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Ask Slashdot: Which Tech Company Do You Respect Most? 311

dryriver writes: On Slashdot, we often discuss the missteps and non consumer-friendly behavior of various tech companies. This company forced people into a subscription payment model. That tech company doesn't respect people's privacy. Yet another tech company failed to fix a dangerous exploit quickly, protect people's cloud data properly, or innovate and improve where innovation and improvement was badly needed.

Here's a question to the contrary: Of all the tech companies you know well and follow -- small, medium, or large -- which are the ones that you respect the most, and why? Which are the companies that still -- or newly -- create great tech in a landscape dotted with profiteers? Also, what is your personal criteria for judging whether a tech company is "good," "neutral," or "bad?"
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Ask Slashdot: Which Tech Company Do You Respect Most?

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  • trump (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:43PM (#56051411)
    trump university.
  • Whoever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:45PM (#56051419)

    Whoever it was that decided to shutdown their secure email service instead of hand over info to the feds.

    • Re:Whoever (Score:5, Informative)

      by koavf ( 1099649 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:50PM (#56051461)
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Solandri ( 704621 )
        As noble as committing corporate seppuku to uphold a principle may be, it means you're no longer around to uphold that principle anymore. You can't instill it upon others, you deprive the side advocating that principle a voice, and your example soon fades from memory. A more noble course of action would've been actively and publicly fighting the Feds' attempts to get them to release secure emails.

        As General Patton put it, "I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
        • Re:Whoever (Score:5, Informative)

          by koavf ( 1099649 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:12PM (#56051667)
          Do you realize that Lavabit *did* fight this in a secret court? And that they reconstituted the company with Silent Circle to make a secure mailing protocol? I get the impression you made this comment without reading anything about what happened in court (the owner was given a gag order from his own *lawyer*) and what has happened since 2014. Is that accurate?
    • I think that was ISIS.
    • Lavabit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by iYk6 ( 1425255 ) on Friday February 02, 2018 @05:55AM (#56053643)

      Lavabit was a mixed bag, they had their pros and cons.


      * Provided free email service

      * Simple

      * Most of the features you expect from an email service

      * Spam and virus filters were customizable and much easier than most other services.

      * They shut down their servers instead of giving up Edward Snowden.


      * Buggy, bugs were never fixed, bug reports were never acknowledged

      * Poor communication skills from the developers, both free and paid accounts

      * Actively lied when they shut the service down. For about 2 days they insisted that it was just an upgrade, would be back up soon, and that our emails were not being lost. If they couldn't tell the truth for legal reasons they should have said nothing instead, there was no excuse for the lies.

      * For about 2 days after the shutdown they continued to accept emails sent to users, instead of just rejecting them so the senders would know that the emails had not been delivered.

      Lavabit is back up but I don't use them anymore because of their behavior the first time. They are just not trustworthy.

  • craigslist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:46PM (#56051425)

    The only truly ethical tech company I can even really think of.

    • Re:craigslist (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UPZ ( 947916 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @11:10PM (#56052539)
      If you broaden the term tech "company" to include any tech organization, then I have a few:

      Open Whisper Systems (makers of Signal)
      LibreOffice/Open Document Foundation
      GNU and most linux distributors
      Sonic (ISP)
      Let's Encrypt
    • Their censorship is pretty arbitrary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:47PM (#56051437)

    Apple, in 2010. Year of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

    It's been downhill ever since:
    No Mac mini update since 2012, downgraded in 2014.
    No real update for the MacBook Air since 2015.
    No more iPod shuffle.
    Unreliable keyboards with almost no travel in $1000+ computers.
    Either no RAM slots, or insanely hard to access RAM slots except in their $1800+ iMacs, iMac Pro not included.

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday February 02, 2018 @09:23AM (#56054167)

      Actually the brings up a good point. It isn't what company that you respect the most, is where was that company when you respected them the most?
      Being that most companies are For-Profit there seems to be a time, where the lust for cash crosses their main values.

      The big companies Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM... All had their high points where they were respected at one time for being the best example of a company. Then they will undoubtedly trim the fat too much, treat customers poorly, or move the company in a direction people don't want to go and use the companies size and influence to push it.

  • Which (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:51PM (#56051465)

    Ask Slashdot: What Tech Company Do You Respect Most?

