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Bill Gates Gives $20M to CMU for New Building 919

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-must-reboot-before-taking-this-class dept.
touretzky writes "Carnegie Mellon University announced on Tuesday that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had donated $20 million toward the cost of a new building to be called the "Gates Center for Computer Science". Some faculty have suggested that in acknowledgment of Mr. Gates' profound influence on the computer software industry, the building should be painted bright blue."
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Bill Gates Gives $20M to CMU for New Building

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:25PM (#10262642)
    Yes, the building will have Windows, but the Office will cost extra.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:30PM (#10262697)
      And plenty of back doors.
      • by currivan (654314) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:01PM (#10262939)
        ...on the computer software industry, it should have robust barriers to entry.
      • by mattjb0010 (724744) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:38PM (#10263187) Homepage
        Ctrl-Alt-Delete is the key combination for the front door
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:48PM (#10263239)
        Once you're inside you have to push the door marked ENTRY to get out.
      • by commodoresloat (172735) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @02:39AM (#10263801)
        ... and standard building maintenance will include completely powering down all the electricity in the building and then powering it back up again at random intervals.
    • by baywulf (214371) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:37PM (#10262750)
      And whenever ask someone for help inside the building the paperclips start dancing.
    • by reporter (666905) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:37PM (#10262751) Homepage
      About 10 years ago, Stanford University completed construction of its new computer science building. You can see a picture of it [stanford.edu]. Several companies and individuals donated money to its construction. The majority of the funds came from a group of Japanese companies. Interestingly, among individuals, Bill Gates donated the largest percentage, and Stanford University named the entire building after him.

      When news of "Gates" becoming the apellation of the building broke, heated discussions appeared on the local university electronic bulletin board. Many people were dismayed that Bill Gates, a college dropout with little knowledge of computer science, would receive the honor of having the computer science building named after him. It is no ordinary building. It is the building housing the pre-eminent computer-science department that is among the top 3 in the nation.

      One mathematics professor lamented that money buys anything -- including undeserved honors. He commented that Stanford University might as well name the building after "Donald Trump" since he is a billionaire.

      Personally, I object to honoring Bill Gates for anything. As far as I am concerned, he is an unethical shmuck who bears principal responsibility for the suicide of Gary Kildall. Search on "Gary Kildall" [yahoo.com] if you do not know who he is.

      • by GeorgeMcBay (106610) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:12PM (#10263002)

        One mathematics professor lamented that money buys anything -- including undeserved honors. He commented that Stanford University might as well name the building after "Donald Trump" since he is a billionaire.


        Your mathematics professor should take a refresher course in logic. Bill Gates paid for most of the building. Donald Trump didn't. See the difference?

        In any case, as long as you have a shiny nice new building on Bill's dime, who gives a crap what it is called? I never gave a second thought to the names on the buildings at my university even though many were named after robberbarons significantly more sinister than Bill Gates has ever been in their day and within their own respective markets.


        As far as I am concerned, he is an unethical shmuck who bears principal responsibility for the suicide of Gary Kildall


        That's funny, I always thought Gary Kildall bore principal responsibility for his own suicide. Isn't that what suicide is?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Your mathematics professor should take a refresher course in logic. Bill Gates paid for most of the building. Donald Trump didn't. See the difference?

          First, the poster clearly stated that Bill Gates did not pay for most of the building. Second, the point of the mathematics professor was that it wouldn't be appropriate to name the building after Donald Trump even if he had payed for most of the building. Hence, it shouldn't be appropriate to name the building after Bill Gates simply because he provided a

          • Second, the point of the mathematics professor was that it wouldn't be appropriate to name the building after Donald Trump even if he had payed for most of the building.
            If that's what he meant, maybe he should have said that instead.
            it shouldn't be appropriate to name the building after Bill Gates simply because he provided a large chunk of the financing.
            Why, because an unknown mathematician and an anonymous coward say so?
        • by ArcticCelt (660351) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:04AM (#10263304)
          In any case, as long as you have a shiny nice new building on Bill's dime, who gives a crap what it is called?

          In Montreal one of our finest Commerce Universities (HEC), when they built a complete new campus they decided to sponsor each classroom and put the name of the sponsor on the front door of each classroom. Its ok when your finance classroom is named after a bank, but one classroom was named after a chicken fast-food chain and their was a little bit less of glamour in the name of that class. :)

          Anyway they had an insanely great new campus for less money and who cares about the names?

