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HOWTO: Spend A Billion Dollars

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the my-own-bunker-in-my-own-mountain dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 525

shine-shine writes: "Forbes is running an article helping you figure out how to spend that spare billion you got laying around (don't you just hate when that happens?). Apparently, a geek would buy 500 black-market clones of himself, while the narcissist would most likely build "a monument similar in size and scale to Mount Rushmore, featuring his own face.""

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525 comments

nerft poft (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279645)

I nid it mynelf!

Woohoo #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279647)

I'd love to spend a billion. I've gone through a million but a B-B-B-Billion would be cool.

I know how you can spend a billion dollar too. (0, Offtopic)

shadow0_0 (59720) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279651)

Just give the billion dollar to me! :)

I would... (4, Funny)

boa13 (548222) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279653)

... most probably spend some of it to go into space or to the Moon. Also, a big badass Beowulf cluster would be helpful to speed up those lengthy Gentoo emerges. Look 'ma, I'm compiling Linux faster than you're booting Windows!

Re:I would... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279718)

... most probably spend some of it to go into space or to the Moon.

You should really try another approach: Start drinking Pepsi [slashdot.org] , and get a free ride into space...

Re:I would... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279727)

Well, first I'd have to pay about $500 million to the government for taxes.

Then I'd take $100 million and go on an insane buying spree.

Then I'd take the remaining $400 million and invest it with the top hedge fund manager I can find. Live off a quarter of the yearly returns and re-invest the other 3/4 of the returns. Compound interest, baby. Nobody in my family would ever have to work again for dozens of generations.

whores (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279655)

whores. more whores than charlie sheen and hugh grant combined could go through in a lifetime.

Re:whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279738)

What have you done? Why do you need all those lawyers for ?

Re:whores (5, Insightful)

1nhuman (597328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279802)

If you have 1 billon$ you don't need whores. You will attract b*tches like hotmail attracts spam.

Wrong (1)

Avenel (603755) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279866)

supermodels turned whores. more supermodels turned whores then charlie sheen and hugh grant combined could go through in a lifetime.

Easy... (2)

thumbtack (445103) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279660)

Buy a new P4 every time a new cpu is released, same with video cards, new hottest latest motherboard, and buy the fastest ram available in largest increemnts available.. Outdated driver? Buy a new system.

Or sit down to try to get an interactive music license from the RIAA.

Re:Easy... (2, Funny)

Khaed (544779) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279664)

Even better.
Pay someone to buy a new P4, video card, et al. Preferably someone female with little to no inhibitions and a french maid outfit.

Re:Easy... (1)

Avenel (603755) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279882)

and have her put it together... What could be better then some hot chick (wearing next to nothing) installing a heat sink?

What would you do with your billion? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279665)

First, I'd buy a house. Then I'd pay off my car. I'd spend the remaining 999.5 million buying two senators and a representative.

You hardly need that much (5, Insightful)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279814)

According to opensecrets.org, they don't go for more than $7 million each. You could buy a few key states' worth and not have to worry.

Found a typo (5, Funny)

rde (17364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279667)

The average male uses about 600 pairs of underpants over his lifetime
Obviously, this is meant to say 6.00 . I haven't grown in decades, so I haven't needed a new pair.

And did you notice that the phrase 'take over the world' doesn't appear once?

Re:Found a typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279760)

Why bother looking for errors in spelling? Their math is atrocious! They seem to be able to punch the buttons on their calculators for individual items but when it comes time to tally the whole lot up and subtract it from $1B, to give the "remainder" comment, they screw up big time. I can't imagine a geek would plan on giving $250M to research when his bank account has less than $99M in it.

Re:Found a typo (1)

KILNA (536949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279869)

For that matter their calculations for 50 year supply of Big Mac value meals ends up being $539.00 per day. I knew geeks had a stereotype of being overweight, but isn't this taking it a bit far?

