: 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

1. Head west on Amphitheatre Pkwy toward Garcia Ave - 0.6 mi
2. Turn left to merge onto US-101 S toward San Jose - 1.8 mi
3. Take exit 398A for Moffett Blvd toward NASA Pkwy - 0.1 mi
4. Turn right at Moffett Blvd - 0.3 mi
5. Turn left at Moffett Blvd/Rte Jones Rd - 0.3 mi
6. Turn right at King Rd - 0.4 mi
7. King Rd turns right and becomes Severyns Ave - 463 ft
8. Turn left at Bushnell Rd - 489 ft
9. Turn right at Exegesis St - 0.1 mi

Arrive at: 37.414243, -122.048793

Perq, not perk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585181)

It's 'perq', short for perquisite, not 'perk'.

Re:Perq, not perk (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585289)

It's 'perq', short for perquisite, not 'perk'.
perhaps they mean perk [reference.com]

to act, or carry oneself, in a jaunty manner, Origin: 1350-1400; ME perken; perh

They're carrying themselves, since its their aircraft, see the def. of jaunt [reference.com] for the rest

unimaginative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585187)

If I were in Googles position I'd have bought a long range bomber and be flying regular (and fully laden) recon missions over Redmond.

Rumours involving death threats and office chairs need to be taken seriously if we're going to win the war on terror.

doesn't seem like that big of a deal (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585227)

They'd still be subject to reality when travelling to other places. If they manage to get that kind of special treatment with any airport, that would be something indeed. For now, it's 1) travel to some other state or country, 2) land in the same airport as everybody else, 3) commute to and from their plane just like everybody else.

Re:doesn't seem like that big of a deal (1)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585433)

Not likely. They will land at the general avaition terminal, clear through private customs and then either get a helecopter to their destination or be collected directly from the GA terminal. Not quite the same.

wal-mart (0, Offtopic)

skammie (802503) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585247)

At least they didn't lobby for one to be built nearby. Wal-mart did this [nw-ar.com] in the mid to late nintes.

Nice one, NASA! (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585251)

I expected to see a ton of 'that's not fair!' posts here, but maybe those people don't wake up this early.

Anyhow, good on NASA for earning another $1.3mil per year using something that they already had. I'm sure they have all kinds of stuff in the contract that prohibits Google execs from using the strip when NASA projects are actively going on, which probably happens pretty seldom. I'm sure someone will say 'drop in the bucket', but that's $1.3mil that didn't come from taxes... And that's a lot of taxes.

Re:Nice one, NASA! (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585723)

You mean you aren't paying your Google Tax?!

Re:Nice one, NASA! (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585751)

I expected to see a ton of 'that's not fair!' posts here, but maybe those people don't wake up this early.

Alright, but we're also missing a "I'm morally superior to you" post. And here it is:

I also make lots of money. Not as much as those guys, but still enough to make a decent living. I don't own a car and never will. Taking the bus or train when you want to go somewhere is simple, and costs less. Cars pollute and driving them, is according to most research, the primary cause of global warning. So if just a few more people would be as responsible as we, the mass transit users, our planet wouldn't be in this fucking mess that it is in right now. Believing that you actually need a private landing strip and your private jet tells me that you are an egoistic unresponsible sob with an overinflated ego. I'm more envious of Bill Gates then who through his foundation has managed to put his wealth to good use. All without needing a private jet afaik.

I wouldn't want to be the pilot (-1, Offtopic)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585255)

It must be hell for the pilot when both Larry and Sergei want to have a go at holding the controls at the same time, and one of them wants to land the plane on the runway already but the other wants to have another go at flying around the tower in homage to the Cessna days from MS flight simulator V.1.2.

They should really have bought a 767 each.

As a shareholder... (0, Troll)

Chriscypher (409959) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585259)

This expense is most likely not being paid out of their personal pockets, but by Google.

As a shareholder, I see this as an egregious waste of company money. Sure their time is valuable, but so is my investment.

I am sick of corporate executives who act like little kings. Like the Tyco execs company-funded baachus birthday party for a wife / orgy in (Athens?), it is hard for me to see the value of supporting these execs excessive lifestyle choices and to see their contribution to the company's future success outweighing personal advancing, parasitic decisions.

Thanks for designing a great search engine, you've been well rewarded, you are irresponsible, and there's the door.

Yeah! You kick em out! (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585389)

Get someone in who can extract more shareholder value from the company.

Of course, this is exactly how visionary market creating companies turn into, well, HP. I suppose it's inevitable, they decided to float on the markets, you have to expect those results.

 

worth 4 tenths of a cent per share? (5, Interesting)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585405)

As a shareholder, I see this as an egregious waste of company money. Sure their time is valuable, but so is my investment.
Let's keep this in perspective.

Google has 312 million shares outstanding. $1.3 million dollars per year, spread over 312 million shares, is only 4 tenths of a cent per share. As a shareholder, if you are worried about that, you have taken your eye off the ball.

Re:worth 4 tenths of a cent per share? (1)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585615)

Or better yet, the 767 itself cost around $130 million. 100x the cost of the parking spot.

T

Re:worth 4 tenths of a cent per share? (2)

kjndev (1128919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585675)

Well, it is a symptom of a corporate culture where money is waisted. In the same manner they will be waisting tens or even hundreds of times the same ammount on other stuff. That quickly ads up.

Re:worth 4 tenths of a cent per share? (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585733)

Hey! 4/10 of a cent is still money! Being wasteful never made anyone rich (apart from these guys, apparently)!