      • by ArsSineArtificio (150115) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:37PM (#10263183) Homepage
        One mathematics professor lamented that money buys anything -- including undeserved honors. He commented that Stanford University might as well name the building after "Donald Trump" since he is a billionaire.

        All of Stanford University itself is named after a railroad robber baron.

      • by secolactico (519805) * on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:47PM (#10263226) Journal
        As far as I am concerned, he is an unethical shmuck who bears principal responsibility for the suicide of Gary Kildall. Search on "Gary Kildall" if you do not know who he is.

        I had no idea as to who Gary Kildall was. I did a quick search and found out. The cause of death is not clear tho, but nowhere it says it was suicide.

        Now, I believe you have your reasons to blame Gates for Kildall's death, but in my own humble opinion, nobody is responsible for someone else's suicide. If you take the decision to kill yourself, no external factor is to blame.

        As for "honoring" him by naming the building after him, well, he is paying for it. If the donation comes with strings attached and Stanford doesn't like it, they can always turn him down.

        He might be a college dropout with little knowledge of CS, but he *is* doing something for the field: he is donating resources, just like the person who doesn't know anything about medicine, but donates money for a new hospital wing, or simply gives blood. You contribute with what you can.

        (yes, I know Gates isn't probably doing it out of the goodness of his heart... he is getting publicity for it, but does it really matters so long as the job gets done?)
        • by Dirtside (91468) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:43AM (#10263468) Journal
          If you take the decision to kill yourself, no external factor is to blame.
          Not that this is what happened with Gates and Kildall, but if I were to (for example) manipulate a person's life so as to get them fired from their job, bury them under a mountain of debt, cause problems with his marriage, and generally make his life a living hell, and then he committed suicide, you don't think I would bear ANY of the responsibility for it? I certainly do. And lesser actions of mine would similarly bear a smaller, but nonzero, responsibility.

          Saying that external factors cannot affect a person's decision to commit suicide doesn't seem reasonable. It's the same as saying that external factors cannot affect us at all, for any reason. Even if I did the evil things above, I certainly wouldn't be entirely to blame for his suicide (after all, he pulled the trigger, or took the pill, leapt off the bridge, whatever), but if I set up circumstances to the point where he felt like he had no way out, I would be at least partly culpable, by any reasonable moral standard. (I don't know if I could be held legally liable, in a criminal sense, although I probably could be successfully sued in civil court for wrongful death, or somesuch, assuming that his family could provide evidence).

          I don't think that responsibility is always (or even usually) as simple as "one person is completely responsible for this." If a person commits a crime, and if external circumstances can affect that, then that person is still ultimately responsible, but it doesn't mean that we should relieve him of any responsibility and let him off scot-free, NOR does it mean that we should blame him entirely and not take a hard look at what society is doing that might encourage him to be criminal.

          This really is getting off-topic; maybe I'll write a journal entry about it.

      • You can hate on Gates all you want, as is your right, but to simply describe him as "a college dropout with little knowledge of computer science" is not exactly right. He was in fact a very talented coder in his day--I know this isn't the same as a computer scientist, but quite frankly id rather be a coder any day of the tweek.

        I guess the tought of a top CS building being named for the top software companies top employee doesn't really rankle me that much.

      • As far as I am concerned, he is an unethical shmuck who bears principal responsibility for the suicide of Gary Kildall. Search on "Gary Kildall" if you do not know who he is.

        Maybe if you tried a different search engine [google.com] you would know that the popular legend that he killed himself is not true [thocp.net]. He was killed in a fight at a bar, and by all accounts it wasn't the least bit deliberate.
    • by tiredwired (525324) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:12PM (#10262999)
      And it is going to look just like a building Apple built 5 years ago.
    • -If you get injured, you can visit Dr. Watson -The executive floor will have a terrace called Outlook -The employee lounge will have a small balcony called Outlook Express
  • Poor Bill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JPM NICK (660664) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:25PM (#10262644)
    Even when he tries to do something nice, he gets flamed. The man just donated 20 million to the school. give him a break
    • Re:Poor Bill (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vishmaster (684012) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:32PM (#10262716)
      You have to remember Bill is first a Businessman and then a Philanthropist - What bill is indulging here is what is known as Social Investing - Heres how he makes up for the 20mil he spends - 1.Inculcate the 'Microsoft Culture' into the every Person/Animal/THing that ever steps into that building - 2.Set up a future harvesting ground for hiring into his empire when the time is right. Now that they have already been taught the 'Microsoft way' 3.Spread the good word about Microsoft - 20mil worth of marketing does not seem to have the same effect. and yes.. 4.Maybe help the academic community actually grow - PROVIDED - its in the 'Microsoft Way' Not so Poor After all Bill.
      • Re:Poor Bill (Score:5, Interesting)

