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back to article Big Brother's software firm Palantir valued at $9 BEEELION

How much does it cost to buy out one of big brother's favored toolmakers? Around $9bn, according to a recent valuation of Silicon Valley darling Palantir. The "Big Data" analysis company made a Form D filing with the SEC on Thursday disclosing a $58m cash infusion, and other reports by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times …

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Big Brother

So a standard close-to-State outfit like I.G. Farben?

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Trollface

Not Evil

At least, Palantir is not evil:

"Our work helps save lives, solve crimes, protect civil liberties, prevent disease and curb fraud." (and they have the footnotes to prove their case ... with nice PR blurbs)

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Re: Not Evil

That's cool. The Taliban makes the same claims, but their website isn't as snappy as Palantir's.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not Evil

> At least, Palantir is not evil

Yeah, that's what Denethor II thought, look where it got him.

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There's absolutely no reason for this company to be funded by the taxpayer. This sort of thing should be a core competency and if you aren't doing it in house then you've got no business doing it.

Bunch of creepy bastards they are anyway. There's always one or two lurking around at conferences and trade shows that seem a bit outside their field of expertise. They're probably lizard people.

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"This sort of thing should be a core competency and if you aren't doing it in house then you've got no business doing it"

That rather reads like you want your government to spy on you, and think they should do more of it with closer control. Each to their own.

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Unhappy

"There's absolutely no reason for this company to be funded by the taxpayer. This sort of thing should be a core competency and if you aren't doing it in house then you've got no business doing it."

Not at all.

Bankrolling the startup of private businesses set up by former govt insiders with on-the-nod contract procurement is the American way.

I'd cite Ramo Woolwrich Corp, (who became TRW), and various Silicon valley companies who got signals intelligence contracts.

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Anonymous Coward

Conferences (not just trade ones)

"There's always one or two lurking around at conferences and trade shows that seem a bit outside their field of expertise. They're probably lizard people."

Did you know the Palantir CEO, Alex Karp, is a regular at Bilderberg, whose attendee list is generally people you've heard of or at least representatives of companies you've heard of. Careful what you say about lizard people.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106479613 (July 2009)

[snip]

"Most people in America believe you can either fight terrorism — i.e., identify and get the terrorists — or you can protect our civil liberties — i.e., make sure the government isn't looking at our personal information when they are not allowed to," says Palantir Technologies CEO Alex Karp. "And that dichotomy used to be true. We've found a way to tag information so the only people who can see it are those who are allowed to see it, so it takes care of that problem."

[snip]

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No, I do not approve of being spied upon by my government. I see no value in their 'protective services'. At the same time I believe that if you're going to do something do it as well as possible. That is even more important if you have to spend the publics money to do it. Spending public money to inflate the value of a private company simply isn't effective.

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Unhappy

Re: Conferences (not just trade ones)

I'm aware he goes. It's just another closed door meeting like all the others that still make the world go 'round. Those sorts of meetings are required if you're going to resell Drupal for millions and millions of dollars. Which is all their technology is (not Drupal, but a content management framework). The only difference is that Palantir has privileged access to the governments tag index.

Their technology isn't anything remotely special, just their relationship to the government. It's a near certainty that the company will be acquired by Lockheed once everybody has made their money out of it. There's kind of a carousel of DoD projects that are built up to sell to the big defense contractors.

The ultimate buyer is identified long before the actual acquisition and it's Lockheeds turn next. Which I'm sure is why the Palantir guys are at aerospace and machine shows, just learning the market. It's pretty shitty that it all works that way, as the taxpayer doesn't get to take advantage of competition or innovation. But its been working that way since the end of WWII and I'm not sure there's anything to be done about it.

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@Don Jefe

"No, I do not approve of being spied upon by my government. I see no value in their 'protective services'. At the same time I believe that if you're going to do something do it as well as possible. That is even more important if you have to spend the publics money to do it. "

You aren't familiar with Monty Python, are you?

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Anonymous Coward

"There's absolutely no reason for this company to be funded by the taxpayer. This sort of thing should be a core competency and if you aren't doing it in house then you've got no business doing it."

Building state of the art data fusion and visualisation tools is a "core competency"? What next, you want your local council to write its own version of Oracle or SAP?

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If your business is the analysis of data, then fuckin-A those things are a core competence.

If you are a business where costs are tightly managed it might make sense to outsource some of your work. But if you're a government operation with no real budget limit and are supposed to be building absolute best in class operations them outsourcing is stupid, those people should be on staff.

If would be far more effective to build and manage the systems in house and outsource the analysis.

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Anonymous Coward

> There's absolutely no reason for this company to be funded by the taxpayer. This sort of thing should be a core competency and if you aren't doing it in house then you've got no business doing it.

So you're saying that the Navy should have their own shipyards, and the Air Force shouldn't let Lockheed build fighters for them?

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Poor comparison on your part.

Did the Navy pay for the shipyards? No (the US Navy does have four shipyards of their own where everything but initial construction is done). Did the Air Force build Lockheed from its startup phase with taxpayer funded venture capital? No. Is the government the only customer of the ship builders or Lockheed? No. Does the Navy or Air Force pay civilians to operate their ships or aircraft?

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