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Bill Gates On the Past, Future, and Google

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the but-google-is-microsoft's-future dept.

154

editingwhiz writes "eWEEK reports that Bill Gates told PBS talk show host Charlie Rose and a Stanford University audience at TechNet Wednesday that 'We're at the beginning of something important again' in the development of technology — just as in the 1980s with the advent of the PC. He also discussed the growing Microsoft-Google competition, world health issues, how to give lots of money away to the benefit of mankind, and whether he'll return to Harvard to finish his studies." From the article: "On whether there's another idea today that is as powerful as the idea of the personal computer in the 1970s: 'If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system, to fight against the onset of disease on a world level ... but I think the idea of the PC still would have topped that.'"

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154 comments

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873552)

Bill is a cunt.

Re:FP (0, Redundant)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873638)

A cunt you say? Whatever you say about him, he's donated more to charity than you and your children will ever earn combined! I think you're the cunt here.

Philanthropy for Dummies (2, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874304)

Whatever you say about him, he's donated more to charity than you and your children will ever earn combined!

Steal from 100 widows, support 1, collect humanitarian award.

Refuse to steal from widows, get arrested for indigence.

Such it has always been, so it shall always be.

KFG

Re:Philanthropy for Dummies (4, Insightful)

kz45 (175825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874636)

"Steal from 100 widows, support 1, collect humanitarian award."

and microsoft steals from widows.....how?

Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874772)

MS stole the decision of which OS/applications widows get with their PC's? How can you be a philantropist with someone elses money? He did the right thing is all.

Re:Choice (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875478)

And if every PC sold from a retail outlet to a widow came with an option of Microsoft Windows XP or any of the dozen or so Linux distros that are more popular then the others - what percentage do you think MS would garner? Seriously, do you think the average home user would pick anything other then the platform they've grown accustomed to? Right, wrong or indifferent, people aren't comfortable making a home OS switch without the dedicated retail outlet and onsite expertise that Apple offers. Your average Best Buy/Circuit City/Walmart buyer is going to pick MS and we both know it. You and I may strip it off and load , but the masses aren't concerned with the same things you and I are.

Metaphors for Dummies (-1, Flamebait)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874892)

Dude, you're a dummy. You wouldn't understand anyway.

KFG

Re:Metaphors for Dummies (1)

eggsurplus (631231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874968)

Call me a dummy too then. The metaphor doesn't fit right. Close but no cigar. Close is only good in horseshoes and grenades.

Re:Metaphors for Dummies (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875236)

... and depth charges, nukes, really bad farts ...

Re:Metaphors for Dummies (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875786)

I eat a lot of beans. He should be grateful that I didn't just fart in his general direction.

KFG

Re:Metaphors for Dummies (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876076)

Oh, and Slashdot car analogies.

Heck, they don't even have to be close.

Re:Metaphors for Dummies (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875480)

Call me a dummy too then.

Now you're just being silly. You're a hockey puck.

KFG

Re:FP (3, Interesting)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874608)

As he said, personal computers are very important for the world as a whole.
The policies of MS, and their way of doing bussiness has an effect everywhere.
Although MS is not the cause of all the bad stuff that is happiening around, they have some responsibilities, here and there, including developing countries.
They use some techniques I don't approve to convince my government to give them money, and I think that money has better places to be spent. The same thing is happening in Africa, for example.

The guy gives back some money, that is right, and he even gives in a sensible way. But the net gain for everybody, because of the existence of MS is not that clear.

Plus, charity is not that great, and it just doesn't work very well.
Charity alone is not something to praise a guy for. Good ethics, and an overall good effect on the community, that would earn my respect. Giving something back is sometimes not enough.

Re:FP (4, Insightful)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874734)

Plus, charity is not that great, and it just doesn't work very well.
Charity alone is not something to praise a guy for.


That's why he has a foundation, and there are strict rules governing the way that the money is given to 3rd parties. It's run like a business - your charity has to produce results for you to get the money, and to keep getting more, you need to keep producing results. Otherwise, he gives his money to another charity which will do a better job.

Pretty smart way of handling it actually - which is why Warren Buffet jumped on board too.

Re:FP (1)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875532)

And how do you define "results"? and no matter how you define it, you're going to end up with a bunch of organisations that spend a significant amount of money gathering statistics, writing progress reports, auditing, etc, which ends up taking resources away from actually helping people. And of course it will still be very easy to pad the numbers to make it look like you're doing a lot.

It really isn't just as easy as "lets run it like a business and demand results!". You honestly think that in the history of charitable organisations, that idea has never occurred to anyone?

Now don't take this the wrong way I'm not saying that the Gates Foundation is doing anything wrong. But if they are doing things right, its not as simple as "they expect results". Every funding agency in the world demands some kind of positive result for every project they fund. Do you really think anyone just throws money out there and hopes for the best? Everyone expects some kind of measurable progress, just some funding agencies are more efficient (and less corrupt) than others.

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875276)

Isn't he just giving the money he has taken illegally (due to the illegal monopolistic practices his company was convicted of) to charity? Ya, great guy!

"If I Knew Medicine..." (5, Funny)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873560)

If he knew medicine and could control the immune system in the human body as well as he and his company can control computers, just imagine the biological viruses we'd have faced by now. Every day your heart would stop beating for no reason and they'd have to restart it with CPR, but nobody would think that was odd.

Re:"If I Knew Medicine..." (2, Insightful)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873652)

Networking PCs was as important, maybe more important, than the notion of the PC itself.

And we all know how Microsoft led in that area. Their BlackBird networkins service totally dominates... errr..., wait. They were caught totally off guard by the rise of the internet, and the importance of TCP/IP. They did wake up to the threat posed to their business by the web browser, but so late that they had to break the law to fight it off, and then have an election go there way to get away with it.

Re:"If I Knew Medicine..." (3, Informative)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873670)

Every day your heart would stop beating for no reason and they'd have to restart it with CPR, but nobody would think that was odd.

Actually, CPR doesn't restart your heart. It keeps the blood circulating through the body until a paramedic can use a defibulator to actually restart it.

Oh no, not the defibulator! (5, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874088)

When a guy's flat-lining, the most hilarious thing you can do to him is to use the defibulator and the detibulator to remove his leg from the knee down, then attach his feet directly to his femurs. When he revives, he starts walking around like a duck and looking confused. We crazy paramedics just about split a gut laughing every time!

Re:Oh no, not the defibulator! (1)

bdonalds (989355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874694)

Best, most hilarious Spelling Nazi EVER!!!!!!!

Re:Oh no, not the defibulator! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875086)

Hahaha. This is the rare Slashdot post that actually made me laugh out loud. Cheers!

Re:Oh no, not the defibulator! (1)

D H NG (779318) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875090)

Like this [ivanhoe.com] ?

ObCottonHill (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875452)

When I woke up, they had sewed my feet to my knees!

Re:"If I Knew Medicine..." (5, Informative)

aychamo (932587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875576)

rubberbando, you are completely wrong. CPR is cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The technique is used if the patient goes into cardiac or pulmonary arrest. It literally starts their heart beating again, or makes them start breathing again. Using a defibrillator on someone in cardiac arrest wont do anything. A defibrillator (as its name implies) is used to revive a person who's heart is in atrial or ventricular fibrillation, which is an erratic pattern of contraction, instead of the normal pattern as observed by ECG. The defibs cause a complete depolarization of hopefully the entire myocardium in an attempt to get it to contract all together again. If the heart isn't beating at all, the defibs won't do anything.

Re:"If I Knew Medicine..." (3, Informative)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875684)

It keeps the blood circulating through the body until a paramedic can use a defibulator to actually restart it.

That is not correct. A defibrillator is useless on a person whose heart has stopped. It is used when the heart goes into "fibrillation", which is an uncoordinated sequence of heart muscle contractions that result in no net blood flow. Since fibrillation almost never resolves itself, left untreated it will cause death within minutes.

In fact the defibrillator works by applying an electrical shock which stops the heart -- thus ending the fibrillation. The hope is that the heart's normal rhythm will start again immediately thereafter.

In CPR, the idea is to maintain blood flow and oxygen in the lungs until (hopefully) the heart starts again on its own. This is why CPR has such a low success rate (5-10%), although still much better than the zero per cent success rate of doing nothing.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. (Although I have a PhD, so technically ...)

Re:"If I Knew Medicine..." (1)

tuzo (928271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875770)

Actually, a defibrillator typically doesn't restart your heart, it stops it from fibrillating. :)

i.e. The electrical current stops the heart so that the normal electrical activity can (hopefully) resume.

Re:"If I Knew Medicine..." (1)

dirvine (1008915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876120)

I think CPR *is* designed to restart your heart if possible. A defibrillator - actually stops your heart and then restarts it in an attempt to bring it into line with a normal beating heart - i.e one thats not beating irregularly. Basic CPR if theres a pulse don't start compressions you could kill the person, if the pulse is erratic you need a defibrillator. A lot of the new ones now talk to you and tell you what to do and will not attempt to shock a no pulse person.

Oh teh Noes! (5, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873896)

Hey, quick, someone check on Charlie. Looks like he has the 'Blue Face of Death' again.

Zombies. (2, Funny)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874014)

Don't forget whole cities converted to zombie'ism. Crawling around, slower every day.

"Brains! Brains!"

"Refinance your home. Low rates. Buy herbal viagra!"

"Brains!"

"Teenage sluts want to gamble with you! Brains! Brains!"

"Brains! Protect yourself from zombie attack! Drink Zombie-B-Gone soda today! Guaranteed not to turn you into a zombie! Brains! \/14gra!"

I'd be happier if (2, Interesting)

harrythefish (1028136) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874052)

I'd be happier to let an open source group develop medical software with clinic and hospital distributed databases where clinicians could be sure any data submitted to government would be entirely anonymised. I shudder to think of how the NPfIT in the UK will end up. Still, there are other countries to go and work in. IAAD in the UK

Re:"If I Knew Medicine..." (2, Funny)

heroofhyr (777687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875152)

Welcome to the Microsoft Emergency Room. No doctors are currently available, but please wait in the patient service lobby for an additional $1.75 per minute. If you need anything, feel free to ask the giant, talking paperclip at reception. Thank you for choosing Microsoft Emergency Room. Our motto is: Where Do You Want to Die Today?

If he knew medicine like he knows computers... (1, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873568)

...and manipulated our immune system to be as tough and secure as his systems, the human race would've died out by now.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873572)

First post!

Re:FP (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874670)

Who says Bill Gates is offtopic with this first post claim?
He nose slashdot like he nose computers!

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875492)

I'b be willing to bet you that if this article were titled "Linus Torvalds on the Past, Future, and Google" you all would be kissing his ass up one side and down the other. I don't even know why slashdot posts articles on anything related to Microsoft in any way, shape, or form because all everyone does is talk about how shitty Microsoft is and how super great Linux is.

I guess slashdot's website slogan should be changed to "news(with a slant) for nerds. stuff(slanted towards our views not yours) that matters."

Wise choice (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873582)

From the article: "On whether there's another idea today that is as powerful as the idea of the personal computer in the 1970s: 'If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system, to fight against the onset of disease on a world level"

Think of what would have happened if he did. Norton sucks enough on a $500 piece of (comparatively) disposable hardware, just think on a one-of-a-kind human body.

It's arrogance and delusion... (3, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873918)

Bill doesn't know personal computers any better than the average hospital administrator knows the human immune system. And I'd bet you that when someone does make the next breakthrough in understanding and controlling the human immune system, that someone will not be a hospital administrator. I'd also bet that at least one hospital administrator will believe he did it though.

Re:It's arrogance and delusion... (1)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875300)

Bill doesn't know personal computers any better than the average hospital administrator knows the human immune system.

Wanna share your thoughts on how you came to this conclusion? It seems pretty ridiculous to me. There are many things you can say about Bill Gates, but claiming that he is simply a management type that doesn't know anything about how computers work is definitely not one of them.

Re:It's arrogance and delusion... (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875620)

I don't think it's any less ridiculous than claiming he's some kind of technical genius. If he actually did know something about technology, then maybe at least one of his huge claims about technology in the past decade might have been correct.

I have no doubts that billg is a shrewd and ruthless businessman, but I have plenty of doubts that he's done anything technical since Microsoft Basic 1.0.

Re:It's arrogance and delusion... (2, Insightful)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875820)

I never said he was a technical genius. What the original poster was saying is that Bill Gates doesn't understand computers. Maybe he hasn't done any real hacking in a while, but claiming that he is just an administrator who makes grand claims about computers but doesn't know very much about the actual concepts is ridiculous.

I for one (1, Offtopic)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873588)

applaud this man as an international hero and example to us all.

Healthcare?! (1)

ScislaC (827506) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873614)

With the track record his company has had in protecting his OS from viruses, I'm *GLAD* he's not in healthcare. ;)

Re:Healthcare?! (1)

sputnikid (191152) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876510)

Stupid comparison.

That would be like me saying that tomatoes are more resiliant than humans because anthrax can kill people and not tomatoes.

Viruses are written for the O/S that it is targeting. There are countless hacks and vulnerabilities in the Linux world but people seem to be happy waiting for the 16 y/o open source programmer to finish his dinner so that his parents will let him use the computer to write a patch.

if only he cared about computer diseases... (0, Redundant)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873626)

then maybe windows wouldn't be the best way to transport disease from one machine to another!

Present (4, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873628)

Bill Gates on the Past, Future, and Google

So he's saying Google is the Present?

Damn straight ...

Re:Present (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873680)

No, Google transcends time. They have always existed. :-)

Hot Air (4, Interesting)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873644)

'We're at the beginning of something important again'

His job is to say things like this. He's been saying this for over a decade. It's a lot of hot air.

The microsoft windows monopoly is becoming less relevant with each new free web-based software application/service that comes out, be it Google, YouTube, Flickr, Writely, etc. And all of those run fine on Linux.

Re:Hot Air (5, Insightful)

WeAreAllDoomed (943903) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873868)

His job is to say things like this. He's been saying this for over a decade. It's a lot of hot air.

his job is to continue to leverage his single stroke of phenomenal luck - being at the right place at the right time a few decades ago - to sustain the ongoing illusion to the unwashed masses that he is some kind of unparalleled genius, and by extension, that microsoft is the beginning and end of computing.

Re:Hot Air (2, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874198)

his job is to continue to leverage his single stroke of phenomenal luck - being at the right place at the right time a few decades ago - to sustain the ongoing illusion to the unwashed masses that he is some kind of unparalleled genius, and by extension, that microsoft is the beginning and end of computing.
... while wearing a sweater.
http://www.alibris.com/images/subjects/features/bo oks/roadahead.jpg [alibris.com]

Re:Hot Air (1)

umeshunni (37684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876160)

Right... look at all the mission critical software that runs on Writely, Youtube and Flickr!

This is the original (3, Informative)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873650)

Bill Gates on the Past, Future...

This is the original article for the dupe [slashdot.org] posted earlier today.

Re:This is the original (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875708)

Informative? You know it's bad when the moderators don't even check the link to make sure it really is informative.

