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HOWTO: Spend A Billion Dollars 525

Posted by timothy
from the my-own-bunker-in-my-own-mountain dept.
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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HOWTO: Spend A Billion Dollars

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  • I would... (Score:4, Funny)

    by boa13 (548222) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:05AM (#4279653) Homepage Journal
    ... 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!
    • most probably spend some of it to go into space or to the Moon

      You'd almost certainly have to form a consortium to get that far up. In which case funding this [space.com] is probably a better idea.

      After the philanthropy had worn down, I myself would tile a wall with these these [fujitsugeneral.co.jp] and hook them to a few of these [sgi.com]. And I would go absolutely nuts with other technotoys [wired.com].

  • whores (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:06AM (#4279655)
    whores. more whores than charlie sheen and hugh grant combined could go through in a lifetime.
    • Re:whores (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 1nhuman (597328) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:49AM (#4279802)
      If you have 1 billon$ you don't need whores. You will attract b*tches like hotmail attracts spam.
      • You sir, are my hero.

        That has got to be the most fucked up post to ever be rated insightful.

        Scary part is, in this context, it actually is insightful.
      • Re:whores (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jherico (39763)
        If you have 1 billon$ you don't need whores.

        You do if you don't want to wonder if they're only interested in you for the money.

        • Re:whores (Score:3, Funny)

          by spudnic (32107)
          Man: Would you make love to me for $1,000,000?
          Woman: Yes!
          Man: Will you f*ck me for $50?
          Woman: You asshole! What kind of a woman do you think I am?
          Man: We've already established that. Now we're just quibling over the price.

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


        Yeah well, that doesn't work for everyone! Look at Bill Gates - no hot chicks ;-)
      • Re:whores (Score:3, Funny)

        by AgentTim3 (447311)
        You know, I'd rather pay for the whores than risk attracting someone like Anna Nicole Smith...
    • by runlvl0 (198575) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @10:09AM (#4281476) Homepage Journal
      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 a dude like me do.
      Peter Gibbons: Good point.
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:10AM (#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.
  • by rde (17364) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:11AM (#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?
  • by ComaVN (325750) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:11AM (#4279671)
    I'd clone my girlfriend (2 or 3 times should be enough)

    Imagine the possibilities!
  • by torpor (458) <ibisum@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:12AM (#4279673) Homepage Journal
    ... 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.
    • by cscx (541332) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:31AM (#4279744) Homepage
      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.
      • 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 ...
      • [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.

        • by cscx (541332) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @04:11AM (#4280031) Homepage
          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.

          Here's some food for thought: Have you caught any fucking POLIO lately? How bout some smallpox? Do you have any idea how many babies die each year because they weren't properly vaccinated? Living conditions is one thing, but to discredit vaccines is ludicrous.

          Specifically, to equip them with Windows?

          Not like he's putting Linux on them or anything. Jesus, he's trying to help out underdeveloped areas in our own fucking country, and all you can do is be skeptical, like it's all part of his evil plan for world domination. Would you rather have those libraries have no computers and still be checking out books from the sixties? Umm, don't think so.
        • This investment strategy:


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


          Seems more like he bought a ticket with the Trilateral Commission, more than anything else.

          Betcha any money ol' Billy Boy has some strange, Egyptian-like architecture in his big cityhouse. Stuff that looks surprisingly like a big floating eye over a pyramid.

          Damned cult members. Taking over the world, and not letting anyone else play along ...
        • by sehryan (412731) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @06:20AM (#4280309)
          $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.

          Taking out the ones that you bitched about, here is what is left. Still totals over $400 Million. How much have you given lately?
    • Hmmm.... a billion dollars...

      Well, I'd buy myself and my family / close friends house + car etc....

      And then, I'd hire geeks.... about 30. Good geeks... And then I'd fix up everything I think is wrong with linux, and create a totally new kick-ass desktop system ala OSX. And then i'd give it away, under the GPL.

      I'd spend the rest of my life at my beachfront house, fishing, drinking beer, driving around in my cool cars, and generally having a good time :)
  • by idiotnot (302133) <sean@757.org> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:12AM (#4279675) Homepage Journal
    - 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....)
  • by loupgarou21 (597877) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:12AM (#4279676)
    So what does a narcissistic geek do, Make a clone of himself the size of Mt Rushmore?
    • So what does a narcissistic geek do, Make a clone of himself the size of Mt Rushmore?

      Yup.

      And then he'll use it to destroy Tokyo.
  • and id call it indecent proposal, starring.... all the actresses and models.

    "you slept with 37 actresses?!?!"

    "in a row?!"

