Tag: Bill Gates

Clinton wanted Gates or Tim Cook for Vice president

main-qimg-c3c35d5a1a6001a0fcf594c49a5af26fAn email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta released in the recent WikiLeaks dump shows that Clinton wanted Bill or Melinda Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns for the Vice-President role.

There were 40 names on the list, so it was more like my Amazon wish-list, and there were signs that some of the names were not well researched. Apple’s supreme dalek Tim Cook is currently raising money for Ayn Rand–influenced ideologue Paul Ryan who shares similar views about stuffing up the great unwashed for a rich elite of self-serving bastards.

Bill and Melinda Gates are too busy saving the world to be bothered with the job of Vice-President, which unless the president gets sick is more of a ceremonial role. Even Dan Quayle managed to be a vice-president and he could not spell potato.

Burns probably does not want to leave Xerox where she earns on average $13 million a year. In fact her and her management team have all received salary increases over the last six years, but staff has not.

Microsoft's Ballmer says he's going to retire

The CEO of Microsoft – Steve Ballmer – is going to step down as the chief executive of Microsoft within the next 12 months, the company said today.

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) stock rose on the news.

Microsoft has created a special committee to find a successor to Ballmer. Microsoft founder Bill Gates will sit on that committee. The company will consider both outsiders and insiders as successors.

In a statement, Ballmer said Microsoft needed a CEO who would be around long term as the firm changes to a devices and services company.

Wall Street has wanted Ballmer to go for some time.  Rather like Intel, Microsoft has missed the boat on the move to smartphones and tablets.  Its own attempt to make money on the Surface RT tablet went disastrously wrong, forcing the Voe to take a close to $1 billion charge last month.

Sales of Windows 8 are also in the doldrums as competitors and former partners see Android platforms as a better bet.

Gates offers $100,000 prize to rubber industry

Part time tech evangelist and full time philanthropist Bill Gates is offering a $100,000 prize through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to anyone who can come up with a condom design for the 21st century.

The foundation could also secure up to $1 million of additional funding for a promising next-gen condom design. Basic condom design hasn’t changed much in half a century, so the foundation reckons it is time for a new one. Condoms are used by an estimated 750 million people across the world, and the figure probably doesn’t include tens of millions of liars and adulterers.

The foundation pointed out that “from the male perspective” condoms tend to decrease sexual pleasure, so one of the features high on its list is some way to increase sensation to get men to wear them more often. Female condoms have similar drawbacks and they are also quite a bit more expensive than their male counterparts, Mashable reports.

We do see a bit of a problem here. We all know Microsoft’s operating systems are renowned for their ahem, reliability, so a condom with the lifespan of a Russian dissident in Britain doesn’t sound like a very good idea at all. 

Bill Gates' favourite band is U2

In a verified “ask me anything” thread on Reddit, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has admitted that his favourite band is U2.

As well as pledging to continue the fight against Polio, in a revealing comment, he said: “U2 is a favorite [sic].. I keep waiting for Spinal Tap to go back on tour”.

Gates also expressed his fears of a terrorist-instigated nuclear or biological weapon holocaust, claimed he is an avid bridge player, and also loves playing tennis. He enjoys touring interesting things with his kids, such as power plants and garbage dumps.

The biggest impact of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation so far, he said, is “getting vaccines for things like diarrhea and pneumonia out which has saved millions of lives”.

Gates also said he is dedicated to improving education in the United States, though he did not answer a well-rated question from user ‘jedberg’, which read: “How would you respond to teachers who say there is no way to objectively measure teacher performance, because it is too dependent on the specific kids in the class and their socioeconomic circumstances?”

The full thread can be found here

Microsoft got into the console business to spite Sony

Microsoft created its Xbox as a way of kicking Sony in the consoles after the Japanese ignored its overtures for a glorious alliance.

Former Vole Joachim Kempin, who was VP of Windows Sales at Microsoft for 20 years starting in 1983, made the claim in an interview with IGN.

He said that Sony was always at arm’s length with Microsoft, but Vole wanted them as a chum because there were a lot of things they could have cooperated on.