Was anyone else reminded of (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873668)

the movie "Back to School" after reading, "and whether he'll return to Harvard to finish his studies". Replacing Dangerfield with Gates would make for a weird, weird movie.

Re:Was anyone else reminded of (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873934)

"Bring us a pitcher of beer every 5 minutes until somebody bluescreens, then bring one every 8 minutes".

Yeah, just not the same

Ahh, so that explains it (3, Insightful)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873696)

The reason I have been feeling as sick as a dog all day today is because my immune system is stressed out about what it might have to face in the future.

Anyway, I believe that the next big thing will be an expansion of high speed communication to cover most of the human race. Sure, it's pretty obvious... but as I recall so was the idea that the internet would be a world changing phenomenon in 1994 and I have a file that was originally written on a BBC master in 1987 explaining how the computer would be widespread in business and the home.

Over the next 20 years? Same as the last 20. Continual progress towards more devices that communicate more freely.

Where's his faith? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873700)

In support of his CEO, shouldn't Gates be predicting that Google will be 'fucking killed' in the future?

Come again? (5, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873726)

'If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system, to fight against the onset of disease on a world level ...
Except for the fact that you wouldn't be able to download your immunizations until Microsoft verified that your genetic code was authentic via Windows Genome Advantage.

Re:Come again? (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874340)

And any organ transplants would require a new license.

Pirate Genes (2, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874702)

Anyone with Pirate genes will be left out in the cold, and will be comdemned to eventual privation and death. Won't someone please think of the Pirates? We'll never be able to defeat global warming without them.

scared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873728)

These assholes are scared and they form the Google-Yahoo-MS-Novell-Mozilla alliance. Good! We'll know who to put out of business next!

Windowa Vista Alive! (1)

forrestf (1028150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873762)

Ya i can see it now, Windows Vista Alive! Runs on your unused brain! May Suffer From random crashes, and virii

Monopoly (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873948)

If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system
  • Everone who didn't pay MS on a periodic basis would be die.
  • The Bush administration would step into any medical malpractice suit and claim executive privilege to nullify the suit.
  • Sharing tips about how to stay healthy would be legislated as "piracy", and would be punishable by prison time and/or heavy fines.
  • We'd require special permission to learn about how our bodies worked. Medical schools would all require students to sign NDAs.

Re:Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874476)

I think you got it wrong: Everyone who used MS would die and be rebooted on a periodic basis. There'd be free healthcare, but people would be too afraid to use it because its "just too different" from their usual crappy service. No matter how much training you took to build up your muscles, you'd run slower and slower every year, while requiring more and more food and health-care upgrades.

Re:Monopoly (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875250)

No matter how much training you took to build up your muscles, you'd run slower and slower every year, while requiring more and more food and health-care upgrades.

So, no different than it is now, huh?

gates as prophet (4, Funny)

entropy42 (109731) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873966)

When you are evaluating bill gates's prognostication ability, do not forget to consider this prediction [bbc.co.uk] : in January, Mr Gates predicted that technology would make spam "a thing of the past" within two years.

Yes, that was January 2004.

Other observations and predictions by Bill Gates (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874796)

"There's nobody getting rich (by) writing software"

"We will never make a 32-bit operating system, but I'll always love IBM."

"There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed."

"There are people who don't like capitalism, and people who don't like PCs. But there's no one who likes the PC who doesn't like Microsoft."

"We've done some good work, but all of these products become obsolete so fast....It will be some finite number of years, and I don't know the number -- before our doom comes."

Re:gates as prophet (2, Insightful)

shawngarringer (906569) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875342)

Funny, because both my hotmail (Microsoft) and my gmail (Google) accounts get LOTS of spam, but because of technology 99% of it gets filtered out.

So, in truth technology has made spam a thing of the past.

