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Clinton's First Internet Address To The Nation 103

gumbo writes: "President Clinton gave his first Internet Address to the Nation today, in RealVideo, RealAudio, and Sun .au (!) formats. He also announced a government-wide search engine that should be up by fall, with no funding from tax dollars. Personally, I run several government Web sites and haven't heard of this, so they must be planning on spidering *.gov without checking with us first. :)" It may be a e-bucketful of hype, a content-impaired pandering gesture, but some president would make the first such address, so why not Bill? As Internet connections become ever more ubiquitous, though, just how ubiquitous do we want the promised e-government to be?
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Clinton's First Internet Address To The Nation

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  • Visit the National Security Agency's website!

    The NSA: Get to know us as well as we know you.

  • I wonder if some poor, innocent child went looking for the address so she could listen, and stumbled across faked dirty picture of El Presidente and a flock of interns...

    It's really not far-fetched. The URLs are very similar. Not that I'm into that sort of thing. I can't stand politics.

    My mom is not a Karma whore!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    So now will the president be on every webpage during the announcement? :)
  • One may wonder whether "government" as we view it is going to be relevant any more. Many countries are developing independent specialised institutions tasked with specific objective (which frankly politicians have shown to be incompetenet at managing). Look at the independences of the Fed. If Greenspan got run over by a truck, there would be a bigger economic shake down than if the president got assassinated (good for a few weeks of prime time). When the head of a country gets to become a figurehead with empty public posturing, who has the *real* control of a country?

    What are some of the trends that could influence the future?
    - social activism motivated by fast communications
    - breakdown in the sense of national identity, perhaps not in the US where patriotism is still a saleable item but in other countries
    - inefficiency of public owned services compared with private, to be revealed even more
    - where some companies outmass entire countries in resources

    To bring home the point, do people think of themselves as hackers first or [insert favourite home nation]?

  • You know, whenever anyone talks about the future myriad combinations of Internet and government, we always seem to get the most obvious, uninventive predictions. "File your taxes online! Vote online! Go to the DMV online!" Faster methods of doing things exactly the same way we do them right now.

    Isn't anyone else out there thinking that maybe this kind of technology has the ability to change the way we think of government itself?

    For instance, I wonder to myself sometimes if there isn't a new way to model the political boundaries of the world along the lines of the Internet. Here's a vision: A world where small individual node-states conduct commerce with each other by following universally agreed upon protocols, but remain largely autonomous internally. In much the same way as it doesn't matter whether or not you hook up a Mac, Wintel, or Linux box to the net as long as you send and recieve packets the way you're supposed to, couldn't we imagine a world where these little node-states allowed people the maximum amount of freedom to live the way they wanted as long as they followed agreed-upon procedures for routing goods and people through them?

    I imagine a patchwork quilt of different autonomous mini-states, like websites, each where the people living there determine their own rules. True freedom requires exactly this kind of diversity.

    As the world's population gets larger and more interconnected, it's crucial to note: Democracies become less virtuous as they become large, and any sufficiently large democracy is indistinguishible from tyranny. Don't believe me? All right, here's an analogy.

    Let's say we all want to go out to dinner. All 100 of us. 49 of us happen to be vegetarians.

    At Restaurant X, the procedure is simple. There's one big table, and one waitron. We all go, sit down, look at the menu and vote. Everyone eats what the majority decides. Unfortunately, 51% of us wanted the Filet Mignon (which we heard was quite good here). This leaves 49% of us without anything to eat. Democracy isn't always so tasty after all.

    But at Restaurant Y, they have 10 tables. You still have to vote at each table, and the majority still determines what everybody eats, but now we have 99% of our party happy: 5 tables of 10 meat-eaters, 4 tables of 10 vegetarians, and one table with 9 happy vegetarians and 1 meat-eater who doesn't get to eat what he wants. Maybe he'll ask if he can pull a chair up to the table behind him?

    Extrapolate this meat-and-veggie conflict to more contentious issues like abortion (or even IP laws) and it's easy to see how democracies are only virtuous when they're small.

    So how big is a node-state? I live in the U.S., and as a practical test-case, I'm going to say county-sized. I think the modern county has the approximate amount of people that the Founders based our ideal of democracy on. But in all honesty, I think science and technology could help determine what the proper size for a semi-autonomous unit of governance should be. It's not impossible to model, and the idea seems exciting to me.

    In any case, I find myself excited and curious: how can the technologies we have enable us to envision new ideas of government, in which we can all live freer lives? Any thoughts the ideas I've mentioned are appreciated, too.
  • Reading JonKatz? What if Bill Clinton is JonKatz?!! hrmm....

  • First off. Being a liberal hater doesn't necessitate one have any particular skin color.

    The last time I checked J. C. Watts and Rush Limbaugh had VERY different skin colors. Both are staunch conservatives. Please quit propagating the great lie.
  • ohh, you mean something like the electorial collages?
  • Partnerships with private businesses.

    Am I the only one that is disturbed by that? I mean, what if IBM does something bad to Arizona. Arizona government is dependant on IBM, so if they sue IBM, their network stops. Packets get dropped in their tracks. Of course, IBM has already had their era of being the evil, market dominating monopoly. What we need to watch out for is the government making a deal with AOL. AOL is positioned to become the next Microsoft, and if they get sued for Antitrust, and they destroy a chunk of the government network when they go down, that's a very bad thing.

    It's been shown throughout history that making deals with companies (especially big evil ones) is the first step to becoming depedant on, and eventually absorbed into, those same companies. The next step is AOL-Time Warner-United States Government. We must be very careful.
  • Too clueless to use MPEG, or too clueful? MPEG is still caught up in patents, licenses, and lawsuits!