Kempin said that Sony bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsoft’s friend. Vole wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things they could have co-operated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company. Although not very entertaining.

As soon as Sony came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said “well, we have to beat them, so let’s do our own”.

According to IGN, the move came from the top of the company, with Sir Bill Gates putting his oar in. Gates was not really a fan of consoles because he was worried that a living room computer would metamorphosise into an alternative PC that could threaten Microsoft’s dominance of the traditional market.

As a result, it was eventually felt the company had to try and tackle Sony head-on and come up with a product of its own so if there was any metamorphosis then Microsoft would be the one turning into a butterfly.

The only downside was that both Vole and Sony were losing a bundle on hardware and needed to make shedloads on software to make a profit.

Kempin said that he went to several PC manufacturers and tried to beg them to do the Xbox thing and keep the device manufacturing out of Microsoft, but they were not stupid enough to bite.

Kempin claims Microsoft never really managed to nail the whole software-supplementation thing, with Halo ending up as the only exclusive software franchise they could depend upon. They came up with a few ideas and managed to break even. But in the end they have effectively neutered Sony which was the goal. 

Bill Gates' Porsche up for grabs

A Porsche which once belonged to software supremo and now sworn enemy of the mosquito Sir William Gates III is up for auction.

Gates owned the 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo car in 1988 and 1989 when the word was his oyster and this was a top motor.

German auction company Dorotheum is offering the “extroverted metallic turquoise” car up on 2 June. We thought he was selling Steve Ballmer because he always struck us as a bit of an extroverted tortoise.

Although the opening price is $21,500, the company expects the car to fetch between $55,500 and $71,000. After all, having the motor that Gates drove at the height of his powers must be worth all of… well, it is a classic car too.

Sadly the auction is in Vienna so, in the words of Ultravox, “this means nothing to me”.

Dorotheum is showing the car with a shot of Washington registration cards from 1988 and 1989 with Gates’ name and address from the time.

The car comes with a thick folder with calculations confirming the expenditure maintenance and repair work. It seems that Gates spent a fortune trying to stop his blue car, er, blue screening. Most of it was probably spent trying to get Ballmer in or out of the vehicle.

The speedometer only goes up to 140 km/h so it is unlikely that the car goes particularly fast, particularly if you stick too much bloat in the boot.

Hollywood gets into a scrap over Steve Jobs' corpse

In a sign that Hollywood has really run out of ideas, it seems that there are two rival studios trying to make a movie out of the life of Steve Jobs.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sony Pictures said that the Academy Award winning screenwriter behind The Social Network will write the script for a film about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

The logic is that Aaron Sorkin has a history of making very very dull people like Mark Zuckerberg interesting, so he should be able to make Steve Jobs look like something other than a CEO of a very, very dull technology company.

He will be using the biography by journalist Walter Isaacson as the basis for the story so it will have the air of being an official documentary.

Already they are starting to talk up Jobs’ life in a way that makes hyperbole seem understated.

Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal said in a release that Steve Jobs’s story is unique. “He was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but of all time.”

Yep, the maker of ephemeral shiny gadgets for 20 years is more important and influential than Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, Paul of Tarsus, Charlemagne, Catherine the Great, Tesla my cat… well about everyone really.

Having read the Jobs’ biography it is hard to escape the fact that there is a lack of car chases, bed hopping, battle scenes, aliens leaping out of bodies or anything to attract the movie going public. Sadly, Jobs chewing out some designer for not sticking rounded corners on something does not make a movie and that is not to mention the fact that there can’t be a sequel.

Isaacson’s book titled “Steve Jobs” has sold more than two million copies since its release late last year and was the top-selling title at online retail powerhouse Amazon.com.

The other film project is an independent flick which is starring Ashton Kutcher. That will apparently tell the story of Jobs’ life from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple and “revered creative entrepreneur.”

