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Gates and MS Don't See Eye-To-Eye On CO2

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the forest-and-trees dept.

Microsoft 288

Sam Machkovech writes "Bill Gates's speech at last week's TED Conference centered on 'moving to zero-carbon energy, and our need to reduce CO2 emissions 80% by 2050.' His choice of subject was an abrupt turn from The Gates Foundation's typical humanitarian topics, but he insisted that energy innovation is crucial to his Foundation's goals. A move by Microsoft today proves that Gates's old company has less interest in that carbon-neutral goal — Microsoft has begun campaigning against a bridge redesign that would result in more bus and transit options for commuters between Seattle and the company's homebase of Redmond, WA."

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251132)

suck my huge cock

Bill Gates vs Microsoft (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251152)

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Re:Bill Gates vs Microsoft (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251228)

There's not really a conflict here. It's just an attempt to spin the story against Microsoft, for no apparent reason, since they want the bridge done as soon as possible. Read the linked article.

Re:Bill Gates vs Microsoft (5, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251626)

It's just an attempt to spin the story against Microsoft, for no apparent reason

Did you miss "posted by kdawson"?

wait, what...? (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251240)

"moving to zero-carbon energy"

That would be the end of life as we know it. Quite literally, as a matter of fact, since we're all made of carbon.

Re:wait, what...? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251294)

I'm not made out of carbon, I'm made out of jesus's love power!

Re:wait, what...? (2, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251308)

I'm not made out of carbon, I'm made out of jesus's love power!

You don't exist. Go away.

Re:wait, what...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251582)

Your carbonist agenda won't let you see the truth!

I didn't come from no carbon-based life form!

Re:wait, what...? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251610)

Your carbonist agenda won't let you see the truth! I didn't come from no carbon-based life form!

That's the first time I've seen a seven line perl script with a republican agenda. Bravo.

Re:wait, what...? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251316)

Go and sequester yourself.

Re:wait, what...? (1, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252012)

Go and sequester yourself.

I already did that in the shower this morning. Your point? :P

Re:wait, what...? (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251340)

You are hereby awarded 1 "I was retardedly obtuse on the internets on purpose" merit badge.

Congratulations.

Re:wait, what...? (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251534)

You are hereby awarded 1 "I was retardedly obtuse on the internets on purpose" merit badge.

Oh please! They don't make that merit badge. I checked [wikipedia.org] . What I deserve is an award for the correct use of irony in a public forum.

Re:wait, what...? (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252038)

Indeed [youtube.com] .

Re:wait, what...? (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251484)

That would be the end of life as we know it. Quite literally, as a matter of fact, since we're all made of carbon.

Bah. I'm nitrogen-based, so the only thing I'll need to worry about is head shoulders shampoo.

Re:wait, what...? (2, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251644)

Bah. I'm nitrogen-based, so the only thing I'll need to worry about is head shoulders shampoo.

Dude, all I have to do is inhale and I will end you.

Re:wait, what...? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251900)

Dude, all I have to do is inhale and I will end you.

Wow...that would suck.

Re:wait, what...? (4, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251596)

I think 'zero-carbon energy' implies that we could no longer use humans as fuel.

Re:wait, what...? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251744)

I think 'zero-carbon energy' implies that we could no longer use humans as fuel.

Of course, that statement implies that we currently use humans as fuel. I would like to point out to anyone reading this that I taste horrible and I'm a bit gamey on account of this diet I'm on of not eating until I'm on the verge of passing out, and then eating a sugar cube.

Devil's advocate (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251248)

The changes Microsoft made to both Windows Vista and 7 have resulted in more CO2 savings that most other efforts combined. I am of course talking about the default and recommended power settings in Windows along with the "best practice" guidelines given to their corporate partners. Microsoft has also added support for power saving features to Windows ahead of what the hardware and or drivers in the market offered...

Devil's advocate ^-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251376)

The changes Microsoft made to both Windows Vista and 7 have resulted in less CO2 wastage than most other efforts combined.

Re:Devil's advocate (5, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251388)

>>The changes Microsoft made to both Windows Vista and 7 have resulted in more CO2 savings that most other efforts combined.

Which is really sad, since the overall effect is quite small.

If we'd gone nuclear since the 70s, we'd have met every CO2 target out there today, and we wouldn't be having all this annoying debate. Well, we'd be having some kind of annoying debate, but not so much over CO2 production.

