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General Motors Embraces Open Source for New Community Site

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the let-em-have-it dept.

The Internet 80

An anonymous reader writes "GM has introduced a new website called GMnext. The site utilizes Wordpress and launching in spring a Wiki allowing General Motors to get better feedback on topics such as energy, design and technology from the community. The interesting part is the executives at GM are participating in the collaborative website. 'We're starting our second century at a time of fundamental change in the auto industry,' said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner. 'We'll use GMnext to introduce some of our ideas for addressing critical issues concerning energy, the environment and globalization. In the process, we also hope to spark a broader, global discussion on these important topics.'"

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Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (2)

filbranden (1168407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918990)

The site is ugly.

It looks like the marketing guys got into the buzz of Web 2.0 and told their Windows programmers that they wanted that for their site. The result? A .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked inside. The site (as most of .NET crap) doesn't even validate [w3.org] . Even the blog, based on Wordpress, must have been so messed up that it doesn't validate [w3.org] either.

And what an awful theme! Where do these guys get their webdesigners from?

Although I think they still have a lot to learn about using open source, I have to applaud at least their try. Although it's one step back, it's two forward. :-)

Re:Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919062)

huh... it's not that bad.

you do understand not many sites pass that test, right?

please give us an example i've a site you've made that does pass.

Re:Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920144)

First off, how exactly is this a story about "open-source"? I mean, other than GM using some open source project for managing part of a web site.

Second, this has zero to do with giving real and/or possible future GM vehicle plans and everything to do with testing new marketing strategies [both the web site itself as a method of advertising and advertising within it].

GM Karma -1

Re:Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919150)

There's a simple explanation:

Anyone capable of making a good website, would go work for a company that could pay them what they're worth, WITHOUT having their pay deducted to pay for massive legacy pension and health care obligations that GM agreed to and never bothered fully funding.

Re:Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919766)

Not to mention the thousands of idle "workers" paid to do nothing in the so-called "job bank". They sit around all day doing nothing for $31/hour. No wonder the cars cost so much!

Re:Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919192)

Not even slashdot passes that test [w3.org]
Looks like some unencoded ampersands and style attributes.

My favorite validation error (1)

jessiej (1019654) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919596)

Granted the validation errors were mostly ampersands (&) in URLs instead of "&", there are some good ones

there is no attribute "method".

<span name="ctl00" method="post" action="TopNavMinimal.aspx?returnurl=http%3a%2f

Re:My favorite validation error (1)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21926274)

Why doesn't someone send these concerns to the web administrator? Maybe they still have a long list of things to be done and don't realize yet that they're not validating with the W3C. Let them know and maybe they'll increase their compliance. All it takes is an email with a link to the validator and maybe a link to this discussion. I would, but I'm not a web developer, and don't understand the validation process all that well.

Re:Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919888)

It's not THAT bad either, calm down. There is far, far worse out there. Most likely the site design and development was outsourced to a consulting firm like Accenture which further sub-contracted it out to a smaller development firm.

Re:Ugly .NET site with Wordpress knee-jerked in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932252)

Where do these guys get their webdesigners from?

The same place they get their automotive engineers from?

Orginizational Participation is Key (5, Insightful)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919028)

I like the idea but I don't see it going very far or very long. GM isn't really going to support any negative few points, maybe if you're really careful with your wording. But I see censorship being the issue short term and actual GM participation being the long term question. That being said, I would love to see something like this from an organization like Consumer Reports.

Re:Orginizational Participation is Key (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920416)

This strikes me as "Help! We know we're dying. Please give us a clue how to not get eaten by the imports." Would GM be going to this trouble is they were making the progress Toyota is? Or had the brand loyalty Honda does? They've seen what happened to Chrysler, and Ford is struggling. They dug they own grave, and their continued failure to put more R&D toward alternative fuel/hybrid vehicles is their undoing.

Re:Orginizational Participation is Key (0, Flamebait)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920548)

"Help! We know we're dying. Please give us a clue how to not get eaten by the imports."

Look closely at what you're up against.

Learn how to do suspension from the UK, maybe Lotus or Aston Martin. The Chevrolet Corvette has got leaf springs and a live rear axle - you don't even find that sort of thing on trucks in Europe these days.