        by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:38PM (#10262765) Homepage Journal
        Also, there is
        Established in 1988, the CERT® Coordination Center (CERT/CC) is a center of Internet security expertise, located at the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University.
        Now, if 20,000 large doesn't freshen your breath to CERT, dunno what will.
        If you don't like the news, buy the press.
        Maybe these were distortion-free dollars, or something...
        • Re:Poor Bill (Score:3, Informative)

          by awtbfb (586638)

          Now, if 20,000 large doesn't freshen your breath to CERT, dunno what will.

          Actually CERT is within SEI [cmu.edu] which is pretty much a free-standing entity.
      • Re:Poor Bill (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SB5 (165464) <freebirdpat AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:40PM (#10262780)
        You know whats great about CMU? Its got a very large anti-Microsoft culture. But when Microsoft comes to town for recruitment day, its the largest turnout ever.
        • Re:Poor Bill (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DrEldarion (114072)
          That's how everything is. People always hate the big guy until they get a chance to be a part.

          You can see the same thing with anti-American sentiment in other countries - people will be very quick to badmouth the US, but start giving out free plane tickets and you'll get mobbed.
          • Re:Poor Bill (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Xenna (37238) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:58AM (#10263513)
            I certainly would expect anyone giving out free plane tickets to Europe, Asia, Africa or any other exotic place would be mobbed similarly. I'm not one to pass up a free intercontinental flight myself, even if N. Korea would be handing them out.

            But you're probably implying they'd want to immigrate. In poor countries you probably have a point. In western Europe (where I live) the few US haters that I know (there aren't that many) would definitely not be interested in a green card.

            I wouldn't pass up on an opportunity to work and live in the US for a few years. I wish the western world would get together and make this kind of exchange (both ways) a lot easier, would be good for everyone. It would also promote a little more mutual understanding, which, reading this subthread, seems badly needed.
        • by math major (756859) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:20PM (#10263071)
          Of course people go to the recruitment events. Free food! A handful of people actually go because they want to work for Microsoft, but most of the people are there to heckle and get free stuff. Microsoft shirts make great rugs. I always wanted to win a laptop in one of their raffles just so I could say I got a free laptop from Microsoft and put Linux on it. At last year's recruiting speech, one of the people asked "How many of you have heard of the Blaster virus?" Everyone raised their hand. "How many of you hate Microsoft because of the Blaster virus?" The guy sitting next to me: "Just because of that?" Applause.
      • Re:Poor Bill (Score:5, Insightful)

        by aixou (756713) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:45PM (#10262806)
        Do we have to dissect every good thing that people do?

        Let's dissect some other things:

        your mom doesn't really love you for you, she loves you because of how you make her feel.

        The fireman who saves you in the building is really only doing it because he wants his buddies to call him a hero.

        Someone who gives a homeless person a dollar is only doing it because they don't want to get shot by the homeless man.

        Your fiancee is only marrying you because she doesn't want to have to be self-sufficient.

        and finally: Stallman does what he does to impress the ladies. ;)

        Can't we just let people do good things sometimes? There is always some element of selfishness in every good deed we do. Let it go. It's a win win situation. Bill gives a great contribution to a school, and he gets to pimp himself a little. so the fuck what.
    • Re:Poor Bill (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Epistax (544591) <epistax.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:32PM (#10262717) Journal
      Sorry I just can't let "poor Bill" get past everyone. Once again, he used the word "Poor" to describe "Bill". Where "Poor" does have many meanings, I feel that he is so overwhelmingly not "Poor" in one definition as to completely knock out all others from the ballpark.

