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back to article Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has nothing but praise for the US National Security Agency's domestic surveillance programs, but he's far less kind when it comes to Google – and in particular its CEO, Larry Page, whose behavior he describes as "evil." "I know his slogan is 'don't be evil,'" Ellison told correspondent Charlie Rose in an …

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Meh

Meh,

I thought Larry (evil_1) might actually have some different gripe with Larry (evil_2), but he's still just beating the dead Java issue. Nothing new here.

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Re: Meh,

Now if Larry (evil_1) would get his own Java sandbox in order so it wasn't quite the colander of security that it is, I might actually listen to the guy.

On a side note, is there some magical marketing Kook-aid these folks drink that puts them so far out of touch with reality and is it expensive or does it make you rich? It always seems like some chicken-egg thing to me.

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Re: Meh,

This guy always has a lot to say....

Most of it crap.

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Re: Meh,

What I don't get is why Larry(evil_1) is still beaing the dead horse over the java issue. It's as good as over, the courts have sided with Larry(evil_2) repeatedly. Moreover Larry(evil_2) had the java clone made when Sun owned it, and Sun have testified in googles favour!

That and comparing not the competing company, but the individual Larry(evil_2) to criminals, accusing him of theft, accusing him of being 'Absolutely Evil' etc. Isn't he opening himself up to some kind of libel case?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh,

Just because it was hard to prove Google copied Java (and technical cases are hard for a jury to understand), doesn't mean they didn't.

There are plenty of people convicted of murder then overturned on appeal. Courts don't always get things right.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh,

Didn't Oracle 'copy' some small-time company once...

Oh yeah SQL from IBM - yes Oracle should offer to return all SQL profits and admit they never should have created the equivalent API and then they can stand on the moral high ground and make some faux case against others.

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Re: Meh,

Google used the java API's that is not copying java and only subset of those. If Oracle had won the case against Google everyone would be SOL, to do anything with computer require the use of others API's .

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Meh

Re: Meh,

I just wonder what Larry thinks about this whole Oracle Enterprise Linux.

I don't think that's double standards... we have to go further... we have to go triple.

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Big Brother

Of course, the NSA provides a vital and nationally critical service...

In lining Larry's pockets!

And Kudos to Larry, now that's what I call good customer service!

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Exactly, Google have their own custom big data thingy, they don't want any Oracle guff messing up their operation. The NSA on the other hand, being a gov dept and having to buy a American by mandate, they will be paying for Larry's big toys for many years to come!

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Pint

And PR

Will look good next time the NSA looks for a supplier on a contract .. " ooo this Ellison guy is publically standing for us and approving us .. let's call him see what he can do on this .. " You know a bit of PR with your clients never hurts the bottom line :)

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Today's dilbert seems to fit LarryE quite well.

http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2013-08-14/

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Government is not a group of people who are called "secretary of state for this or of that" and that is headed by the President. Government is the sum of all powers and influences in the country. Mr. Ellison is a very powerful and influential person. He is therefore as much part of the US government as Mr. Obama, Mr. Gates and millions of other influential people, corporations and organisations in the US, even though he may not wear a badge that says so. With all that this implies about what value should be attached to what he says or doesn't say.

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Anonymous Coward

Soz but you're wrong. By your logic the gorervment is everybody since we are all able to exert influence to some extent.

The traditional way of lumping the govt. with the rich and powerful is to refer to them as 'The Man'

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I don't think I'm wrong

It's the best model I could come up with so far to describe what is "government". According to this model, government does indeed include everybody, but each person's input is weighted to the extent of their relative power and influence. For instance the head of the US Army or President of America has more influence than the person who does the gardening for Mr. Joe Bloggs. But the gardener might be part of a pressure group which he is able to leverage in order to exert some influence on the way things are done locally in his town. Or he might be secretly shagging the President's wife, and therefore has more influence than you'd expect. In that way he might influence the government of the country in a small way. There is thus no such thing as "The Man". There are only interests and influences that are more powerful than your own and appear suspect as a result. With this model, there is no need to engage in endless conspiracy theories to explain what's going on. There are powerful people, there are powerful groups of people called organisations or corporations or government bodies, there are ways in which one can join them, and barriers to joining them, and they will squash you without a second thought if they can and it is in their interest, just as you would squash them if you were in their shoes. There are alliances and associations between powerful people and organisations. And there are rivalries, threats and competition.

All this may of course be wrong, but just as with science, you have to build sociological models to explain that which you cannot see.