  • How to spend it best (Score:3, Informative)

    by SoLoatWork (187259) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:16AM (#4279689)
    What's the best way to spend some of the billion?

    Saving Farscape [savefarscape.com].
  • by gnovos (447128) <gnovos AT chipped DOT net> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:16AM (#4279692) Homepage Journal
    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!
  • ... 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.
    • This is just a guess, but I think that good old Bill *IS* having a lot of fun, regardless of his money. He loves to run Microsoft, he loves what he is doing. I would have a ball if I could make Longhorn instead of Bill.

      Something tells me that he didn't do it for the money, really. As if anyone of you would say "oh shit, my company is starting to make money, I will open source everything at once and refuse to take money so I can be a cool "damn the man" guy who fights the establishment".

      Funny that I haven't seen any comment on spending money on Linux. Makes me think that even if a guy had a billon bucks he wouldn't spend it on Linux ^_~

      If I had a billon bucks I would have time to write my own OS, and I'll be damned if you could use it ^_~
  • by billstr78 (535271) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:19AM (#4279703) Homepage
    ... 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.

    • by StillAnonymous (595680) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @06:50AM (#4280386)
      Yes it does. It's such a hideous imbalance in the economic system and I don't believe it can continue like this forever. You simply can't keep moving all the wealth in the world to a select few and expect everything to work out all right.

      And why does an individual NEED that much money?! Honestly, once you have a nice place to live, food to last you the rest of your life, a car (not even mandatory depending on where you live or what your lifestyle is), and a few luxuries (I'm not talking about billion dollar boats here either), what good is another billion dollars going to do you?

      Personally if I had that much dough, I'd give most of it, like maybe $950 million, away. The rest would take care of me and my entire extended family for the rest of our lives.
      • by NineNine (235196) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:16AM (#4280449)
        You're full of shit. You can't say what you'd do with $1B because you don't have it. Anybody can say, "Those rich guys are assholes. They should give it all away." I'm sure that homeless people are thinking that those rich assholes that make $100K/year should give all but like $20K/year away, because that's all you need.

        There's nothing wrong with the system, you're just whining.
  • by blincoln (592401) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:19AM (#4279704) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • MSFT Shares (Score:5, Funny)

    by unsinged int (561600) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:20AM (#4279706)
    Enough voting shares to be a pain in their rear...especially all the write-in votes for Linus and CowboyNeal.
  • by IvyMike (178408) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:20AM (#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.)

  • 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!
  • yeah... the

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

    things...

  • 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
  • by CBNobi (141146) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @02:30AM (#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.

  • 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?)
  • 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.
  • 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 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hpavc (129350)
    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 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jason Earl (1894)

      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.

    • 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.

    • Re:R&D (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tyler Eaves (344284) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @06:38AM (#4280346)
      > or possibly help engineer some sort of
      > food/weed that will grown nearly anywhere.

      It's called Marijuana. :)
  • 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...

  • 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. :)
  • 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!
  • 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...

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

  • by Flounder (42112) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @03:17AM (#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.
  • 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.
  • I think if i had a billion bux i'd send all the slashdot editors to a Journalism school..

    Then i'd just waste the rest on good kind bud and booze(only top shelf) and women :)

  • I'd film the Caves of Steel, Alice in Wonderland, and The Lord of the Rings properly. The change would be "spending money"!

    TWW

  • "I tell ya what I'd do, man. Two chicks at the same time, man."

    Well, his CHARACTER, Lawrence, in Office Space said it.

    http://www.bullshitjob.com/officespace/million1. wa v

    "Fsckin A, man!"

    j
  • Some years ago German SF-writer Andreas Eschbach came out with a novel entitled "Eine Billion Dollar" [amazon.de] (which actually means a /trillion/ dollar). It features the young son of a poor italian shoe maker, who suddenly turns out as the heir of a 16th century merchant (go igure: centuries are the time by which small fortunes grow into really big ones) and is meant to "change something". The novel, however, has IIRC not yet been translated into english.
  • Where is the first part ?
    The one entitled "HOWTO: Get A Billion Dollars"

  • but a billion dollars would buy me something near enough and lots of it too! :-)
  • It is strange that Forbes confuses spending and investing. Most of their examples are actually investments, not expenses.

    I believe is it in fact very hard (except through donations) to spend a billion dollar, while it is extremely easy to invest them.
  • I'd go on a hype exercise. I'd buy a big old plot of land (pref. with some crop circle history) in an area with a history of dodgy politics.

    I'd whack up the biggest fucking fence youve ever seen, and hire a binch of goons to patrol every hour of the day. The uniforms would have a little logo - probably based on a foot.