Learn how to do powerful, smooth and efficient diesel engines from the French. The Mercedes ones are good, the VW ones aren't too bad, but PSA group have them all beat. Ford is already buying PSA HDi engines as fitted to Peugeots, Renaults and Citroëns, and rebadging them TDCi. There's a reason why there are more Peugeot XUD engines out there than pretty much any other engine ever built...

Learn how to do styling from, well, everyone really. This goes for the inside as well as the outside - the interior trim in American cars are by far the worst I've ever seen. Even in "high-end" stuff, the dashboards and door fittings are made of the naffest plastic imaginable. Even my old FSO Polonez, dreadful Eastern Bloc shed that it was, didn't feel as crappy. Outside, well let's see... Hm, PT Cruiser. 'Nuff said.

Most importantly - reliability. Look at Toyota and Honda here. Actually, no. Phone for a minicab. What kind of car arrives? Phone for another. What came this time? I bet it's either some sort of Toyota (Avensis or newer equivalent), Lexus, Skoda Octavia, Peugeot 406, or Citroën Xantia or C5. Have a look in the taxi garages. What do you see? Lots of servicing, not many breakdowns? Ask yourselves why...

Re:Orginizational Participation is Key (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21991208)

This comment was brought to my attention through meta-mod, and I thought I'd give my $.02 in a reply.

Learn how to do suspension from the UK, maybe Lotus or Aston Martin. The Chevrolet Corvette has got leaf springs and a live rear axle

There's a reason why the Vette is set up how it is. Its because of what the market for the Vette expects. Similarly, the Ford Mustang (I am a Mustang owner myself) has maintained leafs with solid rear axle. Ford had even contemplated going to a live rear axle, but the customers complained that they wanted to keep the existing setup.
Now, if we were talking about a new concept car, that was designed as a companion or alternative to the Vette - without replacing the Vette - then it would be worthwhile to consider different setups. But the few American sports cars left are setup as they are because that's how the customers want them.

Learn how to do powerful, smooth and efficient diesel engines from the French.

I couldn't agree more. The diesels made by American companies are still lame in comparison to the rest of the world. Hell, it was only in the past year or two that we finally agreed to stop adding copious amounts of sulfur to our diesel. Clearly, we could do better over here with that technology yet for some reason we refuse to. My guess would be that it is brought on by the auto companies' strange insistence that customers really all want gas SUV's that get 14 mpg or less.

Learn how to do styling from, well, everyone really. This goes for the inside as well as the outside - the interior trim in American cars are by far the worst I've ever seen.

Take a look at who won car of the year from Motor Trend this year. For the first time way too long, it went to an American car. For that matter, its the first time in about 30 years that it went to a GM product. I think they are finally starting to get it on the design and materials.

Phone for a minicab. What kind of car arrives?

I'm not entirely sure what a minicab is. Here in the US, though, if you call for a taxicab, I'd say 90% or more of them are Ford Crown Victorias - often retired police cruisers. And if you look at the number of miles clocked on these land yachts, you'll see reliability is not a significant problem for them. Granted, the Crown Vic is ugly and magazines have reviewed its seats as being "giant slabs of spam", but the car runs and it runs for a long time.

PS - just in case you think I hated your comment - I selected "not flamebait".

Re:Orginizational Participation is Key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21921520)

I like the idea but I don't see it going very far or very long...I would love to see something like this from an organization like Consumer Reports...


One would expect to. However, the sad reality is that all of their computer, software, operating systems, computer security, and software advice is oriented towards pushing only the latest products only from M$. They even avoided rating Photoshop Elements so as being able to hand the best-in-test to some M$ cruft in regards to cheap home photo editing. The odds of M$ fifth columnists inside Consumer Reports letting other technology get an even review are rather slim.

The aspects really important in evaluating the products, such as proprietary formats or protocols, or the presence of digital restrictions, interoperability, security and so on, aren't even mentioned. One of the reasons people buy or subscribe to Consumer Reports is to be able to do tests on consumer products that they themselves can't do themselves. Consumer Reports is not just falling flat in that regard, but seems to actually be a mouth piece for one vendors line of products, regardless of their suitability or how they compare to the competition.

