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IBM Suspended From US Federal Contracts

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the shouldn't-aught-to-have-done-that dept.

IBM 136

theodp writes "IBM has been temporarily banned from receiving future contracts with federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed on Monday. The suspension went into effect last Thursday due to 'concerns raised about potential activities involving an EPA procurement,' the agency said in an e-mailed statement. Under a reciprocal agreement among federal agencies, when one issues a ban, the others follow it. The EPA said it will not comment further on the matter. An IBM spokesman said he had no immediate comment. 'You don't see this very often, particularly for large companies,' commented a stunned industry analyst, mentioning a bankrupt MCI as a notable exception. IBM earned an estimated $1.5 billion in revenue from federal prime contracts in fiscal 2007."

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IBM bad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928638)

Linux stinks like shit and looks like it too with KDE!

April Fewls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928640)

Yahoo reports a completely different story. [yahoo.com] Happy April 1st everyone!

Re:April Fewls (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928650)

Mod troll down. That page opens a shitload of pop-ups for GNAA>

Re:April Fewls (4, Informative)

Krupuk (978265) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928654)

Don't click on the above link, page contains Virus! (This is _not_ a joke!)

Re:April Fewls (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928820)

In case you clicked the link, here is a short video tutorial [youtube.com] that will show you how to remove the virus from your system.

Re:April Fewls (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928872)

The video is real. Not a virus.

Re:April Fewls (1)

computerman413 (1122419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930828)

Rickroll alert!

Re:April Fewls (2, Insightful)

whoda (569082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929712)

You know the world is going to crap when slashdot readers blindly click on links without looking at the URL they are headed for.

Hmmm (1)

Jherico (39763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928646)

I don't get it.

Re:Hmmm (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928652)

My guess is: 04/01

Except that there are a lot of supporting links. Hmmm. Sucks bigtime if It's true though. Hopefully the "temporary" is as "temporary" as it can be.

Re:Hmmm (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928830)

Why does it suck?

For IBM, sure. For taxpayers ... not so much. IBM is an expensive trainwreck-for-hire when it comes to actually delivering on its contracts.

Re:Hmmm (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929394)

I work for the professional services arm of one of IBM's direct competitors.

Trust me - they are all trainwrecks-for-hire.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929466)

Nope. That's a real story, it hit on http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?sid=1377352&nid=250 [federalnewsradio.com] yesterday. Look at the date posted on that page. I read their version of the story about 3pm yesterday.

Re:Hmmm (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22930014)

CNN had the news yesterday, it's real.

Basically, the EPA thinks IBM ripped it off some way or another.

Re:Hmmm (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930660)

I thought it was 4/1, too. But the Yahoo link appears legit.

Re:Hmmm (3, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928660)

Apparently, Slashdot is skipping April Fools this year, along with the rest of the U.S. Details later today, hopefully.

Re:Hmmm (2, Funny)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928926)

Won't someone please think of the ponies? :(

Re:Hmmm (1)

ScriptedReplay (908196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929302)

It's the other way around, actually. With the elections heating up, the only 'normal' day in 2k8 is 04/01.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929448)

Nope, they are not skipping it. For those who have ads blocked, you are missing it, but I think the ad about "quality russian dating service" is not fully serious.

Re:Hmmm (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930368)

It aint that important.

The first thing I saw when I unblocked ads was a long animated banner for something called "Splunk".
The second thing I saw was myself re-enabling ABP pronto.

Re:Hmmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928704)

Okay, I think I've figured it out.

The gag this year is that they're only posting real stories, that sound so ridiculous that we assume they're jokes! ...that's lame and depressing at the same time. Way to go, slashdot. :|

Re:Hmmm (1)

VON-MAN (621853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928970)

If I were IBM I'd have a very good look at _how_ this decision came to be. The timing is just so _perfect_, and the impact will resonate in the IT press the next weeks. And we'll wonder what happened to that other story of the big IT player who is so good at influencing official decision making. Microsoft will have ammunition for years to come to spin any story it's own way by comparing itself to IBM. Also, what kind of organization is the EPA under Bush? Chock full of people who only think of the environment? I would suspect people with double agenda's.