      That being said the best gifts are the anonymous ones. When it's not anonymous, sure, he's giving $20 million and that's great, but he's it at least partly for his name. Still, I'm not complaining that he's doing it.
    • Re:Poor Bill (Score:3, Informative)

      by brilinux (255400)
      I was actually at the party to celebrate his gift yesterday at Newell-Simon (the free food force overcame the Anti-Bill Gates force), and through talking to people, I had actually heard that it would be named after Turing, but I guess that is something else. The problem is, though, this guy is really rich, and yet he gave only $20,000,000 of the $50,000,000 required for the building, meaning that they need to raise $30,000,000 from other people for a building that will be named after someone else. I hope
      • Rude? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mrscott (548097) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:23PM (#10263093)
        I totally agree. In fact, it was downright despicable to give the campus only $20 MILLION dollars out of the $50 million needed to actually complete the structure. He should just go back to campus, apologize for his rudeness, rip up the check he gave to the college and go home and write a letter of apology for his rudeness.

        Who cares if he's really rich? If he gave away $20 million every day, he wouldn't be for very long, would he? No matter how you look at it, $20 million is a LOT of money.

        I am sometimes absolutely appalled by the unappreciative nature of some people.
        • Re:Rude? (Score:5, Informative)

          by cosmol (143886) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:37PM (#10263181)
          If he gave away $20 million every day, he wouldn't be for very long, would he?

          Depends if you think 5.5 [google.com] years is very long

          • Re:Rude? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by morganjharvey (638479)
            But this money isn't from Bill Gates himself -- it's from the Bill and Melinda Foundation. While I'm sure that Billy there gives them quite a chunk of coin every so often, that money is often invested and allowed to expand. I guess the true question would be how much money does the foundation have?

            I think that the foundation has done a lot of things that are absolutely great (I'm told my local YWCA wrote a letter asking for assistance in building a new wing and remodelling and received a very sizeable che
    • Re:Poor Bill (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tftp (111690)
      A thief steals your car and then offers you one free ride. Should you be grateful or angry?
    • Re:Poor Bill (Score:5, Insightful)

      by linguae (763922) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:49PM (#10262848)

      I agree. I hope this isn't troll/flamebait, but I'm ready to burn some karma, so here it goes....

      Bill Gates may be one of the founders and leaders of a certain company that we all know and love [microsoft.com] [microsoft.com], and there is a lot of things that I don't like about Microsoft (Windows, convicted monopoly, business practices) but Gates himself is an interesting person. He started out as a geek like most of us here. He also does a lot of good things, like donate to schools, AIDS and cancer research, and other charity organizations. Now, I don't like the way that he has ran Microsoft, but I feel that it is important in some cases to separate Gates and his organization from MS. Gates may be "evil," but I think that he shouldn't be flamed for helping out or his donations; not everything he does is a part of an evil plan for M$ to take over the world.

      • Re:Poor Bill (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Aussie (10167)
        Sorta like Pablo Escobar ?
        Many Columbians still think he was a good bloke because of the great charitable donations.
      • Re:Poor Bill (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SendBot (29932) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:57PM (#10263273) Homepage Journal
        Actually, the real problem with AIDS relief is that patents make the pharmacudical industry a profiteering venture, to the point of disallowing affordable alternatives to such a degree that the Gates Foundation's donations would amount to a few drops in the bucket compared to the savings that a true free market would allow.

        The kicker is that BillG is a proponent of the situation that puts AIDS care out of reach for millions so that pharmacudical companies can maintain their profits from disabling fair competition. This is a complete exploitation of the necessity for AIDS treatment made possible by our wonderful patent system.