Re:Orginizational Participation is Key (1)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21930252)

"...seems to actually be a mouth piece for one vendors line of products, regardless of their suitability or how they compare to the competition."

I've read their 2008 buying guide, the one that keeps pestering Mac users that the best thing about their Mac is that it can also run Vishta (that takes some nerve). If you can keep reading you then see that they go out on a limb to recommend a specific version of Vishta as "the best". That is, they want you to actually pay to upgrade Home Basic, not to XP, but to another, equally baleful version of Vishta. What kind of advice is that? It's not expert, objective or independent in any sense of those words, and I concluded it wasn't worth a subscription price. Go ahead and read it if you can find a copy that hasn't been burnt already. Very illuminating.

So it's far, far gone and beyond what even you have said. In the past I tried buying some of their recommended products, but in general their picks never impressed me with any sort of amazing quality or value. I would say that they're not just a mouthpiece for the biggest brand names, they're down to just being a sneaky form of advertising.

Maybe netcraft can confirm this?

Pffffft. (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919038)

I worked for GM. And when I worked there, the use of FOSS was absolutely, positively forbidden. Good to see them finally getting a clue.

Re:Pffffft. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919052)

All that talk of auto industry fundamental change? Well that means $$$. Wouldn't surprise me if they are looking for deals from MS. Cut expenses anywhere/anyway you can right? Start saying were gonna go FOSS and MS will say how about we give you a deal.

Re:Pffffft. (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919086)

GM was not an all-Microsoft shop when I worked there. Most of the engineering servers were running some form of UNIX -- either HP-UX or Solaris. They served to a mix of Windows and UNIX clients -- UNIX clients via NFS and Windows clients via CIFS9000 (yeah, yeah, I know. CIFS9000 == Samba. Tell them that.)

The file and app servers actually used high-availability clustering -- commercial stuff, not open source.

Re:Pffffft. (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919506)

[IT Staff] CIFS9000, it's cool, it's hip, it allows our Li^B^BUnix servers to talk with the Windows computers. [/IT Staff] [PHB]Ooh, and it's got a cool large round number like 9000. It's like ISO9000, right? It must be good![/PHB] (OT, I know... I thought it was funny.)

Re:Pffffft. (1)

luismanson (1213396) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923894)

NOW its an all MS shop :P
i work there and let me say, they had sold their soul to ms, i never saw linux in there, may be an apache, with default settings and page on a windows machine, they even use "virtual pc" i have an XP, i can not boot my linux pen drive, for security... (dont ask)
even the proxy is MS+ websense

BTW they have EDS-MS certified fan boys, some of them dont know about linux and, regardless if they now or not, they hate *nix because its hards and all that FUD (must be part of the MS certifing program)
Just think on this they are preparing the vista deploy! :S of course office 07 and IE too.

I use a portable firefox...

Re:Pffffft. (2, Informative)

SnatchMan (1062110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923210)

Hmmmm... When I worked for GM (actually, a subsidiary that made chips, radios, engine controllers, anti-lock brakes, etc...) we heavily used FOSS in our UNIX environment. Ever hear of the Corporate Software Bank? It was a multi-architecture public domain software repository mounted on /usr/std and automatically updated with rdist. That spread throughout the sub into other GM locations. Even did a USENIX LISA presentation in the early 90's on the topic. (Caveat, I haven't been there since the late 90's so things could have radically changed since then.

Re:Pffffft. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941296)

By the time I worked there, /usr/std/* hadn't been updated in a long, long time and most of the tools were way out of date. The CSB was basically being phased out at the behest of one of the new higher-ups in IS&S.

FOSS? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919066)

Say with me. Using Wordpress is not "embracing open-source". A Wiki is not "open-source".

Re:FOSS? Really? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919106)

Say it with me, Israel is reponsible for 9/11/01.

WTF? (5, Insightful)

sxeraverx (962068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919128)

Saying using Wordpress is embracing open source is like saying using the LAMP stack for a webserver is embracing open source. In that sense, almost ever company out there has embraced open source by now. But we know that to not be the case.