And if it's a april 1st story, i'll eat my tin foil hat.

Re:Hmmm (1, Insightful)

jgalun (8930) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929578)

That's absurd - this has nothing to do with Microsoft, because Microsoft is not a player in federal government IT consulting. The major players are IBM, Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, etc. Microsoft has nothing to do with this.

What I suspect is that EPA blew a whistle without realizing that - due to this agreement in place between federal agencies - it would cut IBM out of new federal work altogether. That's almost certainly overkill - no one wants to take one of the major players out of the game just because of corruption at tiny, inconsequential EPA (sorry guys, but EPA is a very small fish in federal government).

Re:Hmmm (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930652)

What I suspect is that EPA blew a whistle without realizing that - due to this agreement in place between federal agencies - it would cut IBM out of new federal work altogether. That's almost certainly overkill - no one wants to take one of the major players out of the game just because of corruption at tiny, inconsequential EPA (sorry guys, but EPA is a very small fish in federal government).
They just got new management, one Russ Cargill. Just be glad they didn't decide to blow up IBM headquarters.

Re:Hmmm (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929554)

So, what appallingly illegal and unconstitutional thing did the government ask IBM to do?

Bwaaaa? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928658)

The links in the article look legit...

Is this the day of actual stories that look like April fools stories but aren't, or am I still too dense?

Re:Bwaaaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928672)

This is what happens when the EPA attempts "funny."

What's that? Your stock price just followed Wile E. Coyote to the bottom of the Grand Canyon?

Re:Bwaaaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928892)

Can't it be both??

No Joke? (5, Informative)

EyeMyke (683581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928664)

I don't think this is a Apr 1 joke... http://www.epls.gov/epls/search.do?debar_recid=98050&status=current&vindex=0&xref=true [epls.gov] Unless it's a really elaborate .gov joke...

Twofo buttplugs goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928698)

Twofo [twofo.co.uk] is Dying is Dying

It is official; GNAA [www.gnaa.us] confirms: Twofo is Dying is Dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleagured slashdot trolling community when Google confirmed that Twofo troll posts had dropped yet again, now down to less that a fraction of 1 percent of all slashdot posts. Coming hot on the heels of a recent usenet survey which plainly states that Twofo trolling frequency has fallen, this news serves only to reinforce what we've known all along. Twofo trolls are collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in a recent digg.com comprehensive trolling test.

You don't need to be one of the Slashdot moderators to predict Twofo Trolling's future. The writing is on the wall: Twofo trolling faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Twofo trolls because Twofo trolling is dying. Things are looking very bad for Twofo trolls. As many of us are already aware, Twofo trolling continues to decline in popularity. IP bans flow like a river of firewall rules.

"Twofo is Dying" trolls are the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of their core posters. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time trolls Daz and xyzzy only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Twofo trolls are dying.

Lets keep to the facts and look and the numbers.

Twofo Trolling leader Echelon states that there are about 7000 "twofo is dying" trolls. How many "Zeus sucks cock" trolls are there? Let's see. The number of "Zeus sucks cock" trolls versus "Twofo is dying" trolls on slashdot is roughly in the ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 "Zeus sucks cock" trolls. "Fuck twofo" posts on slashdot are about half the volume of "Zeus sucks cock" posts. Therefore there are about 700 trolls specialising in "Fuck twofo". A recent article put "destroy twofo" at about 80% of the twofo trolling community. Therefore there are about (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 "destroy twofo" trolls. This is consistent with the number of "destroy twofo" slashdot posts.

Due to the troubles at Twofo, abysmal sharing, ITS, lack of IP addresses and so on, "destroy twofo" trolls stopped posting altogether and were taken over by "Zeus sucks cock" trolls who specialise in another kind of slashdot posting. Now "Zeus sucks cock" trolls are also dead, their corpses turned over to yet another charnel horse.