    That's not really a big deal in this case - to broadcast mp3 you need a one-off licence. Let's see Frauenhoffer try to gouge the Whitehouse! Mp3, even with its licence fees is far preferable to RealAudio, which is just a broken form of mp3. Both should have been supplied.

    I was pleased to note that windows-media wasn't offered.

    Where were you when all the previous stories about Ogg Vorbis were being posted?

    I was there. In fact I'm on the vorbis devel mailing list. And have contributed. ;-)

    I look into my crystal ball and see many oggs there.
  • Good grief! So, you find it impossible that ANY white man can respect a black man. Is that what you are saying?

    Not at all. Have you ever heard Limbaugh speak of justice Thomas? There is immense respect there. In fact Limbaugh asked justice Thomas to perform his wedding.

    I just find it impossible that the boobs that the DNC parades around to show that they're "down with" the black community could be respected by them.

    McCain is an example of someone who is truly his own man, and the GOP bigwigs cannot STAND the thought of him being the President. Because they cannot control him.

    The reason GW cleaned McCain's clock is because McCain is only a fiscal conservative. He did himself in with his comments on abortion, and other social issues. Let us not even mention McCain's temper tantrum when he lost.

    A "man" who, without his father helping him with every step of his life, would be a nobody.

    It wasn't his dad that got him his current job, it was a majority of the people of Texas.

  • and btw, the US is not a democracy as much as it is a republic. Very rare is it that laws are voted in election, 99.9% are made in congress or your state legeslation. About the only time that someing is voted on by the public is when the county or city wants something passed.

    And what system of government would you perfer? I think that we in the US have it quite well. Go to Saudi some time.
  • I also have this deep i'm-a-true-techie-this-hurts feeling when I see another lamer get a new Prefab. IBM clone and AOL. I dont feel bad because I'm jealous of their 1ghz Athlon, I feel bad that the market dictates what goes and what dies off...

    Hmmm...interesting so instead of the companies that create technology that is easy enough for the average person to use (e.g. Dell, AOL or MSFT) we should force everyone to either learn how to use bash, Emacs and lynx so that your idea of cool tech is preserved?

  • Uh perspective here. The literacy rate in America is 95-98%. The percent of the population on the internet probably is around 50% if that high at all. The percent owning tv's is probably as high as the literacy rate. Therfore, the best way to have a national address _today_ is to broadcast on tv or radio. You can broadcast on the web also, as long as you also do it one of the other mediums as well.
  • Excellent post... The first part of it reminded me of the little countries in Snow Crash. Sounds like a lot of fun.

    On a more serious note, I've seen the problem you mentioned brought up before in Lani Guinier's essay "The Tyranny of the Majority". She has fewer suggestions, though, and is reduced to saying we should all "take turns".

    Too bad we already tried your idea. Seemed to work fairly well, too, but the masses so idealize the big central government method that we'll never get it back.

  • It was Clinton & Dole, IIRC. :)

    There is a site (lost the URL) where you can answer a list of questions and then get a listing of ratings with all of the available candidates and potentials (Ralph Nader included).

    Out of all the potential candidates, Ralph Nader scored the highest compatability with me at 68%.
    That means he was the only candidate that agreed with more (barely) than half of what I believe in.

  • Real programmers use sed.

    Actually, real programmers use pif or mek. Only imaginary programmers use sed.
  • It was funny. Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot, and not every anti-Gore sentiment is made by a Limboid. Some of us heard the original quote, and it's equally as pompus.
  • From netcraft.com:
    *************snip snip***

    www.firstgov.com is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT4 or Windows 98

    *************snip snip***

    Oh boy...help us all!

  • >Clinton now has first presidential post! I bet >this pisses off Al Gore immensely >him "inventing" the internet and all).

    You should have seen the IRC transcript:

    *** Connecting to irc.whitehouse.gov (6667)
    Welcome to the Internet Relay Network mediahack
    Your host is irc.whitehouse.gov, running version u2.10.06.0
    This server was created Sat Sep 11 1999 at 19:29:04 EDT
    irc.whitehouse.gov u2.10.06.0 dioswkg biklmnopstv
    There are 281 users and 89 spooks on 10 servers
    3 operator(s) online
    156 channels formed
    I have 15 clients and 2 servers
    -irc.whitehouse.gov- Highest connection count: 151 (148 clients)
    Message of the Day, irc.whitehouse.gov
    -Office of the Press Secretary
    -(Santa Monica, California)
    -Don't miss it! June 24, 2000
    -in #pressconference
    - * Bots are absolutely not permitted on this server under any
    - circumstances; failure to follow this rule will result in a
    - visit to your house by the Secret Service.
    End of /MOTD command.
    -irc.whitehouse.gov- on 1 ca 1(2) ft 10(10)

    /join #pressconference

    *** Now talking in #pressconference
    *** Topic is
    *** Set by presssecretary on Mon Jun 24 12:16:16

    ***PrEzIdEnT has joined #pressconference

    /whois PrEzIdEnT

    PrEzIdEnT is president@whitehouse.gov * Bill Clinton
    PrEzIdEnT on #pressconference #internsexpics #ms-warez #!!!monica
    PrEzIdEnT using irc.whitehouse.gov The White House
    PrEzIdEnT has been idle 10 secs, signed on Sat Jun 24 15:00:06

    Good morning, D()()DZ. Here in America, a revolution in technology is underway.

    It is more than a time of innovation, it's a time of fundamental...oh, BTW anyone here have a
    crack for Win2K? DCC me if you do..sorry, yeah, transformation, the kind that happens, at most, every hundred years.

    Today, in my first Saturday IRC chat, I'd like to speak to you about how we can seize the potential
    of this information revolution to widen the circle of our democracy and make our government much more
    responsive to the needs of our citizens, like responding to their needs for a government warez site. (I wish. Damn lawyers.)

    Early in our history, people often had only one option when they needed the help of the national
    government. They had to visit a government office and stand in line. Indeed, as Vice President Gore has pointed out, after the Civil War the only way our veterans could collect their pensions was by traveling all the way to Washington. D.C. and waiting for a clerk to dig out their war records. Those war records were actually bound in red tape. That gave rise to the universal symbol of bureaucratic delay that has existed down to the present day. Now, disgruntled government employees, like postal workers, just shoot government bureaucrats. But folks, that's another chat...

    Thankfully, things have gotten a lot easier for citizens over the years. In recent years, advances in computing and information technology have led to remarkable gains. Now, the government comes to you: after all, where else are we going to get our money? Taxes? Naw, we'll just accuse you of a drug crime and whether you're guilty or not, well get your property through forfeiture "laws."

    Under the leadership of Vice President Gore, we have greatly expanded the spread of information technology throughout the government, cutting reams of red tape, putting vast resources at the fingertips of all of our citizens, and making privacy a thing of the past.

    Citizens now are using government websites to file their taxes, compare their Medicare options, apply for student loans, and find good jobs. They're tapping into the latest health research, and browsing vast collections in the Library of Congress, and following along with NASA's missions in outer space. This is just the beginning. What they don't know is that my team at the NSA has been keeping track of everything they do, legal and illegal.

    Today I'm pleased to announce several major steps in our efforts to go forward in creating a high-speed, high-tech, user-friendly government, just like Microsoft Windows, and about as reliable too. First, we're going to give our citizens a single, customer-focused website where they can find every on-line resource offered by the federal government.
    (Never mind that Canada did this five years ago...the dogsleds don't run all that often, you know, and we're only getting around to stealing their idea now.)

    This new website, fistglove.gov -- oops, nope, that's one of Hillary's fetish sites, er, I mean FIRSTGOV.GOV, will be created at no cost to the government by a team led by Eric Brewer, who developed one of the most successful Internet search technologies with the help of government grants. In the spirit of cutting through red tape, this new website will be created in 90 days or less. And boy, it will show. It will uphold the highest standards for protecting the privacy of its users, ie. none.

    When it's complete, firstgov will serve as a single point of entry to one of the largest, perhaps the most useful collection of web pages in the entire world, rivalled only by microsoft.com. Whether you want crucial information in starting a small business, or you want to track your Social Security benefits, you can do it all in one place, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And hackers, since we're using secure servers, don't you even think about breaking in and finding out stuff you shouldn't, like Chelsea's Napster listings or her ICQ number.

    Second, now that we're poised to create one-stop shopping for government services, we'll also greatly expand the scope of those services. Increasingly, we'll give our citizens not only the ability to send and receive information, but also to conduct sophisticated transactions on-line. We're also working with the FBI and the NSF to develop a 1,000,000 volt charge sent through IP packets to make law enforcement's job easier, through a "virtual online (cardiac) arrest", something our boys in blue like to call a "sting" operation. LOL!

    For example, this year the federal government will award about $300 billion in grants, and buy $200 billion in goods and services, and piss away the rest on stuff like defence spending and settling my lawsuits. Over the coming year, we will make it possible for people to go on-line and compete for these grants and contracts through a simplified electronic process. Moving this enormous volume of business on-line will save a great deal of money and time for our taxpayers. It will also expand opportunities for community groups, small businesses, and citizens who never before have had a chance to show what they can do. Trust me, we'll be watching you too.

    Third, in conjunction with the nonprofit Council for Excellence in Government (ROTFL..."excellence in government!" What an oxymoron...), we're launching a major competition to spur new innovative ideas for how government can serve and connect with our citizens electronically. The Council will award up to $50,000 to those students, researchers, private sector workers or government employees who present the most creative ideas, and line the right pockets.

    In the early years of our republic, Thomas Jefferson said, "America's institutions must move forward hand in hand with the progress of the human mind." Well, today, the progress of the human mind is certainly racing forward at break-neck speed.

    If he was alive today, he would probably want to see me hang by the neck until it breaks, heh heh...but he isn't, so fuck him, and fuck liberty.

    If we work together, we can ensure that our democratic institutions keep pace. With your help, we can build a more perfect, more responsive democracy for the Information Age, where the government isn't just looking in your window, but is right in your computer room, watching you jerk off to online porn.

    Thanks for listening. TTYL.

    *** PrEzIdEnT has quit IRC (Leaving)

  • Kyobu, your argument makes sense except for one thing. Clinton has frequently gone out of his way to buck the traditional mission of the Democratic party and Gore seems poised to go even farther. The Democrats have used the "either us or the Republican/conservative/xxx for the last two elections. Yet Clinton has virtually betrayed the progressives who voted him into office. While Al Gore seems to be bent on outBushing Bush when it comes to the sterotypical right-wing issues such as the death penalty. And he does have that history of censorship in his background.

    Yes, voting for Nader may very well give Bush the White House. But if so, then the handlers of the GoreBots will know EXACTLY why their spin-programmed candidate lost their election and that they can not take us for granted any more.