        You can read more about all this here:
        http://www.globalissues.org/EnvIssues/Population/A IDS.asp [globalissues.org]
  • Blue (Score:5, Funny)

    by oskard (715652) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:26PM (#10262655)
    They can write BSOD in big white letters on the top of it.
  • BSOD jokes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrispyman (710460) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:26PM (#10262656)
    Now I like BSOD jokes as much as the next person but seriously I think that's one area we can atleast applaud Microsoft at. It's really quite a rare date (or an indication of hardware failure) to see a BSOD in Windows XP. Now those damned security issues on the other hand...
    • by oskard (715652) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:28PM (#10262690)
      Ahhh stop. You're killing me. No, really STOP 0x0000000A BAD_BSOD_JOKES
  • Blue? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Selfbain (624722) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:26PM (#10262663)
    They should paint 'IRQL not less or equal' on the side of the building.
  • by comwiz56 (447651) <comwiz AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:26PM (#10262664) Homepage
    Why doesn't Bill gates run around spending money on fun stuff? NSYNC guys almost buy a trip a to space. Woz has like 20 segways (and plays on a segway plo team). But why doesnt Bill Gates spend his money on such crazy things?
  • Microsoft at CMU (Score:5, Interesting)

    by generic-man (33649) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:27PM (#10262675) Homepage Journal
    Funny thing about Carnegie Mellon -- there's a lot of people there who spell Microsoft with a dollar sign and refer to it as the "evil empire," yet every Microsoft presentation is standing-room only. There are plenty of people there that actually respect Microsoft as a company, and of course President Jared Cohon was more than happy to accept a $20 million gift.

    Now the Gates Center is a $50+ million project. If you want to name the building in your honor instead, you could always kick in the rest of the dough.
    • by bit01 (644603)

      Microsoft presentation is standing-room only.

      Reminds me of the crusty old Republican grandpa that attended all the Democrat conventions. His reason? "Just ta keep ma disgust afresh"

      Attendence does not imply support. I'd probably attend such presentations. Anyway, like all good universities CMU supports a variety of viewpoints, not the mono-culture that M$ would like to impose.

      ---

      It's wrong that an intellectual property creator should not be rewarded for their work.
      It's equally wrong that an IP

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:27PM (#10262678)
    By the time he's dead, there will be so many buildings with his name on them, he'll be everywhere, like all the towns with Carnegie libraries today. And like Carnegie, he'll be remembered fondly for all the stuff he did that still endures, and not for the things Slashdot likes to bash him for today.

    Like it or not...
    • by FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:33PM (#10263158)
      Bill Gates is the John D. Rockerfeller of his day. A guy who engaged in massive monopolistic practices to build the world's most immense fortune, only to give most of it away. Each took a fledgling industry (petroleum and PCs) and made them into corporate behemoths (Standard Oil and Microsoft) through shrewdness and ruthless business practices, crushing rivals with every dirty trick possible. Rockerfeller regularly hired employes from his competitors as spies to give him inside information that he would then use to destroy his competition. Both Rockerfeller and Gates were/are completely unrepentant for their deeds, and believed they had done nothing wrong but follow the best policies of good business.

      John D. Rockerfeller Jr. (John D.'s son) was the guy who actually spent a great deal of the money, and the one who had a passion for it; John D. had one passion -- the Standard Oil business. It took a generation for people to forget the Rockerfeller name stood for vicious anti-competitive trusts which left human wreckage in its wake, and turn the Rockerfeller name into one that meant philanthropy. Gates is managing that within a generation, although he did not have to start out in the public relations hole John D. did. Gates, however vilified he is by the slashdot crowd, has been more a hero to the average American. America once despised its capitalist masters. Now we lionize them.

      The Rockerfellers did not follow Carnegie's lead. Carnegie took a lot of criticism for his rather shameless self-promotion. Rockerfeller had a strict religious upbringing and considered giving a duty, one that was its own reward, and was not meant for glorifying oneself. You'll see Gates memorial this-or-that here and there, but for the most part, it doesn't look like Bill Gates is interested in having lots of things named after him.

      History will be very forgiving to Bill Gates. People today think anti-trust legislation is some sort of government power trip to stifle progress, not a vital safeguard that restrained some of the most brutal machinery of captialism ever unleashed. Rockerfeller was shunned and vilified by the presidents and other politicians of his day, and now he's considered a great benefactor to mankind. How much more is Gates going to be remembered as the great success story who gave his money for the good of others? Any blemishes on his character will be easily waved away as jealous competitors, not anyone with a serious grief.

      Another interesting note: the guy that John D. first hired to be his chief for philanthropy was named Frederick Gates.