All major surveys show that Twofo trolls have steadily declined in slashdot posting frequency. Twofo trollers are very sick and their long term survival prospects are very dim. If Twofo trollers are to survive at all it will be among hardcore slashdot posters, hellbent on Twofo's destruction. Twofo trolls continue to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save Twofo trolls from their fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Twofo trolls are dead.

Fact: Twofo trolls are dying

Re:No Joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928722)

It's an elaborate prank by SCO. I have a link to prove it.

Re:No Joke? (3, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928794)

Has to be a joke.
Come on, this government, cracking down on corruption by a US company?

April Fools! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929216)

Unless it's a really elaborate .gov joke

Worth it for the look on the IBM salesman's face.

And justified by all the crap tools they sell to my management for me to support.

Re:April Fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929642)

...all the crap tools they sell to my management for me to support.

'Tis a poor workman who blames his tools.

Re:April Fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22930624)

That phrase only applies in disciplines where the workman makes or at the very least selects his own tools.

Did IBM refuse to go along w/ Illegal Gov't Spies? (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929356)

Sounds like classic payback by some "Loyal Bushies", doesn't it?

I don't know which is more surprising.... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929458)

that IBM got suspended or that IBM only earned 1.5 Billion dollars of the US business.

The government spends a fortune on IT, I can't imagine a company as large as IBM not having a bigger piece of the pie. Perhaps they don't pay Congress enough during elections?

Re:I don't know which is more surprising.... (1)

Christian Smith (3497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930026)

that IBM got suspended or that IBM only earned 1.5 Billion dollars of the US business.

The government spends a fortune on IT, I can't imagine a company as large as IBM not having a bigger piece of the pie. Perhaps they don't pay Congress enough during elections?


My guess is that that is 1.5 Billion profit. Earnings are generally after expenses.

Re:No Joke? (2)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930130)

You mean, you discounted the possibility that all those organizations, including media, worked together to make this April Fool's Day joke happen.

Devious, devious...

Tags (3, Insightful)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928674)

Lots of slashdotters bitch about tags. But today, tags are your friend. Today, I'm looking for the tags omgponies and aprilfools to know if stories are hoaxes, and !omgponies and !aprilfools to know if they are real.

Now, this story was just tagged !omgponies, but that tag is gone now. Ugh.

Re:Tags (1)

SlashJoel (1145871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928788)

Can someone explain the etymology of omgponies for me? And yes, I am new here.

Re:Tags (5, Informative)

atezun (755568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928822)

Several years ago on April fools slashdot changed it's entire colour scheme to a pink my little pony type theme and I beleive had the words omigodponies displayed on the site, possibly in place of slashdot. It's generally regarded as slashdot's best April fools joke.

Re:Tags (5, Funny)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929204)

Several years ago on April fools slashdot changed it's entire colour scheme to a pink my little pony type theme and I beleive had the words omigodponies displayed on the site, possibly in place of slashdot. It's generally regarded as slashdot's best April fools joke.
Actually, it was regarded as slashdot's best theme.

Re:Tags (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930274)

Actually, it was regarded as slashdot's best theme
 
And thanks to the omgponies firefox plugin, it's the only one I get.

Re:Tags (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929214)

It also bombarded Cute Overload [typepad.com] with links. They now have a permanent boast on how they survived a Slashdotting, and a link to the original story [slashdot.org] .

Re:Tags (4, Informative)

Devistater (593822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929330)

Yeah, I thought there was a way to still show that color scheme for slashdot, but I can't find it.

I googled and turned up this random mirror of the /. page that day though with the omgponies color scheme:
http://onaserver.org/omgponies/ [onaserver.org]

Re:Tags (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929454)

Ahh yes! Those were the days....

Re:Tags (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929600)

Where by several years ago you mean right last year, am I wrong?