I watched that talk by Gates a few days ago, and he has an interesting design for a nuclear reactor, that basically would work like burning a candle - "burning" starts on one end of the nuclear log and proceeds down the log until 50 years later, when you pop it out and put a new log in. The little bit of waste left over could be put into a new log, and it runs on unenriched uranium, which makes fuel a lot less expensive, and a lot more available. It could all be a pipe dream, but it would be great if they could get it working. Given that Gates can bankroll all the R&D out of his deep pockets, I'm cautiously optimistic about Terrapower.

The sad thing is that environmentalists have a sort of knee jerk reaction every time they hear the word nuclear, even though it is the only power source that is cheap, safe, and good for the environment. The only people who oppose it are the ignorant (Nuclear Power means Nuclear War!) or people who think life would be AWESOME if we could all go back to living in caves.

Re:Devil's advocate (4, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251568)

The sad thing is that environmentalists have a sort of knee jerk reaction every time they hear the word nuclear, even though it is the only power source that is cheap, safe, and good for the environment. The only people who oppose it are the ignorant (Nuclear Power means Nuclear War!) or people who think life would be AWESOME if we could all go back to living in caves.

Wow, you have created some sort of God-Emperor of Strawmen there.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251836)

>>Wow, you have created some sort of God-Emperor of Strawmen there.

He grants spells up to 6th level, too.

But seriously, it's true.

Re:Devil's advocate (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251992)

Well, I don't know if it's completely true. No one can know if it's completely true. From what I've heard, there's reactors now where the waste is something actually useful, or can be easily converted to non-hazardous materials, so at the very least, now is the time to start a massive push to nuclear, supplimented by renewable sources like tidal/geothermal/solar/wind as regionally appropriate.

troll... (4, Insightful)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251252)

Without reading anything...this sounds like trolling.

There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to oppose a bridge that may well be a bad idea to build.

Re:troll... (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251366)

I'm pretty sure they've already de-trolled the area. It's a nasty process evicting a troll from his home once he's settled in.

Myhrvold on the loose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251586)

I'm pretty sure Nathan still happens to have a nice damp dark spot around there.

Re:troll... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251814)

Whatever, it's quite easy. Just give it a red herring.

Re:troll... (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251818)

No its not, just feed the troll a fish, and he'll move right along.

Re:troll... (1)

schala09 (1617275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251972)

Actually, the troll is still there [wikipedia.org] , and has been for quite a while.

Re:troll... (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251990)

Well, there's a troll [wikipedia.org] under the Aurora Bridge, which is only a couple of miles away.

Re:troll... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252120)

This is not a troll bridge. It's a fee bridge.

Re:troll... (5, Informative)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251444)

There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to oppose a bridge that may well be a bad idea to build.

They're opposing any further delay for replacing an old, existing bridge. There is already an approved design for the new bridge, but some want to change the design to accommodate more HOV and public-transit lanes. From TFA:

The state Senate has signed off on the so-called "A+" option, which would include six lanes total, with two lanes for high-occupancy vehicles and buses. McGinn's proposal ... is to come up with a new 520 plan that would incorporate high-capacity transit (light rail or bus-rapid transit) as well as two HOV and two general-purpose lanes.

Apparently, the existing bridge could fall into the water at the next earthquake and it's a main route for Microsoft employees to/from the campus.

Re:troll... (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252116)

So Microsoft is Anti-Envriomentalist because it doesn't want to add public transit that most people wont use. Being a real environmentalist is being a realist too. Every choice you take has a trade off, Trying to push too green may cause a bridge that is not efficiently used. Thus creating a negative impact. Being green just to wave a flag to say Look I am green I am a good human being is often the worst thing you can do as you are not evaluating what you are doing and what tradeoffs you have.

Re:troll... (5, Informative)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251508)

The irony is they took out the advertisement to oppose delays on replacing the existing bridge, and in turn doing so they are "against" another proposal that would add more mass transit.

From TFA, the statement made by MS in their full page ad:
While there are still some final design issues that need to be resolved with the City of Seattle, we should not let last-minute objections undermine the hard-won agreements already in place for the rest of the project. Doing so would cause yet more delay, increase the cost to taxpayers, and put this vital transportation and economic corridor at risk. The current bridge is 47 years old, and state engineers warn that it could sink in a major storm or earthquake.

So basically they want it finished now, not sitting in government limbo like so many other infrastructure improvements do.

I'd also like to point out the obvious: Bill Gates is not Microsoft.

Re:troll... (0)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251806)

The irony is they took out the advertisement to oppose delays on replacing the existing bridge, and in turn doing so they are "against" another proposal that would add more mass transit.

No, the irony is that one of their justifications for opposing the alternative proposal is "Doing so would cause yet more delay, increase the cost to taxpayers,"

This from the company that has cheated the state of Washington out of Billions of dollars in taxes.

Re:troll... (4, Insightful)

dreadlord76 (562584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251958)

>> This from the company that has cheated the state of Washington out of Billions of dollars in taxes.
All large business attempts to minimize their tax burdens via legal means. How many home owners have been taught that a "Home mortgage is a great tax deduction!"? As long as you do it legally by the law, there is no cheating involved.
Pick any WA politician, and ask would they rather get those taxes, or would they like Microsoft to move their HQ and jobs elsewhere.
At least they didn't move their HQ to a PO Box in the Cayman islands...

Re:troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251572)

Trolling? Not trolling, just another typical kdawson story.

If you don't want to read any more stories like this one, disable stories from kdawson.

Re:troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251812)

Not trolling, just another typical kdawson story.

There's a difference?

Re:troll... (4, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251902)

Actually, they're not directly opposing mass transit. They're opposing efforts to delay the expansion of the existing (car only) bridge because the expansion has been needed (light rail or no) for a long time (a decade or so), and now that they've finally got an agreement worked out, they don't want to go back to the drawing board.

I don't know the details of the current bridge plans, but when I worked out there, it was patently obvious the bridge needed expansion. The highway leading up to it on the eastern side (the MS side) was three lanes each way, one of which was an HOV-3 lane. Problem was, when you hit the bridge, it narrowed to two lanes, eliminating the HOV lane. Which meant all the HOV travelers had to merge back in, and the merging itself created massive traffic jams. The HOV lane was only really useful at the edges of rush hour; in the middle of rush hour it would back up almost as badly as the non-HOV lanes (and keep in mind, buses were using it to, so mass transit wasn't a workaround). If they could just expand the bridge by one lane each way, and make the extra lane HOV-3, carpooling would make a lot more sense, as would riding the bus, and even people in the non-HOV lanes would benefit a bit (since the last second merging wouldn't exacerbate otherwise minor traffic jams).

Re:troll... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251960)

Without reading anything...this sounds like trolling.

Accusing somebody of trolling without taking 5 seconds to check their assertions — that's definitely trolling.

I, for one, am shocked... (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251322)

That a guy who has practically unlimited money and a seemingly sincere desire for world improvement(some of the "educational" initiatives that basically boil down to getting 3rd world kiddies using MS Office are arguably cynical; but nobody puts money into malaria research except for philanthropic reasons) and a callously profit-maximizing corporation with stockholders to appease might not be in complete agreement. However could this be?

Re:I, for one, am shocked... (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251752)

nobody puts money into malaria research except for philanthropic reasons

Oh I don't know, they can't very well buy MS products if they're dead now can they?

In all seriousness, why is giving '3rd world kiddies' free access to your companies software cynical? Ok, yes you can make the argument that you're trying to indoctrinate them, but isn't it more likely that Bill Gates genuinely believes that MS products are some of the best available and that the kids should have the best available products? Especially since, given his contacts, the software can be had at little to no cost? Not every act of a millionaire is duplicitous, it seems to me that he's just trying to do the most good possible. His opinion of the software may be wrong, but I doubt that he is conciously trying to brainwash the developing world.

only 2 general lanes? (2, Informative)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251326)

Tha alternative plan MS is arguing against has only two (one each way) lanes for general car use - no wonder they don't want it. Light rail and long range buses are only good if lots of people want to use them. HOV lanes are only good if people can be convinced to carpool. Apparently MS management feels the employees want to drive their own cars to work by themselves. If that's the case, making them idle in the traffic snarls created by the one general lane each way bridge will not only make everyone late to work but also really exacerbate the smog problem.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (1)

yankpop (931224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251496)

Light rail and long range buses are only good if lots of people want to use them. HOV lanes are only good if people can be convinced to carpool. Apparently MS management feels the employees want to drive their own cars to work by themselves. If that's the case, making them idle in the traffic snarls created by the one general lane each way bridge will not only make everyone late to work but also really exacerbate the smog problem.

You almost make sense. Your argument is based on the assumption that people want to drive themselves to work, and no amount of inconvenience will convince them that any other option is viable. However, if they are stuck in traffic jams day after day, they may find themselves much more likely to try the train, bus or carpool option, once it becomes clear that on top of the economic and environmental advantages, it's also faster. At least, it's faster in a well-designed transit system.

yp.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (4, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251672)

However, if they are stuck in traffic jams day after day, they may find themselves much more likely to try the train, bus or carpool option

Hasn't happened yet. [forbes.com]

it's also faster. At least, it's faster in a well-designed transit system.

Spherical cow. [wikipedia.org] It's all easy if you can postulate away any actual practical limitations. Things like existing residence and employment location patterns ("first, we make everyone live within 5 miles of where they work..."); stuff already in the way of your well-designed transit system ("how many dozens of blocks are you willing to demolish to set up your light rail system?"); and the simple societal preference for individual mobility.

The U.S. is a big, sprawling country, and the cities are big and sprawling too. That is the result of, and the reinforcement for, the big, sprawling, commute-centric mindset of suburban/exurban America. And 3-hour commutes, $4 per gallon gasoline, and 35,000 traffic fatalities a year haven't changed it yet. If you don't mind, I won't hold my breath.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (2, Interesting)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251676)

Nudge, nudge. That's the progressive way! Hey, can I ask that they not use my tax money to build HOV lanes, then tell me I can't use them?

Re:only 2 general lanes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251910)

Even better, around here they want to build light rail and neglect the road system (or actually shrink it like they plan with this bridge) until drivers are pretty much forced out of their cars and onto trains.

Thus far we've spent years and years and billions of dollars for NOTHING. As for trains being faster, the one from Seattle to Tacoma actually takes twice as long as driving. Meanwhile, we have a major, elevated viaduct that was damaged in an earthquake nearly a decade ago, needs to be replaced and the powers that be can't seem to figure out what to do with it.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (-1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251994)

Hey, can I ask that they not use my tax money to build HOV lanes, then tell me I can't use them?

As long as I can ask that my tax dollars not be spent just so you can be all alone when you drive your pollution-spewing SUV to work.

Expecting the government to spend money just so a bunch of corporate stooges benefit. That's the "conservative" way!

Jerks like you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251868)

Why do you want to inconvenience people so that they'll do what you want? It's people like you that cost me an extra $1.20 for a case of soda. I don't recycle and I'm proud of it. But people like you think they can force me to act how you want simply by causing me an inconvenience. I say no. Recycling is a stupid, dirty, space wasting, time wasting activity best left to a modern trash facility. And jerks like you will laugh at me and be proud of the $1.20 you ripped me off.

Argh! I hate social engineers that make my life more inconvenient so that they can feel better about a perfect world where I act more like them.

If recycling cans made so much sense, why do I break even after all that work. All they did was hold my money ransom until I did what they wanted me to do. I know some will say that it's not too much to ask that I recycle cans. I say leave me alone and live your own life. Jeez. You're such a jerk!

Re:only 2 general lanes? (1)

bmk67 (971394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252014)

At least, it's faster in a well-designed transit system.

If "well-designed" is a synonym for "intended to cause the most amount of discomfort for motorists", then I'd agree with you.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (1)

yourlord (473099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252106)

But you have to account for people like me who hate public transportation and would gladly sit in their cars, idling, for 8 hours a day rather than be forced to ride a stinking scum infested bus or train.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (2, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251578)

HOV lanes are an insult to the taxpayers who pay for highways. They're an even greater insult to the drivers who pay never-ending tolls to use those roads, then are told that they can't use part of it while everyone sits in traffic wasting fuel and polluting.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (-1, Flamebait)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251770)

HOV lanes are an insult to the taxpayers who pay for highways. They're an even greater insult to the drivers who pay never-ending tolls to use those roads, then are told that they can't use part of it while everyone sits in traffic wasting fuel and polluting.

Not carpooling is an insult to the taxpayers who pay for highways. What, you think *you* are so special that you need to wastefully use the resources *I* help pay for? Get off my roads, douchebag.

Your argument works better when it's applied to wasteful users of public resources.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252010)

It's because nobody would want to spend an hour stuck in a car with operagost, listening to him spout his ill-informed pseudo-libertarian nonsense.

It's hard to carpool when nobody wants to be around you.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (4, Informative)

McBeer (714119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251654)

Tha alternative plan MS is arguing against has only two (one each way) lanes for general car use - no wonder they don't want it. Light rail and long range buses are only good if lots of people want to use them. HOV lanes are only good if people can be convinced to carpool. Apparently MS management feels the employees want to drive their own cars to work by themselves. If that's the case, making them idle in the traffic snarls created by the one general lane each way bridge will not only make everyone late to work but also really exacerbate the smog problem.

