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Google, Yahoo, and the Elephant In the Room 123

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the nothing-to-see-here dept.
CWmike writes "Linda Rosencrance reports that despite assurances from Google and Yahoo that their online advertising deal doesn't need regulatory approval, the two companies should not be too quick to dismiss Microsoft's influence on Capitol Hill. Andrew Frank, an analyst at Gartner, said both Yahoo and Google will benefit from the deal, but he also said Microsoft will do everything in its power to bring the arrangement to a screeching halt. 'Expect Microsoft to challenge it and come back aggressively with some search plans of its own,' he said. Rob Enderle, of the Enderle Group, said Microsoft is a formidable opponent and knows how to play politics. 'Without Microsoft, this probably would stand up to regulatory scrutiny,' Enderle said. 'But Microsoft has increased its presence on Capitol Hill significantly ... and there are restraint of trade issues, so by the nature of Google's size and because Microsoft is going to be pounding on a lot of doors, I think this is going to be a problem.'"
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Google, Yahoo, and the Elephant In the Room

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  • by twitter (104583) * on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:34AM (#23792213) Homepage Journal

    No matter how many times it's done, it's always amazing to see people endorse corruption. The anti-trust trial, destruction of competitors, ISO have all left a bad taste in people's mouth. Yet it seems there's always someone that says these "sharp" business practices are good and another that demands people respect them.

    • I heard that Yoo-hoo is going to buy them both as soon as they can work the name thing out.
    • Shut up twitter. Microsoft is a big, nasty corporation for sure.

      But objecting to a merger between two rivals is like appealing in cricket- You are asking the 'umpire' to investigate whether the rules mean that your opposition is acting illegally. Big companies are pretty much obliged to pull that shit on behalf of their shareholders.

      MSFT will fall one day, but chumps like you forestall this inevitability. Please stop.
      • by krray (605395)
        MSFT will fall one day, but chumps like you forestall this inevitability. Please stop.

        Yes, please do stop. I expect to continue making money, hand over fist, on Apple stock. Google hasn't been disappointing either. In using the technologies it is painfully obvious how flawed Microsoft products are and become (after buying out various companies). I have a lot riding on Microsoft stock ... in the form of a short.

        The sooner they fall ... the sooner I could simply retire.
        • Well dude you just buggered up in your stock picks.

          Apple is falling, and I think for the foreseeable future the range is 210 and MSFT is just going up...

          This is what happens when you let emotion get in the way of making sound trading decisions...

          BTW I was long AAPL, but sold out on 184.42! What's AAPL now...
          • and MSFT is just going up...

            Not according to the two year chart [yahoo.com]. Averages out to be pretty flat. Especially compared to Apple [yahoo.com]. I might wonder where the revenue growth is going to come from? Vista?

            They do have a high profit margin and lot of cash but there's nowhere to go but down. Unless they suddenly wake up one day with a commitment to value instead of just revenue, nothing is going to change.

            I think he's right to short them.

            • by AoT (107216)

              Unless they suddenly wake up one day with a commitment to value instead of just revenue, nothing is going to change.
              I don't know where you're from, but where I live, a company that has a commitment to value does not gain stock value. Unless of course they are WalMart.
        • by maxume (22995)
          Short Microsoft, you stand to make $30 for every share that you are short. If it takes Microsoft 10 years to vanish into nothing (this will *not* happen), you will have made $30 per share in ten years.

          Investing $30 in municipal bonds (which are generally a good credit risk. They have a much lower downside than being short Microsoft), you would make ~$18.87, with essentially zero risk.

          It's a good thing you are talking out your ass, being short Microsoft is a horrible investment.

          There might be a decent trade
          • If it takes Microsoft 10 years to vanish into nothing (this will *not* happen), you will have made $30 per share in ten years.

            Plus he has to make the dividend payments on the shares he is short.