Re:Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928824)

You must be... Oh.
Never mind...

Re:Tags (2, Informative)

josteos (455905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928828)

Background on the tag:
http://www.itprotips.com/memes/slashdot/OMGPOWNIES [itprotips.com]

Parent contains deceptive link (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929038)

it's a rickroll.

The funny part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929086)

The funny part2 about that video....

      1) Rick dances like a white guy
      2) The girl dances like a white guy
      3) The girl is somewhat more masculine than Rick, but to be fair, she's pretty masculine
      4) The black guy looks like he want to punch both of them in the face.
      5) And who can blame him?

Re:Tags (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929174)

Damnit, never been rickrolled before. Good job good sir, good job.

I still don't get the humor or terror of it though... If 2girls1cup is a 10, Goatse and Tubgirl a 7, a Rickroll is a 2 on the international trolling chart.

Re:Tags (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929242)

Actually, a rickroll is more insiduous, because it doesn't violate the YouTube TOS, so it's much harder to avoid, even if someone's looking for it. ;)

Speaking of rickrolls... check the featured videos on YouTube. ;)

Re:Tags (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930802)

I think the point is just to get your hopes up.

Re:Tags (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928940)

Search Flickr or Google for screenshots from last year "Slashdot OMG Ponies"

Re:Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928886)

Do you like your food pre-chewed as well?

Re:Tags (2, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929146)

What a fantastic business idea! I'm going to open a restaurant with the tagline "Get the taste with none of the inconvenience!"

Re:Tags (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928980)

Lots of slashdotters bitch about tags. But today, tags are your friend. Today, I'm looking for the tags omgponies and aprilfools to know if stories are hoaxes, and !omgponies and !aprilfools to know if they are real.
I think you are miss-reading the tags, !aprilfools = _not_ aprilfools, and since this story was posted around 9PM ET yesterday (by AP, you can find the link to yahoo I posted below), I really doubt this is a joke.

Re:Tags (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928984)

meh, need edit on /. ... just read your post again and my reply was just stupid, still tired, need more coffee :(

Re:Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928998)

I agree. I feel slashdot needs to permit editing posts, or at least deleting them. Maybe within a five minute timeframe.

Re:Tags (2, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929150)

Yea, it could be like this mechanism that you could click and get to see your post for a bit before it actually gets locked in. They could call it "Preview" or something crazy like that.

tag still!omgponies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22928676)

Sigh, tagged "still!omgponies"

Aw, C'mon (1)

TrekkieTechie (1265532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928682)

What good is April Fool's Day on /. if we're just going to get real articles?

I'll take my prank-hungry business elsewhere, thank you very much.

Re:Aw, C'mon (2, Funny)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928882)

That's the joke.

This story is legit (AFAIK) (2, Informative)

tekrat (242117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928686)

Just do a search in Google news for IBM and you'll find the story. Looks legit to me, although the Register clearly has an April Fools story that Robert Scobe is an IBM construction with 1TB of memory.

Re:This story is legit (AFAIK) (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928774)

Looks legit to me, although the Register clearly has an April Fools story that Robert Scobe is an IBM construction with 1TB of memory.


I wouldn't be so... nah. Too easy.

Re:This story is legit (AFAIK) (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928942)

Just do a search in Google news for IBM and you'll find the story. Looks legit to me, although the Register clearly has an April Fools story that Robert Scobe is an IBM construction with 1TB of memory.

Just think what you could do with a beowulf cluster of those...

Re:This story is legit (AFAIK) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929912)

...although the Register clearly has an April Fools story that Robert Scobe is an IBM construction with 1TB of memory.

That's obviously ridiculous though. 20GB tops.

There goes my job (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928736)

great...i get subcontracted a lot of their fed. work. =(

Anyone want to offer me a new job?

Re:There goes my job (2, Funny)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928752)

Anyone want to offer me a new job?
Find me new confusing April 1st stories.