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Anonymous Coward

The traditional way of lumping the govt. with the rich and powerful is to refer to them as 'The Man'

I thought they were "Them"... if they're "The Man" and not "Them", then who is "Them"? Are they a subset of "The Man" or an entirely different 'they'? Or is it the other way around, is "The Man" one of "Them"? Are "Them" 'international' whilst "The Man" is 'domestic'?

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Anonymous Coward

@obnoxiousgit - Them are Those that The Man purtects us from ..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't think I'm wrong

@anon cowherd

"All this may of course be wrong, but just as with science, you have to build sociological models to explain that which you cannot see."

Alternativey you could take a civics class and use the word 'government' in the way the framers of the constitution intended (yymv if you're not talking about the US)

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Re: I don't think I'm wrong

[The following is intended to be highly controversial, please forgive me for offending any sensibilities]

To the untrained, non-US educated observer, the framers of the US Constitution mostly intended to rid themselves of the colonial tax collector and rule their own, profitable affairs. What else would a group of well-connected, upper-middle-class white, male, Protestant, wealthy plantation owners want? They could not possibly have intended that they should share power with their slaves, or with the American Indians whom they were trying to con into selling them land, or with their wives who were in charge of cooking, cleaning and taking care of their children, or with the scummy hordes of cheap labourers who were the foundation of their fortunes and of their high standard of living (including those transported by the old colonial power). And they did very well for themselves as a result.

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To rephrase an earlier post:

"Government is not a group of people who are called "secretary of state for this or of that" and that is headed by the President. Government is the sum of all powers and influences held by both the elected and unelected officials who work in the name of that government."

Can't remember the last time I voted for a General, or for the people who run the secret services. In fact, if I recall correctly, they are the same people no matter which party gets elected! How would one go about getting them replaced, in a democracy where the "voice of the people" is a respected and potent tool?

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> Can't remember the last time I voted for a General

Last time there was a General in the White House, he issued a stern warning that is as relevant now as it was in 1961 ...

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

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Re: I don't think I'm wrong

Of course they also were Catholic (Maryland) and various flavors of Protestant (Rhode Island, Massachusetts), merchants, artisans, and tradesmen as well as plantation owners. Some were quite opposed to chattel slavery (leading to several anomalous provisions). Who could vote was left to the states, and at the time I think the pressure to extend voting to women was quite limited. And while the upper middle class white males and their issue did fairly well going forward, they had placed no legal restrictions on others and not a few of the well-off in later decades and centuries had humble origins, and not a few of those who immigrated without much in the way of resources have done well also.

The framers (and many others) fought a war between 1776 and 1783 to rid themselves of the colonial tax collectors and oversight, and established the U. S. Constitution as a second attempt at setting up a flexible and extensible framework for governing a large and varied nation. Imperfect, as all things are, it has served most of us well for more than two centuries and I expect it will continue to do so for some time ahead. We'll get by the present problem with government intrusiveness, and probably Larry Ellison too.

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Holmes

Re: I don't think I'm wrong

>And they did very well for themselves as a result.

Actually, most of them didn't. While they got their own country, most of them went broke as a result.

Just 56 years after the AmRev, Great Britain came very close to getting the colonies back.

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Re: I don't think I'm wrong

And after the War of 1812, the Brits realised they didn't need to own the American colonies to profit from them -- in fact, it was cheaper not to pay to defend them and to pay for an administration system for them just to get them as a more-or-less captive trading partner. And, compared to India, the American colonies were small economic beer.

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Re: I don't think I'm wrong

Please just go join Ted in the mountain hideaway. Your screed makes as much sense as any of his did.

Granted if used as Exhibit A for the prosecution, it goes a long way to explaining why so much is so frelled on both sides of the pond. But that really is all the more reason for you to go join Ted.

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Re: Alternativey you could take a civics class

I wouldn't restrict it to just the US government. The civics class definition works pretty well for all forms of government so long as you stick to it. Where it starts getting fuzzy is with Marx because he never accepted the civics definition and explicitly defined everything as government.

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Flame

Re:To the untrained, non-US educated observer

You are not forgiven because contrary to your pre-apology it was intended to give offense.