Not quite. Most of the MS employees in Seattle ride the Microsoft Connector bus in to work. The existing one carpool lane is more then sufficient to accomodate the MS busses. I live right by the 520 bridge and I'm with MS on this one. More carpool lanes and/or light rail will just increase the time and cost of the project and add little to no benefit. We need a new bridge now.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251726)

Apparently MS management feels the employees want to drive their own cars to work by themselves.

FWIW, my experience is that car-pooling is very common in the Seattle area, especially among people under 40. Much more so than in the NY area where I live now. Actions to encourage more carpooling there might be likely to meet a decent response than here in NJ where HOV lanes have been converted back to general-purpose lanes.

Just some food for thought.

Re:only 2 general lanes? (1, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251952)

It's interesting that the "conservative" view here supports government spending on a project that mainly benefits Microsoft employees.

If Microsoft wants a bridge that's best for their own employees, why don't they user their own money to build it?

If the entire state's (and federal) taxpayers have to foot the bill for this bridge, then it's completely reasonable for them to expect it to be environmentally responsible.

Terrible Title & Summary (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251334)

From the article:
While there are still some final design issues that need to be resolved with the City of Seattle, we should not let last-minute objections undermine the hard-won agreements already in place for the rest of the project. Doing so would cause yet more delay, increase the cost to taxpayers, and put this vital transportation and economic corridor at risk. The current bridge is 47 years old, and state engineers warn that it could sink in a major storm or earthquake.

So its not like Microsoft is against it because they love to emit Carbon Dioxide. In fact, closing the bridge for construction will cause people to go around, emitting more CO2.

Microsoft is mostly against it because it highly affects their employees in a negative way. It means more lates, or more inconvenience. Will the CO2 offset from more buses balance out the increased amount created during its upgrade? Who knows.

Bill's Ted talk was actually great. He promoted the design and development of the new Nuclear reactors that burn the 99% of uranium - essentially the old toxic waste that we have sitting around. Yeah, everyone was afraid of nuclear technology partly because of the waste produced, and with modern super computers we've simulated that we can actually burn the waste produced by regular nuclear reactors. We just need to jump on it. Bill Gates goes through how Solar power and Geo power are great alternatives but they aren't as solid, as such they will only work towards extending our deadline to meet the Carbon 0 goal.

These two events, the Ad and the Ted talk, are totally exclusive and neither are really about the other, and this isn't them butting heads. Bill Gates goes on about how the entire world needs to come together on a new project. This is one company against adding bus lanes to a bridge. Whoever lumped those two together didn't really look at the big picture.

Re:Terrible Title & Summary (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251864)

Microsoft is mostly against it because it highly affects their employees in a negative way. It means more lates, or more inconvenience.

Or more telecommuting.

Re:Terrible Title & Summary (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252052)

These two events, the Ad and the Ted talk, are totally exclusive and neither are really about the other, and this isn't them butting heads. Bill Gates goes on about how the entire world needs to come together on a new project. This is one company against adding bus lanes to a bridge. Whoever lumped those two together didn't really look at the big picture.

Nope, they manufactured a controversy to get more page views. You at least clicked through to the slashdot discussion, and probably the article itself. Sounds like they did their job.

Re:Terrible Title & Summary (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252134)

We've known about breeder reactors for a while, just to point out. You know how nuclear energy was supposed to make electricity too cheap to meter? Replacing all our coal with breeder reactors would likely make that the case - according to wikipedia normal reactors use about 1% of the energy, and breeder reactors can use almost all of the rest. That coupled with the fact that they can use cheaper fuel - thorium instead of uranium - and it looks like the way to go.

I don't even need RTFA (3, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251338)

Yeah, MS is opposing the redesign because it needs to pump CO2, obviously.

Re:I don't even need RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251662)

This is why people don't take global warming alarmists seriously.

Wait a sec if they take different sides (1, Funny)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251354)

Then which side are us slashdot'ers supposed to hate?

Re:Wait a sec if they take different sides (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31252070)

Hey, this is a serious and important issue. On the one side is Billy Gates, on the other is MS, which way are we to lean? This calls for slashdot elders' wisdom.

All you mothas with 3-digit uids, haul yo ass down here and sort this out for us.

Did the submitter RTFA? (4, Informative)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251360)

Microsoft isn't opposing the bridge design. They're opposing further delay on starting the bridge project. They're for the bridge redesign, not against it.

First line in the article.

Microsoft took out a full-page color ad in the Seattle Times today opposing any further “delay” on replacing the SR-520 bridge

Re:Did the submitter RTFA? (0, Troll)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251374)

Never mind, it would appear I didn't RTFA.

Re:Did the submitter RTFA? (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251562)

Microsoft isn't opposing the bridge design. They're opposing further delay on starting the bridge project. They're for the bridge redesign, not against it.

Microsoft is opposing a re-redesign of the bridge.
Mostly because they want it built sooner rather than later.

Feature creep is how most any type of project can destroy its schedule and end up over budget.

Have you ever travelled on 520? (5, Informative)

SeattleGameboy (641456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251384)

Seriously, do you even live in Seattle? Do you know what 520 bridge is like? Do you even know all the politics around this bridge redesign? No? Then, STFU!!! This bridge goes through VERY wealthy neighborhoods on both sides of the bridge. These neighborhoods have been dead set against ANY expansion of the bridge and they have been backing any and all candidates with proposals that would delay the contructions of the new bridge. These redesigns have been decades in making, while the bridge is hanging by the thread on every major windstorm. The sucker needs to get replaces ASAP. It does not matter if it is 6 lanes or 8 lanes. It needs to move forward for the good of all people living in the Puget Sound area.

Re:Have you ever travelled on 520? (3, Informative)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251646)

In addition, mass transit across 520 is going to solve what problem? People are converging at that point from up and down the Eastside and unless you extend the light rail to Bothell, Kirkland, Woodinville, Redmond, Bellevue, etc. etc. you won't have any riders. But none of those cities (with possible exceptions of MS campus in Redmond, and the city of Bellevue) would get anywhere near the volume of ridership to make it worthwhile.

I've come to the conclusion we are really better off with buses and a few more lanes.

Re:Have you ever travelled on 520? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251648)

Amen to this. This bridge is gridlocked from 3pm to 8pm everyday--if you're lucky. It can take 1-2 hours to travel the 5 miles from Redmond to Seattle, and that's not counting the traffic you have to deal with once you get on I5. If you had to commute this corridor everyday, you'd understand Microsoft's stance on getting the replacement started now.

Re:Have you ever travelled on 520? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251754)

Well, if that is true then how is Microsoft the bad guy in this one? You riddle me that Mr. Smartypants. That puts a big hole in your theory now doesn't it?

Re:Have you ever travelled on 520? (2, Informative)

bmk67 (971394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251936)

These redesigns have been decades in making, while the bridge is hanging by the thread on every major windstorm.

Indeed. The SR-520 bridge is a floating bridge and is nearly 50 years old. It carries far more traffic than it was designed to carry, and in any case, is nearing the end of it's design life.

To put things in perspective, the Hood Canal Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hood_Canal_Bridge) is of similar age, design, construction, and span. The Hood Canal bridge suffered a catastrophic failure during a windstorm in 1979. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1982.

Re:Have you ever travelled on 520? (0)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252066)

You are absolutely correct, one cannot comment unless one has traveled the mile in the local shoes. However, two things stand out. First, even the imminent collapse of a bridge does not mean that taxpayer, perhaps federal, can forfeit their right to due diligence. Taxpayers deserve a fully explored plan. If that means studies and whatnot delay it, then so be it. There are many bridges that need to be replaced, and critical bridges that no longer exist. For instance, I think there is a bridge in Vermont that was allowed to go out, even though the nearest alternative route is at least an hour away. In the case of MS, there seems to alternatives within 10 miles that can support traffic in the '520' went away. Sure it would be a hassle, but not the end of the world. I myself have to make a 5 mile detour right now due to such issues.

Second, I wonder why MS did not enumerate the other people that are dependent on the bridge. For instance, why didn't the ad state that there were 5000 MS employees and x other persons. Is it because only MS needs this bridge? I am not saying that MS should pay for the bridge, but if the taxpayers are paying for a bridge to MS specification, then it seems a lot like the recent wall street bailout. Bad planning requires us to pay for a business that is too big to fail.

It is easy to believe that MS wants a new bridge, and wants the tax payers to fund it, at least partially. While I would not suggest that MS pays for the bridge, I would suggest that if it wants a custom MS bridge, then maybe MS should fund it.

Population Reduction (-1, Troll)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251424)

Around @ 4:00 he talks about using good vaccines, medicine and reproductive services to reduce population by 15%. These kinds of people are disgusting and very dangerous.