Frankly, the only way they can make either movies is to set both films in outer space with Microsoft being portrayed as an evil empire using its ugly looking death star software to build an empire while Jobs leads a small but well designed rebellion.  Sadly, if it sticks to facts, Jobs would then build his own death star and spend his life torturing those who fight form him.

For crying out loud, Steve Ballmer from MicroVole is way more interesting…


Paul Allen donates further funds for brain research

Paul Allen is doing his bit for charity.

The Microsoft co-founder has announced that he will commit $300 million of his hard earned cash over the next 10 years to a foundation that conducts research into how the brain works and how best to treat brain-related disorders.

The charity, Allen Institute for Brain Science, was originally set up with the help of Mr Allen who contributed $100 million to the cause back in 2003.

He later donated another $100 million. The latest pledge will support the first four years of a 10-year plan to address questions about how the brain works.

This includes counting and classifying all the various types of neurons within the brain and identifying molecular machinery within the cells that can cause problems. It is hoped by researching these scientists and doctors will be able to find cures and manage illnesses such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, traumatic brain injury and other brain-related diseases and disorders.

Allen is of course not the only Microsoft man who has done his bit for charity. Founder and former CEO Bill Gates is also well known for his charity commitments, raising money for various causes through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Gates Foundation has focused on eradicating malaria, helping third-world countries grow rice, and a crusade to end polio.

Bill Gates confronted on education policy meddling

Bill Gates has been blasted for meddling in the US education system, with an Occupy movement group protesting the use of his wealth to encourage reforms.

Occupy activists conducted a protest against reforms being advocated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with a group confronting spokespeople about proposed reforms.

“Gates Foundation, you will fail! Education is not for sale!” was the chant made to Bill Gates’ organisation. In what was compared to a high school debate by Seattle teacher Jesse Hagopian, three Gates Foundation employees were taken to task over its role in education poicy making.

Hagopian claimed that the will of the Gates Foundation is to encourage elitism in schools, while the Occupy Education movement advocated a right for ”education for the 99 percent”.

Gates Foundation employees were grilled over issues which have come to the fore in US educational reforms, such as the backing of chartered schools and standarised testing.

Standarised testing has proved to be particularly divisive, and the Occupy movement is adamant that wealthy individuals should not be allowed to push through legislation that critics claim the majority of parents and teachers are against.

”Occupy Education made it clear that day that we will not allow billionaire flunkies to remake our schools in the image of a production line,” Hagopian said in his account of the demonstration.

Gates has also shown support for a revolution in remote learning such as the Khan Academy, which promotes learning through video outside the classroom.  Non profit organisation TED also announced it would be releasing regular videos on its TED-ED YouTube channel, with lessons from top teachers intended to promote learning. MIT recently announced that it would be starting an online only course for a remote study degree.

In the eyes of the Occupy Education movement, more needs to be done to increase spending in the classroom to create closer interaction with teachers, with greater funding diverted into the schools system.

Bill Gates demands "digital revolution" to feed the poor

Former Microsoft man Bill Gates has donated a pile of cash from his vast personal wealth to help bring about a “digital revolution” to feed the world’s poorest people.

As part of the philanthropist project the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has pledged to spend $200 million on agriculture grants to help the world’s needy.

In a speech at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gates appealed to UN bodies to create a more “innovative” approach to agriculture.   If farmers can be supported more adequately then suffering in some of the poorest parts of the world can be alleviated, Gates said in a statement.

A more up to date approach is needed to make farmers self sufficient, Gates reckons, with current methods “outdated”.

At the speech in Rome, Gates called for a “digital revolution” in smallhold farming practices, AFP heard.

Gates wants to push genetic sequencing, which he thinks should be used to predict how seedlings will perform, as well as using genetically modified organisms to create higher food yields.  While such practices have been controversial, as Gates points out, when your family is starving you are likely to care less about whether your rice was grown in a lab.

Satellite imaging data would provide more insight into the quality of individual fields, Gates says. If such technology is not implemented in poorer regions then Gates warned of a “digital divide” in agriculture.

With another couple of hundred million dollars invested in improving agriculture, Gates’ foundation has handed out almost $2 billion in total.