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Google Executive Dan Fredinburg Among Victims of Everest Avalanche 164

alphadogg writes: Dan Fredinburg, privacy director for the company's Google X team, and an engineer who worked on many of Google's most exciting projects during his 8 years with the company, died over the weekend in an avalanche on Mount Everest. The 33-year-old worked on projects such as Google Loon, the company's balloon-based Internet access effort and self-driving car. He also was involved in Google Street View Everest, leading expeditions to gather imagery of the Khumbu region around Mt. Everest. Fredinburg's career began in a much less glamorous fashion as a "dock rat" and as a farm hand in Arkansas.
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Google Executive Dan Fredinburg Among Victims of Everest Avalanche

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 26, 2015 @04:14PM (#49556281)

    Granted the other 1000+ who have died are mostly poor, but on the other hand, they have not done the social harm that Mr Fredinburg has in working for the biggest destroyer of privacy on the planet.

    And the 10's of thousands of others who didn't die but were displaced and had their homes destroyed cannot easily afford to replace them. Possibly because they did not enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else's privacy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Google didn't exist, then Yahoo or Microsoft would be the biggest destroyers of privacy on the planet, and they would be doing exactly what Google is doing (in fact, they already are).

      If none of them existed, then some other tech company would do it. In any parallel universe, the existence of the Internet will motivate the creation of tech giants with search engines, which will in turn motivate the mass collection of personal data.

      Google is just the company that got out in front. The loss of privacy is

    • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @07:06PM (#49556977)
      The biggest destroyer of privacy on the Internet is the fucking US government, not a single corporation. You can always choose not to use a company's products (minus Comcast, eh?), but the government literally sifts everything regardless of your choices.
    • working for the biggest destroyer of privacy on the planet.

      Indeed, he was a true monster and deserves to be vilified. We should start a kickstarter to buy pitchforks for all. I'll organise a press release.

      This post is authorised by the NSA, TSA, FBI, CIA, US Government, NATO, EU, UN, Allied governments of the USA, and enemy governments of the USA.

  • Base Camp on Mount Everest; not a bad place to kick off, all thing considered...

    Hopefully there was a pitcher of Mai-Tais and some native girls. :)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The native girls died, too, but nobody cares because they weren't rich white tourists. At least they died doing what they loved, being exploited by someone with more money than them, so that they could eat.

      Were there any more corporate executives that died in the earthquake, so that we can give a shit about them?

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Thanks to Google's project Calico [technologyreview.com], I would like to be the first to wish Dan a speedy recovery.

  • Mt. Everest fad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 26, 2015 @04:23PM (#49556333)

    With all due respects to Mr. Fredinburg, climbing Mr. Everest is now the "in" thing to do for the elites, to the point that the area is strewn with garbage and human excrement that would take years to be cleansed by natural means even if all climbing were to cease today.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    2,500 people died and a poor country is devastated and all that makes the news is one dead American. Disgusting.

    • My [slashdot.org], you're dense [slashdot.org].

      • I'm thinking you are, linking to a story claiming social *could* help in such disasters, with a closing sentence that one family marked themselves safe on Facebook! HAHAHAHA, yeah tweets and facebook likes will stop falling rocks and bring food/shelter/medical aide to the victims. Let's all paste a white and grey ribbon on our social media pages because "we care" and "to raise awareness" while we're at it.

        • Ah, so you think that the second story is silly -- never mind the first, straight-news story, which the doltish AC apparently missed.

          So, overlooking the irony that you're here on a Web forum mocking people instead of Bringing Aid To The Victims yourself... no, I find that I can't actually overlook that irony. HAHAHAHA, as you say. But, for the sake of argument, what would you have people do on Facebook? Or here? Perhaps you'd prefer that people in the affected area refrain from tweeting, and restrict themse

          • I actually donate money to organizations that help victims of big disasters

            fuck that social media and awareness bullshit

        • A. Finding out your loved one is safe is valuable.

          B. Your comment is outside of the context.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      2,500 people died and a poor country is devastated and all that makes the news is one dead American. Disgusting.

      Moron [slashdot.org].

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        The dipshit that modded my post down should have clicked the link. Since braincells are at a premium here I'll spell it out:

        AC at +4 said:
        2,500 people died and a poor country is devastated and all that makes the news is one dead American. Disgusting.

        And what do you see when you click my link?

        7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead

        Same site, only a day earlier.

        'Moron' not only describes the AC, but the people who modded his post up and mine down.

    • If Slashdot's editorial duty is to emphasize news items based on their humanitarian importance, it fails with every article that isn't about death, poverty, slavery, etc. Of course, then it wouldn't be a tech website and we probably wouldn't visit it, so that all is fairly moot. This is about Dan Fredinburg because he was relevant to tech and known in our community (and he's certainly worth remembering as a person as well, regardless of what else is in the news). It's not here because it was the most import

    • Well, why don't you submit an article to the moderators about the 2,500 people who died and see if they choose to post it. Then we will kick back and see how many people read it.
  • It dies with its teeth in the enemy's throat,

    It dies with its name on the enemy's tongue.

    For just as mere life is not victory,

    Mere death is not defeat;

    And in the next world I shall kill the foe a thousand times,

    Laughing,

    Undefeated.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @04:29PM (#49556365)
    Climbing Everest is stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, pointless task for people with severe mental problems like constantly needing approval from others or pathological levels of arrogance or constantly feeling inadequate. So I have to wonder how he even got that job at Google with the personality of an Everest climber.
    • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @04:34PM (#49556395)

      Climbing Everest is stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, pointless task

      To be fair, slashmydots thinks the same thing of leaving the basement.

    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @07:31PM (#49557073)

      Climbing Everest is stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, pointless task for people with severe mental problems like constantly needing approval from others or pathological levels of arrogance or constantly feeling inadequate. So I have to wonder how he even got that job at Google with the personality of an Everest climber.

      Do you play computer games?

      If so do you play on beginner mode or hard mode? Personally I go for the harder modes because accomplishment is a lot more satisfying when there's a legitimate challenge involved.

      Climbing Everest isn't anything different. If you really like to climb it's the most accessible major challenge out there, it's true that not everybody who climbs Everest is a dedicated climber who's "earned" the right to take on that challenge, but I see no evidence that Dan Fredinburg was one of those people.

      The fact that climbing Everest doesn't personally appeal to you doesn't give you grounds to make up some BS rationalization for insulting those who do.

      Personally I have no desire to take on an even moderately dangerous hobby, but I think nothing less of those who do.

      • by batistuta ( 1794636 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @07:41PM (#49557125)

        I wish I had points to mod parent up. I couldn't have summarized this better. Kudos for doing it in such a respectful way.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Climbing Everest isn't anything different. If you really like to climb it's the most accessible major challenge out there,

        In which case he should have been on K2 which is the more challenging by all accounts. [yahoo.com] But with Everest you just have to drop the money and it can get you to the top with the least amount of effort.

        Regardless, I wish that this did not befall him. R.I.P.

    • Mod parent down (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Prune ( 557140 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @09:13PM (#49557497)
      I climb mountains as a hobby, and know many climbers, a large proportion of whom are geeks who are disinterested in team sports. It's a hobby like any other physical hobby. It brings risk, but also enormous enjoyment from the combination of experiencing the raw beauty of nature where there are very few others with the challenge and thrill of reaching a summit. We climb a peak not to show off; we climb it because it is there. A tiny fraction of mountaineers are interested in bragging rights (except, perhaps, amongst themselves in a good-spirited manner), so your slight against us is rude and ignorant. Fuck you!
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well said. Besides, nobody goes climbing to die... They go there to *live*. Shit does occasionally happen, but that has nothing to do with the reason why folks go outdoors.

      • by dargaud ( 518470 )
        I'm a climber too but the GP has a point: there are a few summits, namely Everest, Mt Blanc and Denali, which attract inexperienced idiots. On those 3 you find people who have never put on crampons before, or even gone camping ! I've seen it firsthand. Climb on !
    • Climbing Everest is stupid, irresponsible, dangerous, pointless task for people with severe mental problems like constantly needing approval from others or pathological levels of arrogance or constantly feeling inadequate. So I have to wonder how he even got that job at Google with the personality of an Everest climber.

      He was privacy director at Google. Hello? Being away climbing mountains 11 months a year was a core qualification.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 26, 2015 @04:36PM (#49556405)

    When these amateurs start climbing it again WITHOUT a slew of sherpas, and oxygen tanks and using ACTUAL expert mountaineers to hold their hands, then I'll be impressed.

    Comparing the conditions under which people like Sir Edmund Hilary climbed to today's rich, trendy yuppies like this guy -- well, clearly times are different.

    • Even Hilary went with Sherpas. Also oxygen. First climb without oxygen was 1978. (unless the Sherpas had been doing it since forever, who knows?)

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @04:44PM (#49556437)

    It was very tragic for the Nepalese people as well.

    I feel sorry for the people grieving today for lost loved ones. But I'm getting a bit tired of the tiny number of climbers and tourists that died completely dominating the news. Thousands of Nepalese died. Their loved ones may have trouble even surviving, going forward. Let's not forget about them.

    • I feel sorry for your inability to keep your knee from jerking.

      We already discussed the incident in larger scope. If you missed it, nobody cares.

  • It was time for a reduction in head count.

  • His GOOG palm crystal changed color.

  • by Grey Geezer ( 2699315 ) on Monday April 27, 2015 @10:00AM (#49560421)

    long ago. The oxygen bottles, sherpas, packaged guide services, gourmet food, bridged/extension laddered/roped route "improvements", and instant cell phone/radio communication have made it a circus. I understand why it still appeals to arrogant assholes though... but, it's similar to state of the art "sport" fishing and hunting, which, (in a similar way) "enhanced" by sonar fish locators, high speed fishing boats, carbon fiber rods, laser sighting, tree stands, scent masking, baiting, and "canned" hunts, has become spiritually bankrupt. I wish we could all stop admiring these narcissistic activities.

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