    • Some details. (Score:1, Informative)

      by ibane (1294214)

      A related story talked about the odd assortment of fake groups opposed to these deals [latimes.com].

      discussions have already provoked objections from an unusually diverse set of Washington players. In fact, it is safe to say that the American Corn Growers Assn. has never before joined forces with the Dominican American Business Network. Those and 14 other nonprofit organizations sent a joint letter to the Justice Department on Friday asking for an antitrust investigation of the possible Google-Yahoo alliance

      That's fr

      • by willyhill (965620)
        A related story

        Which you could have quoted and linked to in your original post without having to resort to using multiple accounts in the same thread. You're not even pretending [slashdot.org] anymore, you just paste the same links with three different accounts to see which one sticks.

    • No matter how many times it's done, it's always amazing to see people endorse corruption.
      Request you name the golden period of US history where this was not the case. The Washington Administration?
      The only effective change I can see is to diminish the power of the Fed. All else amounts to band-aids or salt for the wound, AFAICT. Truly amazing are those who'd grant even _more_ power to DC.
      • The only effective change I can see is to diminish the power of the Fed. [snip]
        Technically, reducing the power of the fed is Gates' goal politically [wikipedia.org]
      • by logicnazi (169418)
        Ohh, I think that's a bit simplistic. What about simply appointing the fed deciscion makers to lifetime positions and offering them $1 million/year in salary. That would probably dilute the ability of large corporations to influence their deciscions the same way the supreme court is LESS influenced by corporations or the public than members of congress.

        In fact there are probably lots of ways you could reduce 'corruption' without pursuing your solution. Now there are other reasons you might not want the f
        • offering them $1 million/year in salary.
          I don't know what the top SES pay levels are, but that's 4 to 5 times what I think it is.
          If you're interested in reducing corruption, try transparency.
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:36AM (#23792227) Homepage Journal
    Rob Enderle is an idiot and a compulsive liar. He's also a paid Microsoft shill. His comments on the SCO v. IBM and SCO v. Novell, etc. were always something along the lines of "SCO is going to win. SCO has a good case. Linux contains pirated UNIX code." And so forth. If Rob Enderle told me the sky was blue, I would run outside and check for myself.
    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:41AM (#23792263) Journal

      If Rob Enderle told me the sky was blue, I would run outside and check for myself.

      ... because more likely than not, the atmospheric conditions would have changed enough to make the sky bright green.

      • to say exactly what Microsoft wants him to say. We might not believe regulators will do the same.

        • by cp.tar (871488)

          to say exactly what Microsoft wants him to say. We might not believe regulators will do the same.

          Oh, right.

          As if Google and Yahoo! didn't have their own legal departments. And no lobbying power whatsoever.

          Stop your karma-whoring fear-mongering, twitter. Your panicking is exaggerated, and completely unnecessary.

          • Quoted [theregister.co.uk] in The Register yesterday,

            Senator Herb Kohl, head of the Antitrust Subcommittee. "We will closely examine the joint venture between Google and Yahoo announced today," his statement read. "This collaboration between two technology giants and direct competitors for Internet advertising and search services raises important competition concerns. "The consequences for advertisers and consumers could be far-reaching and warrant careful review, and we plan to investigate the competitive and privacy impli

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jorghis (1000092)
      Sounds like a classic example of attacking the person rather than what he is saying. I dont know anything about this guy, but just because he was wrong about that doesnt mean he is wrong about this.

      Personally, I can see how he has a point. Google and Yahoo control an overwhelming percentage of the market share when combined. Do you really want Google to have no major competitors other than MS? (if you can even count MS as a major competitor in that space, they are pretty small relative to Google) I kno
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Sounds like a classic example of attacking the person rather than what he is saying. I dont know anything about this guy, but just because he was wrong about that doesnt mean he is wrong about this.

        Wrong is an understatement. Enderle was saying the same things even after the judge threw out all of SCO's claims.

        Personally, I can see how he has a point. Google and Yahoo control an overwhelming percentage of the market share when combined.