Re:As a shareholder... (1)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585413)

So let your money talk: Sell your shares. Oh thats right, you cant, because these people make you lots of money.

Re:As a shareholder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585547)

But what these guys have now is the reward for making something like Google. If the eventual reward for such a major contribution to technology and business is just a normal salary, then why bother trying? Why not just get an ordinary job?

It's not just the American dream to end up like these guys. It's the capitalist dream. You get to be a demiking because you earned it by coming up with a really good way to make money.

Re:As a shareholder... (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585563)

This expense is most likely not being paid out of their personal pockets, but by Google.

They bought the plane out of their own pockets. Why would you assume that Google is picking up the ramp fees?

Thanks for designing a great search engine, you've been well rewarded, you are irresponsible, and there's the door.

Hey, you want to fire them, all you have to do is buy 51% of the shares. That will run you about eighty-one billion dollars. Let us know when you're ready to put your money where your mouth is.

-jcr

Re:As a shareholder... (1)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585765)

Hey, you want to fire them, all you have to do is buy 51% of the shares. That will run you about eighty-one billion dollars. Let us know when you're ready to put your money where your mouth is.

Actually, no. Most outstanding shares for GOOG are non-voting (or at least reduced voting). Page and Brin retain a majority of the votes, no matter how many shares he buys.

A better way is "fire" them from managing his money by simply selling his shares. I'm sure they will cry many tears.

RTFA (1)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585685)


The jets are not owned by Google, but by a seperate corporation (H211 Inc.) owned by the google executives themselves.

No Ad link (4, Informative)

jsse (254124) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585273)

Click here [nytimes.com] for no ad link.

BTW, even Bush could find this link in the article easily, so please don't mod.

Just a 767? (1, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585287)

Lame!

This guy's got the right idea - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6768237.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Ok, ok, so it's not like you can take the kids to the park with it, but why goto a park when you can just have your own built on-board?

Party airplane (3, Interesting)

pQueue (1091881) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585313)

While being jealous of a wide-body "party airplane" landing right across the street from their office, I think this might be a good thing for NASA and Moffett Field. NASA could certainly use the money.

I worked at the base a few years ago and the runway wasn't being used most of the time, except by the 129th rescue wing of the Air National Guard and the occasional astronaut trainer jet. The base doesn't really have any residential neighbors but that noise would carry a long distance I assume.

If you work there and fly a private plane you can already fly to work (at least that's what I heard when I was there). But of course large commercial size jets is a different story entirely.

It's collecting information (5, Funny)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585365)

So it's still doing Google stuff. And it's going to have a portable Googleplex built in.

*incredibly loud jet sound*
*knock on door*
"Hi, I'm Larry, and this is Sergei, we heard that you were having a party. We brought, well, er, the contents of the local Walmart's liquor counter."
"Well, that's very nice... say, how did you find out about the party?"
*shifty look*
"You sent out invites through gmail..."

Just as an FYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20585403)

The gas milage on that plane is rated in units of gallons/hour. And the unit is in the 100's.....

Re:Just as an FYI (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585565)

Thanks, AC. I'd have otherwise had no idea that a jet liner used more fuel than your average sedan.

Not really a special deal. (4, Informative)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585425)

For those who are not familiar with the operations of Moffett Field:

Moffett has fairly extensive facilities that are not nearly as heavily utilized as they were during the cold war and WW2, and it is in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Moffett is no longer a military base, but a federal facility that is used for many purposes - mostly but not exclusively centered around technology.

For perhaps a decade, NASA has been leasing out commercial space to private enterprises at Moffett for not only NASA-related research operations, but for general, business operations of private institutions. In additional, there are private educational institutions at Moffett.

misuse of a public resource (1, Troll)

m0llusk (789903) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585651)

For those who are not familiar with the operations of Moffet Field, it is adjacent to some very dense populations. Because of this there have been ongoing campaigns to limit use of the field to noncommercial aircraft and focus on development of research facilities there. This usage of the airfield by Google is in direct conflict with the long stated desire by the community to have commercial aircraft use commercial aviation facilities. Negative reactions to this have nothing to do with jealousy, but rather are about appropriate use and regulation of land and airspace. In this case a resource that has been constructed and maintained by the public at great cost is being use in a manner that the surrounding community has repeatedly strongly rejected.

not really the first (4, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585459)

John Travolta gets to pull his jets right up to his house in Florida. One is a big 250,000lb, 1964 Boeing 707-138B airliner, and the other is a Gulf Stream. The garden is actually a heliport.

The actor, according to a local newspaper, "can walk out his door, under a canopied walkway and into the cockpit [of his Boeing], open the long mechanized gate [giving on to the runway] and be airborne in minutes."

Re:not really the first (1)

JoelKatz (46478) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585631)

There is no comparison between John Travolta using his own money to build an airstrip on his own property and Google using company money to rent space at a government-owned airstrip. Where's the similarity?

Re:not really the first (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585739)

You've got some proof that Google pays for this, do you? The plane isn't owned by Google, why would Google pay for it?

So turn that around and... Where's the difference?

This ... (1)

FonkiE (28352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585517)

... is the end of the innocent.

Where's the problem? (2, Insightful)

palemantle (1007299) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585581)

"Two private aviation industry executives said that parking two Gulfstream Vs at San Francisco or San Jose airports would cost $240,000 to $360,000 a year, or more"

They get to park the Gulfstreams AND the wide-body Boeing 767-200 right next door for an extra million or so. NASA makes a nice pile and gets to run some experiments. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Money talks... (1)

Fuzzypig (631915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20585721)

Jeez, how the top 5pc live!
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