Re:WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919190)

why does it matter? the ultimate goal of open source is to make the nuclear family of every programmer live like Richard Stallman.

and by participating executives.. (1)

jessiej (1019654) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919572)

And likewise by saying "the executives at GM are participating in the collaborative website" must mean the executives' names and possibly signatures will be appended to some brainstormed over goop of corporate media speak.

open source? (3, Insightful)

AdamReyher (862525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919144)

Don't get me wrong: I think the idea is great. But you're going to tell me that GM is "embracing" Open Source simply by creating a blog and a wiki by using the two most popular software titles in those categories?

All of a sudden GM is elevated to the Google or Sun status in terms of FOSS on Slashdot. Typical.

Re:open source? (-1, Flamebait)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919194)

All of a sudden GM is elevated to the Google or Sun status in terms of FOSS on Slashdot. Typical.

Fuck me, who pissed in your entitlement?

Seriously, all you whiners fuck off. You blow the most trivial things into pissy little comments. The GNAA trolls are more fun than you.

Re:open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919252)

shut your cakehole. really.
 
the gp is absolutely right. anytime anyone does anything that involves open source there is a front page article. anytime there is any vulnerability in an ms project there is a front page story. anytime that google releases anything there is a front page story.
 
considering that i've been listening to the linux revolution for the past decade and it's still not at 4%? it's all pretty limp and the fanboi wails are just making it worse.
 
so keep doing the goosestep, zealot. we'll keep laughing at you.

Re:open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919434)

Well then why don't you MS fan boys go start your own site where you can make fun of all the FOSS stuff all day? No one asked you to come here and read. If you don't like what is being served up, well, the internet/WWW is a large place. I am sure are plenty of places that people will listen to you whine and maybe even take you seriously.......

Re:open source? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919602)

shut the fuck up cunt, the GNAA is here to pop your virgin cherry anus.

Re:open source? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924848)

shut your cakehole. really.

Sez the AC. Man up and log in, coward, then I might actually give a shit. Zealot? Hilarious! Way to miss the point...

Re:open source? (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919582)

But you're going to tell me that GM is "embracing" Open Source simply by creating a blog and a wiki by using the two most popular software titles in those categories?
Welcome to Corporate America! You can leave your soul at the door and you'll find the knees pads under your desk!

Open source their spyware (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21920094)

I agree. It also seems that everyone has forgotten that GM is the biggest promoter of spyware in their cars. The On-star system for one (which you might remember from past Slashdot articles) lets a hostile attacker listen in on your conversation, as well as take control of key elements of your car. All without your knowledge, or approval or control.

While I applaud even this limited attempt by some small faction within GM to try to embrace Open Source, GM has been the greatest control-freak in the US car industry, and is certainly right up there in the world.

Still, a move like this gives me some hope that we'll eventually see Open Source cars someday among the car manufacturers.

So, GM should be applauded. But let's bring it all out in the open. Until then, I will never, ever buy a GM car. But I will support them in their move towards Open Source.

open source engine control (1)

boosted_sled (923086) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919156)

right on. with open source I'll make 750 rwhp with a 2008 cts-v with a stock ecu

Re:open source engine control (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919178)

You already can. [megasquirt.info]

Re:open source engine control (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919260)

And what does replacing the ECU with an aftermarket ECU that has an open-source firmware have to do with changing the firmware that came with the stock ECU?

Yes, that is an open-source ECU, but you have to replace the ECU to get that.

Re:open source engine control (1)

boosted_sled (923086) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919710)

dude megasquirt is a giant f pita. I wanna program a boosted car's stock ecu in perl without spending 75 hr on a wiring harness and still not have my ac not fng work right.

open source ecu + wideband + perl + stock 6.2l fi motor = 750+ reliable hp with no hardware hacking or welding. 11 sec car with perl. that would rock.

Re:open source engine control (2, Informative)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919802)

If you want an 11 second car, the first thing to do is lose the A/C. It drops about 40 lbs of weight and it's less crap for your crank to have to deal with. My 11 second car has only the alternator hooked to the crank as an accessory.