Or if you're a haxxor, fix slashdot. I want my pink ponies!

OMG.

Hrm.... (5, Funny)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928808)

Nobody ever got fired for......
Well crap.

Re:Hrm.... (1)

teh moges (875080) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929266)

I am just waiting for the inevitable breaking of Godwin's law [wsws.org] .

Re:Hrm.... (1, Funny)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930124)

OMGNazis!

Mentioned on NYSE site so presumably not a hoax (4, Informative)

pdcull (469825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928840)

I suspect that this isn't an April Fool's joke as it is mentioned on the NYSE site here [nyse.com]

Re:Mentioned on NYSE site so presumably not a hoax (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928958)

Agreed, this cannot be a joke since it was initially posted yesterday [yahoo.com]

Someone's gonna get sued if it's a joke (2, Insightful)

sn00ker (172521) | more than 6 years ago | (#22928860)

And that's the least of their worries.

Posting a story like that would be a sure-fire way to make Big Blue's stock drop like a hot rock, and you'd have shareholders on your arse faster than GNAA members at an orgy.

If the SEC thought it had been done with the intent of manipulating the market for gain, though, you'd be wishing that it was just shareholders and the GNAA after your arse. Coz there'd be a strong likelihood that your arse would become property of Bubba.

Just when I think April fools is nearly over ... (0)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929056)

... it starts in America and I get the whole thing all over again. The OMG Ponies were better.

Ban Microsoft (0, Offtopic)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929122)

Of course, the should ban Microsoft for monopolistic practices.

Re:Ban Microsoft (0, Troll)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929170)

Hey look everyone, its a new, insightful and carefully thought out remark from an obviously well-educated individual. Quick, put him in charge of something!

Re:Ban Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929512)

Microsoft does indeed have a monopoly on the products it produces. So what? How they want to sell the products THEY MAKE is entirely up to them. No one is forced to buy their products and no one is forced to stop producing competing products.

Ballmer's lotion basket (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929206)

Meanwhile, Microsoft's convicted monopoly cock continues to be freely sucked by all.

Fuck you M$!

attack on Open Source? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929230)

Think of it like this. IBM is one of the greatest champions of Open Source, which inherently prevents just about anyone to tamper with the source code. Now, since Open Source as a movement (rather then a company) doesn't have one central authority IBM is simply the closest to being seen as one of such focal points. Or motors if you wish. Sans IBM, there's mush greater chance then some other companies and business models will "prevail". Having said that, this also means that closed sources (with or without NSAKEYs or backdors built inside) are better off without IBM and whole other Open Source community (some equalled it with the communism). We may yet see the final results, but preventing IBM from getting government contracts is also preventing government to reach for IBMs technology and solutions. IBM is not without good options here, and remember still, that the presidential elections are just around the corner.

More likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929252)

this has more to do with China made products. I am guessing that they found something interesting.

Re:More likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929268)

OK, so IBM outsourced parts of their activities to China? What other crimes did IBM do?

Re:attack on Open Source? (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929428)

please, just shut the fuck up.

Re:attack on Open Source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929626)

mod parent up, see also microsoft's involvement with library of congress (mentioned in boingboing blog) and silverlight in recent events

Someone can translate it human language? (0, Offtopic)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929262)

Read summary, read article, not helping. What a hell are reason for it? :)

But nice tagging with !omgponies. Damn, that was so cool, a little overboard, but still cool.

Not a hoax, not a joke. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929264)

/.ers:

The timing is curious but I can assure you this is not a joke. I work as a contractor for DHS and the word came down yesterday. We said the same thing - you're kidding, right? - but it turned out to be a very real order.

I don't know how IBM is about delivering on contracts themselves, but we as a contractor (in conjunction with the government program managers) use IBM commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software extensively. Since the DHS reciprocal ban includes purchase orders, this really throws a wrench in our works. We are looking at the possibility of switching a 500+ head software development shop from IBM-Rational to...something else, by the end of the year when our maintenance runs out. Another project I work with was just evaluating and beginning development with WebSphere, and they are going to completely lose momentum.