Airline industry? (1)

Primotheproton (584283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279669)

Well I dont know how much United airlines is going for these days, but I'm sure you could pick up a few airlines cheap these days, what with their business way down, and we all know airflight will be popular again before too long.

I'd never clone myself (5, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279671)

I'd clone my girlfriend (2 or 3 times should be enough)

Imagine the possibilities!

Re:I'd never clone myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279688)

I would have to buy a new one my current one lacks the quailities to merit cloning (horny and hot)

Akira_SSJ

Re:I'd never clone myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279702)

Chop chop! Dig dig! Chop chop! Dig dig!

Re:I'd never clone myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279709)

Possibilites indeed... Reminds me of an old argument my roomie and I used to get into back in the dorm. She swears (oh, lesbian btw) that if she was able to time travel she'd definitely have to have sex with herself. She insists that it would be the most amazing experience (that you get to live through twice) because you would each know exactly what the other wanted. SHE says this would just be masturbation, I say it would be freaking INSANE! I mean, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! Wouldn't that be like sleeping with your twin or something? :P

Heh, just had to take the opportunity to toss that out there to the peanut gallery. Any opinions? (I'm right, say it! I'm right! ;)

I'd buy a whole ton of those desktop tank robots.. (5, Funny)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279673)

... from ThinkGeek (I'd get the camera option, I think I can afford that), stick little fluffy penguins on top, and march the whole affair into Redmond during rush hour. I'm thinking about 400,000 of them.

Okay, there'd be a lot of casualties, but for a billion bucks, I think I could afford a fleet sizable enough that eventually, one of my little robot warriors will plant themselves on Bills ass^H^H^Hdesk.

Failing that, I'd just get an island in Thailand, a whole bunch of hot chicks, some serious nuclear technology, and I'd spend the rest of my life batting away hero types.

Nobody touches my bitches.

Nobody.

Re:I'd buy a whole ton of those desktop tank robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279696)

(Ala Booger in one of the Revenge of the Nerds movies, when he meets "Snot" and Snot out belches him.)

Master!

Speaking of Bill Gates... (5, Informative)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279744)

This may sound a little simplistic, but Billy G. would give a billion away to charity.

$1 billion over 20 years to establish the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program, which will support promising minority students through college and some kinds of graduate school.
$750 million over five years to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, which includes the World Health Organization, the Rockefeller Foundation, Unicef, pharmaceutical companies and the World Bank.
$350 million over three years to teachers, administrators, school districts and schools to improve America's K-12 education, starting in Washington State.
$200 million to the Gates Library Program, which is wiring public libraries in America's poorest communities in an effort to close the "digital divide."
$100 million to the Gates Children's Vaccine Program, which will accelerate delivery of lifesaving vaccines to children in the poorest countries of the world.
$50 million to the Maternal Mortality Reduction Program, run by the Columbia University School of Public Health.
$50 million to the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, to conduct research on promising candidates for a malaria vaccine.
$50 million to an international group called the Alliance for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer.
$50 million to a fund for global polio eradication, led by the World Health Organization, Unicef, Rotary International and the U.N. Foundation.
$40 million to the International Vaccine Institute, a research program based in Seoul, South Korea.
$28 million to Unicef for the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus.
$25 million to the Sequella Global Tuberculosis Foundation.
$25 million to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, which is creating coalitions of research scientists, pharmaceutical companies and governments in developing countries to look for a safe, effective, widely accessible vaccine against AIDS.

Re:Speaking of Bill Gates... (2)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279823)

Yeah, well, sure. He would do that.

But I bet any money he's got one of those little tanks with the extra camera attachment from ThinkGeek ...

Bill's donation schedule (2, Insightful)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279860)

[Dons his skeptic's hat]

Guess what? You need Flash to even see the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program site. And when you do, it's strictly elitist. Bill's essentially trying to buy the allegience of the best and brightest students in America. Only. The kind of people who would probably succeed without his intervention.