Re:Population Reduction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251522)

What type of "vaccines and medicines" reduce population?

Re:Population Reduction (3, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251528)

Troll? He wants population planet wide to stabilize and drop some for the good of all. Not ... like slaughtering africans with medicine... Bringing places to the 1st world reduces birth rates. That's a good thing... and exactly what we want to see.

Re:Population Reduction (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251776)

Why do posts like this dissapear? The Slashdot FAQ states that you can't delete a comment and neither will they delete one unless it contains malformed HTML. "We believe that discussions in Slashdot are like discussions in real life- you can't change what you say, you only can attempt to clarify by saying more."

Re:Population Reduction (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252098)

I've wondered that too. I've noticed a number of disappeared posts, and from the replies and quoted bits, they never seem that bad. I'd almost suggest that if a post is removed, then all the replies should be turfed as well.

Re:Population Reduction (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252112)

Perhaps you would like to volunteer to help out? Shall we sterilize your children? Will you agree to only one child or we'll euthanize them? Helping out the common good. Good for you! How do you think vaccines would help reduce population? Make people healthier so that they will.. have less children. Yeah.. It's called culling the herd.

Re:Population Reduction (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31251616)

I might say the same about people who continue to bring more than 3 consumers into a world that can't support them.

Re:Population Reduction (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251742)

I noticed that too. He's the typical modern elite - every problem can be solved by more control and population reduction. It's funny their M.O. is always the same - the problem is everyone else.

Not Contradictory (3, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251466)

Nothing in this is contradictory. Like most people, particularly those with power and wealth, he wants everyone else to do something to reduce carbon emissions while he flies around in his private jet and pumps megawatts into his electro-fortress. See also Al Gore's mansion and The Governator's private jet commute from Malibu to Sacramento. Contrast with Ed Begley Jr, who seems to practice what he preaches -- and is the exception that proves the rule.

The rich and famous are only required to appear as though they want a better future, or we would rise up and slay them. Good PR does more to protect their aristocracy than making sacrifices -- the PR is all that the serfs know of the nobles.

Re:Not Contradictory (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251784)

Even worse, his efforts to prevent malaria are likely to result in millions and millions of additional living humans.

But maybe it all doesn't boil down to any simple calculus.

Re:Not Contradictory (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251842)

If dollar bills are taken out of bank accounts and placed directly in politician's pockets, Does that reduce their carbon footprint? The Politician would tend to think so...

Re:Not Contradictory (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251862)

Emphasis mine:

The rich and famous are only required to appear as though they want a better future, or we would rise up and slay them.

Oh come on, we would do no such thing. We don't live in a D&D fantasy world, we don't live in some silly movie. We would just go about our business and grumble and complain about one more thing. The rich and famous get away with whatever they want because we (in general) envy them. End of story.

Re:Not Contradictory (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251914)

Certainly Bill Gates doesn't want -ME- to build a nuclear reactor all on my own. He clearly mentions its a project that has to be undertaken by a lot of governments, not just a corporation or a few individuals.

He has even actually gone out of his way to fund some projects of the like. But he knows that he alone nor Microsoft could accomplish the goal. It requires a unilateral push by many countries across the planet.

His talk was more directed to those in political power, or to give a direction to the people who vote. Not once did Gates tell me to turn off my lightbulbs or recycle more. Go watch his talk and you'll see that he wasn't saying what you're assuming he was saying.

Re:Not Contradictory (1)

SeattleGameboy (641456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251942)

There is a "power and wealth" angle to this story, but your angle ain't it.

At both end of this bridge is two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Puget Sound; Montlake and Median. Montlake and its west coastline neighborhoods of the Lake Washington is the "old Seattle money" and Medina and its east coast line neighborhoods are where the "new tech money" billionaires live (including Gates).

They have been waging a major battle against the 520 redesign for over a decade. They do not want anything other than an exact replica of the current bridge (4 narrow lanes). They have thrown numerous roadblocks against the redesign and fought the city hall for many many years with lawsuits and environmental challenges. Now that all of those battle have been fought and lost, the same neighborhood association is now backing this new proposal since they know this would reboot the process and will tie up the contruction of the bridge for at least another decade.

Opposing this bridge is EXACTLY what is wrong with those with power and wealth. They will not be inconvenienced one bit even if there is greater good for the vast majority of the citizens. They like the things as they are, and they will fight any change that encroach on their turf. If you want to "rise up and slay" aristocracy, then you should throw your full support for this bridge to be rebuilt.