    *Which* Tech Company Do You Respect Most?

  • by oldgraybeard ( 2939809 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:51PM (#56051467)
    Respect? duh! None! why should we?

    Just my 2 cents ;)
  • The Onion (Score:5, Funny)

    by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:51PM (#56051471)
    The only source for news.
  • None... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:52PM (#56051477)

    ... since they are all in bed with the entertainment industry and are hell bent on a war against computing and people owning and controlling their own software.

    The coming war on General computing and software freedom []

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      What about someone like Red Hat?

      • Re:None... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by oldgraybeard ( 2939809 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:03PM (#56051603)
        Didn't they create the plague that is systemd ;) lol

        Puts on flame suit ;)

        Just my 2 cents ;)
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Well, no, that was Pottering, but they did adopt it. Like pretty much everyone else except for Slackware and that Debian fork.

          • Re:None... (Score:5, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday February 02, 2018 @05:25AM (#56053583) Journal

            Lennart Poettering has been a RedHat employee for a long time. They didn't just adopt it, they paid him to write it. He's also responsible for PulseAudio, and I think was working for RedHat then as well.

            He's also responsible for Avahi, which is at least only mediocre rather than actively harmful.

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              Ah yes, my mistake.

              Interesting that he personally got the Lamest Vendor Response award rather than Red Hat though. You would think that they would make more effort to handle massive security flaws, given that they make an enterprise product.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        RedHat is for sure on the list, alongside Canonical. They have done more for Linux and FOSS adoption by corporatizing than countless other projects combined. The profit motive is powerful and it gets products into the hands of willing consumers. RedHat and Canonical are the great heroes of FOSS.

        Open Whisper Systems deserves great praise, though it is financed by some large donors and thus isn't really a company.

        Ixquick, DuckDuckGo and ProtonMail all also deserve great thanks.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:54PM (#56051499) Journal
    Qwest. []
  • Mozilla (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RickRussellTX ( 755670 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @07:56PM (#56051519)

    Yeah, the Mr. Robot promotion [] was a huge mistake, and they've finally admitted that and pledged to do better.

    But I think that mistake only garnered so much attention because Mozilla has been so transparent and aggressive in protecting privacy and advancing the state of browser technology. If somebody like Goog or MSFT pulled that crap, nobody would blink an eye.

    • Re:Mozilla (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:38PM (#56051821)

      As far as I'm concerned they burned whatever goodwill they ever had when they fired Brendan Eich for political reasons that had nothing to do with his abilities. But even if they hadn't, their recently bullshit with killing XUL extensions and destroying the UI to turn the browser into a poor Chrome clone is enough to evaporate any respect I might have had left.

      But wait, there's more, I keep on seeing ADS for their stupid browser. Ads proudly proclaiming the death of extensions and then using BS biased tests as "proof" of the browser's speed.

      In short: I have no respect for Mozilla and even less for people who still shill for them.

  • SpaceX (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:00PM (#56051561)

    Seems like real innovation.

    • So much tech is in software development because it's cheap to develop and the returns are huge. I respect SpaceX because they are taking huge financial risks to develop groundbreaking hardware. You just don't see that in the "information age".
  • Easy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:02PM (#56051585)


  • Google '96 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Do No Evil.

    It's all been down hill since then.

  • SpaceX (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:05PM (#56051617) Homepage Journal
    They are the only ones that are going to get us off this rock stuck in a gravity well.
  • DuckDuckGo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:06PM (#56051623)

    I used to respect Google but becoming a public company turned them evil just like every company that goes public. Now DuckDuckGo has come along and they are great because they respect your privacy and don't collect data on people. They are small with a mere 40-some employees which is enough to keep the site going and few enough for them to pay without exploiting users. If that wasn't enough, all their stuff is open source and on github.

  • by seasunset ( 469481 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:06PM (#56051625) Homepage

    I think Mozilla is doing wonderful things and a single mistake doesn't change that.

    DuckDuckGo is the other one...

    • Only a *single* mistake? Do you actually use any Mozilla software?

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:06PM (#56051633)

    Enercon []
    Beyerdynamic [] ...
    Wiha []
    Wera []

    Ok, the last two are just Toolmakers, but I still count them in.