    Then I'd have a fleet of big limos that come and go at all hours, getting busier when theres a conference on in a nearby city. Helicopters would fly in and out from time to time.

    There would be fires set which were JUST visible from outwith the fence. Only ever on days when my star sign said I'd be in a bad mood. I'd seed a couple of rumours of deaths in 'the park' which were covered up.

    The tabloids would love it!

    5 years later I'd offer Oprah an exclusive tour of the place, having hired those Jim Henson dudes to create a smurf like alien for us. They would only be able to eat little rabbits - and would talk with a slight slur.

    That would BITCH!
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <`daniel.hedblom' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @05:20AM (#4280164) Homepage Journal
    I would build an army of fluffy penguins on the redmond lawn infront of the main entrance. Just to see the reaction on the PHB's when they get to work. Maybe with some nice voice abilitys too and make them chant

    "developers! developers! developers!"
  • When it comes to being a nerd, most of you leave your nerdiness at the door when it comes to large amounts of money. I would get a fab. I would use 1 billion as existing capital, and look for investors to supply the rest of the finances. I would then find clientelle.

    Fabs pay for themselves within a few years. I'd say it's a hell of an investment.

  • Seriously, you'd get a big fucking cluster for $1 billion.

  • I'm a narcissistic thrill seeking hedonistic liberal geek.

    So where do I collect my 5 Bills ?
    • I'm a narcissistic thrill seeking hedonistic liberal geek.

      So where do I collect my 5 Bills ?

      Paying the worlds poor to watch me bungie jump from mount rushmore into a vat of beer !!!
  • I could setup the ultimate warez server!! Terabytes of disk space!! An OC3 just for myself!!

    What? Just buy the games instead?
  • I would use the money to bring back Looking Glass. The people who made the games System Shock, Theif and all those other amazing classics. Even if the games sold at a loss, who cares, a billion dollars will keep everyone in business for a while. It's sad to see quality games get stomped out because of lack of profits...
  • Did it strike anyone else that the Forbes article was a complete waste of bits?

    Where did the author get these ideas? Did he actually do any research - contact some N geeks, narcissists, etc., and ask them? Or was the entire article removed from the author's nether orifice, and slapped still dripping onto the Forbes website?

    While an article like this might have seemed at home on The Onion, or some other humor site, for a magazine like Forbes it seems wildly out of place.

    For example, let's look at the geek items. Clone yourself 500 times? That sounds more like the narcissist to me. A true geek would first secure his future, then buy his way onto the top ten supercomputer list (followed shortly by achiving the top ten on SETI and DistributedNet), donate large sums to the FSF, EFF (and depending upon the particular geek the NRA or HCI), buy several top programs and then OSS them (Delorme [slashdot.org], anybody?) (Or better still, fund the development of OOP DCOM for Wine).

    Or how about donating a large amount of money to your alma mater, on the condition that they terminate all athletics programs? Now that seems a geekly thing to do, IMNSHO.
  • Open a pinball company.

    Buy a personal train.

    Buy Iceland.

    Go into space - maybe even have a special trip for two (be one of the founding member of the orbit club...).

    Buy Clear Channel.

    Pay someone to teach Ms. Spears to sing.

    Buy a few Congress Critters and a president, have them pass a law outlawing money in politics.

    Sue all media companies for failing in the public trust (this could be interesting).

    Give the money to the Endowment of the Arts, National Public Radio and National Public Television and tell them all to piss off everyone.

  • You can donate your money to the "give Billly Gates some money" fund. Or better yet if you can donate some nice computer equipment. I wouldn't mind one of these babies [apple.com] as a portable and this as a dream workstation [hp.com]. If you had a billion lying around that you want to get rid of then I am your man. Infact I will make a deal. You post here on slashdot and I will always mod you up. No matter how trollish or lame the comment is. I will do it for life for just a fraction of your worth.

    Seriously if I had a billion dollars, I would donate $100 million to EFF. I would donate another $100 million to lobby all the politicans to outlaw pallidium and repeal the DMCA. Today's government serves money anyway and not the people. I would then buy Trolltech and gpl all the api's for all platforms and give Microsoft a headache.

    If I had $10 billion instead of $1 billion I would purchase autodesk and gpl autocad and 3d studio MAX. Also if Microsoft effectively kills linux on x86 all thanks to palladium, I would invest $250 Million in apple under the condition that Steve Jobs requires all macs to have an option dual boot or linux only boot by default besides just macosX. I would convince Steve Jobs to write a letter to the opensource community about making the mac an ultimate linux box. The number of macs sold would increase astronomically from all the pissed off linux and windows users. I would also gain my money back quickly. I remember hearing that linux is beginning to catch up to macosx in desktop usage. Apple could almost double their marketshare.
  • by AssFace (118098) <stenz77NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:44AM (#4280595) Homepage Journal
    I'd spend it all on booze and whores and then just waste the rest.