    In the area of liberal/progressive causes, Nixon acheived more unwillingly than Clinton had the guts for pushed for. In his whole presidency he pushed 2 issues. 1. Health care which he delegated to his wife and did practically nothing to stop its foundering. and 2. Gays in the military in which he didn't have the cojones to use his full authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of this Nation.
    With Reagan's landslide victory over Carter in '80 the Democrats began a new career as Republicans in donkey suits. They have yet to fully learn the folly of this practise.
    Voting for Nader may very well give Bush a victory. Perhaps. But it looks like nothing less will give the Dems the shot in the rear end they so desperately need.
  • Are you kidding? Read the text carefully... This is a subtle plug for Gore. All the things Gore has done, and just before the election. Hmmm...
  • I guess ol' Bill can now be remembered as some sort of pioneer, rather than just an American Caligula.
  • Where didja get this post generator? And how much input does it need?
  • Many people don't know the difference between .gov and .com. The domain name first.com is taken, but firstgov.com was free as a backup address for the clueless.

    You may remember that whitehouse.com was taken by a porn site.

  • Your right but the advantage of the web is persistance, which is often over looked. This address will always be availible to anyone coming across it. Unlike any other time base medium, I can get to it when ever I feel it might be important.

    Everything on the internet is prime time.

    Cheers, Andrew.
  • by DHartung ( 13689 ) on Saturday June 24, 2000 @11:27PM (#978183) Homepage
    Actually, this isn't entirely new.

    The website http://www.fedworld.gov/ [fedworld.gov] offers a single search site for hundreds of federal websites. Originally started as a central BBS that let you look at other government BBS systems, it expanded into offerings via FTP and gopher before there was really a web.

    Somebody also mentioned http://www.google.com/unclesam [google.com] [no trailing slash: bad server config!]. (and get a load of the old glory colors on the Google logo: bet you see something similar on the home page by next weekend ...)

    Also, http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/Services/ [whitehouse.gov] has been around for a long time.

    It sounds like http://www.firstgov.gov/ [firstgov.gov] (which IS live, just a placeholder) will be much more citizen-oriented, that is, getting the services to the people (like Social Security or VA records), rather than being a spreadsheets and reports searching site. I just don't think it's a very good name. help.gov? helpdesk.gov? services.gov? something "nineties" like my.gov? (Somebody else said) first.gov? The repeated G-O-V is silly.
  • Hm, wonder why he would mention "no tax dollars."

    What do you mean no results found for ROSWELL UFO COVERUP?! My tax dollars PAY for this to... oh.

  • OK, my node-state has decided to bring back the institution of slavery. Anyone can sell themself, or their children, into slavery. The majority of the node-state's citizens have decided that this is a good idea. Any outsider who objects is a cultural imperialist.

    There's two points worth making here.

    1) I think, if we view people like packets, part of the "protocol" has to include free speech, free access to information, and the right to travel. For all people. Without these three things, a network like this cannot work. So out-and-out slavery would be against the protocol.

    2) As far as it goes, I'd rather have small isolated patches of people doing things I personally disagree with, than a one-world state in which those things I consider moral wrongs are forced on 6 billion people at once.

    It really depends on whether your perfect idea of the world is one where you govern everybody because you're the only one who knows what's right, or whether you believe everyone should have the freedom to govern themselves.

  • First let me say that I understand what you mean, but keep in mind that some people can't afford television sets or radios, eliminating those mediums. Other people are illiterate, eliminating print. Even if everyone did have access and the ability to understand what was being said, no address could be truly "national" because not everyone pays attention to addresses such as these.
  • As we progress into the future of computing at an ever-expanding rapid rate, it is imperative that we occasionally take time to reflect on how these unprecendented advances will impact our daily life structure. The recent case of a government-funded search engine shows how controversy can touch upon many aspects of a new searching paradigm. On one hand, we have enthusiastic "early adopters" who represent the tide of new ideas and schematics into the search-engine field. On the other hand, we have the more experienced, but possibly flawed, viewpoint of the current search leaders.

    Who is correct? At this point, it's difficult to tell. Some detractors would argue that this technology presents an undue intrusion into existing search model. The government's search technology is a revolutionary alterance in the existing capacity of Internet search engines; it alters the capacity for searching in ways that our current economic structure and techonological understanding may not be prepared to accomodate. Perhaps glitches in this untested process may condemn a government search engine to a footnote in computing history.

    Supporters, on the other hand, say that a government search engine is an important step forward for computing and information resources. With previous informational searches, users could not take advantage of the most important technological benefits gained from modern-day information research. A government search engine, they say, opens the proverbial floodgates by bringing the search technology out of the laboratories and into the homes of the every-day user.

    There is some probably some merit to both viewpoints. Certainly, commerce as a whole will encounter some friction as it shifts to accomodate the power capacity and access provided by a government search engine. However, the end result may be worth the infrastructural shifts; existing search engines may not be as structurally capable as their newer cousin.

    Will a government search engine sink or swim? The question is still up in the air; with many unique forces and viewpoints at work, we'll likely see many interesting challenges and confrontations for the pioneers in the searching field. Whatever the final result is, it's sure to give the key players on all sides of the issue a trial by fire.

    Yu Suzuki

  • by siokaos ( 107110 ) on Saturday June 24, 2000 @08:00PM (#978188) Homepage
    I think the internet is going to change the democratic process in the future, but after MANY reforms. As of this moment, senators and such make vital decisions based on e-mail. Email has become a gigantic part of the democratic process.

    I think that some sort of ID authentication process must come up in the next few years if official business will be done online. If they currently made a website for people to vote it would be "wildly inacurate". We must realize that the anonimity of the internet also attributes against the society democracy was built for.