  • by One Louder (595430) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:27PM (#10262683)
    Unfortunately none of the doors have locks and all of the windows are wide open by default.
  • by I_Love_Pocky! (751171) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:29PM (#10262696)
    I'm always afraid of huge corporate donations to CS departments, because they tend to want to push the program in a certain direction. I don't think it helps anyone to have a Microsoft centric CS education, because CS shouldn't be about practical implementations, but rather theoretical concepts. I hope CMU isn't tainted by this donation.

    I'm not just getting down on Microsoft either, I would feel wary about any large software company. On the other hand, it is a very nice thing for Mr. Gates to do. I'm always impressed by the really great things he and his wife choose to do with all of that money.
  • Cheapskate (Score:5, Informative)

    by gorbachev (512743) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:32PM (#10262714) Homepage
    Brown University got $100M [boston.com] today. Bill's cheap! :)
    • Re:Cheapskate (Score:3, Interesting)

      by captnitro (160231) *
      The donation was made by one Sidney Frank [cnn.com], whose importation [sidneyfrankco.com] popularization of drinks we were fond of in college (and still are) made him lots of cash.

      It's a good day to be a college dropout, apparently.

      It makes me a little proud to think that you can still work hard and with a little luck have your name on a building, regardless of things like educational status or initial wealth. This applies more to Sidney, I suppose, than Bill. (Now, the fact that it was a half-stolen, poorly written OS and liquor sal
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:34PM (#10262731)
    1. To enter, you push a button and 5 minutes later the door opens
    2. All digital locks can be opened with the admin password 1-2-3-4-5
    3. Vibrating Window panes will cause random crashes
    4. All wall decorations are essential and directly integrated into the building and cannot be removed without destroying the entire structure
  • by rasafras (637995) <tamas@pha.jhu. e d u> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:36PM (#10262743) Homepage
    ...you will be greeted by a 20 foot iron sculpture of clippy.

    That, and the building won't have any locks.
  • Donation??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:37PM (#10262753)
    C'mon for a multi-billionare (fsck the spelling) paying someone $20M to carve your name on a building in a world famous campus is a cheap ego boost.

    If it was a real donation it would be more discretely done (eg. name it after a famous person other than Gates and perhaps put up a small plaque saying it was funded by Gate foundation).

  • $20M but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zorander (85178) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:38PM (#10262760) Homepage Journal
    He wants the campus to build a $50M building with it. Sound like a math problem? yeah. His money is appreciated, but he's asking the campus to build more than he's willing to support, which is mildly questionable.

    Even better, though, the proposed location for the new building is on top of this really shitty excuse for a building that looks like a few mobile homes shoved up against eachother and is generally an eyesore. In the artist's rendering of the plans, it apppears to be styled like many of the more nice looking new and old campus buildings (Green roof, light colored brick, etc) which is definitely a good thing. CMU has some pretty buildings, but it also has some impressive eyesores. Good to see one of them go away.

    Also consider that Microsoft is the #1 employer of CS grads from CMU. This school's students and expertise have served him well, so I'm glad to see that he's willing to give something back.

  • Originally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xeon4life (668430) <devin AT devintorres DOT com> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:39PM (#10262772) Homepage Journal
    I was looking into going to CMU for their esteemed Computer Science program, but now I just hope they wont let this influence their set of courses, breadth of experience, or heterogeneous computer labs...
  • IBM (Score:4, Informative)

    by LuxFX (220822) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:42PM (#10262789) Homepage Journal
    I admit, I didn't get the Blue Screen of Death reference at first. I've been using Windows 2000 since it came out, and I might have seen a BSOD once... maybe twice. It just doesn't come up anymore.

    Actually I was mostly confused at the joke at first, thinking, "Wait a minute, I thought IBM was 'Big Blue'"
  • by Chuck Bucket (142633) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:43PM (#10262801) Homepage Journal
    he gives all this money to a school, but still gets the borg icon treatment on /.

    CB#
  • Naysayers Unite! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nathdot (465087) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:52PM (#10262875)
    It appears Bill has truly acted altruistically here.

    This does not fit our general characterizations of the man.

    How can we reconcile this seeming incongruity? By adopting the following reasoning: "$20 million for a building?! People on this planet are still starving to death! The ego!"
  • by linefeed0 (550967) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:53PM (#10262879)
    CMU has put out a never-ending stream of disgusting propaganda since last February when Gates gave a "lecture" [post-gazette.com] at CMU. If you don't care to RTFM, CMU's "alumni magazine" (even more of a blatant PR mill than at most schools) spends an entire article bragging about how wonderful it is for CMU to have tons of incestuous connections with Microsoft. (The message: come to CMU and work for Microsoft!)