        They have competition [google.com]. If none are as big as Google and Yahoo, maybe it's their approach rather than Google buying up all the competition. Even so, an alliance between Yahoo and Google is hardly going to make a monopoly -- Yahoo will still be competing with Google, they will just get the mutual benefit of each others' customers.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by oldhack (1037484)
          My guess is you're not an ad buyer. How anyone argue Google + Yahoo hookup is not detrimental to competition is beyond me.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Easily. Google will carry Yahoo's ads and Yahoo will carry Google's ads. As an ad buyer, you still have a choice of vendors, with your ads hitting a wider audience. How this a bad thing?
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by oldhack (1037484)
              So Google's subsidizing Yahoo's ad business. Giving crumbs to your competitor to keep him on life support is not a competition.
            • Because the Price of advertising goes up. The margins Google keeps goes up. on the other end, the Publisher keeps getting screwed This is how it is a bad thing. Grow up.
      • And I never understood how that could be considered a logical fallacy.

        If somebody lies due to invalid evidence and backs it up, we can show it was the evidence, not the person.
        If somebody lies because they were paid to do so, we can rest assured that they will most likely do it again.
        If somebody is a habitual liar, we can be sure they will lie again.

        In cases 2 and 3, we need to actively doubt anything said and check with a neutral third party. To do anything but that makes no sense.

        Only in journal writing (
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Paradise Pete (33184)
          And I never understood how that could be considered a logical fallacy.

          The fallacy is if you attempt to refute the statement by it, as in "this guy lies often. Therefore what he's saying now is a lie."
          That's not the same as being doubtful.

      • Sounds like a classic example of attacking the person rather than what he is saying

        The fact is that nothing he says can be trusted, because he's in the pay of Microsoft. Furthermore we have substantial evidence he is happy to lie for money (viz SCO). Wouldn't you like to know that before you waste your time on his press release that is clearly angled to spread FUD about Microsoft competition?

      • Not even. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:10PM (#23792473)

        Sounds like a classic example of attacking the person rather than what he is saying.
        No. If people were saying that he's wrong because he's a well known Presbyterian you'd be correct.

        Saying that he's been consistently wrong ... and ALWAYS on Microsoft's (and their allies) side ... is called "experience" or "learning from history".

        Remember the old saw about those who do not learn from history.

        Now, he MIGHT be correct this time. But also remember that it is possible to get the correct answer with faulty "logic" and false "facts".
      • by phuul (997836)
        The problem with Rob Enderle is that his success rate is actually lower than Sylvia Browns "psychic predictions." He consistently gives extremely bad analysis and advice. Now does mean that what he says is wrong? No. In fact saying that Microsoft will fight it anyway they can is borderline Captain Obvious. But any article that quotes Mr. Enderle raises some serious credibility questions about the reporter and the publication/site that posts it.
      • I know everyone likes google around here...

        I don't. They behave a like a marker monopolist. On both ends... At the advertisers end there is no transparency. I launched a service aimed at the US market from here in India last year. The site had no traffic to begin with and we were only advertising through Google. Very consistently we were being overbilled to the tune of 20-25% compared to the traffic that was hitting our site. There was absolutely no acknowledgement of the problem. None whatsoever. Denial was the only response. I'm now at the othe

    • All very true. At the same time, he has occasionally gotten things right. It would not surprise me if this turned out to be one of those times.
    • Follow the money. SCO was largely a pump-and-dump scheme, IMO, so I wouldn't be surprised if Enderle was an investor there. Now Icahn and other opportunistic speculators are trying to force Yahoo into a sale; if Enderle's investments were public, we may see some YHOO stock there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tom's a-cold (253195)
      When a sock puppet like Enderle says something about Microsoft's intentions, it probably came from Microsoft. Whether it's true or not is a separate question.
  • A new front (Score:4, Interesting)

    by j35ter (895427) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:37AM (#23792231)
    Google and Yahoo should start their own operating system business...just to make a point
  • I guess they can do more than just throw chairs around.

    Either way, if they do, it still amounts to a temper-tantrum.
  • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:39AM (#23792245) Journal

    ... but the Google-Yahoo deal is non-exclusive, so I guess that'll get them off the hook.

    I do find it quite ominous that Microsoft has been put on the defensive, and they can only try to defend by making the government stop their competitors.
    They are influential, but it is growing ever more obvious they cannot compete with their own tech, no matter how much money they may have.

