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Oracle Is Funding a New Anti-Google Group ( 156

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Fortune: Oracle says it is funding a new non-profit called "Campaign for Accountability," which consists of a campaign called "The Google Transparency Project" that claims to expose criminal behavior carried out by Google. "Oracle is absolutely a contributor (one of many) to the Transparency Project. This is important information for the public to know. It is 100 percent public records and accurate," said Ken Glueck, Senior Vice President of Oracle. Fortune reports: "Oracle's hidden hand is not a huge surprise since the company has a history of sneaky PR tactics, and is still embroiled in a bitter intellectual property lawsuit with Google." One would think Microsoft may be another contributor, but the company said it is not. Daniel Stevens, the deputy director of the CfA, declined to name the group's other donors, or to explain why it does not disclose its funders. Why does this matter? "When wealthy companies or individuals pose as a grass-roots group like the so-called 'campaign for accountability' project, [it] can confuse news and public relations, and foster public cynicism," writes Jeff John Roberts via Fortune.
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Oracle Is Funding a New Anti-Google Group

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  • Pot, meet kettle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19, 2016 @09:32PM (#52736271)


    • Re: Pot, meet kettle (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @10:07PM (#52736391)

      I think Oracle is probably just annoyed because after winning all of their big lawsuits against their own costumers, they lost what is arguably the mother of all of their lawsuits, and it wasn't one of their customers this time

      • [...] after winning all of their big lawsuits against their own costumers, [...]

        Why would they sue their costumers? Someone sew a button in the wrong place or something?

        • No, usually it's a matter of they give you a EULA, but instead of doing the sensible thing and making the software enforce the limits of your license, they just expect every single one of your employees to read it. If you do even something small like install it on a server with one too many cores, have one too many users, etc, they'll basically name their own price for an upgrade, which is usually an unreasonable price because you are in no position to negotiate, and if you don't agree to the price they'll

    • Re:Pot, meet kettle (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @10:09PM (#52736399)

      The evil of Google is like a candle flickering in the darkness.
      The evil of Oracle is like the midday sun.

      • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @11:11PM (#52736597) Homepage Journal

        I think you are confusing aspirations with reality. Oracle has sunk so low that they are approaching "mostly harmless" status, whereas the google has completely transcended and redefined EVIL. New motto is "All your attention are belong to us". Your personal data is just collected for more leverage.

        The real problem is that we are forced to pick between lesser evils in EVERY purchase we make. The single-objective quest for profit has produced a small number of cancerous monster companies. I'm wracking my brains, but right now I am unable to think of a single company that I've recently done business with that I would rate as more good than evil.

        Mostly our own collective fault? I can actually think of a few companies that seem basically good, but the result is that their goods and services are no longer competitive, so I can't even justify the premium I'd have to pay. Of course, then I can rationalize the decisions to do business with the typical bad companies. The good company is probably going to go bad soon enough, or it's probably bad on the inside if I just look a bit more closely. The entire game of business (especially in America) has been rigged for nasty companies that grow like mindless cancers in pursuit of more money.

        Unsolvable problem. NO amount of money would ever be "more" enough.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Google have never forced a product on me. Nor have they tried to prevent me from finding an alternative. They have exceptional software engineering standards - and they usually get it right. If something fails, they just bring the project to an end and find something more promising for their developers to do. They don't rely on legal threats and intimidation to extort. Can this culture survive the insatiable greed of shareholders though?

          • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @03:39AM (#52737091) Journal

            They have exceptional software engineering standards

            Their search is good. Their advertising platform (for advertisers) is alright. Their operations team is top-notch. A lot of the other stuff is half-done. Android is barely sufficient (and has a lot of messiness, too).

            • Android is barely sufficient

              Barely sufficient for what? Qualify that statement, and then compare it against all other alternatives on the market including what the market looked like before Android (Smartphone monoculture), and then question what it is that you're actually unable to do based on what a phone OS's purpose is.

              Quite frankly Android was better than the nothing that was before it, broke up a smartphone monopoly, and has gotten better with every release, but arguably not more useful since frankly it did pretty much everythin

              • by short ( 66530 )
                Android compared to a mix of GEOS (Nokia Communicators) or Maemo (Nokia N900). GEOS did not have/require a touchscreen, everything was controllable by hardware QWERTY. Maemo had normal UNIX prompt. Just both OSes have no longer competitive hardware (which is a pain as I still use N900 - together with Android).
              • The UI is clunky. The codebase sucks. It reminds me of Windows, which I describe as: adequate.
              • btw, don't get me wrong, I find it superior to iPhones for one reason: the lack of openness. I will never buy an iPhone until that changes, and Android is far superior when all things are taken into consideration.
            • Their search is good.