$750 million over five years to [...] the World Health Organization, the Rockefeller Foundation, Unicef, pharmaceutical companies and the World Bank.

Looks more like an investment than a donation.

$350 million over three years to teachers, administrators, school districts and schools to improve America's K-12 education, starting in Washington State.

$200 million to the Gates Library Program, which is wiring public libraries in America's poorest communities in an effort to close the "digital divide."


Specifically, to equip them with Windows?

All those hundreds of millions pouring into the vaccination industry is getting a bit frightening, even if some of those are dupes. You don't eradicate most diseases by swamping them in vaccine, you eradicate them by improving people's living conditions. By and large, Bill isn't doing that.

If he really wanted to make a durable name for himself, Bill could do a lot more for those poor countries by giving them cheap access to space industry [space.com] with either a $5G seed donation or $10G to get the first one working.

Re:I'd buy a whole ton of those desktop tank robot (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279885)

nuclear? By then you'll have to face Bush's military threats, unless you giving up your superpower weapon to UN; but everybody knows Bush's real target is your bitches repository.

Land, land, and more land (3, Informative)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279675)

- Primary residence on North Carolina's Outer Banks
- Vacation home in Northern Europe
- Ski Chalet (Rockies)
- Plot in a Banana Republic

Of course, also I'd need...

- Multi-million dollar yacht
- Plane
- Fleet of cars for each residence
- 1967 AMC Ambassador SST

Computers...

I can't, really....several offerings from Sun, a top-o-da-line TiBook (every single time they release one that's better, I'd get a new one), Cray.....

With the rest, I'd put it into a trust where the interest will be protected, and I'll live on the interest. At death, Uncle Sam will get a cut (unfortunately), and the rest will go to worthy causes of my choice (my alma mater, Debian project....)

Re:Land, land, and more land (2)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279768)

I'd be a little more creative, like Dean Kamen [wired.com] the Segway guy. Buy your own island, then secede from the union. Boom! your own country!

Re:Land, land, and more land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279839)

your examples demonstrate exactly why you would never be rich.

I would pay a hefty retainer for the worlds best assassin. ...then I would start.

how about... (5, Funny)

loupgarou21 (597877) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279676)

So what does a narcissistic geek do, Make a clone of himself the size of Mt Rushmore?

Re:how about... (1)

KILNA (536949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279758)

/me places pinky to corner of lip.

I'll call him... mega-me!

id make a documentary about myself (2, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279683)

and id call it indecent proposal, starring.... all the actresses and models.

"you slept with 37 actresses?!?!"

"in a row?!"

Re:id make a documentary about myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279759)

slept?

Re:id make a documentary about myself (4, Funny)

larien (5608) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279777)

No, no no! You've got it all wrong! It's 37 actresses at the same time.

Heck, it might kill you, but at least you'd die with a smile on your face, although they might have trouble getting the lid on the coffin...

Re:id make a documentary about myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279825)

Nope, it's funnier in a row, because it's an allusion to Clerks.

Dante's finds out his girlfriend has sucked 37 ducks. He tells a guy near the store that his girlfriend has sucked 37 dicks, to which the stranger relies, "in a row?"

How to spend it best (3, Informative)

SoLoatWork (187259) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279689)

What's the best way to spend some of the billion?

Saving Farscape [savefarscape.com] .

cue office space referance.. (0)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279690)

... two chicks at once..

How we southerners would spend it... (5, Funny)

gnovos (447128) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279692)

I for one would buy myself a space-shuttle, paint it with primer, and leave it up on blocks in my front yard...

Either that or I'd do it the Bart Simpson way:

Me: One billion dollars on black!
Dealer: Aaaaand, it's red.. red is the winner!
Me: Doh!

Re:How we southerners would spend it... (0)

Primotheproton (584283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279710)

Well good reference, but I believe it was Homer who gambled away his family's million :)

Re:How we southerners would spend it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279745)

it was bart in a fantacy sequence, i think it was the trilion dollar bill episode.

dumd (1)

death or glory (603910) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279695)

wow, a thread about what you would do with a bunch of money. how interesting.