    It's sad, really.

    • well given how much this line has been used against them, its hardly surprising that they want to see google judged in the same way.

      Or is that 'they want to use it as an excuse to stop google from beating them into a messy pulp on search'.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sad? That raw money can't buy power?

      I call that inspiring.
    • Have you ever tried Hotmail(or whatever they're calling it now) and MSN search(or whatever they're calling it now)? Man, last time I tried those it was like being stuck in a giant infomercial,but without the hot babe to distract me from what a ripoff it was. What is sad is they buy out these small companies that have halfway decent products and then by the time their "design by focus groups and committees" gets done with it there is nothing left but a mess. How this same company made Win2K Pro is beyond me. Now they remind me WAY too much of Symantec. Every year they bolt on more pieces and it just gets to be more bloated.


      And IMHO all this talk of MSFT buying the Yahoo search is a red herring meant to stall while they hope that Icahn can take control of Yahoo and the can snatch up the whole thing. Because if you look at the numbers while Google rules the search Yahoo comes out ahead in webmail. And when combined with Hotmail that would give them a BIG share of the webmail market,which means not only more ad revenue but a ton of data to mine from all those emails. My guess is MSFT is going to try to keep the uncertainty going in the hopes Yahoo stocks will be driven further down and Icahn can take control,at which point they will buy it for less than their original offer. But that is my 02c,YMMV

      • by cp.tar (871488)

        Have you ever tried Hotmail(or whatever they're calling it now) and MSN search(or whatever they're calling it now)? Man, last time I tried those it was like being stuck in a giant infomercial,but without the hot babe to distract me from what a ripoff it was. What is sad is they buy out these small companies that have halfway decent products and then by the time their "design by focus groups and committees" gets done with it there is nothing left but a mess. How this same company made Win2K Pro is beyond me. Now they remind me WAY too much of Symantec. Every year they bolt on more pieces and it just gets to be more bloated.

        Actually, yes, I have.

        It's terrible.

        Ads galore; I had the misfortune of accessing them without AdBlock, and boy, was I appalled.
        I would never ever use any of their services.
        In fact, I see the eerie connection between the bloatedness of Facebook, which I really should clean up (were it not for the fact that I barely use it anyway) and Microsoft's desire to buy it.

        And IMHO all this talk of MSFT buying the Yahoo search is a red herring meant to stall while they hope that Icahn can take control of Yahoo and the can snatch up the whole thing. Because if you look at the numbers while Google rules the search Yahoo comes out ahead in webmail. And when combined with Hotmail that would give them a BIG share of the webmail market,which means not only more ad revenue but a ton of data to mine from all those emails. My guess is MSFT is going to try to keep the uncertainty going in the hopes Yahoo stocks will be driven further down and Icahn can take control,at which point they will buy it for less than their original offer. But that is my 02c,YMMV

        Funnily enough, recently I wondered whether Microsoft was trying to raise Yahoo! stock, since every time they fail to take them over, Yaho

        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Actually just this morning I was reading some quotes from stock analysts on ZDnet (The subject was whether the CEO of Yahoo would survive past the stockholder's meeting) and they are saying now that MSFT has said they DON'T want Yahoo,they are expecting the stock to free fall into the mid or even low teens. There have been way too many day traders and speculators in the market betting on a MSFT buyout and once they are convinced that MSFT doesn't want it the analysts say they'll dump.

          Which means if Icah

          • by cp.tar (871488)

            Me personally the day MSFT buys Yahoo will be the day I close out my Yahoo accounts. They have simply screwed Hotmail and anything else web related that they have gotten their hands on too badly for me to trust them with my mail. Anybody know of a good webmail that still has folders? Call me old fashioned but Gmail making everything like chat drives me nuts. I need my folders,dang it! But that is my 02c,YMMV

            I find labels much more practical than folders.
            What exactly bothers you about them?