In memory of... (0, Redundant)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874012)

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981 would become "One kidney should be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 2006 And of course, we'd all welcome ou monthly HealthCare Patch Tuesday :P

640 kb (0, Redundant)

CSLarsen (961164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874022)

'We're at the beginning of something important again' in the development of technology -- just as in the 1980s with the advent of the PC'
... around the time he professed that 640 kb should be enough for everyone. :-)

This guy is going to have problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874128)

Nobody is going to give this guy's resume a second look, when they see he didn't even finish his degree.

Kids, don't end up like Bill: stay in school!

*shudder* (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874142)

Am I the only one who got a chill down his spine when he referenced being as knowledgeable about the immune system as he was with computers?

Now I'm not a Microsoft hater and unlike most my first thought wasn't about possible viruses but about DRM.

Can you imagine a world where MS has copyrights to a healthy immune system? Now you can add in the jokes about viruses... oh and now there are new opportunities for monopoly joke as well.

Re:*shudder* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875396)

Except companies are already patenting living things. And MS may be big, but Cyngenta for example is the largest privately owned company in the world.

If this were against Microsoft... (1)

mmport80 (588332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874324)

Microsoft would take threaten to take their toys home - as they did with the EU and Korea... That's the great thing about open source, "it" doesn't (can't) throw chairs about, and generally react stupidly to dumb people.

However harsh it may sound... (3, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874372)

His wish to be able to cure people and eradicate diseases is noble, but saving every sick person will not save the Earth. In fact, it will make the Earth's population grow way out of control.

So instead of dying from cancer, HIV or bird flu, we'll starve for lack of food and water.

In other words, dying is a necessary evil fact of life. If we can make it happen without pain and suffering, so much the better. But trying to prolongue it forever is foolish.

Re:However harsh it may sound... (1)

UnrefinedLayman (185512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874984)

Longevity research shouldn't be blocked because it can increase the population, but the benefits of that research should be restricted to people willing to make sacrifices in other parts of life. If there were a treatment that could slow the aging process and allow people to live an extra fifty years, anyone choosing to undergo the treatment should be required to forfeit the right to reproduce and should not be permitted the same retirement, social security and other welfare benefits as the naturals would receive.

There are all kinds of arguments about how it may be unfair to have restrictions like this, but there can never be fairness with life and death, only balance. The reality is there are people like me who don't want children and don't mind working an extra twenty years to live another fifty. Everyone has the right to reproduce, everyone has the right to collect social security and their pension, but not everyone has the right to live beyond their natural means. Sometimes you have to give something up (like part of your paycheck now, or the right to reproduce) in order to get something else later on (social security checks, or an unnaturally long life).

Re:However harsh it may sound... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876398)

no kids - 10% high education
1 kid - 20% upper middle class
2~3 kids - 40% family oriented
3~5 kids - 20% lower class uneducated
6+ kids - 10% psycho religious freaks

At this rate we will definitely kill the planet and extinct ourselves (in a nuclear religious war perhaps?)

We could live quite comfortably without damaging the planet with about 10% the worlds current population. We need to get away from families and focus on casts - Alphas, Betas, Epsilons.. reproduction should be strictly controlled to maintain the total population and fill demand in the appropriate casts.

Re:However harsh it may sound... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875644)

Not true.
The countries with the best health care have the lowest birth rates.

Re:However harsh it may sound... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875912)

That used to apply to the United States.

Not anymore.

In any event, longevity research is less about how to make us live longer as it is to make us live better, longer. I'm in my mid-forties now, and if the medical system could keep me as I am now 'til I'm 90 or so, that would be great. What scares me most about old age is not death, per se, but the long, debilitating, unproductive process most of us suffer before we finally die.

Re:However harsh it may sound... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875924)

The human experience is not a zero-sum game. Even if it were, prosperity has always led to lowered birthrates, until there is an equilibrium.

However, if humanity is to reach for the stars, we'll need an awfully large number of people to have a sustainable breeding population, and we really shouldn't empty the Earth at the same time.

What if... (1)

c0ldfusi0n (736058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874518)

'If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system, to fight against the onset of disease on a world level ... but I think the idea of the PC still would have topped that.'
Yeah right. If Bill Gates would be in medicine instead of softwares, a bunch of people would just turn blue and then fall dead randomly, Tourette syndrome would be way more common and the children would look exactly like their parents, except random parts of their body would start glowing.

BSOD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874588)

Blue Skin of Death...

Bill thinks he invented the PC? (2, Insightful)

xoyoyo (949672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874816)

Obviously I'm only going from secondary sources here, but the quote - "If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system, to fight against the onset of disease on a world level ... but I think the idea of the PC still would have topped that." - makes it sound awfully like Bill is claiming the PC. Either that's poor editing or severely delusional. Hell, Microsoft was the *second choice* OS vendor for IBM.

Which makes me wonder, what has Bill invented?

Re:Bill thinks he invented the PC? (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875756)

Which makes me wonder, what has Bill invented?

The worlds largest bank account.

Re:Bill thinks he invented the PC? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876374)

He has been trying to make it sound like the PC wouldn't exist without him for 3 years. This is no different.

Visual Basic.
A lot of the intial Apple application software.

Darth Gates? (2, Funny)

darthservo (942083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874866)

"If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system, to fight against the onset of disease on a world level" - Bill Gates, Stanford University TechNet Event

"One day I will be. I'll be the most powerful Jedi ever! I'll even be able to stop people from dying!" - Anakin Skywalker, Attack of the Clones.

Am I the only one who thought that these two quotes are pretty scarily similar?

Irrelevant (1)

fa_king (952336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874900)

Anything that comes from Microsoft is now Irrelevant.
They are now behind the times, and are relying on their soon to be obsolete dominance to push things that are already out there: look at Zune and Windows Leopard, I mean Vista...lol.
They should change their names to Copy$oft.

I will give credit to the Xbox, but that wasn't new either it is a copy of unmentioned consoles.

Offtopic observation (1)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875218)

William Henry Gates is an anagram of 'Lying weasel. Tar [wikipedia.org] him!"

What he didn't say... (5, Interesting)

Duggeek (1015705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875264)

The tricky part is reading between the lines...

From TFA:

[Gates on "powerful ideas"]

If I knew medicine like I do computers, I would like to be able to control the [human] immune system, to fight against the onset of disease on a world level ... but I think the idea of the PC still would have topped that.

Translation: "Y'all better be glad I'm just screwing up your PC."

[Gates on how Live.com competes with Google]

Competition between our two companies will be good for the whole industry.

...until we leverage all the content out of Google with IP lawsuits [slashdot.org] .

[Gates on recent struggles with the EU]

We have worked out our differences. If they wanted us to leave out some of our components for some reason [cnn.com] , we could have delivered a European version of Vista for them. But it turned out that wasn't necessary [cnn.com] .

Interesting that there's no specific mention of what was modified to make the European Edition "unnecessary". It's obvious that Vista is still packing Windows Media Player (component in question) Is this IE/Netscape all over again [wikipedia.org] )?

[Gates on the next 10 years]

We're on to another wave of innovation; we just need to make sure the United States continues to stay right up there in relation to the rest of the world.

This is after quoting all the "amazing stuff" that's coming with the Xbox360 [slashdot.org] , Zune [slashdot.org] and voice recognition [google.com] . Yes, World, be like the good ol' U.S. of A-holes! Cave-in to an oppression of content not seen since the book burnings of 1938 Germany [wikipedia.org] !

[Gates on the delays of Vista]

Yes, it's later than we planned. But we want it to be right. It reminds me of when we released Windows 95 late that year, taking much longer than we planned.

...and we all know how "right" Windoze95 turned out to be. (...but it's got a killer version of MS-DOS!)

[Gates on the exposure of medical research furthered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [gatesfoundation.org] ]

I get a little upset with the media, which will cover a plane crash in India that killed 100 people, but it won't cover the fact that 1,000 times that many died in Africa today from malnutrition or disease.