    I also have this deep i'm-a-true-techie-this-hurts feeling when I see another lamer get a new Prefab. IBM clone and AOL. I dont feel bad because I'm jealous of their 1ghz Athlon, I feel bad that the market dictates what goes and what dies off... But I also feel good that tech. is taking off, because it used to be an un-recognized tool of a "talented-tenth" of our society.

    This "talented-tenth" still exists, but "normal people" also have the opportunity to explore the web.

    As for the president eventually making speeches online, I think that's a great idea. If Nixon hadn't started speeches with TV, where would we be now? As long as we can confirm it's the president (becoming increasingly difficult with complex technology),

    The democratic process will definately change during the next 30 years.
  • First he starts a semi-war because he got Monica's dress dirty, i wonder what he is covering up this time, hmmm... maybe that he smokes pot ?? oh wait, he already covered that. I think that this is like another stunt that he is doing, making a statement perhaps that, old be can use the internet... whatever it is, i highly doubt that it is good =)
  • They could just put a link to eBay, where you can bid on your local politican; then the government search engine could get a percentage of the profits.
  • I know that I'm supposed to be cynical and pessimistic when posting on Slashdot, but the things the President touched on in his speech were actually impressive. It would be nice to see the federal government return to investing in internet infrastructure; I for one am sick of half-baked, banner-ridden sites thrown up by marketing hacks with too much venture capital and too little technical ability, who have dreams of billion dollar IPOs running through their delusional little minds. If we're going to see the internet become a tool of democracy, as a lot of people envision, we're probably going to have to end up spending *gasp* tax dollars on it. And maybe, just maybe, that despite this it will actually be beneficial.
  • Alright, goverment doesn't like Mircrosoft's monopoly, yet they run their OS?
    Don't belive me?

    Check here [netcraft.com]


  • by jbuhler ( 489 )
    I believe the search engine will be funded by "virtual dollars".

    If you compare the cost of maintaining this web site to the amount that the government spends every year, it's some really really really small fraction -- so small, in fact, that dollar amounts that size spontaneously circulate, are spent, and are annihilated as taxes all the time without existing long enough to affect the annual balance sheet. Such quantum fluctuations in the economy are a side-effect of the Budgetary Uncertainty Principle (towhit: you cannot simultaneously know precisely how much of your income goes to the government and just what they're spending it on). Apparently, the Clinton administration has found a way to harness these transient virtual dollars to generate real money with which to fund the new web site.

    How, you ask, is it possible to buy real services with virtual money? After all, every dollar created in this way surely creates an "anti-dollar" as well and soon annihilates with it; to do otherwise would be a violation of the Conservation of Cash (the so-called GRH, or Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, Principle). However, fans of Stephen Hawking know that when a quantum fluctuation occurs near a really strong gravity well like a black hole, one member of the virtual particle-antiparticle pair can be sucked inside the event horizon, so that the other virtual particle becomes real and appears as radiation from the hole. Analogously, you can convert virtual dollar-antidollar pairs into real dollars only in the neighborhood of an object so unprofitable that no sum, however small, can ever escape it.

    Now you know the frightening true purpose behind the recent appearance of all these dot.com startups.
  • With adds.
    By not collecting "any personal information from citizens" on the site itself, but allowing the collection of enough info on other sites [slashdot.org] that someone like double-click could create a pretty extensive and accurate profile info on you.
    Says here that you were looking at welfare benefits last year. Are your finances any better this month?

  • This "talented-tenth" still exists, but "normal people" also have the opportunity to explore the web.

    :s/normal people/the idiots/

    -Jade E.
    Elitist at heart.

    P.S. This is not intended as the precursor to an editor war, the easily inflamed may replace the above lines with appropriate ESC- commands.
  • Reno forced to use Windows? How's that? The army didn't seem to have any trouble using Macs, and countless other government sites use Linux, Sun and probably all kinds of obscure crap.

  • HA HA!! UR Pr3z !5 a lUser |\|3wB13!!! USA D035n7 |-|4\/3 an 313373 Pr3z!!! :-P
  • This new website, firstgov.gov, will be created at no cost to the government [much deserved snip] in 90 days or less. It will uphold the highest standards for protecting the privacy of its users.

    This will be the most ethical administration -- Bill Clinton, 1992.

    (not an exact quote, but he did say something to that effect)

  • HAH! The only thing ruining society is narrow minded individuals who believe in stealing individuals freedoms. I can't wait for the day when people finally realize that laws against pot are illeagle, and we have every right to do WHATEVER WE WANT as long as it doesn't have a negative effect, or any effect for that matter, on anyone else.

    Instead of being critical about pot smokers, try opening your mind to the fact that the world needs all different kinds of people, and as long as they're not hurting anyone, there's nothing wrong with what they do. Pot heads can make just as many contributions to society as anyone else.

  • Perhaps you mean the SelectSmart poll [speakout.com]?

    If you're curious, I matched Ralph Nader at 18%. The closest was Howard Phillips at 95%.

  • Why not just call it first.gov instead of firstgov.gov?
  • by warmi ( 13527 )
    That's actually quite significant. To bad it happen to be worst president in this century getting to do this for the first time.
  • The fact that the government uses Microsoft software more or less proves their charge that Microsoft is a monopoly. I think.
  • by warmi ( 13527 )
    That would solve lots of problems , indeed.
    Good idea !
  • "normal people" are in no requisite of joining the "talented-tenth".

    In our "new age of technology", a lot of people are getting man-handled by hardware and software companies that make it easy to learn.

    This is good, but again, they are in no immediate requisite of advancing.
  • As of this moment, senators and such make vital decisions based on e-mail.