            • by hairyfeet (841228)
              I am simply more efficient with folders. And since I am constantly having to access my email from different PCs,having Gmail default to show everything and then I have to drop down labels until I find the one I am looking for is simply terribly inefficient. I have found by having 4 folders (business,personal,receipts,and projects) I can instantly find any email no matter how long ago the correspondence was without having to search. While I am sure that Gmail's chat format works for many I still don't see wh
              • by cp.tar (871488)

                To each his own, I guess.

                However, the labels are shown at the left side of the screen, so they're just as accessible as folders. And filters work nicely, sorting incoming mail into folders just fine.

                So either I don't understand what exactly you're saying, or we simply have extremely different approaches to webmail.

                Either way, good hunting.

                • by hairyfeet (841228)
                  Well the problems I have with it are this: 1. I keep a 1.1Ghz Celeron as a "netbox" as I usually have my 3Ghz busy with video. I also like to check my email from any of the donated machines which I'm working on at the time. While Yahoo uses no more resources than loading any other webpage Gmail slams the CPU to 100% and keeps it there from the time I click the link until 40 to 120 seconds have passed,depending on how many new mails are in my inbox. 2. Because of the "dump everything in the inbox" nature of
                  • by cp.tar (871488)

                    Well the problems I have with it are this: 1. I keep a 1.1Ghz Celeron as a "netbox" as I usually have my 3Ghz busy with video. I also like to check my email from any of the donated machines which I'm working on at the time. While Yahoo uses no more resources than loading any other webpage Gmail slams the CPU to 100% and keeps it there from the time I click the link until 40 to 120 seconds have passed,depending on how many new mails are in my inbox.

                    I sometimes use a 600 MHz Duron machine for GMail. I haven't had such an issue.

                    It isn't the fastest, but nothing of the sort. And I don't even sort the majority of my mail.

                    2. Because of the "dump everything in the inbox" nature of Gmail it insists on loading my full inbox when first launched which makes number 1 even worse.

                    Proper filters can sort the mail to whatever labels you choose and remove them from the Inbox.

                    Therefore, you're doing something wrong.

                    3. Because replies are treated as part of a "conversation" instead of replies it is impossible to simply single out a reply because it insists on loading the entire conversation,which in my case can be very long. See number 1 for why this is not good.

                    You have a point here.

  • Rob Enderele (Score:5, Informative)

    by xmodem_and_rommon (884879) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:40AM (#23792251)
    Rob Enderele, Rob Enderele, Rob Enderele, where do I know that name?

    ah, thats where
    http://jeremy.linuxquestions.org/2007/09/24/sco-linux-and-rob-enderle-a-conclusion/ [linuxquestions.org]
    http://daringfireball.net/2003/12/enderle [daringfireball.net]
    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/34004/128 [tgdaily.com]

    As far as i'm concerned, that man has ZERO credibility.
    • It's true that M$ is throwing its weight and money around Washington [slashdot.org].

      The question is if Enderele's mouth helps or hurts the soft. These kinds of statements are designed to manipulate people on Wall Street, but they are smarter [google.com] than M$ thinks they are [google.com].

      • by willyhill (965620)
        "M$"? "the soft"? Thinking a company is "smarter" than another because of their stock price?
    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Money quote:

      we are very well aware of his background and experience and realize that he is one most knowledgeable general analysts in Silicon Valley today and we learned over the years that there's always a good reason why he has certain opinion.

      Fair enough. I mean, if he were just making uninformed guesses, then he'd be right half the time, so I guess there really is something informing his "analyses". Being paid to espouse it would be a "good reason" to have an opinion.

  • Him again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:44AM (#23792287) Homepage

    Rob Enderle, of the Enderle Group...

    The guy who suggested SCO had a case, spoke at one of their annual meetings. Which put him the company of tech luminaries such as Maureen O'Gara. Seems like he spends the bulk of his time being an "independent" shill for Microsoft. Why do news organizations keep turning to a tool like him for quotes?

    How much PR money does it take to wield that much influence over tech media?

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Why do news organizations keep turning to a tool like him for quotes?

      Because like any fugly bar skank, he's so desperate for attention that he'll do all the work. "Journalists" are just as lazy and incompetent as the rest of us.