Not really spending it... (0)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279697)

But I think I would hit up the turkish exchange and convert my 1 Billion USD to 1,664,000,000,000,001.00 TRL

Just to say I'm a Quadillionar (or what ever comes after trillionar)

Then I would probable buy 1/5th of the world a coke

Re:Not really spending it... (0)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279708)

also, does anyone find that the conversion works out to 1.664 quadillion and 1 TRL funny?

also the exchange was done at
http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi

Bill Gates has a spare billion ... (2, Funny)

dpt (165990) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279700)

... or two!

So what does he do with it? Answer: like most true geeks, on accumulating more wealth and power due to a massive inferiority complex.

Has anyone ever even *heard* of poor old billg having any fun with all that money?

Okay, he might be working on the clone thing. Except, of course, they'll be so slow, liable to freezing up, susceptible to viruses, and busy try to catch up with the features the *other* clones had since the seventies (like being able to think about more than one thing at once), that they won't be all that effective.

Does it bother anyone... (5, Interesting)

billstr78 (535271) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279703)

... that 2 companies dominate with thier heirs or stock holders comprising of 8/10 of the top 10 richest persons in America. Also, it is slightly un-settling that Walmart alone keeps positions 4 to 8 in the list.

Re:Does it bother anyone... (1, Offtopic)

CBNobi (141146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279756)

Does it bother anyone... that 2 companies dominate with thier heirs or stock holders

Considering Bill Gates is #1, I think the collective response to that is "meh."

Re:Does it bother anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279763)

Does it bother anyone that whiny gimme gimme's can't stand the fact that other peopel are insanely rich and have done things to warrant/earn that money and are bitterly jealous that the richest people in the world don't feel the need to write checks out of sheer good-heartedness to every other person in the world until they run broke themselves?

On a side note, every single "purchase" in that Forbes article is fucking STUPID. What idiot came up with that article? None were realistic, none interested me and absolutely none were even funny.

Re:Does it bother anyone... (2)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279829)

What makes the article interesting is the fact that the purchaces are realistic. You can in fact buy all of the items listed.

It also gives you an idea of how much a billion dollars really is.

I also find it hard to imagine how anybody could really "warrant/earn" that much money. But that's more of a philosophical question.

No imagination (5, Funny)

blincoln (592401) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279704)

What kind of marketing drones did they poll to make this list? Especially "The Geek." Big Macs and a Russian bride? Where are the orbital weapons platforms, zeppelins full of hot chicks, and house with audience chamber built from the actual Imperial throne room set from Return of the Jedi?
And what's up with their "the cost to bail out the Catholic Church from pending sexual misconduct charges"? If they're going to equate being liberal with being a NAMBLA member, they could at least have tried going over-the-top to make it funny.

Re:No imagination (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279836)

zeppelins full of hot chicks

Zeplin shleplin, I'd get me a house with a hot chicks room preinstalled! Not only that, but fund a mission to get the bucket of truth out of orbit to furnish the place with!

Yes, I have watched the ucb a few times too many.

MSFT Shares (5, Funny)

unsinged int (561600) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279706)

Enough voting shares to be a pain in their rear...especially all the write-in votes for Linus and CowboyNeal.

I'd make a big statue (5, Funny)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279707)

I've wondered about this: how come it seems like the age of big statues is behind us? Mount Rushmore, Statue of Liberty, those kind of things, doesn't seem like people do those much anymore. Yes, I'm aware they're still working on Crazy Horse, but that was started a while ago.

I'd probably go the "Statue of Liberty" route, and make a big chick. Maybe I'd model it after Brooke Burke; that should be worth some poontang points with her.

(Yes, I'm aware using the phrase "poontang points" is worth negative poontang points. But what the hell, in this fantasy, I'm a billionaire, I can pay the slashdot editors to delete this post so she never sees the evidence.)

Re:I'd make a big statue (0)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279724)

Well there was the Colosus at Rhodes, that didn't turn out so well, maybe people fear history repeating.

But in truth I think it's and issue of zoning. You relize how much people would bitch about a 200 foot Statue of some guy. Though brook burke might cause rezoning.

Re:I'd make a big statue (1)

jfmiller (119037) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279870)

how come it seems like the age of big statues is behind us?

I'd like to point out that it's not. If you go to SD you will find that there is another mountian being carved right now.

The Crazy Horse memorial [crazyhorse.org]

Ths is really quite something to see, and it is being done on a budget of less then $1e9.

JFMILLER

Mlutiple OC-3's right to my home! (2)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279717)

I'd become the ultimate LPB!

If my home were on an island in the Carribean, some sort of banana republic where "copyright" means "duplicate correctly" (and it would be, given my enormous wealth), I could also start building the ultimate music archive using KaZaA!

a real SEALAND (0)

chadw17 (308037) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279761)

Buy a island in internation waters. Declare sovernity. Stock it with serious military. Write a constitution on a napkin, and using a great connection to the net, stockpile, and encourage others to help you gather and distribute any material you see fit. Fight the good fight.

gratuitus beowolf cluster post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279720)

subject says it all, and anyone say they would not is lying

now... back to that going to space thing (2)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279731)

yeah... the

buyout pepsi [pepsi.com] - get Britney spears as your *personal* secretary [apple.com] - meet her in space [slashdot.org]

things...

I think I'd keep a few million... (2, Insightful)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279736)

for myself and family (frankly we don't need much) and then use the rest for a trust to do things such as buying wells for 3rd world nations.

At least that might achieve something (which is probably better than the hot air generated at the "sustainable development" summit).

S

Couldn't resist... (5, Funny)

CBNobi (141146) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279740)

1977 Star Wars poster: $400
500 Black-market clones: $1,700,000
Companionship: $40,000,000
Being able to afford a Beowulf cluster of anything: Priceless

There are some things money can buy, and then.. er, there's more things money can buy.

ever heard of buy-low sell-high? (2, Interesting)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279743)

Here is what happens: when you buy a LOT of stock, you will artifically inflate the stock's price by a certain amount. the more the merrier. samething happens when you SELL a lot of stock. it will go lower.

so if you buy and sell a certain stock, you can *always* make money from it, provided that you generate enough volume... so:

if i really had a billion bux, i will go wash it in MSFT stock. a lot. it will completely fuck up their stock price, and i will get really rich (erm... even more so... heh)

now... if only somebody will give me a job... (wall-street analyst or mutual fund manager, perhaps?)

Re:ever heard of buy-low sell-high? (1)

bezza (590194) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279848)

That stock thing was interesting but when you think about it it wouldn't work. Let me explain...

1. You wouldn't be able to buy the whole amount from one seller so the stock price would incrementely rise as you buy stock in lots. The same thing would happen as you sold meaning you would make a gain on half of the stock but lose on the other half. On average you would come out worse because...

2. There is always a bid-ask spread. You can never beat that.

I think I would do that french thing (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279746)

what do they call it... a manage a twah? Ya, Chicks dig money so I think if I had a billion dollars I could make that happen.

office space owns.

Re:I think I would do that french thing (1, Funny)

dryopterix (451852) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279803)

Ménage à trois

Re:I think I would do that french thing (1)

1nhuman (597328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279840)

Dude... does it take 1 billion dollars before you will even consider the possibility of a Ménage à trois?

What if I tell you it's possible now? Call 555-get-a-ego and learn all about it this amazing opportunity!