  • by Pouar ( 2856763 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:07PM (#56051635)
    They're probably the most successful open source company, and their tech is pretty good too.
  • Tesla (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat.cCHICAGOom minus city> on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:17PM (#56051693) Journal
    While perhaps more of a car manufacturer than tech company, I'd say that they still qualify at least partially as the latter.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Boring Company. They make a cool hat.

  • by davecb ( 6526 ) <> on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:31PM (#56051781) Homepage Journal
    Tried hard, always worrried about next year, not next quarter, and got punished for it.
    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      And yet, "Sun" lives on today because they open-sourced so much of their software before going defunct. For example: ZFS has become the gold standard in which all other storage solutions hope to achieve parity with.

  • Define tech (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MpVpRb ( 1423381 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:35PM (#56051807)

    I despise Apple. I consider them fashion that uses tech, rather than tech
    Intel is tech, and they have accomplished great things. Of course, they are also stuck with a really bad problem at the moment
    Atmel and Microchip make useful, but un-glamorous, embedded processors. Their merger has caused us(embedded system programmers) a bit of pain, but on balance, they deserve respect
    Fairchild, NXP, Panasonic, AVX, Kemet, Bourns, Vishay and others make the essential tiny bits.. resistors, capacitors, small logic that the rest of the tech world couldn't live without
    At one time, Sony was amazing, then they shifted their focus from tech to fashion
    LG and Samsung deserve a lot of respect

    Possibly my favorite is Texas Instruments

    • Re:Define tech (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @09:51PM (#56052181) Homepage

      I love Texas Instruments. When I was designing a power supply for a hobby project I came across their web bench design site. I just plugged in the numbers and out pops a schematic, BOM and board layout with parts that are in stock from Digikey. I've always found TI's documentation to be top notch. That's not to say that some of the other semiconductor manufacturers also don't have great sites either, but I haven't yet found any that match TI. I also respect a lot of the other companies you listed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:38PM (#56051825)

    I've never heard anything bad, only good.

  • by alexo ( 9335 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @08:44PM (#56051851) Journal

    I have been a long time paying customer of Fastmail and I am quite happy with them.
    Yes, they take my money ($32/year if I renew for 5 years for a legacy plan), but in exchange I get services that I can rely on and prompt support when I need it.

  • Carbonite! Fought back & won against the patent trolls! https://www.thisamericanlife.o... []
  • [1] Well, several in fact, but my experience is that heaping praise upon a good company often leads to them being swallowed by an evil behemoth.

  • It was bought and absorbed into Ansys. But when it was around Ansoft was pretty good. It made electronics design analysis tools.
  • If you sold real estate like you sold tech, you would go to prison. If you sold used cars like you sold tech, you would go to prison.

    If a daughter came to me wanting to pursue a career in tech, I would try to talk her into a rewarding and ethical career in prostitution. (Hey... maybe that explains why fewer woman are in tech...)

  • Companies have no soul. Their respectable behavior can change overnight if key people change. Hence they deserve no respect. People running companies do,on the other hand.
  • Flip It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rhadc ( 14182 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @09:18PM (#56052029) Journal

    What tech companies respect you most?

  • If you pick any one, I guarantee they're a milkshake duck.

  • by c ( 8461 ) <> on Thursday February 01, 2018 @09:27PM (#56052073)

    A person mght be deserving of respect, if they earn it. Companies aren't people.

  • offers nice services to their biz clients, as well as some really nice freebies for enthuasaists. (BGP Toolkit, TunnelBroker, and DNS to name a few)
  • Before the turned to the dark side.
  • KolabNow [] is doing a good job. It's a Switzerland-based email provider that charges about $3/month for basic service, respects my privacy, and contributes to open source software. They've also always been quite transparent, they e.g. immediately notified me when they discovered they were vulnerable to HeartBleed and had patched their system, and the only time I've had trouble accessing them, they sent me an email explaining that they were being DDOS-attacked.

    Not sure if it counts as a "tech firm", but I'v
  • Here's some. (Score:5, Informative)

    by BenFenner ( 981342 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @09:59PM (#56052229)
    Electronic Frontier Foundation: []
    Enough said.