              Google search has basic flaws. It's not even able to strip the apostrophe-s off a term. That is, if in a web page a name occurs in the genitive only, Google search will not find it if you do a search for that name. And there's no way to report this to Google. E-mails will be ignored, and so will the "feedback" you give (which is processed by a subsidiary anyway).

        • I'm wracking my brains, but right now I am unable to think of a single company that I've recently done business with that I would rate as more good than evil.

          Wow, what does a company have to do to rate as non-evil?

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            Pretty good question, and I spent several minutes writing you a nice response. Then slashdot destroyed it with the <Backspace> bug. Too tired to reconstruct it now, but it was mostly old stuff about companies that encourage competition and free choice versus monsters like Exxon, Enron, and today's google. I even included a bit about breaking natural monopolies, but... *sigh* Much of the answer is implicit in my sig.

            Right now I mostly wish I could donate towards a feature-improvement project to fix tha

            • Well that's a shame.
              • by shanen ( 462549 )

                Okay, with the polite encouragement and a bit of slack time this morning, I'll try to reconstruct the parts I can remember.

                It focused on HP as a company that was a non-evil one, but many years ago. At that time, their corporate goals said very little about money or profits, but they admitted that they would be profitable if they did good work on the other goals. There was nothing about profit maximization, just that they wanted to do a bunch of good things. I would even say that HP might have been the best

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              Chrome no longer has backspace=back by default, and I've disabled it in Firefox as well. Another trick is to write long comments in a text editor and then copy and paste into the browser once the first draft is complete.

              • That, or somebody at Slashdot could write the single line of JS necessary to prompt you for confirmation before navigating away when you have a comment edit in progress. Why everybody seems to think this is a browser problem is beyond me.
                • by shanen ( 462549 )

                  Yeah, I should have mentioned that option.

                  I think some people may regard it as a browser problem because it depends on the control of the focus, and the browser is controlling whether the focus is in the input window or outside. However, I regard it as the responsibility of the website to consider the user's experience and prevent such problems.

                  What's slashdot's excuse? They can't find the right place in the spaghetti code?

          • by HiThere ( 15173 )

            It's not what it has to do, it's what it has to avoid doing. I believe the applicable quote is "Don't be evil.".

            That said, Google has rarely been very evil. A lot of people seem to dislike them purely because they are large and successful, but for me that's not sufficient reason to call them evil. It is sufficient to be hesitant about trusting them. Someone who's extremely powerful can harm you without even noticing.

        • Your personal data is just collected for more leverage.

          Define leverage. If leverage means that by knowing things about you they can offer you more services to help to improve your life then by all means, leverage on. Give me better traffic predictions, notifications that a flight I'm awaiting is ahead of schedule, the hotel address, automatically offer to navigate to IKEA when I get to my car after having just spent the past hour on their website.

          Yeah so they make some cash on the side, all while breaking down the OS monopoly that was iOS as the only viable sma

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            Okay, so you don't value your freedom and you are happy being manipulated. The carrot side usually tastes okay.

            If freedom isn't important to you, then perhaps you should think a bit about the stick? Oh wait. Maybe you're perfect and you've never made any embarrassing little mistakes?

            Just read an interesting book called Our Final Invention about the nastiest stick, ASI with no use for us. Don't get me wrong. If the google does it first, I'm going to surrender ASAP. No sense in fighting the inevitable. Mayb

            • Okay, so you don't value your freedom and you are happy being manipulated. The carrot side usually tastes okay.

              No, he didn't say anything like that. If freedom isn't important to you, then perhaps you should think a bit about the stick? Oh wait. Maybe you're perfect and you've never made any embarrassing little mistakes?

              Just read an interesting book called Our Final Invention about the nastiest stick, ASI with no use for us. Don't get me wrong. If the google does it first, I'm going to surrender ASAP.

              • by shanen ( 462549 )

                Your response is probably sincere, but too incoherent to respond to in a reasonable amount of time. The main improvement you could make in your writing would be to clearly separate the parts you are quoting from your own text. My comments are sort of mashed into your reply in various places. However, I actually recommend against inline replies for several reasons (but I don't want to trigger a religious war about posting styles).

                One point of confusion was clear enough to address, the ASI question. That refe

            • The carrot side usually tastes okay

              The carrot is great. Indeed it tastes good which is why you get given it.

              If freedom isn't important to you

              Now how did you get to that conclusion. Don't confuse bartering something which I don't value for something which I do as giving up my freedom. As far as I know the Google Gulag won't come knocking at my door if I turn my smartphone off, and if they do they may see a stick of their own.

              Maybe you're perfect and you've never made any embarrassing little mistakes?

              Now what embarrassing mistakes are we talking about? A bit of gay porn in my search history? Visiting a questionable bar in the Amsterdam red light dist

              • by shanen ( 462549 )

                Mostly going to focus on a short answer to your closing question. The google is motivated to increase their abuse of your personal information because they have a problem. They need more profit. This is not a real problem or a solvable problem. NO amount of profit would be sufficient to solve the problem of needing more money.

                Perhaps you have some emotional relationship with the google, so I'm going to switch to Amazon as an example. You might like their recommendations even though they are using your perso

          • ...all while breaking down the OS monopoly that was iOS as the only viable smartphone of the early 2000s...

            The first iPhone was released in 2007, and the first Android phone was released a little over a year later. Apple only had a monopoly for a couple years in a fairly small smartphone market.

            • And?

              My point exactly. There was a monopoly in the Smartphone market. Worth noting is it took a while for Android to gain popularity whereas the iPhone sold like microwaved Hershey bars at the annual Amsterdam weed tasting competition. There was several years of a single good smartphone on the market before other's caught up.

              • One, you said "early 2000s". Assuming you meant the decade and not the century or millennium, you were off by 4-5 years.

                My main point was that the "monopoly" was in a very small smartphone market. For the first couple years, most cell phones were not smartphones. By the time smartphones became the norm, Android was reasonably well established.
                • Yeah, whatever, keep arguing semantics as if we wouldn't have another OS mono-culture if it weren't for Android.

                  Android didn't start reaching iPhone levels of market share until well into the time where smartphones became the norm. Just remember the millions of people laughing at Android as the platform so bare it could do less than Blackberry. But really we can argue the numbers back and forth and it really doesn't change the fundamental point which I'll repeat here for prosperity:

                  all while breaking down the OS monopoly that was iOS

                  But sure you can continue

                  • Yeah, whatever, keep arguing semantics as if we wouldn't have another OS mono-culture if it weren't for Android.

                    I never said that. Whether or not some other system would have come along is impossible to know at this point. I would like to think that someone would have put together a system that didn't suck. Blackberry might have done it. Maybe Microsoft, but I admit that would have been pretty unlikely. Could have been Maemo, if a bunch of the manufacturers were looking for something to use and they didn't have Android available.

                    I think you and I just have a different standard for what is really considered a monop

          • by HiThere ( 15173 )

            There's more than one thing involved here.

            Google collects lots of data about you. This is threatening, but not inherently evil. Their business model is to sell advertisers access to a particular demographic, so they've got good reason to keep that data to themselves.

            Unfortunately, there are governments who have the power to extort access to that data from Google, so just by collecting that data Google automatically makes you vulnerable. If the governments all always act honorably and legally you can stil

            • Unfortunately, there are governments who have the power to extort access to that data from Google

              Yet what has been shown is little to no extortion of data, and governments obtaining useful data from elsewhere, and once in a western world the situation ends up in court we're back to lawful discovery processes which don't include things like "google telling us everything about this person ever" but rather specific details that require the knowledge of a crime up front.

              Additionally there are those who love to crack into systems for wealth or fame

              They don't concern me one bit. Google's database is super massive and their analytics are some of the most complicated in the world. Malic

              • by shanen ( 462549 )

                There seems to be a lot of emotional attachment to the google here, and some people seem to have taken umbrage at the Subject: line as the google's new motto, so let me point you at a different example that might scare a little sense into you.

                Ever heard of Personality Insights (PI)? Here is the live demo link:

                https://personality-insights-l... []

                Click on the "Body of Text" tab and then the "Your own text" button. (At that point you'll even have four languages to play with.)

                I suggest you paste in a large chunk o

      • Re:Pot, meet kettle (Score:4, Informative)

        by no1nose ( 993082 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @02:43AM (#52737013)

        Wanted to mod you up but everyone else already did. Oracle is evil. Anybody who says otherwise is selling something.