  • by tgatliff (311583) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:45AM (#23792293)
    I am really starting to get annoyed with Yahoo and how they are handling this. They are a beaten company, because they just sat around and did nothing... Google crushed their future business model, and now instead of letting themselves be purchased by what appears the best fit from a competition standpoint, they instead are poisoning it in a number of ways.

    I am certainly no fan of MS, but Google definitely needs to stay nervous in my opinion. This will, they will not eventually fall into the same trap that Yahoo did.... The trap of laziness...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yahoo is WIDELY used outside the US. In many countries, particularly in South America and Eastern Europe, it is THE go-to web portal and search engine. That is far from a "beaten" company.

      Also, letting themselves be purchased is DEFINITELY not the "best fit from a competition standpoint." Since when is GIVING UP competition? How is consolidating the effective market to two corporations from three pro-competitive?

      Oh, and Yahoo wasn't lazy. They're problem was they tried to do too much at once. They got
    • by fermion (181285)
      Google will and is becoming a force that will, soon enough, begin to block innovation and cause some grief to persons who depend on them, just like MS. However, they are still a reasonable company, mostly because they have to fight against Yahoo. MS is a non issue except that it has cash it can use to cause problems.

      I think that Google did one thing that no one else did. Quietly controlled cost, invested heavily in R&D, and pretty much created the profitable ad based service model. Yahoo did not s

  • Rob Enderle (Score:1, Redundant)

    Rob Enderle, Rob Enderle, Rob Enderle, where have I heard that name?

    Ah, that's where.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en-us&q=enderle+site%3Agroklaw.net&btnG=Search [google.com]
    As far as I'm concerned, that man has zero credibility
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @11:52AM (#23792345) Journal
    Google cut the deal such that if somebody else buys Yahoo, then Google get 250M (poison pill). What happens with that?
  • all he would have to do is remove that toupee and he is instantly transformed in to that Video Professor guy...

    http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=video%20professor [google.com]

    http://images.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&q=Rob+Enderle [google.com]

    they sure look like the same guy to me whom cater to the clueless...
  • ...for what Microsoft has been trying to do for the past few months: make them and Yahoo ONE COMPANY. For them to argue that Yahoo and Google cooperating on one deal is worse than them wanting to cooperate with Yahoo on everything would be ludicrous. I wouldn't put it past them to try, but it'll never fly.
    • Except that in 'net space Microsoft has a minority market share. They don't have the same clout as Google does when it comes to the Internet. That's what they are counting on. I hope it doesn't fly, but never underestimate the power of bribes in the right places.
  • This seems more than a little disingenuous of Microsoft considering they wanted to do the same thing with Yahoo! against Google. I would hope that even a junior politician in Washington would see the truth of it. If not, they better be aware that they may be voted out of office should they side with MS on this issue.
    • by asylumx (881307)
      You really think losing a couple of nerd/geek votes from the slashdot crowd is going to get anyone voted out? Sorry, I don't think the slashdot effect works on a political level, especially federal politics.
      • Who said anything about the "nerd/geek vote" other than you? You certainly seem to have a dim and narrow view of democracy. I have friends and politicos that aren't geeks and hitting the streets with facts is a lot easier to do than you realize, especially for a nerd/geek with a blog. Have you not been paying attention to politics in the U.S. over the last several years? Political blogs have a lot of power, but that's just one (new) rung in the system. I know how to start a campaign against a congressm
  • I hope something is simultaneously done about their monopoly.
  • Okay. My only take away from this article--reading between Enderale's lines--is

    ".. Microsoft is .. pounding on a lot of doors, I think this is .. a problem."
    Translation: they've pounded my door, and I dutifully came up with this bullshit noise.

    --
    Have USB, Will Travel - http://www.faunos.com/ [faunos.com]

  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:49PM (#23792717) Homepage
    ...it's just cruel to describe him as an elephant.
  • I think they are making a "capitol" mistake. They should stick with their core business. Producing Snow Vista.
  • I stopped reading the article summary as soon as I saw Enderle's name in it. The entire article must be bullshit from start to finish.
  • by sl0ppy (454532)
    the water goes in
    hydrogen and oxygen
    the energy flows

  • ...until someone else holds the monopoly.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:55PM (#23795231) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't it be nice if all Americans had the access to officials that only lobbyists get?