    CMU may have quite a few good individual professors and research projects in CS, but the institution as a whole doesn't think twice about being a corporate-flak career school... from their advertising slogan "The Professional Choice" in the early '80s on (when CMU accepted a certain large donation from IBM and almost decided to make all its students buy PC's in 1982).

    Thankfully, many CMU students are still practicing some degree of creative resistance [notdot.net], although a penguin statue allegedly placed on the roof of the student center overnight before the Gates speech was hurriedly removed since apparently CMU values its clean public image more than its students' creativity [mit.edu].

    One other thing to note is that this is likely not much more than a matching grant for further increases in students' tuition [jpdavin.com], which pays for a much higher share of an education at CMU than at many peer schools.

    • I'm not sure what is the big deal about taking down the penguin.

      It wasn't an act to destroy the creativity of students or supress their free speech rights, it was the janitors taking down something that was put up in an act of intellectual masturbation by a bunch of college students who apparantly had too much time on their hands.

      If someone donated $20 million to your school, you'd probably go a bit out of your way to make sure they feel welcome. That includes taking down ads for / mascots of their compet
  • Give the man a break (Score:5, Informative)

    by McBeer (714119) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @10:57PM (#10262912) Homepage
    I notice that Gates is getting flamed despite his many charities. As much as many of you disagree with Microsofts operating policy, Bill Gates alone has given:

    $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.
    Source: New York Times
    And all this was of the year 2000. Now I have not checked this, but I suspect the charitable donations from every Linux distro CEO combined would fall well short of this. Admit it, Bill Gates is in fact doing some good in this world.

    • Giving away money doesn't make you better if it comes from illegal or otherwise immoral activities.
      • Unbelievable. People like you really live in a world of fantasy. 'illegal and immoral'? Do you really have this image of Bill Gates with a monocle, a tophat, and a cigar maniacally laughing and amusing himself with the cries of the poor? It's bizarre, detached-from-reality viewpoints such as yours that will keep honest, rational reform from ever happening.
      • I'm not a Gates fan but him donating money, even for PR reasons, helps more than a bunch of geeks who bitches that more needs to be done for the poor, yet blows all their discretionary on toys.
    • by killjoe (766577) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:36PM (#10263170)
      So he is giving a tiny percentage of the money he made using the most slimy and despicable methods known to mankind. I'm not impressed and I suspect his maker will not be either.

      If a drug dealer game money to local schools would he be a saint? While we are at it Osama Bin Laden built lots of orphanages and schools too.

      "Now I have not checked this, but I suspect the charitable donations from every Linux distro CEO combined would fall well short of this."

      In terms of absolute dollars yes, in terms of percentages I bet they gave more.
    • by scot4875 (542869) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:56AM (#10263507) Homepage
      Many of these have been dealt with sufficiently already, but I'll respond to them on a point-by-point basis:

      Gates Millennium Scholarship Program

      To train more potential Microsoft employees! Obviously!

      Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization

      Only an attempt to keep people alive so that they can buy more Microsoft software!

      teachers, administrators, school districts and schools

      To obligate them to push a Microsoft curriculum and keep Apple and Linux out of the classroom!

      Gates Library Program

      Do they have any non-Microsoft Press books at these libraries? Probably not!

      Children's Vaccine Program, Maternal Mortality Reduction Program, Malaria Vaccine Initiative, Alliance for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer, global polio eradication, International Vaccine Institute, elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus, Sequella Global Tuberculosis Foundation, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

      Again, keep the potential customers alive! This is one of the cornerstones of capitalism -- ever expanding markets!

      The guy is obviously evil. That you can't see the motives behind these dubious donations just goes to show how easy it is to buy people's favor!

      Bill Gate$ is teh eviL!!1!!!1! OMGOMG!!