In point of fact, Jefferson did draft the Declaration of Independence with phrases that would imply chattel slavery should be done away with if the government followed the proclamation. It was only because the group had previously decided unanimous consent to the declaration would be required that the leaders of South Carolina were able to leverage their strong objection to the inclusion of the phrase. Jefferson only reluctantly agreed to it, and it has generally been properly referred to as the Devil's Compromise ever since. Your characterization is one of purely socialist/marxist propaganda. Propaganda whose sole purpose is to undermine the legitimate will of the people to oppose the Statist agenda. An agenda that has always, everywhere it has been tried, resulted in the death of tens of thousands or millions of people once its objectives have been achieved.

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Re: To rephrase an earlier post:

No, he explicitly included a gardener in the screed. He didn't stop at a level commensurate with your definition. Your definition is a good approximation of a technical civics class definition.

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Hindsight is, indeed, 20/20, eh. Upon finally leaving the US Presidency, poor Ike must have felt the right fool for giving in to his corporate masters on the overthrow of the elected democracy of Iran. But he did get to put the verbal boot in, for all the good that would prove to be. Just goes to show that a brilliant General may not make an equally brilliant President. Don't get me wrong, he certainly did lead the US well in most respects, but I would bet that he died wishing that he had listened to his predecessor on that one wee thing...

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Re: Re:To the untrained, non-US educated observer

"Jefferson only reluctantly agreed to it"

Yeah, right. I guess he reluctantly kept all his slaves too. Man, old TJ must have been miserable with all these people forcing him to do things that were so immoral. And profitable, of course.

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Devil

WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

"It's great," Ellison said of the domestic spying. "It's great, it's essential. President Obama thinks it's essential. It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It's absolutely essential."

For all their combined spying powers the NSA, the CIA and the FBI didn't have a clue that the Boston bombing was going to happen. Shit, the FBI had to plead for the public's help to identify the bombers from the grainy CCTV footage.

If you've got nothing to hide, you don't need to worry about government surveillance eh?

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Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

Don't forget that FBI had "interviewed" one of the bombers not so long ago and their Russian counterparts had given the FBI a heads up. One might think if you were told to watch out for some guy and had personally spoken to him that you might at least identify him from the pictures.

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Mushroom

Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

Yeah the Boston Bombing is proof that it's a massive waste of time/money - lets hold the privacy bus a minute - they prove beyond all reasonable doubt the money/time thing.

If you've got something to hide you have no reason to fear surveillance. If you have nothing to hide, you have reason to fear them stealing business secrets and generally invading your life.

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Devil

Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

Ellison is a power crazed, corporatist shrill, A-hole. His comments about Apple and Jobs ironically show just how stupidly fragile the prevalent top-heavy, corporate, limited liability, management pattern is; Oracle included!

Nicholas Taleb explained why it is such a futile waste of time to attempt to predict events in stupidly fragile, thus Black Swan prevalent, areas in his book Anti-fragile; this does rather suggest that these huge centralised government bodies are a colossal waste of time and money, because any crippling threat is likely hit before they even have a clue. What should be happening is that all these fragile big structures are broken up and decentralised, which parasitic control freaks, like this douche bag, won't like!

I have more respect for Google staff than Oracle staff, despite its intrusiveness (and suggested CIA associations), because its software is far easier to us than the deliberately, or lazily, obfuscated Oracle Database product line, which makes me loath o attempt to work with these products, unless I absolutely have to for work (I am). I _really_ hate any product which requires use of a mess of *nix style command line tools, for stuff much better done by GUIs, and worse based on bizarrely custom DB concepts, just so that they can charge a fortune to train a DBA 'priesthood', and their demos are a shamefully poorly documented (amateurish); my pet hate, Microsoft, do much better, as do many OSS projects like PostgreSQL! Even the GUIs and web interfaces for Oracle DB leave a lot to be desired for usability!

I hope PostgreSQL and NoSQL databases eat Oracle alive, and the MySQL branches make MySQL irrelevant, just like the LibreOffice branch has effectively made the failed OpenOffice annexation and retirement to Apache irrelevant.

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Re: For all their combined spying powers

There is a huge mistake in that statement. It is a mistake our enemies exploit and one that the powers that be paper over because it tends to make us more complacent. For all the data they collect, for all the intrusiveness they exude, for all the rights they violate in collecting all that data, they are not combined. Each still sits in its silo, not talking to the other so the dots can be connected. Not focusing on the enemy, but focused on maintaining its own power base, and only focused on stopping the enemy to such extent as is necessary to maintain its own power base. If they were combined for the good of the people it could be a good thing. The risk we conservatives join our libertarian brothers in raising is that we cannot guarantee it will only be used for good. And there is not merely a measurable but a large chance the statists will seize it for their own uses. When combined with the blinders of a PC outlook, it is always a recipe for disaster.