Megasquirt was a pain in the ass. But I took my good old time with installing and tuning it and everything turned out fine.

I might not be pyschic but.... (3, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919278)

So they're making a community interaction site to get people's ideas and suggestions and opinions on their company and the environment. Hmm, well I'm not psychic but I bet they're going to say they want more fuel efficient vehicles or ones that don't run on gasoline and to stop with the pension sinkhole problem.

PR Stunt (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919294)

These people don't give a shit what anyone thinks. IMO it's a thinly veiled attempt at generating some good PR that GM hopes will sway people to support them when they file for bankruptcy and go to the government with their hat in their hands. Either that or they'll be looking to get out from under all their pension liabilities above and beyond the retiree health benefits which they already got out from under IIRC. GM's officers and board of directors should have to put their wives and daughters on the street if necessary to hold up their end of the deals they freely made.

Open source or no open source, they made their bed and now they can lie in it. Hogwash PR barely even newsworthy.

Re:PR Stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919630)

As usual the circus freaks are modded up and the Anonymous Cowards who speak the truth get left by the wayside.

Re:PR Stunt (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921024)

"GM's officers and board of directors should have to put their wives and daughters on the street if necessary to hold up their end of the deals they freely made."

This just goes to show you the inequality of economic power in capitalism makes "Freedom of contract" mostly a farce, since those with the money bear the least hurden (if it could even be considered burden at all) when they do not honor them.

Give me an open platform and let me fix it. (0, Troll)

Tomy (34647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919306)

Executives blogging is still marketing. I want a car that starts out at one hundred miles per gallon, is open to hacking, and anyone can manufacture the design. Then you've embraced open source. When your ready to turn your mfg resources into efficient commodities, give me a call.

Re:Give me an open platform and let me fix it. (-1, Troll)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919682)

Open to hacking? Did you stop to think what you're typing? What's wrong with allowing the average person to tinker with a vehicle that is often used at 100km/h+ (60mp/h+) and weighs a tonne?

Here comes the clue train, last stop is you: Cars are potentially lethal even though they're designed by professionals to be as safe as they can practically make them and they have to conform to strict safety guidelines. Guess what's going to happen when John Smith thinks he can make his car work faster and smarter with his 2nd year knowledge of mechanics and high-school programming skills?

Also, think of the lawsuits. When a stock-standard car malfunction results in a death, it's not the drivers fault. When a car malfunction is caused by custom modification by the owner, whose fault is it? Do you need the answer for that, too?

Re:Give me an open platform and let me fix it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919742)

I think I speak for most intelligent folks when I say:

Please don't breed. (PDB)

Thanks bunches! :)

It Should Be Noted... (3, Interesting)

longacre (1090157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919328)

The timing of this was not random...GM CEO Rick Wagoner is a keynote speaker at CES this weekend, and next weekend is their bread and butter, the Detroit Auto Show. Undoubtedly this was timed to create buzz for them at these events. It is a pretty cool idea, and I hope GM and their customers make the most of it. Bob Lutz seems like the kind of guy who would love this. But I also wouldn't be surprised if we never hear much about it again after the next couple of weeks.

Open source Volt! (4, Interesting)

dusanv (256645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919388)

How about open sourcing the Volt [wikipedia.org] ? And standardizing its batteries (to spur innovation for replacements down the line)? And delivering it before 2010? That'd be something to get excited about...

Re:Open source Volt! (1)

asm2750 (1124425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919624)

Now thats something I would look forward to. A Chevy Volt, where you can modify the range extender to run on diesel/bio-diesel (because you know retard car makers usually won't have a Diesel option) or use a fuel cell in the engines place, and have the option to move to a super capacitor when they become widely used and affordable.

Honestly I would kill for such a car. The only question left is...can it run Linux?

Re:Open source Volt! (3, Interesting)

leoxx (992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919726)

The only question left is...can it run Linux?


In my mind that would be a key feature. Historically speaking, cars have been "hackable" in the sense that anyone could open the hood and fix problems or make improvements. With the move to more and more computer technology in modern vehicles, the ability of the garage mechanic to mess around with the guts of the car has been severely limited. With Ford officially adopting Windows for their vehicles, it would make a very strong statement for GM to move to Linux (or BSD or some other open source operating system). Posting a blog using Wordpress is hardly what I would call "embracing open source", but leveraging the benefits of the open source process to improve the state of the art in vehicle control and management systems would be. With the inevitable move to all-electric cars such as the Volt, the software side of things is going to become even more important.