I would buy a mountain of cheese dip! (1)

Poppa_joe (571379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279748)

Groo wondering: How much cheese dip can I buy for a million copins? Next since: Groo is sitting on a mountain of cheese dip. (An obscure comic book reference from Groo the warrior)

Can you say "Good bye tax obligations"? (1)

devicenull (249566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279749)

hmm, $1,000,000,000,000 eh? First step of course is to get rid of that funny thing called US citizenship and opt in to be an American National....no more taxes, you just got half your billion back into your hands. As for the money, it would have to go towards new systems every year, a personal OC3, and funding large open source projects. Not to mention the zepplin squadron needed to conduct feats of supervillainy on a Carmen Sandiego level. Just stealing the brooklyn birdge and hiding it egypt or j-random location.

A giant city-destroying robot! (2, Interesting)

dpt (165990) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279752)

C'mon, it's what we've all wanted forever ...

Actually, I'd like two smaller ones. Zoltar's mistake in Battle of the Planets was that he always launched a different attack each week with one city destroying robot. G-Force would show up, and save the day. What he should have done was save up for two weeks, build *two* robots, and let them loose on opposite sides of the Earth. With only one G-Force, one has to succeed!

So, one for Redmond, and one for ... let's say somewhere where lots of IP lawyers and media cartel execs hang out.

Re:A giant city-destroying robot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279776)

ok giant robot is a good idea. i think the people who wrote the article are boring. i mean comeon 1 billion dollars and the first thing is a starwars poster.
how about a veritech or something...

Socks. (2)

jcsehak (559709) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279753)

Lots of socks. Enough so that I could put on a fresh new pair every morning. Every night, I'd throw the used pair in a big bag which I'd give to the Salvation Army every so often, so the bums would all have warm feet, wearing bright white (barely used) socks.

R&D (2, Insightful)

hpavc (129350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279754)

if i had a billion dollars we would be 999 million dollars toward developing an affordable small village level water purification system, or sanitiation system. or possibly help engineer some sort of food/weed that will grown nearly anywhere. to ease the suffering of the people on this planet.

dont need to figure out the human genome or anything fancy to get something done with that cash.

Re:R&D (2, Interesting)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279800)

I hate to break it to you hpavc, but there already is a pretty good water purification system available to villagers. Perhaps you have heard of it, it's called distillation. Heck, simply boiling the water would be good enough in most cases, or the addition of a little chlorine. Even the poorest of the poor can afford to boil water. And we already produce more than enough food, too.

You see, for the most part the problems of poverty have very little to do with moral problems like corruption. If there are people starving in Africa you can bet it is because someone in power there wants them to starve. Chances are good that they are working behind the scenes to get the donated food diverted to someone else too.

I used to feel the same way you do, but then I spent some time in Peru, and I learned that Peru's problems stem from the fact that the people in power want to keep the people poor and uneducated so that they are easier to control.

The only way to get out of this vicious cycle is the way that Chile has. Root out the corruption. Once you have cleaned up your government, getting investors to give you money isn't much of a problem.

Gengineering (2)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279887)

possibly help engineer some sort of food/weed that will grown nearly anywhere

How do I say this?

Cane toads, foxes, rabbits, dieback, doublegees and other species introduced and/or spread by human activity are destroying the Australian Outback and in some cases farms. Gengineered crops are destroying the livelihood of farmers even in the `good ole' USA. ENOUGH WITH THE BIO-ENGINEERING ALREADY! It's not a silver bullet, it's a lead balloon!

What would be truly useful is to provide these people with a system of morality that gave them a future, a reason for doing anything, the guts and insight to no longer fight each other or be suckered into stupid political deals, a humble but incredibly resolute attitude and a will to work. And then stand clear.

Dubyah's arrogant version of Christianity won't do it, similarly arrogant Roman Catholicism has had centuries to do it and failed miserably, Islam and other fatalistic systems have no chance and Atheism even less.