    Friends and family would know how to find me - just follow the trail of dead strippers.
  • by Lonath (249354) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:17AM (#4280740)
    I would use it to stop software patents.

    How you ask?

    Since software is abstract thought and since abstract thoughts are a dime a dozen, I would get a bunch of geeks and lawyers together and every day we would look at new software patent applications that get released. (It's nice that they release the applications early on now...so that you don't have as much of a chance of them extending their patent before you get your application in...)

    Out of those applications, we would take the most promising and novel ones (usually from smaller companies) and get umbrella patents that surround whatever little idea they have with a bunch of "novel and nonobvious" extensions.

    When I say "novel and nonobvious" I mean not only extensions made by daydreaming and thinking about the problem a little bit, but also extensions that are computer generated. For example, if you have IRC bots and MUD bots and chat room bots, then it's "novel and nonobvious" if you come up with the idea of an IM bot. Therefore, it's also probably nonobvious to come up with cellphone text messaging bots.

    I think you see where I'm going with this. If someone patents something for "IM" then the "nonobvious" extensions would be for wireless networks, chatrooms, PDAs, cellphones, IRC and so forth. This could be algorithmically generated with a database of "related ideas" and "dongles" you can add to any invention.

    It wouldn't just be for that one part of the invention, either. You have to look at products that exist and follow the "dongle and feature" web (where if at any time a version of feature1 was used with a version of feature2 in a product, then you adjoin all possible ways of having feature1 and/or feature2 in your "novel and nonobvious" extensions) to adjoin as many different features as you can think of. Then say you will use a "plurality" of these things within the invention. Have you noticed how patent lawyers love the word "plurality"? Heck, we could probably get rid of patents altogether (which I don't support) if we made the word "plurality" illegal. They wouldn't know what to do. :P

    But anyway, you watch them when they release their products and if they add any of your "nonobvious" extensions, you sue them, not to make money, just to force them to cripple their products and remove them from market. Since "self-help" features that remotely shut down software for copyright reasons are or will become legal, I'm sure you could force them to invoke these features and shut down their products until they stop infringing on my valuable IP space.

    Eventually, the government may wake up and realize that abstract thought patents can cripple innovation and perhaps we can get back to a time when we had the right to express our thoughts and use our property without getting sued. Or they might just not let me get any more patents.

    Also, you should note that we wouldn't be writing software during this time. That's because if you understand software and you understand the breadth and triviality of software patents you know that you can't respect software patents and write software at the same time. So, in order to respect the patents, I would have to stop writing software. But it would be nice to try to crapflood the USPTO.
  • by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:26AM (#4280785) Journal
    for a billion dollars, i could finally pay for half of the stuff I stole off Kazaa!
  • by TellarHK (159748) <tellarhk.hotmail@com> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @12:05PM (#4282359) Homepage Journal
    I would build my $200,000,000 fortress of evil, nestled in the rockies. It would have a fake nuclear missile silo full of Apple Xserves running as a cluster to freely host worthy websites (and maybe some porn) over a dual T3 connection. I would carve a sheer rock wall out of the mountainside to project movies and television onto for my viewing pleasure, and that of any neighbor within fifty miles. I would encourage people to create a commune near my home where people would be encouraged to program OS X software by being provided with decent housing, three meals a day, and accesss to a Dual-G4 1.25Ghz tower. My sub... er, the programmers would be provided plenty of caffeinated beverages and weekend-long LAN parties for those who submit something credible to the CVS repository on site.

    My evil would be wholly subjective, as I would dedicate $100 million to pushing back the Microsoft monopoly by donations to not just one or two, but a few dozen Open Source projects in key areas that Microsoft has yet to defeat. I'd drop ten million or so to the EFF, keeping plenty in reserve for ongoing expenses and the defense of my enclave against the BATF even though there wouldn't be many guns on site. (Unless ESR dropped by, then I'd be in trouble)

    I would be a kind ruler, yet my iron fist would be felt across the globe. I wouldn't fight hunger, or disease, or educational flaws - other people with more of a conscience do that. My fleet of monochromatic black Suburbans would be well-known as they drove through cities and towns handing out black CD's loaded with the latest distribution of the Linux distribution dubbed "Overlord Linux" that I would have created in order to serve the desktop user with my "Obsidian" user interface (heavy on the black) and...

    Okay, okay, okay, I'll take my damn ritalin. Shaddap already!

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