Re:Not Contradictory (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252000)

RTFA: They are opposing a *delay* in replacing the existing bridge (four lanes, two each way, none HOV, liable to be destroyed in the next major earthquake) with a new bridge (six lanes, two of which are HOV, with earthquake resistant construction). Note that the new bridge is primarily useful to carpoolers and buses, not to people commuting by themselves (and it's HOV-3, which is a decent bar, HOV-2 is way too lenient). It may not be perfect, but it does encourage carpooling and mass transit, both of which are environmentally friendly. The perfect is the enemy of the good; it's taken over a decade to even get agreement on this bridge, and if they scrapped the existing plans to "try and make it even better" it would never get built (at least, not until "the big one" destroys the existing bridge).

Re:Not Contradictory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31252028)

See also Al Gore's

Hey, I know that guy... he's that "An Inconvenient Truth" dude who wasn't a president, right?

and The Governator's

That's that actor-turned-governor of california who's jumping up and down about going 'green', yeah?

mansion

private jet commute from Malibu to Sacramento.

Oh those hypocritical bastards! Why, that makes me so angry, this very hypocrisy is going to make me want to spread the word about what they're saying, and just how they're completely not acting like they listen to themselves! RAR!

Contrast with Ed Begley Jr, who seems to practice what he preaches

Ed who?

Good PR does more to protect their aristocracy than making sacrifices -- the PR is all that the serfs know of the nobles.

Maybe good PR from people who actually -can- effect PR on a grand scale helps in people's awareness of the issues as well... be that what they preach (The Inconvenient Truth, movie) or the skepticism of what they preach (every fricken blog about global warming just days after that movie was released, and some -before-).

While other people... well.. Ed who?

If it takes a handful of well-known characters preaching A but apparently practicing B, for there to be hundreds of people preaching -and- practicing A, or at least trying, then I suggest that's not an altogether -bad- thing.

Certainly Ed can't ever travel anywhere other than within the northern American continent to speak to live audiences.. and even then his electric car still seems to be powered off the mains rather than from his array of solar panels... and most of the mains electric still comes from coal plants and the like, so I'm not even too sure about that one... and if he were to broadcast over the web, imagine all the impact from the computers of people watching that video online, and the servers that are relaying the video's data, etc.

Still.. good on him - if for no other reason than that some people who don't really care about the environment, but don't mind that being a side-benefit of having much lower bills each month, may get inspired.

How do you mark this whole story as troll? (3, Insightful)

dreadlord76 (562584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251714)

Microsoft is not opposing transit. Microsoft runs a whole fleet of buses to reduce the number of cars on the road. As many comments indicate, this is about a bridge that desperately needs replacing. As someone who think Seattle is in another dimension, I wonder what Ravenna housing prices would do if 520 fails, and those Microsoft commuters move to Redmond so they can get to work.

Re:How do you mark this whole story as troll? (1)

oranGoo (961287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251930)

Agreed. As well as the fact that Bill's speech [ted.com] is on such a different scale that it is not even comparable.
Eh, and there was I trying to submit the story [slashdot.org] a few days ago in what I thought was much more interesting/objective light.

So? (4, Funny)

legio_noctis (1411089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251788)

Seeing as Bill Gates no longer works at Microsoft, I doubt they see eye-to-eye at all. Nor do they need to, or we to know whether or nether they are.

What is it with this 'He no longer works there'? (2, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251896)

He is still the largest single shareholder (8%) and a non-executive Chairman of the Board. He's still quite involved with MS.

Re:So? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252128)

I can only imagine you were modded funny because the first sentence is wrong. Or because of that second sentence sounds pretty ridiculous when you say it aloud.

Very loose correlation. (2, Informative)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251800)

I think it's pretty much a non story, and I think most agree since nearly every commenter so far hasn't bothered to RTFA and proved it with ignorant comments.

Basically Bill Gates gives a talk about the environment and says we need to burn hippies for energy (or something with nuclear power, I haven't watched the video yet) and people cheer.
Microsoft, which Bill Gates has next to nothing to do with anymore, says to the city, stop fucking around and build the bridge you have been planing since forever before the old one falls down, but because some hippies want to make last minute design changes like powering the lights with bicycles (or maybe adding more HOV lanes or something) which would mean redoing a lot of work and added years of delays, somehow makes Microsoft anti environment.

Very Funny (1)

Donmartini (1752594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251922)

That would be the end of life as we know it. Quite literally, as a matter of fact, since we're all made of carbon. Laughed at this so hard, very funny
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