National City Lines (1)

esmrg (869061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919450)

This is from the company that bought up street car systems only to scrap them.

So yeah, the tag exploitnotembrace is about right.

Re:National City Lines (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920610)

I suppose next you're going to say that they killed Marvin Acme so that they could buy up Toontown.

Re:National City Lines (1)

awfar (211405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922690)

Funny! Very Funny!
But the parent is right, well documented so you can decide. See National City Lines, maybe Wikipedia if that is to your likings.

Re:National City Lines (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21927208)

I wouldn't be surprised. I live in an area where GM has a heavy influence; they were the number two employer here after the state of Michigan itself the last time I checked. The only public transit we have it busses. I wouldn't be surprised if they were made by GM, just like Wikipedia says Cleveland's were.

Re:National City Lines (1)

NetNed (955141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21926620)

Whoever posted the wiki on it didn't really help your statement, whatever it was meant to infer.

So yeah, the tag rtfa or maybe READ something about what your posting is about right.

Just gimme the damn Volt. (1, Insightful)

pkulak (815640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919456)

No other suggestions. No need for a whole damn wiki.

As a GM performance tuner... (3, Insightful)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919540)

...who programs GM computers for performance applications, I'll buy into GM "embracing" open source when they release the programming specs and memory layout for their PCMs, ECMs, and TCMs (powertrain, engine, and transmission control modules). Short of that, their use of WordPress really doesn't impress me (pun intended).

Probably a reaction to the 35mpg standard (1)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919664)

Domestic automakers dropped the ball on hybrid/EV research and toyota and honda ate their lunch. I guess this is a sign they want their marketing people to get a better pulse of what people will actually be willing to buy.

It's a relatively healthy sign, because if it had been up to them, they would have continued to bet that most people would ignore environmental realities and just keep happily buying view-blocking lane-filling massive-accident-causing CO2-belching 6 mpg monster SUV dreadnaughts.

Re:Probably a reaction to the 35mpg standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919704)

Not quite true.... GM poured close to a billion dollars into an electric car. they were told by "the man" to halt all research in this area "or else" this has been ressurected in the form of the Chevy VOLT. and besides, hybrids are crap anyway.

Re:Probably a reaction to the 35mpg standard (1)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919886)

The volt is just being shown around as a concept car at this point (see the wikipedia article Chevrolet_volt [wikipedia.org] ). How long does it take a concept car to actually get built and sold? They say 2010, but I'll be surprised if they can move that quickly on a concept car. In the meantime, hybrids are here already, and they have the sales figures to prove that the public likes them.

Re:Probably a reaction to the 35mpg standard (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919900)

US automakers have always gone for the low hanging fruit, opposed any government-mandated improvements, and then got their clock cleaned when the Japanese automakers provided the improvements that they fought tooth and nail against.

Re:Probably a reaction to the 35mpg standard (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920326)

Domestic automakers dropped the ball on hybrid/EV research

I'll point out that I saw a working hybrid car in 1987 at a fairly small univeristy mechanical engineering department, and it was a few years old then. GM has done little more than cheaply re-implement existing sucessful reseach projects for nothing other than concept vehicles for publicity. Other people already built those concept vechicles - a car manufacturer is supposed to work out how to make the things cheaply and effectively instead of just playing PR.

Re:Probably a reaction to the 35mpg standard (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921522)

my view-blocking lane-filling massive-accident-causing CO2-belching monster SUV is a Toyota and gets 18 mpg you insensitive clod!

Re:Probably a reaction to the 35mpg standard (1)

awfar (211405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922780)

I'll bet it has -great- cupholders...

In the morning, when the air is still and cold, all I think about is a place for my small of steaming cup-o-joe, nestled firmly into that highly-engineered entrapment device made of the finest imported plastics; the device which firmly, yet gently, holds the glassy container of my liquid desire.