    My congressman doesn't have an email address. Even for those who do have email addresses, they seem to give more consideration to paper mail, esp. hand-written paper mail.

  • I think people can legitimately differ on areas of moral controversy like this. In my world of node-states, abortion is practiced in 49% of them, and against the law in the other 51%.

    OK, my node-state has decided to bring back the institution of slavery. Anyone can sell themself, or their children, into slavery. The majority of the node-state's citizens have decided that this is a good idea. Any outsider who objects is a cultural imperialist.

  • u dumb or something?? he wasnt being serious
  • It must be a timezone thing, I mean it's still only June here in the UK, still got a month to wait before we can watch it...
  • The good news is that Clinton was clueful enough to give an address on the net. The bad news is, he's still too clueless to use mp3.
  • by Mr804 ( 12397 )
    Clinton should get behind legalizing pot and stop messing with the internet.

  • So I wonder when Clinton will start doing a 24 hour round the clock web cam of himself.... oh wait.. thats disgusting.
  • I agree that Nader is really cool, but think for a minute. Even though it seems principled to vote for the best candidate, it's a bad idea, and will be until we get proportional representation. In this election especially, it is extremely important to make sure that Bush doesn't win. At least one, and possibly as many as four, Supreme Court justices, including Chief Justice Rehnquist, will be retiring during the upcoming two Presidential terms (don't forget that incumbents usually win reelection), which makes this next Presidency extra-important. Add that to Bush's support of the death penalty, opposition to abortion, and general right-wingedness and alignment with big business, and he's a pretty bad candidate. Not that Gore is so great, but at least he's not Dubya.

    In a perfect world, we would have preferential balloting and other mechanisms for better democracy, but we don't now. When you vote for a third-party candidate, you are not only voting for him, but against the party that you hate the least. For instance: say you're a Green, for the sake of argument. If the Democrats get 35% of the vote, the Republicans get 40%, and the Greens get 25%, then the Republicans would win. However, if the Greens had all voted Democratic, which is the mainstream party closer to their ideology, the Democrats would have won. It's sad, but it's true. If you feel strongly about a third party, by all means vote your conscience in lesser contests such as local elections, but please compromise on the Presidential election, because this one really matters.
  • I'm so sick of the way the damn liberals have messed with this country.. Can you really trust anything the Clinton administration says anyway... :-/

  • Well, of course, it was actually Al Gore's idea. Everyone knows he invented the internet. And the microprocessor. And all of computer science...where do you think the word "algorithm" came from?

  • It's funny when NetCraft reports the site as "firstgov.gov is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT4 or Windows 98" when Reno is so up in arms about alternatives to Microsoft software.

    Oh well.

  • Yup, in fact what might have been a more significant move is if they were to go through their archives put them on the web, at least that way they might be encoureged to stand by their promises... (they might already be doing this of course, but I generally only browse goverment websites to avoid fines)

    It's all going to be a lot easier when we all have neural implants to connect us to the web, pre election ad campaigns will be more fun anyway, they can just flash the party name while hitting our happy buttons :)

    followed of course by twice as much time flashing the opposition party's name and some pain ...

  • This has got to be one of the goofiest things that Clinton has done. Why would I spend my time listening to his Internet Nation address when I could be playing StarCraft or working on my favorite programming project??? :-)
  • Partnerships with private businesses.

    Arizona's been working with IBM for a while now to handle as much of the workaday business of government online... IBM gets 2% of the take from fees. Not fucking shabby at all...

    It isn't amazing that this is happening- but that it hasn't happened until now, what with all the money that's in it for the lucky corporate partner!
  • by suss ( 158993 ) on Saturday June 24, 2000 @07:41PM (#978220)
    President Clinton gave his first Internet Address to the Nation today

    Clinton now has first presidential post! I bet this pisses off Al Gore immensely (him "inventing" the internet and all).
  • You would think the gov would have just a little more bandwidth that 3.0k/sec hell and it died mid movie. hah. Can't wait to see this "fast" web site. hahahahahahahaha God bill cracks me up so much. what a true "lamer" baaaaaaaaaaahaha
  • Is she really 5'3? She looks taller.

  • Considering it's going to be very hard to be without a I-brow/I-opener/some other similar thing pretty soon, it's not a terrible idea to start the initiatives now.

    If anything, they can put them in government offices, and people can still walk up and do their business ten times more quickly.
  • Not to be listed as "Flame Bait", but does the Government need to confide with you on it's internet plans? If you run a government website, do you think they need to check with you to list it's content? I work for the government conducting tests for various military and government related items, do they need to contact me when they are planning on designing a new weapon?
  • I must say, I like the .sig. :)
  • The President's statement says that the search engine will be developed with funding from internet entrepreneur Eric Brewer. Brewer is one of the founders of Inktomi, which developed a highly scalable search engine, which was adopted by many of the search engine companies. They've adapted that technology to be a web caching system, and several of the caching companies out there use it. [inktomi.com]
    About Inktomi

    I'd guess that the firstgov.gov search engine will piggyback off Inktomi's existing search systems, so it will probably cost them less than building one from scratch. The interesting problems are getting more government material onto the net where it can be found.

  • Nuff Said
  • And it isn't caused by "the cheese." This'll be another positive event to Bill Clinton's legacy of whatever-the-hell-he-did-in-office-besides-doing-s ome-bitch-slapping-on-Abraham-Lincoln's- writing- table-in-the-White-House. Bill Clinton isn't doing anything useful. He demonstrates the use of internet technology better than being president of the U.S.A. This is just as lame as "The First Moma" duking it out with the produce delivery man via her Cobra... AND AND AND THERE THERE THERE AIN'T AIN'T AIN'T NO NO NO DOUBT DOUBT DOUBT ABOUT 'BOUT 'BOUT IT IT IT. He could've been more "green" by simply posting his message to a newsgroup forum.
  • Or how about this: We all just order what we want to eat. No voting at all, just individual choice. So long as I'm not filching from your plate and vice-versa, everyone's happy.

    The sods who like to get on their moralistic high-horses about what you or I eat can just sit and stew, as they will have no power to force their choices upon us.

    That's what the government should be like. Protect individual rights and that's it.

    Maybe next time round...


  • Unfortunately voting for Bush is just as bad, it's a shame that we have to vote for who we hate the least instead of who we like the most.

    Bring back Bradley, Bring back Mc Cain
  • vote for ralph nader, he is the one candidate who would never pander to big business or the right wing nazis. his track record as an american citizen is outstanding.
  • Why won't someone confront this administration and remind them:

    1) The government is not some stand-alone entity; it belongs to the people.

    2) Government services are funded by the people's money in the form of taxes; all government programs are subject to the people's approval.

    3) The government is not in the business of marketing itself in order to propogate its programs. It works the other way around. We the people determine a need, whether it be defense, welfare of our citizens, space programs, etc. and vote for the persons who will fufill our needs. The government is not a private company which needs to market itself to its' citizens.

    4) There is nothing free with the government. This website may be built by some "private" citizen, but the information compiled within comes from taxpayer funded departments. There will be neccessary work and information gathering needed on the part of taxpayer funded government employees in order to complete this "great undertaking".

  • Just to add a little more offbeat humor to the Al Gore Internet pioneer debacle...

    In a recent interview with Time Magazine (June 26 2000), Intel's Gordon Moore, the guy who came up with the famous law himself took a witty potshot at Gore himself. In fact, it's my sig now. = )

    TIME Are you proud of prediction?

    MOORE ...I simply saw they [no. of transistors] were doubling every year and blindly said they would keep doubling. If Al Gore "invented" the Internet, I "invented" the exponential.

    Poor ol' Al.

  • If you listen very closely, you can just hear Al Gore in the background whispering "Hot Grits! Hot Grits!"
  • He's such a gas-bag with his eternally long, fluff embedded speeches. How does hot air look in 1s and 0s?
  • I too will be voting for Nader in this election. I simply can't bring myself to vote for either Bore or Gush, and I'm sick of the collusion between corporate America and our political process. We have a highly corrupt government which appears to have started failing US citizens right after President Eisenhower left office (I personally think FDR and Eisenhower are the two best Presidents of the century).

    Speaking as a 32 YO male who lived through the corrupt years of Reagan/Bush, who willingly (and gladly) voted for Clinton, and who has finally lost all hope with our current political process. Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton will be reviled as among the worst Presidents our nation ever endured. Yes, worse than Taft.
  • by Lan-Z ( 148249 )
    It is June 24th right? Not July 24th...or does the government have the power to change that too?
  • by aint ( 183045 )
    the algorithm joke is funny! thanks.

    -- .sig --
  • People do not want software that is "easy to use." People want software that looks good. Compare pine and Lotus Notes (as an email client). Which one looks better? Lotus Notes. Which one is easier to use? Pine, by far. But the good-looking one wins.

    So don't try and tell me that Microsoft has made software that is easy to use. Visit iarchitect [iarchitect.com] and you can see plenty of counterexamples which prove that a pretty GUI does not deliver an easy-to-use interface. (They have a whole section devoted to that colossal pile of dung known as Lotus Notes.) I don't believe that there is such a software that is "easy enough for the average person to use." I think that there is some psychological phenomenon which turns many people into morons whenever they get near a computer. Read Computer Stupidities [rinkworks.com] for some excellent examples.

    Until a computer is developed that completely understands human speech, no software can be "easy to use." And when I say "completely understands," I mean a computer than understands jokes, puns, idioms, and mispronunciations with a 99.999% accuracy; one that can really guess what the user "meant to say." Remember, the true test of fluency in a langauge is when you can understand jokes in that language.

  • To quote from the address: Early in our history, people often had only one option when they needed the help of the national government. They had to visit a government office and stand in line.

    Looks like Bill's been lurking on Slashdot [slashdot.org].

  • Is this only being broadcast on the Internet?

    It hardly seems fair to call it an address to the 'Nation' if it is, what percentage of people are actually online in the US anyway?

    If I was in the US and unable to afford or didn't want a PC I'd be getting kinda worried about now...

  • Did Clinton design this page himself? I hear he's a lame duck, but man maybe he should take an extension course or something first?

    Let review the errors:

    1. . Typo on the homepage. (July 24? really?)
    2. . Crapy Real Video encoding (what no broadband quicktime or mpg?)
    3. . .au format unlistenable. (echo chamber)
    4. . crapy web page design
  • Oh, ok. Bill Clinton "REALLY" respects Jesse Jackson.

    Charles Rangold and Al Sharpton are "REALLY" good friends of the white liberal bigwigs of the DNC.

    Sure. I've got some swamp land in florida that I'd like to sell you if you believe that.

  • Too clueless to use MPEG, or too clueful? MPEG is still caught up in patents, licenses, and lawsuits! Where were you when all the previous stories about Ogg Vorbis [xiph.org] were being posted?

    Admittedly, the lack of a good range of audio/video formats is irksome, but there is an .au feed which humble ol' sox can handle easily, no questions asked.

  • &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Well at least nomadic [slashdot.org] knew he was supposed to be cynical and pessimistic here [slashdot.org]. Since he didn't, I will take it upon myself to do it.

    &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Just what we need... A central web site where we can do a search and be provided with a list of government websites with all the lies, misinformation, misdirection, and censorship you could ever care to have.&nbsp &nbsp Why should WE pay for anything like this? &nbsp &nbsp I can here you now "but it says that won't be funded by tax dollars.". &nbsp &nbsp Regardless of where the money comes from, Whether it is taxes, businesses, nonprofit organizations, etc, at some point it is coming out of our pockets!

  • Do you really think it's better to have only one search engine rather than additional ones like this new one, or usgovsearch.com, to cover more of people's needs?

    Anyway, as someone who's been using the service for a while, I can tell you that it's as much of an index (think Yahoo) as it is a straight search engine (it does have a search engine, too, though). The fact that you can browse the index would be one reason why some people might prefer it to Google, which appears at first glance to just return a bunch of hits.


  • Coincidentally, the Economist [economist.com] this week has a special on Government and the Internet [economist.com].

    It cites Singapore [ecitizen.gov.sg] and my own state of Victoria, Australia [maxi.com.au] as having the only true working government portals in existence. Embarrassingly, I'd never even visited www.maxi.com.au, although I had heard of it ...

  • the unasked question here is: will Eric Brewer's search engine be open sourced? we could really use a powerful search engine for large diverse collections of material.
  • Or how about this: We all just order what we want to eat. No voting at all, just individual choice. So long as I'm not filching from your plate and vice-versa, everyone's happy.

    The idea of a one-human-being government is something interesting, at least to consider. However, it seems to ignore the whole point of government in the first place, which is to make it easier for us all to work and live together. If everyone's a sovereign state, then we're likely to be at war with one another constantly.

    Assuming you meant something broader than that, we're left with the question, "Who's idea of individual rights do we get?" Abortion is a good example. Let's say you think the right to choose is an individual right that should be protected. And again, 51% of polite society agrees with you.

    However, the other 49% think that the fetus is the one with the individual rights that should be protected, and to them, you're the villain.

    The way it is here, no matter what solution we decide, at least 49% of our population is being denied what they see as a fundamental right.

    I think people can legitimately differ on areas of moral controversy like this. In my world of node-states, abortion is practiced in 49% of them, and against the law in the other 51%. Those people who don't like the node they're in have two options: They can try to change it (and again, it's much more realistic to imagine changing the minds of the small population of your node than to acquire the resources and clout to change the minds of the Supreme Court), or they can move to one that already agrees with them.

    I know this is a radical idea, but the Internet was once, too. The Node-State is just a refinement of how we can best achieve justice and freedom as we all live together. It might be thought of as the next step in a chain of thought that stems from the Code of Hammurabi to the Magna Carta to the Constitution. I think technology could allow us to do away with our bloated representative democracy and replace it with an even better system, one that's truer to those ideals of justice and freedom, one that doesn't oppress through bigness.

    I can imagine the "protocols" for commerce being hammered out like nearly any open-source project, perhaps somewhat like a game of Nomic, if you've ever read any Douglas Hofstadter books. And in many ways, this idea is really just an update of the original idea of the United States as a nation in which the power resided in individual states instead of a strong federal government.

    Try to imagine the world 100 years in the future. For me, it seems as if we'll either all be under the bureaucratic thumb of a giant world government (which may mean all the best for us, but will still be unjust by virtue of its bigness), or we could divest these governments and corporations of their power and give it back to small, unified groups of people.

    I'm all for the second. How 'bout you?

  • that she turned down the Ice Storm. That was a BRILLIANT film. Would have been interesting to see her in it, not that I have ANY complaints with the movie as is . . .
  • If the search engine is not funded by tax dollars, how is it funded? The speech says that some guy named Eric Brewer is making it for free, after having received government grants previously. Is he just doing it as a thank you, or will there be ads? I hope the former.
  • I voted for Nader last election, and will do so again. Screw voting for a candidate you don't like just so a candidate you hate won't win. The only way to change things is to VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE YOU REALLY WANT TO WIN, even though their chances don't look good. The reason the third party candidates aren't "viable" is because everyone else is holding their noses and voting for a mainstream candidate too.

    Reminds me of that great Simpsons episode where the aliens take over Bush and Clinton's bodies during the '96 elections. Their true identities are revealed before the election, but when someone suggests voting for a third party candidate to avoid being ruled by either alien dictator, they reply "Sure, THROW your vote away!" It's funny (sad) cause it's TRUE...
  • by Negadecimal ( 78403 ) on Saturday June 24, 2000 @07:47PM (#978255)
    If they develop a search engine and don't use tax dollars, how do they fund it?
  • Under the leadership of Vice President Gore...

    I can see already what this is about.

    This new website, firstgov.gov, will be created at no cost to the government [much deserved snip] in 90 days or less. It will uphold the highest standards for protecting the privacy of its users.

    Bill's quite quick on the uptake, you know? He has already mastered the art of vaporware. I envision a brave new world of E-Government(TM), where the irrelevant announcements of new Microsoft products and the pointless promises of politicians will go hand in hand!

    ...every on-line resource offered by the federal government...

    Ah hah--now I see why it will be free, and take only 90 days to build. The http://firstgov.gov/ will simply be a big picture of the IRS's middle finger. But it will take three months for the Feds' first finger to figure out what their middle finger is doing.

    ...one-stop shopping for government services...

    Excuse me, Webmaster, what's the going rate on senators, and is it possible to buy one online?

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.