I am sure other agencies are doing the same as far as the extent of implementation of the ban. This might be good for the taxpayers in the long run, but right now it is causing a lot of billable hours to be spent scrambling, so I sure hope it's worth it, EPA.

Re:Not a hoax, not a joke. (1)

darkob (634931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929294)

How can taxpayers benefit from such move? Given the multithousend workforce within IBM (and their subcontractors) which also tend to be US taxpayers? So US government had chosen to be acuser, judge and the jury and had chosen to punish company heavily involved with the government orders with the death penalty with no due process or some other remedy if there are illegal activities involved? Oh, incidently, IBM is also publicly traded company (NYSE: IBM) and it's stock is also included in the Dow Jones Industrial Index. Not that it matters since it's direct competition is also inside, so fall of the IBM might benefit direct competition. This all stinks!

Re:Not a hoax, not a joke. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22930012)

Darkob -

Same AC from the parent on this thread.

Don't worry too much about IBM just yet. From TFA, they get about $1.7B in revenue from federal contracts each year, but this equates to 1% of IBM's annual revenue. The other 99% is still just dandy. They'll make it along just fine.

In theory, if the company is gaming contract competition, then that is detrimental to the efficient spending of government money, which is in turn bad for taxpayers. And I appreciate your sympathy for IBM's tax-paying employees, but far more American taxpayers are *not* IBM employees than are, so if this is in fact about some sinister anti-competitive/bribing kind of activity, then it should be a Good Thing.

The problem is that so far EPA and IBM have been totally mum about what's going on, so we have no idea if this is worth it. We in the other agencies - who are bound by the reciprocal agreement - are in the position of having to do a lot of sudden shifting to work IBM out of our project plans and enterprise architecture. It sucks a lot of billable hours, and so I am really questioning if this is going to have a net positive effect on the "taxpayer" because of the work it has already generated.

That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with EPA acting as "judge, jury and executioner" in this case. The agency has an incidental tasking of being careful and efficient with taxpayer dollars as it carries out its main duties. If they felt they'd been had, they were right to blow the whistle. This isn't court; no rights were abrogated. IBM does not have much more right to compete for government projects than Walmart has a right to sell you potato chips - they have a right to offer, but you are not bound to accept.

A remedy is in process; the investigation is underway and we'll find out more, I'm sure. I hope it all clears up soon - I like working with IBM, so far - but it's gonna take time to tell.

Re:Not a hoax, not a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929602)

The timing might not be so curious. Some of EPA's main contracts (ITS-EPA) go up for rebid this summer. It seems IBM has managed to piss them off enough to warrant this. EPA uses some of those COTS products too... going to be an interesting week at the office, no doubt ;).

Re:Not a hoax, not a joke. (1)

thefear (1011449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22930448)

I wonder how this will change how American government uses the Blue Gene supercomputers. No more 'Top 5' supercomputers for the EPA?

So, they failed to bribe some scumbags (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929670)

And they invented a reason to ban them from government contracts. Well, thats unheard of, especially for bush administration (!)

Haliburton (3, Interesting)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22929706)

Considering what Haliburton has done (and been caught/fined for) and yet is still chugging along without a hitch, what did IBM have to do to get suspended altogether?

Re:Haliburton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929772)

IBM probably failed to contribute enough for "friendly causes" or failed to hire appropriate number of "consultants" or failed in other way to play by some "big-boys" rules.

OOXML Bitch Slap (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22929966)

IBM have been one of the most prominent corporate voices against ISO's approval of OOXML.

Imagine how IBM's investors will feel about this news.

With OOXML looking like its scraping through ISO, surely this is a Redmond-inspired powerplay to remind IBM that they need to start toeing the line or be crushed.

For me there is a clear message in this announcement. Its not a coincidence.
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