    • this is not only hilarious, it is good.
      let these two ultra evil corps fight it out, while they pretend to be do no evil ordinary grass roots catering to interests of masses.

  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Friday August 19, 2016 @09:32PM (#52736273) Homepage
    Then call them out on it already. Don't care if it's Oracle holding a childish grudge or not.
    • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @09:58PM (#52736349)
      If you call them out on it then they can refute it. This is SCO tactics, and Oracle is going to milk it for as long as they can.

      There couldn't have been a worse company to buy Sun, even Microsoft would have been preferable.
    • The main complaint in the summary is not that someone is calling out Google, it is that Oracle is pretending to be a grassroots organization instead of Oracle just standing up and calling out google.

      And further, these fake grassroots organizations are harmful in the sense that they break down confidence and participation in real grass roots organizations. People get cynical and just assume any grassroots org is just a front for some giant evil corporation.

    • There is a difference among "illegal", "immoral" , and "unethical". Oracle hasn't yet called Google out on something because they don't understand difference themselves.
  • by Michael Tiemann ( 3136525 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @09:35PM (#52736281)

    Umm...what part of transparency do they not understand?

  • by surfdaddy ( 930829 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @09:44PM (#52736307)

    Larry Ellison is likely pissed that Google managed to make a ton of money over the language that Oracle bought with Sun, but never managed to do anything with it. So go after Google. I also wouln't be surprised if Microsoft is involved. Microsoft likes to be a tough competitor but they don't like other tough competitors.

    • by seoras ( 147590 )

      I suspect Larry too.
      I also suspect that there's an element of his close, late, friend Steve Jobs bitterness and declaration of war on Google in Larry's vendetta.

      Putting personal vendetta's aside Google is getting too powerful, it's ability to manipulate information on a global scale for political motives is worrying.
      Time for some transparency and/or regulation of Google and the online search industry.

      • Perhaps Google is getting too powerful, but one thing is clear, Oracle has been too powerful for far too long, and if it takes the up-and-coming Godzilla to defeat one of the Old Dark Ones, then so be it.

        As to regulating search, just don't use Google search or any Google products. It's not like Bing doesn't exist, or other companies don't make search engines. Regulating search, at least in the limited purview of "right to be forgotten" nonsense in Europe, has demonstrated how bad regulation could become. Mu

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          True, Bing and Hotmail exist as Microsoft's alternatives to Google Search and Gmail. But what does Microsoft have that's remotely similar to, say, YouTube?

          • There's VEVO.

            • I meant VIMEO.

              • But what does Microsoft have that's remotely similar to, say, YouTube?


                Vimeo isn't by Microsoft, as I had previously stipulated. And even if we agree to abandon this stipulation, Vimeo has drawbacks. From the Vimeo Guidelines []:

                1. "Upload only videos you created yourself." This means at least one of the authors of a video has to be a Vimeo user with a suitable Internet connection. Videos created by a minor child may not qualify, as the parent who uploads it might not be an author. Nor may videos created by someone who lives in an area where home Internet connections are harshly cap
    • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @10:13PM (#52736417)
      It's like being mad at all the successful psychics when you were the only one who paid for the official psychic's license from the back of a psychic magazine.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      I also wouln't be surprised if Microsoft is involved.

      Nope. RTFS.

      • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @03:08AM (#52737057)

        "Microsoft says it is not involved", as quoted in the article, is not precisely the same claim as "Microsoft is not involved". Microsoft demonstrated during the SCO/Linux lawsuits that they could, and did, hide their business sponsorship of morally bankrupt legal fraud by encouraging their business partners to engage in support of the fraudulent litigants. That effectively kept Microsoft funding of the lawsuit from showing up in any directly traceable payments.

        • Microsoft wants a higher adoption of their .NET platform.

          So if Oracle could win that lawsuit it would be the death to Java. Pretty good motive if you ask me.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Lots of people made a lot of money with Java. Not not Sun.
      I think idea was that Java would run best on Sparc/Solaris so Sun would sell a lot of of Sparc based hardware to big companies.
      Then X86/64 and Linux became a great home for Java.
      Java on the desktop is still around but Java for everything never took off. In a way the browser based apps we see now are exactly what Sun was suggesting back in the day and Microsoft feared.

    • I'd suspect that Microsoft probably is not involved, at least not in any remotely direct way.