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Black Helicopters

Re: For all their combined spying powers

Yeah, yeah. Gotta keep the proles living in fear of imminent attack so the money keeps flowing to Oracle, SAIC, Lockheed, Boeing and every other pig with a snout in the trough...

I haven't read so much bullshit since I read Larry Ellison's comments in the main article.

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Re: WTF Is Ellison Smoking?

Of course that tends to support the claim that NSA data collection and processing does NOT target U. S. residents.

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Now we know what software NSA is using.

"Larry Ellison has nothing but praise for the US National Security Agency's domestic surveillance programs"

Must be a big fat contract to store all that stuff.

Ellison is not one to judge.

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"I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff."

It's pretty simple Larry E:

1: hire lawyers to check the licences

2: follow their advice scrupulously about what is allowed under those licences

Ellisons problem is Google understands Oracles licences better than Oracle does. Not a big surprise someone like Larry E didn't understand the implications of permissive licences, even ones deliberately booby trapped like Java. As it is, having been alerted to just how screwed they are, Oracle are busy trying to find loopholes to make the licence rights less useful. Not working out well for him.

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Re: "I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff."

Hey Larry, IBM called - something about you copying "SQL" from them

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Facepalm

Re: "I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff."

Surely it is more a method of:

1) Buy the product (Java, MySQL etc)

2) Change the GPL to something else (Sun Binary Code License etc).

3) Bitch publicly about the GPL since you can't retroactively apply the new license.

4) Start throwing your toys out of the pram.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "I don't see how he thinks you can just copy someone else's stuff."

After that, the interviewer should have asked him to explain the Oracle Red Hat clone.

anon because at work

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A Tool's Tool Tooling Up

Yes Larry, you next Govnm't Contract WILL be extended.

Stop fellating us so much.

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FAIL

Pop quiz: What did Obama promise before the election and what did he do after he was voted in?

"If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government."

Oh, and "Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? In what way?" IBM has.

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Re: Pop quiz: What did Obama promise before the election and what did he do after he was voted in?

Hey if you don't like a red-neck Texan republican you could always elect a black Hawaiian democrat.

Vote for change!

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Re: Pop quiz: What did Obama promise before the election and what did he do after he was voted in?

"If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government."

I'm intrigued by that statement - is he following the fallacy that electing people who have been chosen for not rocking the boat (too much) will actually be able to do anything useful against the entrenched civil servants, or is he advocating something a bit more ... revolutionary?

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Oracle--the official database of the Five Eyes!!

Whether your tracking the sexual proclivities of 6 billion people, or just discrediting a peaceful political movement, you need a RDBMS that can scale with your needs! Only Oracle can deliver the feature set required by shadowy, crypto-fascist cabals, and with our global support it's "Today, Cheltenham! Tomorrow--THE WORLD!!!!" Now offering an API to the popular Nab'Em Rendition Dispatching System, increasing the throughput of your kidnap squds by 21% through automatic dispatching based on real-time triggers pulling from your Oracle RDBMS! Track and disappear your opponents without ever having to issue a written order, both increasing productivity and assuring plausible deniability!

On a more serious note:

P.S.--Larry, NSA surveillance did jack squat to prevent the Boston bombings, despite the elder Tsarnaev brother being ID'd by the Russiand and interviewed by the FBI

P.P.S--When did these activities ever hurt anyone? Nixon and the Plumbers? McCarthyism? The several hundred thousand people put on the "No fly" list because some terrorist used a name as an alias? I could go on....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oracle--the official database of the Five Eyes!!

Just as an aside, McCarthy was right that the state department was riddled with russian spies, and in fact the organisation responsible for blacklisting wasn't Senator McCarthy's investigation, but the House Committee for Un-American Activities - in other words it was members of the democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

Calling it McCarthyism isn't really a fair application of credit. It was a superlative example of just how effective bipartisanship can be.

Something to remember next time an American politician says he wants to "reach across the aisle" or promote "bipartisan engagement". They're codewords for "we want to find the best way to fuck you over."

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Mushroom

Re: Oracle--the official database of the Five Eyes!!

Ehm yes, but I think you'd better replace:

<<next time an American politician says he wants to "reach across the aisle" or promote "bipartisan engagement" [....] to fuck you over>>

with

<<next time any politician says anything [....] to fuck you over>>

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