This single blog post is strong evidence for why you should never, ever buy an Oracle product, and if you are running anything written by them, why you should plan to migrate away.
Now, the culture of consultants in the Oracle sphere of influence is pretty toxic and money-grubbing. I can imagine companies being badgered into paying security weasels big bucks to analyze software with tools that cough up a zillion false positives, whereupon the weasel looks like a hero and is paid a bunch of cash, the customer panics and demands that Oracle fix a pile of non-existent vulns, and some department buried inside Oracle doesn't know how to deal. Whereupon the weasel skates off to another company to run the same scam: rinse, repeat, and this blog post.
In which case Oracle should simply call it out: "Please don't send us crappy automated scanning tool reports from the shitty security weasel consultant you hired because those reports are useless, and the same weasels have been sending identical ones in, monthly, for years, and you are being ripped off." But Oracle never passes up the opportunity to express contempt for its customers, nor can it admit to being wrong.
Better to avoid that whole ecosystem.
You can find a copy of it here: http://dacut.blogspot.com/2008/03/oracle-poetry.html
Note the copyright statement on the mispelled, 3-line poem with no literary merit whatsoever (which happens to be longer than the poem itself):
"The preceding key is copyrighted by Oracle Corporation.
Dupl@ication of this key is not allowed without permission
from Oracl1e Corporation. Copyright 2003 Oracle Corporation."
The purpose of this is to abuse the copyright on the above "poem" in order to prevent people from implementing the Oracle DB protocols. I guess they hope that everyone is ignorant of Sega v. Accolade? Even that trick of theirs is copied from elsewhere:
EDIT: Reading that deliberate misspelling makes me wonder if I could start "Oracl1e Corporation" and give people permission to violate this? Sure, it'd be a ridiculous cheat, but so is the sham copyright on their worthless poem.
I mean, given that this is a trivial work with no discernible literary merit, a full quotation is arguably a reasonable step in order to fully demonstrate the triviality of the work.
The sole purpose of this poem, given that it's hidden away deep in the plumbing of the system where almost nobody ever sees it, is to dissuade people from making something that is interoperable with Oracle's DBs, after all.
One normally displays art that they're proud of where people can appreciate it, rather than making it a technical requirement for a machine to recite bad poetry to a database before the database will deign to respond.
It could be worse, though. Just imagine if this was Vogon poetry...
That said, the fact that one can ONLY find copies of the work by looking to 3rd parties (rather than Oracle) should undercut any arguments they try to make against discussing it for the purpose of criticism to be fair use.
Oracle yanks blog post critical of security vendors, customers
Btw: For smaller enterprisey shops, either MS SQL or Postgres are the way to go. Often multiple similar components are needed because different apps have firm requirements that only support one or another; but generally try to avoid this because supporting too many heterogenous components is expensive (laborious)... hence the prevalence of local "standards." Deploying everything with cfengine3 or puppet can help reduce the manualness and nudge vendors into repeatable, idempotent deployments rather than clicking on inane GUI installers like an animal.
ProTip: Don't let consultants "provide" oversight / free-reign for their own projects, budgets, etc., that's like the wolf guarding the henhouse. The client must hire their own project managers, have clear accountability/authority paths to their management and know exactly what they need (avoid endless upselling). Or lots of money will be transferred from idiots to crooks (enterprise caveat emptor).
Edit: fixed grammar
I don't think that's really the case. We don't try to do anything different for the sake of it, but that's pretty much that.
> EnterpriseDB is one of the official Postgres commercial flavors
There are no 'official Postgres commercial flavors'. EDB is well known and contributes a fair amount to PG development, but that doesn't make them official.
I guess one could say they deliberately resemble Oracle in that both DBs roughly implement the SQL standard, but this is by no means a clone, nor was it a smooth transition.
Was it really necessary to type it like that?
_|_ __ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
/ |_) / )| __) / _ \ / _ \ / _ \ / _ \ / _ \ / _ \ / _ \ / _ \ / _ \
\_| \ )( |__ \( (_) )()( (_) )( (_) )( (_) )()( (_) )( (_) )( (_) ) ( (_) )( (_) )
(_|_/ (__)(___/ \___/ / \___/ \___/ \___/ / \___/ \___/ \___/ () \___/ \___/
Of course, accuracy is hardly relevant here.
Sorry, I don't usually try to be pedantic, but when the conversation is already about nitpicking, I think it's necessary.
Significant figures are precision, not accuracy. Accuracy is "being in the ballpark". Precision is "tight groups".
is a new value of pi to define.
I think I'll use 3
it's much simpler you see;
But rivalry says "level-up score".
With competitive drive,
It's yet higher I strive.
The value I'll use shall be four.
# My mind was more on how to grow the business while simultaneously helping the client fix their deployments. Seriously, the sales guy was dead weight and dumb as a bag of broken rocks but looked good in suit and could talk in nonstop sports metaphors and bizease clichés.
The measure of how a software company values its customers is in the post-sales support... just asking some users how it's going is better than hiding out or DKing them. (About '03/'04, Dell took us out to see the server factory in Round Rock, but went radio silent after a significant purchase.)
In the meeting, I literally had this dude and his presales guys in $5000 suits sitting across the table from me, berating our position and demanding (quote was "You have no fucking business saying no until you provide us with <our numbers> so we can do your ROI") all sort of crap from us. Ended up prodding the salesbot and let him run his mouth for awhile until he said something really stupid that ostracized the business folks on our side.
iSCSI purchase that was promised to be supported on CentOS (it wasn't: RHEL only, despite no deltas), and which Dell itself didn't understand. Ended up getting RHEL just to get a comparison baseline install.
At one point, got cussed out by Dell's support manager in the process (the front-line support team was good). The quote was "I'm not here to support you." Ultimately cost me my job (though we did get the product running).
I'm usually pretty free with sharing my documentation, but in this case made an exception: Dell's support was so fucking crap I refused to provide any assistance for them at all.
(Dell tried to hire me thrice because I could actually use Visio to communicate visually and detail drilling quotes (BOMs) to ferret out upselling and ensure we had supportable configurations (SANs and such). I even had the pleasure to due-diligence several of their solution presentations across the table from 6 of their SE's in Round Rock with the worst hangover of my life, and we still managed to extract maximum intel from that meeting. Dell's client reception secretaries helpfully stocked boxes-upon-boxes of Advil and Tylenol samples and a righteous Keurig binge didn't hurt either. Interestingly, Dell+Redhat had a massive champagne orgy in an adjoining room and we wondered what sort of treatment the several megabucks USD customer level receives, hopefully not just a backpack or stay at the Dell cobranded hotel.)
This so much. Especially the "know exactly what they need" side of things. I speak from the consultant side of the fence, and we've had a number of projects where project management was lacking on the client side; it ends poorly.
We always have our own project manager on projects, and we strongly encourage the client to have their own as well. It really helps to maintain a clear escalation path, and makes everything run much more smoothly.
Someone once told me that Larry Ellison is the biggest asshole in Silicon Valley, and also the richest, so he must be doing something right. The same could be said for John D Rockefeller and Standard Oil. Is the world we have the world we want?
Founded 1870, antitrust 1911:
Crude prices in that time frame (and beyond):
Production in that time frame (having trouble finding a nice long time-series chart):
If we want to make a strong claim of harmful monopoly, we should not expect to see a massive surge in production combined with an impressive decrease in price.
Here I use the term "harmful monopoly" to refer to a firm that has both market power (can influence prices by controlling supply) and uses it to increase its own profits.
What we see instead is a time period where we do indeed have a dominant firm, but one behaving as if it were in a competitive market.
The important characteristics of a competitive market here are low barriers to entry/exit, and a commodity product. There were incredibly low barriers to entry/exit, and oil has, for nearly its entire existence as a product in the modern age, been a commodity.
Note that monopolistic behavior does not necessarily imply rising prices. See: Wal-Mart. Also see this quote from that Wikipedia article again:
"The evidence is, in fact, absolutely conclusive that the Standard Oil Co. charges altogether excessive prices where it meets no competition, and particularly where there is little likelihood of competitors entering the field, and that, on the other hand, where competition is active, it frequently cuts prices to a point which leaves even the Standard little or no profit, and which more often leaves no profit to the competitor, whose costs are ordinarily somewhat higher."
In cases where there was little competition, that clearly indicates an area where the costs of the trade were such that the market price would be higher.
The former is strictly competitive and the latter is strictly not anti-competitive.
Arguing the nuances of Standard Oil's behavior is a moot point when the Supreme Court settled that issue in 1911.
We don't see that in any of the information you provided. You gave a graph of oil prices, not of Standard Oil's profits.
Surely you've considered why Standard Oil's decision to do this was found to be anticompetitive, have you not?
This thread has all the markings of one that becomes net negative for all involved and those reading. I'll leave it with this:
I am focusing on the outcome to the consumer of the behavior in question, not on the outcome to competitors of the behavior.
The former is a situation of supply where there was otherwise none, and some is better than none. The latter is a situation of competitive pricing, and competitive pricing is better than non-competitive pricing.
How is this worse off for consumers than the situation without Standard Oil?
No, if profit is close to zero then there would be no point in being in a market. Markets drive profits to the 'standard' risk adjusted ROI for the economy they operate in. In other words if you could run a gas station, a book store, a flower shop, or whatever, then you do whichever one gives the most profits.
Since we are discussing economics, I do not feel the need to preface every use of jargon with disclaimers, though I can.
The relevant portion of Wikipedia's entry on (economics jargon) profit:
You can confirm this concept in any economics text. (economics jargon) Profit is driven to zero in a (economics jargon) competitive (economics jargon) market.
For everyone else: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profit_(economics) "Economic profit is similar to accounting profit but smaller because it subtracts off the total opportunity costs (not just the explicit costs, but also the implicit costs) of a venture to an investor. Normal profit refers to zero economic profit. A concept related to economic profit, and sometimes considered synonymous, is that of economic rent."
You can think of Economic profit as the 'standard' ROI you get in a given economy. Hypothetically Economic profit is also being driven to zero in a static economy, but that's a separate and long term thing.
PS: I am just being this clear because general HN readers are likely to miss the distinction.
That fear disappeared with the East Texas oilfield discovery in 1930. Which so increased the supply of oil relative to demand that prices fell to 13 cents per barrel.
This created a number of problems, including the prospect of damaging oilfields to the point that future extraction would be compromised. It ended up with the governors of both Texas and Oklahoma calling out the state militia, and, in Texas's case, the Texas Rangers, and seizing control of wellheads by force of arms in an effort to constrain extraction and drive oil prices up -- to $1/bbl.
This resulted in the Texas Railroad Commission effectively controlling US oil output (with oversight from the US Department of Interior) from 1931 to 1972, at which point, peak US oil meant that there was no longer any surplus extraction capacity to limit. Shortly afterward the Arabs tried another of their periodic embargos against the US and Europe, and, to everyone's shock, it actually worked.
If you look at the price of oil, from 1931 to 1972 it was remarkably stable. Even WWII and the post-war consumption boom barely moved the needle. Post 1974, everything goes all to hell. We're still there now.
Daniel Yergin's masterpiece work, The Prize, covers this history in great depth.
The rest of the history, though, is quite interesting. I've added that book to my reading list. Thank you!
We live in the oil age.
And the rapidity with which it arrived following Colonel Drake's well is staggering.
Particularly chapters 3 "The Oil War of 1872", 4 "An Unholy Alliance", and 5 "Laying the Foundations of a Trust".
The oil industry has almost always been controlled by a small cartel, though that cartel has varied though the years: Standard Oil, the As-Is agreement, the Texas Railroad Commission, the Seven Sisters, the National Producers, and OPEC.
It's not been a competitive market.
Though I'd argue that oil has been tremendously underpriced since 1869.
This weekend I learned that Larry Ellison purchased ~90% of an island in Hawaii.
> "what you think of Oracle is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle"
> "this company is about one man and his alter ego and what he wants to inflict upon humanity"
And how could I forget this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fvDDPaIoY&t=24m
> "and then, the Nazis invaded"
> "for a while I tried to not go to Nazi allegory when talking about Oracle but I actually think that it does a dis-service to not go to Nazi allegory because if I don't use Nazi allegory when referring to Oracle there's some critical understanding that I have left on the table"
> You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle.
Most companies that use oracle's services could likely literally, no shit, do it on a single mac mini using sqlite.
Most companies just don't have that much data, and even if they do single servers are giant, massive affairs today where for the price of one month of consulting services (I mean $10K-$70K) you can configure a server with 1TB RAM that will handle your data for the next five years.
There's just not that much data. Laptops can handle it. The reason you pay for an oracle DBA instead of running sqlite on your macbook, is not because oracle is that much better. It's because that way you don't have to admit how much you suck.
Last new I'm aware was Oregon sued Oracle for $200 million.
"Oregon sues Oracle over failed Obamacare website"
Oregon’s suit, filed Friday in state court, alleges that Oracle, the largest tech contractor working on the website, made falsely convinced officials to buy “hundreds of millions of dollars of Oracle products and services that failed to perform as promised.” It is seeking $200 million in damages.
Read the other blog posts. Holy cow crackers.