      Microsoft is busy trying to broaden adoption of its Google competitor products, such as Edge and Bing, and it really does not need the PR headache that would ensue if it was tied to this pretty seedy anti-Google group. I mean, Microsoft still has its past anti-competitiveness practices hanging over its head, and the broader public still regards Microsoft with a tinge of cynical skepticism. Were Microsoft to involve

    • No, he's pissed because he wasn't able to force Google to cross-license their distributed query technology.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19, 2016 @09:45PM (#52736319)

    Honest question time. Has anybody ever used an Oracle product that wasn't garbage? The only way I could see it is if they were selling trash to a dump, Oracle could probably find a way to fuck that up. Oracle go kill yourself.

    Oh and fuck Google too. When the mob puts a hit out on you it's often not because you've been running your business too honestly.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20, 2016 @12:49AM (#52736841)

      I'm posting this as AC because I'm currently involved in the rollout of a big, bloated, expensive Oracle product at a major university.

      They're a fucking shitshow through and through. No one knows what's going on. This thing is going to be delayed by at least a year or it's going to be rammed down our asses and be a catastrophe for 18 months or more. Billions will be lost in man-hours alone, and even in the best case scenario where it somehow magically works nothing will be gained. Instead, more staff will be required to support and coddle this beast.

      I've intentionally avoided looking up how much we will be spending on this fucking thing or how it was approved because I know I won't like what I find out.

    • I have, but they have always been products that Oracle has acquired from some other company merger and then slowly strangled to death. Frankly, I've been worried that MySQL would shrivel up and die after the EU decree expired, given the low level of activity until very recently, but it looks like it's turned a corner. Now the shriveling is happening on the Java EE side.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Well, I never liked it, but I once worked with someone who thought very highly of their database. At the time my only comparisons were with FoxBase, which had been ruined by MS, and MSAccess...which I caught making arithmetic I wasn't in any position to challenge him, even though it seemed like horrendous overkill to me. (I knew there were other databases out there, but I wasn't familiar with them.)

  • by Pezbian ( 1641885 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @09:55PM (#52736345)

    With how often both do such incredibly asinine things, I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets Oracle and SCO mixed up at times.

  • Accountability? (Score:5, Informative)

    by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Friday August 19, 2016 @10:26PM (#52736469)

    Oracle is campaigning for accountability? Sure, I love accountability.
    How about:

    - Improper accounting practices on your cloud service business: []
    - Breach of contract: []
    - Putting stockholders' investments at risk: []
    - Fraudulent practices/overcharging the Deparment of Justice: []
    - Patent infringement: []
    - Project cost overrun and breach of contract again: []

    If Oracle had any hint of accountability it would've closed doors a long time ago. What they want is money.

  • Wasn't Java GPL'ed? Is Dalvik derived from the GPL version, or the re-closed Oracle version?

  • must be some million-dollar, fancy-ass fescue grass roots, Ellison & Accountability in the same sentence. Oh pulease!
  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Saturday August 20, 2016 @03:46AM (#52737103) Homepage

    Oracle, if you want to be total dicks to google but get tech people on side so we start giving a shit about you, here's an idea: build us a nice open source browser with no telemetry that blocks ads. Base it on Chromium. Make it fast and lightweight and strip out anything that might annoy privacy advocates (like syncing) and make it an optional extension.

    Short of building a better search engine it's the only thing I could imagine making me try one of your products again.

  • The CfA apparently cannot even afford to pay its interns [], which nowadays seems like some kind of accountability issue itself.

  • You can bet that a group that announces it is dedicated to destroying a large company is about to be dragged into court and whipped until they break in half and bleed out on the court room floor.
  • Fund a group doing this explicitly with regards to Oracle. Call it the Pot Meet Kettle Group.

  • .. has been notably short of good legal news lately, losing both the Google and HP lawsuits. He's obviously decided to fire some of his lawyers and hire astroturf agitators instead. This is what you do when you've chased off many of your customer base by shaking them down and/or suing them as well as being sued for breach of contract. Maybe the next phase of Oracle's business plan will be to actually try and compete for a change.

  • Google aught to fund someone to look at Oracle and their practices. I'm sure they're breaking a bunch of laws.

    First thing that comes to mind is their Exadata product with Oracle Enterprise Linux. They didn't even bother to remove the /etc/redhat-release file, which is required. This tells me they don't even bother check the law or anything else.

    Someone should say - book 'em Danno!

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.