    Access is the coin of the politician realm. The "go along to get along" culture means that they're always talking out of every side of their mouth to accommodate every conversation they've had that doesn't get them indicted. So just inserting your point of view into their environment is the key to carrying your point of view into legislation.

    Every elected official should be required to fill their calendar from their constituents first, after they schedule meetings with their official staff. They should be allowed to reserve up to 1/3 of their office hours for people outside their constituency. Within those groups, people whose agenda is personal, even if they're the principals of their corporation or organization (eg. on its Board of Directors, shareholder committee, or executive tier) should all get equal access to the official. And every agenda should be published in their calendar, as well as the list of meeting attendees. Except in rare cases of actual national security, which must be confirmed by the relevant security committee in Congress, in order to be kept secret (though not from that oversight committee).

    We shouldn't have to wait for the paid corporate reps to get done deciding everything for a gang of figureheads. We're a republic. These people are supposed to represent us every day, not just on the campaign leading up to the Election Day "accountability moment".
    • by WeirdJohn (1170585) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @06:30PM (#23795485)
      Wouldn't it be nice if all Americans had the access to officials that only lobbyists get?


      Sorry, that only happens in a democracy.

      Yes I know this will be modded into oblivion. But please realise that The Rest Of The World does not acknowledge the USA as a shining example of Democracy and Freedom. I think it's because you've lost that "of the people, by the people, for the people" bit, and now have "of the moneyed, by the moneyed, for the moneyed".

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        That's true, but it was never any different in the US. Except maybe on TV for a while, and in the movies.

        But for that matter, it's even less true in other countries. Plus, it's also truer in individual US states than in the country as a whole. Which is what you have to compare most other countries to, where the US states are vastly more democratic and accessible than European, Asian, Latin American, African or other countries. The US is also vastly more Democratic that the EU as a whole, especially in terms
    • by susano_otter (123650) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @10:02PM (#23796965) Homepage

      Wouldn't it be nice if all Americans had the access to officials that only lobbyists get?

      All Americans do have that access.

      But officials are a limited resource. Obviously the Americans that work harder to get some of that resource will be the ones who benefit the most from those resources.

      What you're really asking is "wouldn't it be nice if nobody was allowed to put any more effort into influencing officials than the effort I put into it today?"

      And no, that wouldn't be nice at all. It's a free country: Everybody is free to specialize in accessing and influencing officials if they want to, and free to sell the benefits of their specialization to the highest bidder. And free to specialize in something else, and thereby generate enough personal wealth to retain the services of a lobbying specialist. And free to form an association with any number of other like-minded citizens, and pool their wealth for the purpose of accessing and influencing officials either directly, or through the services of a specialist. And free to do none of the above, and whine about it on the Internet instead.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)
        No, not all Americans have that access. What makes you say that? Have you ever tried to get a meeting with your senator? When IBM, or just the Coca-Cola bottling plant, wants a meeting, they get one that month, if not that day. If some mere constituent wants one, they can wait months, if they get one at all. Some states with very low populations (in their ratio to their 2 senators, or even in their ratio to their reps, which also vary by almost 100%) do have more easy access. But most states, the ones with
        • But what you've got is the plot from an Ayn Rand novel. They haven't even made that kind of fiction into a videogame yet

          Clearly you've forgotten BioShock.
      • This is just insane. This is the first time I hear someone arguing not for free market replacing the government, but for an unregulated, free-style government, where how well your interests are served is determined purely by how much you can pay. I find it surprising that why this is a patently bad idea needs explaining, but judging by that "+5, Insightful", it does, so here goes...

        Government officials are not a "limited resource" in a sense this term is traditionally used. They are people assigned by the

      • by Avwar (586585)
        While we're busy building walls of separation, let's build one between business and government. No lobbyists. No government-corporate connivance. Gee whiz, wouldn't it be a shame if some of those fortunes disappeared? Capitalism is a tool that needs free competition, not favoritism.

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