Of course! That's why Billy has a problem with the media [cnn.com] . ...or is it another reason [foxnews.com] ?

If Gates did turn out to be a doctor, I'm sure he'd be a plastic surgeon [fxnetworks.com] . If he can't make you well, he can at least make you look good [thinkexist.com] .

Re:What he didn't say... (1)

dastardly_villain (777858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876420)

The newscast about the Voice Recognition software is hilarious. I love how the two reporters take open shots at Microsoft who obviously tried to stop them from airing the clip.

in a parallel universe... (1)

paniq (833972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875268)

...Dr. Gates tells his patient "your body is at risk" and recommends his OneCare miracle medicine.

Bill isn't a functioning part of MS anymore (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875282)

So what do we actually care about what he has to say about it? Bill doesn't work for or at MS any more and hasn't really had his head in the company for years. I know because I am a shareholder who is greatly disappointed at their miserable performance.

Re:Bill isn't a functioning part of MS anymore (1)

MoreBonez (968956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876590)

So what do we actually care about what he has to say about it? Bill doesn't work for or at MS any more and hasn't really had his head in the company for years. I know because I am a shareholder who is greatly disappointed at their miserable performance.
What? He's not giving up his day-to-day work until 2008 [microsoft.com] , and even after that he'll still be the Chairman. And as for their miserable performance, as of right now:

Share Price: 29.47
52 Week High: 29.46

Greatly disappointing for you shareholders, I'm sure.

Ummm. (2, Informative)

Skiron (735617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875566)

The only reason he likes [compares] PC's and the human immune system is due to the control to make lots of $$$. His money donated goes to drug manufacturing companies to 'aid' the world health. Unfortunately drug companies are cartels anyway (like big Microsofts), and seeing as he and his family have an interest in/and investment in major drug manufacturing companies, where else is there to give away money to get it back straight in the front door.

Gates & co do not care less about human welfare or health. Money and control is the only thing on the agenda.

Lets do some sums.

Suppose the UK Health service has 100,000 PC's (I expect a lot, lot more). Suppose half of those run MSOffice. At £200.00 a licence (a conservative estimate on price), that is £10,000,000 straight away - before any patients even get an aspirin. Now use the same calculation on ALL the worlds health services that run MS products. I bet the bill (pun intended) is BILLIONS of £ to MS before anyone patient gets treated.

He really cares doesn't he?

Re:Ummm. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876316)

You might want to look at where his money is going.

I suspect this is the result of having a child. The first thing any father wants to do is change the world to protect his children.

If I had a billion dollars, I'd donate money to getting medicine to kids.

I would not wish I wasn't the worlds richest man, though.

MS and Google Alike (1)

lys1123 (461567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875748)

"I've been told that Google is the company most like ours. That may be true. Well, we overlap in a lot of areas. We're both software companies, so we're competing on a lot of levels. They hire a lot of smart people, we hire a lot of smart people. Google Earth is fantastic; what they do is free and a huge benefit to all."


Yes, Google is the company most like Microsoft. Just like Superman is the person most like Bizarro Superman.

let me guess, Zune is going to change the world (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875800)

Sure Bill, got it and thanks for the tip. Now go back to sleep and let reality set in.

LoB

You've got to be kidding (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875880)

PCs are a bigger deal than health for 6 billion people?

Everyone else is saying, "Good thing he's not in health, because we'd have all these viruses." I'm wondering how his perspective got so twisted. Which changes people's lives more? Having a PC, or not dying?

Re:You've got to be kidding (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876248)

He was talking about personal interest.

Besides, how many people have PCs saved?

We could all wake up to error messages like... (1)

jasmak (1007287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876322)

We are sorry to alert you that your ears are not compatible with the current brain you have installed... please call tech support at: 800-555-5555 to get the correct driver.
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