Oh, yes, and we'd also need make the IMF and a few other choice `helpful' organisations thoroughly extinct to stop them stuffing things up.

there is also, always popular (2)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279764)

doomsday devices [villainsupply.com] ! and you can demand a million dollars (pinky to mouth) with it.

hmm... actually they seem quite a bit more expensive than a billion... damn what's a guy gotta do to destroy the universe man...

What about a narcissist geek? (1)

garethwi (118563) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279779)

Apparently, a geek would buy 500 black-market clones of himself, while the narcissist would most likely build "a monument similar in size and scale to Mount Rushmore, featuring his own face.

Would a narcissist geek build 500 monuments, one for every clone?

A mark on this world? (1)

lpret (570480) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279787)

I'd like to take this question (I think the discussion is "What would you do with a billion dollars?") to a somewhat higher level -- what could be accomplished with a billion dollars that would put your name in history books?

Could you cure AIDS with a billion dollars? Probably not. Perhaps you could pay for one dose of every AIDS victim in the US alone, but a billion doesn't really dent that problem.

Could you end poverty in the world? No, it'd probably get skimmed off the top by greedy bureaucrats in third-world countries. Perhaps you could pay for a single meal for every person under the poverty line.

Could you change how computing is thought of? Possibly. Imagine if this billion dollars was used to fund several open-source projects, allowing the true innovators (those who weren't paid to program when they began) to develop a paradigm shift in the way we work with computers. If each programmer was paid $30,000 annually, we're talking over 650 programmers for 5 years. Do you think something would happen out of that? I would like to think so. If we could come up with merely ten things that shift our entire way of interacting with computers I think your mark would be left.

It is only in history do we see similar types of philanthropy and science merging. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, even the civilizations of the Renassaince (sp?) would undertake such endeavours, many times with success. The only example I can think of off the top of my head is in the literature realm. King James stands out merely because he encouraged the new version of the Bible, allowing many scholars to dedicate their lives to translating Greek and Hebrew correctly and efficiently. Could it not be the same for us in this time?

Re:A mark on this world? (2)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279826)

The problem is, to do anything REALLY great, you've got to buy off loads of politicians and bureaucrats (not to mention the occassional judge or two.) Otherwise, the instant you try to buy land, launch a nuclear spacecraft, or affect foreign policy, you'll get hordes of know-nothings with too much time on their hands screwing with your operations.

The cost of paving the way alone would consume a chunk of that billion, not to mention the tax investigators who would keep buzzing around to make sure you weren't hiding anything from them.

I suppose you could conduct your operations in secret, but the instant you went public, the NSA and Congress would be all over your ass faster than ants on a picnic.

Bill Gates has billions. Consider the uproar if he actually tried to directly influence ANYTHING. He's done the smart thing and let the foundations that he funds worry about keeping various palms crossed with silver.

Disapointed well sort of... (2)

red5 (51324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279792)

When I first read the subject line I though that it was a pice about how IBM spent "1 billion dollars on linux". Anybody know what ever happened to that? Where did that money go?

This story was quite amusing though. Didn't know you could buy your own town for the bargian price of 102 million. :)

What a buck's worth... (1)

bazmonkey (555276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279795)

Screw cars, houses and whores. Dial 10-10-220 and you could talk to Doug Flutie and Alf for 27,179.8 years!

I think it's much more likely... (1)

darkov2 (570389) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279799)

... that the narcissist would buy 500 clones of himself and the geek a penis on the scale of mount rushmore

What about us destructive types? (2, Troll)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279801)

Where are the people like me who would buy cherished works of art, and toss them in fire, just for kicks?

Goodbye Mona Lisa! Won't have to hear about you again!

This is Forbes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279811)

I understand this is a humor piece but still...

"buy himself a small lion farm and a couple a keepers"

It's like seeing "supposebly" in print...sure, it could be a typo but, considering it's commonly mispronounced that way, it more than likely isn't.

And try adding up all the numbers they give.