      --Jeremy
  • Times have changed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TequilaJunction (713856) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:08PM (#10262984)
    When I went to CMU (back in the days before the WWW) the new technology on campus was by by Apple. Our computer clusters (which were called Apple Orchards - sigh) were about 50% Apple, 20% Unix, and 30% Microsoft. There was a big NeXT following in the very early days as well. I guess we're not going to see a push for alternative OS's there in the near future. As a side note, one more new building on that campus isn't going to make much of a difference. It's looked wrong ever since they tore down Skibo.
  • Give Bill a Break (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buchalka (416106) <tim@NoSpAM.buchalka.com> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:19PM (#10263061) Homepage
    I can't stand people who bash Bill and his foundation. Sure bash Microsoft if you must, but why the foundation?

    Yes he is mega rich but he still doesn't have to give the money away does he?

    I am sure he could find other ways to get rid of the money. Instead he is doing some good.

    His foundation has practically wiped our Malaria in third world countries [nationalgeographic.com].

    I suppose he did that for advertising as well??

    No I am not a MS support, Linux is my vehicle of choice, but I am man enough to applaud someone doing good for the community.

    Would be nice if some of the wallies posted here could do the same.

    Yeah I know, fat chance of that.
  • Screw You Mr.Gates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tron21 (753055) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:22PM (#10263087)
    I am a student at CMU, we knew about this yesterday. They announced it by handing out fliers with a drawing of the new building on it. Well it turns out that the building and the Society of Automotive Engineers http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/org/sae/ [cmu.edu] garage seem to occupy the same space. Hum, I wonder what is going to happen to our garage. Dear Mr.Gates, do you think you could spare an extra $30,000 to help build something other then more computer clusters on our campus?
  • by symbolic (11752) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:23PM (#10263089)

    I say PR. If it were an act of generosity, Gates would have encouraged them to come up with a more creative name. Nothing like the ego of someone with too much money, too much power, or just a delusional state of having either.
  • by Gary Destruction (683101) * on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:26PM (#10263102) Journal
    Skynet [rageboy.com] was after all created at CMU. Now Microsoft is giving money to CMU. Will Terminators have glowing blue eyes instead of glowing red eyes?
  • by ortcutt (711694) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:30PM (#10263136)
    It's about time that CMU got a Gates building. Stanford has had one for a while. It doesn't seem that the name is having any inappropriate effect on the students, faculty or administration here, though. The CS curriculum only has one Windows programming course (an elective) and most of the computers in the labs are either Macs or Suns. Even many of the staff use Macs here.
  • IBM (Score:3, Informative)

    by corian (34925) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @11:42PM (#10263206)
    Someone at Slashdot is very confused. IBM is "Big Blue", not Microsoft.
  • by NicksMyName (731714) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:17AM (#10263352)
    According to This website's Wealth Clock [greenspun.com] Bill Gates is worth $61 Billion.

    Bill spending $20 million to get his name on a building is like someone with $500k of wealth spending $164.

    So next time you buy a Games Console for your nephew stick your name on it to show everyone how generous you've been.

    (And if it's an XBOX you're helping a very small amount to pay for another University building)

  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:21AM (#10263378) Journal
    I can't help but wonder what CMU's KGB organization [cmukgb.org] will do when this building goes up. Basically, KGB is an on-campus group which engages in all sorts of random silliness, and describes itself as "an eccentric bunch of nerds, geeks, freaks, visionaries, outcasts and ne'er-do-wells, who plan on being on the right side of the guns when the Revolution comes."

    When Bill Gates came to visit campus earlier this year, the group painted the Fence [cmukgb.org] (a frequently painted object in the middle of campus) bright blue in his honor. Also, during the Q&A session of the talk, KGB's president Ed asked the following:

    (transcribed from rough memory)
    Ed: Hello Bill. Have you ever used Linux?
    Bill: Yeah, a few times.
    Ed: Would you accept my gift of Linux? [holds up Linux CD]
    (chuckles and applause from audience)
    Bill: What's it worth? (grins)
    (more chuckles and applause from audience)
    Bill: Sure.
    (Ed gives Bill Linux CD)
  • by r_j_prahad (309298) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {daharp_j_r}> on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:34AM (#10263439)
    There won't be a front entryway to the building. But there will be hundreds of back doors.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @01:55AM (#10263697)
    I actually like his new haircut [cmu.edu]. Now if only he would finally notice that he can't beat OSS and therefore join the bandwagon, so that I need not talk my mouth fuzzy with convincing my customers to use Linux I'd be cool with the man.

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