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Lawsuits Fly Over Google Founders' Party Plane 238

Mr. Soxley writes to tell us that the Boeing 767 recently purchased by Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page is at the heart of what promises to be quite a legal battle. From the article: "Now the Delaware holding company that technically owns the 767, Blue City Holdings LLC, is embroiled in multiple lawsuits with an aviation designer hired to plan and oversee the massive plane's interior renovation. [...] But last October, Blue City terminated Mr. Jennings's contract, saying he wasn't doing his job properly. Mr. Jennings then filed a nearly $200,000 lien against the aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration for payment he hadn't received. He later filed a complaint related to the matter against Blue City and Gore Design Completions Ltd., the San Antonio executive-jet outfitting firm that worked on the plane, in District Court in Bexar County, Texas."
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Lawsuits Fly Over Google Founders' Party Plane

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  • by alshithead ( 981606 ) * on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:39PM (#15687205)
    "Mr. Jennings says allegations that he wasn't sufficiently involved in the project or accessible to the plane's owners are false, and has over 1,200 emails related to the project to disprove them."

    Just because you have 1200+ emails relating to a project doesn't necessarily mean you are doing your job. With a project this size it could be argued that fewer emails mean you are doing your job better. This is the kind of project that requires a fair amount of oversight on a local level.
    • Yeah, his lawsuit defense will never fly. I'm sure it'll crash and burn in the courts...

    • Most of emails with "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG", "No, we won't give you another million over planned budget" and "What the hell were you thinking while installing that thing?!"
  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:40PM (#15687208)
    If the plane wasn't even remotely related to Google, the story wouldn't even be here. Am I missing something?
  • YRO? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:48PM (#15687235)
    How the hell is this YRO?
    • You'll see, when SkyN^H^H^H^H Google takes over the FAA.
    • Re:YRO? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @01:26PM (#15687339) Journal
      How the hell is this YRO?

      I think it's time that YRO either got re-named or re-thought.

      Clearly we need a "Legal" or "Law" section. But if YRO was re-focused back to its original purpose, that might still be useful too.

      (To forstall the inevitable "Why?" and "Who cares?", the answer is "So you can correctly filter the stories.", which is the only reason to have the sections at all. Someone can be interested in law stories like this and not actual YRO stories, or vice versa. And the purpose of these sections is so we can tell people who bitch about a particular set of stories to just filter them out, thus keeping the comment area that much cleaner.)
    • How the hell is this YRO?

      Because Slashdot only seems to have one legal section (YRO) and no one has made a generic one. This is despite the fact that most of the stories posted under this section usually have nothing to do with your rights online as people often point out.

    • Not only that but what does this have to do with being online, or even computers and technology for that matter? I agree with another poster that creating a Slashdot Legal section would be a great idea.
  • Why is this news? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:49PM (#15687239)
    Seriously. Why should anyone care? Lawsuits and construction go together like oil and oil. A $200k contract dispute is non-news.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Seriously. Why should anyone care?

      Dude, this is /. Maybe tomorrow the story will be "Google founder's cousin shits green after drinking lime vodka."

    • I believe that the parties involved might be of interest to some people, and for variosu reasons. For example, Google has been touted ad the "omni-beneveloent corporate goliath" of the internet. One of the reasons *I* liked Google (aside from having a good search engine) was the fact that its founders seemed to be well-grounded - in other words, their pursuit wasn't based on the "status" it might afford them, but in being able to do something useful (and very well) with internet technology.

      When stories like
    • Because it is not about the lawsuit. It is that for some people, the accumulation of money is more about the accumiliation of stuff rather than power. Trophy spouses, trophy yatchs, trophy planes, and trophy houses. And such people get really upset when they don't get exactly what they want and start acting like brats. It is amusing to those of us in the real world that actually have to deal with finite resources. We are happy to have a decent bed, and don't get stomach aches because it is the wrong c
  • by thrillseeker ( 518224 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:50PM (#15687245)
    WGAS tag?
  • ...for the rest of us concerning our modified 767s. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:55PM (#15687262)
    I also hear Mr. Brin also had a dispute with his home gutter contractor.

    And let's not ever forget this gem from the article:

    Mr. Jennings says Messrs. Brin and Page "had some strange requests," including hammocks hung from the ceiling of the plane.

    I think stockholders should be quite wary of corporate executives reckless enough not to require aviation-class hammocks with wicker seatbelts.

  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:55PM (#15687265)
    arguing over who outfits my fuck off jet, its a problem I would be happy to have.
  • by Tibor the Hun ( 143056 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:56PM (#15687267)
    What does Star Jones think of all this, and is the northeast still flooded?
  • Hammocks? (Score:4, Funny)

    by lahosken ( 24108 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @12:58PM (#15687273) Homepage Journal
    The idea of hammocks in a big jet doesn't sound unsafe.