What a billion *won't* buy you (Slashdot-style) (2)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279815)

Here's a list of things that you couldn't buy with a measly $1 billion:
  • fixes for all the bugs in Microsoft's software
  • singing/musical talent for Britney Spears
  • a brain for the RIAA/MPAA
  • a beowolf cluster of Altair 8008's
  • a cure for the mysterious disease that regularly kills Author Stephen King.
  • love (goatsx style)
  • the "?" in "...?, profit"
  • desktop superiority for Linux


Feel free to extend this list...

Rule the world! (1)

1nhuman (597328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279819)

I would build my own army and rule the world!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA he he.... euh? one billion is not enough? Crap. Could I rule Columbia instead? That's where Shakira lives right?

Spend it on open source development, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279841)

I would use it as all the open source companies out there has used it, I would spread BS about alternative service&support business-model and spend billions on development without any possibility to get it back.

If I had a billion dollars... (2, Funny)

jbayes (15334) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279843)

...I'd buy you a thousand green dresses (but not a thousand real green dresses, that would be cruel).

My Billion? Easy... (1)

alien_tracking_devic (579685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279846)

fembots, fembots, fembots, FEMBOTS!!!

I'd start a Weblog.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279861)

I'd start a weblog called....slash...

No, wait, slashdot. Yeah, slashdot.org. Yeah...and then I'd recycle links and get authors like Jon Katz to write...

Wait......damn, it's been done!

Wrong topic?? (1)

Prowl (554277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279862)

shouldn't this come under "Ask Slashdot"?

(like everything else around here does...)

Strange omission... (1)

be_all (524610) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279863)

It's interesting that they put in a Limosine Liberal, but no Conservative Fat Cat (even though he's most likely to have an extra $1 billion laying around).

It would probably go something like this:

  • put $500 million into the lobby for tobacco and oil;
  • poured $300 million into acquiring White Sands Missile Range [osd.mil] for the NRA;
  • added $150 million in campaign contributions for his state and federal elected golfing buddies;
  • and spent the last $50 million into raising an All-American Family with Great Values and getting his son a seat on the board at Forbes Magazine.

...oh. Wait. Now I see why they didn't include him...

I'd buy (1)

Associate (317603) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279868)

I'd buy the writers over a Forbes a sense of humor.

1.150122944 billion??? (1)

LordDragonstar (569420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279877)

An original 1977 poster print of Star Wars. $344

500 black-market clones of himself. At $1.7 million a pop..., that's $850 million.

...Total cost for companionship? $40,005,050

Fifty-year supply of McDonald's Big Mac value meal: $9,836,750.

Pays $280,800 to have his mother-in-law overnight borscht every week for 60 years

Gives rest of fortune ($250 million) to a nonprofit scientific research organization...

Maybe the geek should have been smarter than a Forbes editor and bought a beo cluster to keep track of their (non-sexist language added intentionally) 1 billion so as not to overspend it by $$$150,122,944.

However, that's just me...

hire people to track down spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4279878)

and then have their hands and kneecaps broken

Obligatory Office Space quote (5, Funny)

Flounder (42112) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279881)

Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I had a million dollars I could hook that up, cause chicks dig a dude with money.
Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well the kind of chicks that'd double up on me do.
Peter Gibbons: Good point.
Lawrence: What about you, what would you do?
Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well yeah.
Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter Gibbons: I'd relax, sit on my ass all day, I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Just take a look at my cousin, he's broke, don't do shit.

With a lot less than $1 billion .... (1)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279883)

... I'd buy myself a senator.

-----
bling wallpapers australia [wallpaperscoverings.com] bling

slahsdot..yeeaah (2)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279884)

I would bribe TAco and Neal and then capture slashdot. All the geeks would have to read the stories of what i do and and what I want.

Spend a billion dollars.... (0)

lexcyber (133454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4279888)


I would give 990 million dollars evenly to the
countries in most poverty in the world. Directly, and
then spend the last 10 million to travle around and
see what it did good and make them show me what
they spent my money on.

ps. I would buy a racecar to.

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