Hell yess. I'd clip the mountaintops for more steel, risk my breathing air, and spend even more if I could only get an mp3 jack on the stereo.

How about and open source car? (2, Interesting)

log1385 (1199377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919666)

What I really want is an open source car. I'd love to be able to look at or alter the software that runs cruise control and stuff like that.

Re:How about and open source car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922354)

http://www.megasquirt.info/ [megasquirt.info]

that will get you started on the software end.

hardware (engine design, etc)

you'll have to dig around or check this out:

http://www.theoscarproject.org/ [theoscarproject.org]

an opensource car project.

Somebody forget how they got to #1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919764)

Yeah after making cars for near a century they have done so much for the environment we still dont have any of the 50+ mpg cars they promised over a decade ago and no real Electric Alternatives since the destruction of the EV1. There commitment to the environment is BS they care more about profit that anything. While they have done somethings over the years its always went right back to profitability and overhead. Tell them they need to do more, all the automakers do.

As Dilbert said about the suggestion box (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919768)

IT'S A TRAP!

wordpress is ugly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21920360)

Anybody who's ever done an svn checkout of the wordpress codebase would know that it's a poorly written piece of software. Personally, I'd be wary of anyone who's proud of using it.

The important bit (1)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921048)

People, you're all overlooking the truly important and ground breaking part of this:

GM have rediscovered the missing step #2!

1: Use O/S software in inconsequential product &/or manner
2: Wait until Slashdot does your PR for you
3: Profit!

Astroturfing (2, Insightful)

amias (105819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921664)

This will only ever be Astroturfing [wikipedia.org] until they stop their massive political lobbying efforts that are going the other way.
Expect to see lots of deleted or amended posts and unusually eloquent supporters of GM's corporate goals.

I'd like to see full disclosure of the sites web logs so that third parties can verify that comments are not just from gm funded lobbyists.

Toodle-pip
Amias

Did you hear the GM Spokesperson on NPR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922630)

The guy was on at the same time with an engineering student-entrepreneur working on a alternative energy auto(IIRC) and his responses were banal, dismissive, and negative over the entire issue; does the guy actually know how he sounds?

And, GM would love for you to tell them how to run their business, to be successful. I suggest that he demonstrated exactly the kind of company GM is internally.

And, as a Michigander, companies are filled with passive-aggressive management(managers), arrogant small-business-owner elites who manipulate the government, take advantage of the strong economic and labor disparities(many people travel many,many miles as cheapest labor, and mostly not interested in "big capitalism"; they want a simple job, heat their homes, enjoy the outdoors, and go out to eat once a week).

Rear-view mirror (1)

one_red_eye (962010) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921958)

I think GM saw Toyota passing Ford and catching up in US sales and realized they needed to change in order to stay on top of the American automobile market.

Re:Rear-view mirror (1)

NetNed (955141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21927532)

Oh yea that's what they did, they adopted a couple pieces of open source software as their major plan to retain the top spot.

Next I hear they will be offering de-caf at dealerships because they looked in the "rear view" and saw toyota passing ford!!
Whew, those crazy General Motors!!!!

GM & OSS ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922886)

Tool developers in GM Powertrain use Eclipse. Some of their test/production servers run on *nix.

GM is not explicitly against using OSS, they just have a very fat bureaucracy; getting them to let you purchase or install a tool department-wide is about a 1-year process (minimum). During this time they delibrate a bunch of pointless crap, but mainly they look at quality and developer accountability before letting you do anything.

GM is NEXT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923978)


after the split of Chrysler's brand name and manufacturing assets where only Chrysler's dealer network will remain untouched in North
America for Chinese vehicles.

After GM is Ford.

Cheers.

This is not news, this is advertisement!! (1)

iAlta (1098077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21926850)

Why is this here? This isn't news, the is fake-news. This is marketing-department stuff, squeezing "GM embraces FOSS" into their press release to get it onto Slashdot!

a damn maze! (1)

jaydanie (1197285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21935804)

This GMnext flash site is a damn maze and almost impossible to navigate. I didn't last 3 minutes on the site before x'ed out. Show you what idiots the people who run big corporation are.
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