    It takes real guts to use a hammock in an ornithopter.
    • But if the designer presents you with a $180,000 bill for three hammock installed in the main deck, the idea starts feeling unsafe. For said designer. Who then has still check to sue you for not getting paid for installing said hammocks.
  • by DesireCampbell ( 923687 ) <desire.c@gmail.com> on Sunday July 09, 2006 @01:09PM (#15687294) Homepage
    Mr. Jennings says allegations that he wasn't sufficiently involved in the project or accessible to the plane's owners are false, and has over 1,200 emails related to the project to disprove them.
    I've got 1200 emails about Viagra - I'm not involved in cock-pills.
  • by uarch ( 637449 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @01:17PM (#15687318)
    The Slashdot editors... Faithfully bringing you last weeks Reg stories today!
  • Bah (Score:4, Funny)

    People think this doesn't matter, but one thing is for certain, there is no stopping them, Brin and Page will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our customized-767-hammock-flying overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted member of Slashdot, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground server caves.
  • You know that a company is on the way down when its founders buy a 767. Buying a 767 indicates that being rich is beginning to occupy their thinking, rather than management.

    From the WSJ article: Mr. Jennings says Messrs. Brin and Page "had some strange requests," including hammocks hung from the ceiling of the plane. At one point he witnessed a dispute between them over whether Mr. Brin should have a "California king" size bed, he says. Mr. Jennings says Mr. Schmidt stepped in to resolve that by saying, "Sergey, you can have whatever bed you want in your room; Larry, you can have whatever kind of bed you want in your bedroom. Let's move on." Mr. Jennings says Mr. Schmidt at another point told him, "It's a party airplane."
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @06:09PM (#15688086) Homepage Journal
      If Brin and Page are losing interest in managing Google, it's none too soon. This is a company that desperately needs to grow up. It has no collective attention span: dozens of kewl new projects keep appearing, but nobody can ever be bothered with the boring work of making them in actual products.

      OK, B&P wanted to found a company that did things differently. Good for them. But to do anything at all, and organization has to have follow-through. It has to balance all the creative geniuses with the dedicated, boring sloggers that get things out the door.

      • And what exactly are they not following through on? I know their products are in perpetual beta status, but they are still damn useful and I use them all the time. I think the perpetual beta is a lawsuit avoidance scheme more than anything else.

        Some of their beta products, such as Gmail are much more polished than all the competition out there.

        • Google's products are more polished? Get real! My favorite example is to compare Google Maps with Yahoo Maps. Now, in terms of features and usability, Google Maps is far superior. But I still use Yahoo maps a lot. Why? Yahoo maps has a simple, not very interesting feature that I use a lot: you can maintain a list of addresses you refer to a lot, and then never have to enter them again when planning a trip. It's a very simple, basic feature, but nobody at Google can be bothered to implement it. They're too b

    • A company owning a jet doesn't necessarily mean it's on the way down. In fact, having a jet for private travel can be a significant cost savings to the company if it's used properly.

      Having a California King bed and hammocks doesn't qualify, in my mind, as being used properly.
  • by Greg@RageNet ( 39860 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @01:52PM (#15687402) Homepage
    Now you all know why Google signed the deal for office space at NASA Ames. It's not some expansion into the orbial launch business or some plot to be the intergalactic search engine. They signed a deal with NASA Ames so they could land their 767 on Moffett Federal's nine thousand foot runway biking distance from the Google campus. Must be nice to be all special like that.
  • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @02:01PM (#15687435) Journal
    Why does this remind me of Austin Power's psychedelic 747 with bachelor pad interior?

    Sergey: "Do I make you horny, baby?"
    Cute chick: "Sergey, it's not the 90's anymore."
    Sergey: "What do you mean, baby? Of course it's the 90's! As long as people use the internet mostly for porn and piracy of music and software, the 90's will always be alive!"

    Dr. Evil: "I'm going to fucking kill Google!" *throws henchman's chair*
    Dr. Evil: "So, about those Killer Chair Robots With Lasers I ordered..."
    Henchman: "Well, it's about that, sir."
    Dr. Evil: "Yes?"
    Henchman: "We... could not complete the LongChair project. It kept crashing on us, I mean more than usual, in fact the prototype blew up spontaneously."
    Dr. Evil: "Well, okay, what do you have?"
    Henchman: "Ottomans."
    Dr. Evil: "Ottomans?"
    Henchman: "Ottomans, sir."
    Dr. Evil: "Do they have frickin' lasers on their heads?"
    Henchman: "No, sir."
    Dr. Evil: "Saw blades?"
    Henchman: "No, sir."
    Dr. Evil: "Flamethrowers?"
    Henchman: "No, sir."
    Dr. Evil: "Well, what the fuck do they have?!"
    Henchman: "Sir, we have integrated a Google search bar into their sides. It's really quite useful, you can Google while you lounge in-"
    Dr. Evil: "I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL GOOGLE!!!!" *throws chair with henchman through window*
  • Sergey and Larry are Billionaires... To put that in perspective, if you had a net worth of 1 million dollars this would be like being sued for $200.

  • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @03:11PM (#15687667)
    Why not burn 12000 gallons of fuel per capita to get to the next great party? After all, they will be dead on 50 years so it doesn't effect them.

    Ever wonder why American troops are fighting for Iraqi oil? Bush just sells it - it is clowns like this that burn it up.
  • I just find it... I dunno... sad? offputting? ...that billionaires pretty much choose to blow off steam about the same way Bubba in the trailer park does, just more expensively. Booze and drugs and whores. Outside of technical endeavors, we are ultimately an uncreative species. :(

  • by doppelf ( 576684 ) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @09:36PM (#15688550)
    ...Snakes on a motherfucking Google plane.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak