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Government Handhelds Portables The Almighty Buck United States

The Government's Gadget Habit 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the gotta-catch-'em-all dept.
sanzibar writes "The Federal procurement database reveals millions of dollars are being spent on gadgets. Over the past 10 years, the US government has spent $117 million on BlackBerries (including service plans), almost $18 million on iOS devices, about $1 million on PS3s, over $500k on Xboxes, and somehow, $12k on Zunes."
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The Government's Gadget Habit

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  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday June 17, 2011 @01:27PM (#36476974)

    sure ps3's and xboxes sound silly for congress or the DOJ but it could be going to our troops, like that ps3 supercomputer ... but TFA is obviously out to state an agenda, so nothing to see here unless you want some rant by what seems like a child

  • Thats all? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kelarius (947816) on Friday June 17, 2011 @01:28PM (#36477002)
    Over 10 years that really isn't a whole lot, especially when you're talking about the government. I think many corporations end up spending more on the BB phones/plans ALONE than the gov spent on all of that, and considering that many of those PS3s/xboxes/zunes/iOS devices probably went to the military to entertain deployed troops (or in iOS case, to be used functionally in the field) I don't really consider those bad investments.
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Friday June 17, 2011 @01:29PM (#36477028)

    Those figures are over 10 years?

    That's not even real money.

    Get back to me when we're not spending billions on wars each month that we're losing in the long run.

    Get back to me when there is an accounting for the 6 - some odd billion in *cash* we shipped off to Iraq (or was it Afghanistan? Who cares, same thing) that simply disappeared down the rat hole through simple theft.

    --
    BMO

  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Friday June 17, 2011 @01:38PM (#36477202)

    sure ps3's and xboxes sound silly for congress or the DOJ but it could be going to our troops, like that ps3 supercomputer ... but TFA is obviously out to state an agenda, so nothing to see here unless you want some rant by what seems like a child

    Even if they aren't going into a cluster/supercomputer, I'm not sure that I have a problem with it. Sure, maybe our congresscritters can just go home and play on their own console system... But folks who've been deployed don't really have that option. And I'm certainly not going to begrudge the soldiers who are keeping me safe the cost of a few game systems.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, 2011 @01:44PM (#36477304)

    These could have been for parts of government which work with kids. It may not have been as abusive as it initially appears. I can think of numerous way in which such purchases would be legitimate government purchases. The PS3 for instance has been used in large scale super computing projects. Not for actual gaming. The military may have some similar use. I object to the non-free software aspects so I am not thrilled with the government purchasing these devices. That being said it still may not be a waste of tax payers money. We have already accepted (for better or worse) that the government has a social responsibility to the population besides defense and security. Everything from social security and Medicaid to public schools.

  • Re:Thats all? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday June 17, 2011 @02:13PM (#36477760)

    Over 10 years that really isn't a whole lot, especially when you're talking about the government. I think many corporations end up spending more on the BB phones/plans ALONE than the gov spent on all of that, and considering that many of those PS3s/xboxes/zunes/iOS devices probably went to the military to entertain deployed troops (or in iOS case, to be used functionally in the field) I don't really consider those bad investments.

    Let's just do that math. Looks like federal spending over that time period was a little under $30 Trillion (give or take 3 or 4 trillion). So Blackberry expenditures would be about 4 millionths of total federal spending. Let's see, what do I spend about 4 millionths of my money on? If I somehow spend $100,000 annually, that's 40 cents a year. That doesn't even get me a payphone call -- provided I could find one.

    I guess I should put that in the same frame as the summary: $4 over ten years. That's a few orders of magnitude lower than my "gadget" spending.

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Friday June 17, 2011 @03:41PM (#36478868)
    I'm not a big fan of some of the wars and conflicts we've gotten involved in in the past. However unless you've got specific information proving otherwise about some individual, there's no reason to assume that any given soldier signed up for the military for anything but honorable, or at least morally justifiable reasons. A soldier's job is to follow orders as long as those orders aren't clearly illegal. It is the job of "wiser heads", aka the upper echelons of the military chain of command, including the government, to decide what those orders should be.

    So if you've got a beef with what our troops are doing, take it out on the government, not the troops. The government may not be making decisions that are actually keeping us safe, but unless proven otherwise i'm willing to believe that that's what the soldiers believed they signed up for. And because of that i'm not going to begrudge them the cost of a few game systems just because the government is doing stuff wrong at an entirely different level.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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