    NearlyFreeSpeech web hosting: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.n... []
    They defend net nuetrality. Their pricing structure is clearly laid out with no hidden fees, and emphasis on efficiency, and they do well when you do well. They are run by highly competent individuals.

    DuckDuckGo web search: []
    Great search that doesn't track you. Fuck yes.

    PaleMoon web browser: []
    A modern, FOSS, secure, fast, lean, extensible, and highly configurable browser that took over where FireFox left off. It's run by individuals who have ethics, and stick to them.

    Proton Mail web mail: []
    FOSS end-to-end encrypted e-mail. The only issue I see here is that it is free, so you're likely not the customer... There is another end-to-end encrypted web-mail solution that is $5/mo. or so but I've forgotten the name. Anyone?
  • I love Pepsi's caffeine delivery technology.

  • The two companies I respect the most are NuScale [] whose new reactor has been certified by the NRC as being passively safe(ie meltdown proof). These reactors can be factory built and shipped on truck. The second is Bill Gates' company TerraPower [] who are building their first reactor in China.

    These companies along with 50+ others will save the world and reduce energy poverty

  • McMaster-Carr isn't exactly at the top of the list when people are asked to name 'technology' companies, but they sell pretty much any parts or tools you could want for a build project, they deliver overnight, and their website should be required reading for any e-commerce developer -- frankly, Amazon included: []

    Cloudflare gets a lot of props for protecting websites against DDoS attacks and for affirmatively disclaiming from themselves the power of censorship. (They did drop the Daily

    • If we can include hardware manufacturers, even advanced cool hardware, then I'll throw out a nomination for Ronnie Barrett and his "little" gun company.

      After California banned possession of 50cal rifles, he stopped sales and service to all law enforcement agencies in the state. To me, that is pretty darned principled. []

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Thursday February 01, 2018 @11:23PM (#56052585) Journal


    Oh boy :(

    My, how things have changed. Honestly I think I like Microsoft more than Google now.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Microsoft seems to learn from their mistakes and get better (slowly). Google seems to learn from getting caught doing things and get better at hiding it.

  • They can do whatever they want and get away with it. They are the NFL of tech.

  • oh sorry, read the question in reverse
  • by theurge14 ( 820596 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @11:55PM (#56052691)

    Seems like they're doing pretty well these days.

  • Really influential in improving the world. It is well possible that they will be eclipsed by traditional car brands that are more comfortable with big production runs, but Tesla surely was a big push towards EVs in general use. Also their roof solar panels etc. I have respect.
    • I will add that Apple might return to my high respect level if they can one day solve the challenges (both technical and regulatory) for comprehensive sensors (like blood sugar etc) in an off the shelf watch or similat product, thst could improve the life quality of many people, not only diabetics. They hired a number of specialists in this area but it is a formidable challenge.
  • Easy - Intel (Score:2, Interesting)

    Fuck all of you haters jerking off over Meltdown and how that shows how evil Intel is...Without Intel, our entire industry would not exist as it is. Yes, Microsoft also played their huge part, but let us never forget the tech revolution that they spawned, leading us from 4.77MHz processors to 4.7GHz processors in a super-short timeframe at a reduced price-performance ratio that is unmatched in history. Credit where it's due, mofos!!
    • At the time, a long time ago, Motorola was also alive and kicking, and promising. IBM, leader at the time and worried about these new "personal computers", promoted Microsoft software and Intel CPUs along with it. We were numerous to prefer the Motorola architecture and coding. History needs to be seen from both sides of the time period.
  • Good tech, good software, amazing future. Also good: Apple, Amazon, Illumina, TMobile.

  • If anything, respect should be an attitude towards people who make certan decisions in corporations, not for the corporations themselves.

    The American personification of the corporation bewilders me.

  • by MSG ( 12810 )

    Red Hat continues to buy good software companies and turn their products into Free Software. Most recent good example: Ansible Tower.

    Red Hat does Free Software right, and does right by Free Software.

  • by ( 4475953 ) on Friday February 02, 2018 @05:46AM (#56053625)

    That's how I like companies - extremely good quality at a fair price, no bullshit spending half of their revenue on marketing, locally manufactured, and they ship internationally.

    Unfortunately, these companies are getting rarer and rarer. Quality has a hard time surviving among the sharks.

  • the company I respect the less is ORACLE. Incontestably the worst company.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel