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Microsoft

Gates Says No to Implants 376

Tamas Feher from Hungary writes "The future of Slashdot's infamous Borg Bill thumbnail image may be in jeopardy after Microsoft founder William H. Gates said technology will one day allow computer implants - but hardwiring's not for him. 'One of the guys that works at Microsoft... always says to me 'I'm ready, plug me in,"' Gates said Friday at a Microsoft seminar in Singapore when he was asked whether computers would ever be implanted in the human brain. "I don't feel quite the same way. I'm happy to have the computer over there and I'm over here.' "
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Gates Says No to Implants

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  • Image playing Homeworld with that fancy all-sensory-input-output device.
  • Criminally organized thugs would do *anything* to kidnap his head in order to hack into his Paypal account. Unfortunately. encryption impervious to math is not so to torture.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:29AM (#12973723)
    Resistance is futile.
  • Trust (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cthefuture (665326) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:30AM (#12973729)
    In other words he doesn't trust the hardware and/or software being hooked up to his brain.

    Gee, I wonder why...
  • by StonedRat (837378) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:30AM (#12973733) Homepage Journal
    Only because he doesn't trust microsoft software running on his brain. The Blue Screen of Death could become literal and he knows it.
  • That's Easy To Say (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DanielMarkham (765899) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:32AM (#12973745) Homepage
    But where do you really draw the line? Most of us spend a lot of time staring at a LCD, would laser-projected images in the retina be that much of a stretch? Gates himself has his company working hard on speech recognition -- which is obviously a step towards taking away the interfaces. It seems to me the clear path is towards zero interfaces: direct brain stimulation. That would truly be the easiest thing for most users to operate. (But I wouldn't want to get a GPF in my brain! Ouch!)
    So it's easy to say you're against connecting up to the computer, but it's not a black-and-white situation. I imagine integration will happen over several decades, not all at once.

    Know What You're Talking About [whattofix.com]
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:43AM (#12973804)


      > But where do you really draw the line?

      Butt plugs.

    • Well, I think the line usually goes where you start modifying the body. Having a display project the image on the retina is not an implant. Using electrodes to bypass the retina and connect directly to the brain is.

      I think it's a pretty Black and White situation, modify your body, or don't modify it. Maybe grey areas would be stuff like nanobot medicination.
    • by ColdGrits (204506) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:51AM (#12973839)
      Gates himself has his company working hard on speech recognition -- which is obviously a step towards taking away the interfaces.


      That's not taking away an interface, any more than having a keyboard instead of punched card is taking away an interface!

      Speech recognition merely allows for a different and faster interface between operator and computer, but it is still by definition an interface.

      Indeed it could be argued that even hardwiring the computer directly into your brain still requires an interface, again by definition. It would just be a different type of interface, presumably much faster and one which required less effort to use, but an interface it would still be.

    • by Sahib! (11033)
      Look, dude, your comments are Insightful, Funny and Interesting, but stop link-spamming with that link to your blog in your fake "sig."
    • It's inevitable (Score:4, Insightful)

      by artemis67 (93453) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @12:39PM (#12974052)
      When impants start making you more competitive in the marketplace, you bet it's going to take off -- especially if they can be discreetly implanted.

      What happens when a chip implanted in your brain can make you 25% "smarter"? Most people will recoil at the thought; a few will take advantage of it, and it will gradually catch on, until we reach the point that the most competitive jobs routinely have super-human requirements, and the people who don't have implants will start sliding down the economic scale.

      Never underestimate the power of greed to transform human society.
    • I'd draw the line at how easily the device is to disconnect. If the interface talks to my brain using E-M waves, and it's been well tested and well designed to be fail-safe, then I'd probably go for it (if the benefits were good enough). But if you're talking about an implant, that's major surgery to install, and even more major/impossible to uninstall. I'm hesitant enough that I haven't gotten laser eye surgery yet, and that's something that has a long track record and a lot of benefits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:32AM (#12973746)
    And that Gates refuses to get man-boobs and wear a 'bro'.
  • Who would love to have all time direct connection between hardware and your brain when the software used is Microsofts?
    (as it would no doubt be in Gates position)
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tanmi-Daiow (802793) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:34AM (#12973753) Journal
    ...would it run linux?
  • I mean seriously... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:35AM (#12973758) Journal
    Would you want a body implant that runs on Windows?

    I can just see it - adware popups that appear every 2 minutes on your ocular implants.
    • by Timesprout (579035) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @12:00PM (#12973890)
      Would you want a body implant that runs on Linux?

      I can just see it - telling you it doesn't have the right drivers for your heart and disabling your pulmonary functions.
      • by Trelane (16124) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @12:47PM (#12974085) Journal
        I can just see it - telling you it doesn't have the right drivers for your heart and disabling your pulmonary functions.

        You see, God's in a dilemma. The Heart was developed over many millions of years by God Himself, using his now-open Evolution Development System. But, due to Microsoft's dominance of the desktop leading to its dominance of the browsers and then to the servers, in this, the year 2012, Microsoft now has complete control over the Internet. So unless God was able to somehow convince 9 billion people to use His Almighty Internet Service, which is notably completely incompatible with Microsoft's Internet v3 and Body Management Services of Medicine PX, he must provide the interface to Heart version 3.14159265(and so on) to Microsoft. Unfortunately, as a side effect of licensing the interface to Microsoft, he's now unable to provide drivers to Linux, which since Microsoft's utter dominance of all things computers shortly after all vendors suddenly and miraculously started supporting Microsoft's Palladium System nee NGSCB, is run by about 3 people in Norway living in a cave and harnessing a beowulf cluster of hamsters to provide power. But, on the other hand, Microsoft promised not to provide a competing implementation of Heart! (Both a carrot and a stick, God mutters under His breath sometimes).

        Too bad for God that Microsoft has now launched MS Deity, which has received very favourable press lately (despite not having nearly as many features as God Himself, but it ties in so well to the existing Microsoft hardware software and wetware, and besides, they'll get that in the next version, they promise), and of course will provide everything that God provides except Heart. Of course, to do this, they had to get inside information, but since they outright own many very pleasant places to live and work, and with a warchest now exceeding 432 trillion dollars, they easily afford to, uh, acquire many of God's most trusted workers and skip the millions of years of development (coincidentally, they also hired away all of God's workers in charge of Zotting the Unbelievers, who otherwise would help convert 9billion fat and happy-ish Microsoft users!). However, in 2015, according to an internal Microsoft email that, after being read, got lost, shredded, re-constructed, stamped three times with a big red stamp, and then lost again, Microsoft plans on also releasing Heart, since God's marketshare is expected to dwindle to the point of Him not being able to support a lawsuit against Microsoft.

      • Nah- those devices aren't sitting behind proprietary interfaces. Somebody will write a device driver for it.
  • Only old Koreans wear implants.
  • by 1lus10n (586635) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:35AM (#12973763) Journal
    Is running windows. Imagine the pain in the ass that would come about from a crash. Even Gates would admit that windows is not ready for this kind of critical application. Probably never will be.

    I have always said that Microsofts failures and limits are because many people in that company (including Bill) always see the limit to computing. They are limited by what they think is reasonable and what they think will make the most money. Hell of a business plan, sucky for technological advancement though.

    Now lets wait for all of the Microsoft zealots to flame/mod me.
  • Perhaps more interesting is that the article mentions Gates' predictions regarding input devices of the future. He believes that the keyboard, pen, and voice recognition will form the basis for input, and than handwriting recognition will advance to the level at which we'll be able to enter data such as molecular diagrams and music. This seems not too different from Star Trek's PADD [wikipedia.org]

  • by AndroidCat (229562) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:41AM (#12973795) Homepage
    I'm happy to have the computer over there and I'm over here.

    Jeez Bill, never heard of Bluetooth?

  • by Wolfbone (668810) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:44AM (#12973809)
    William H. Gates said technology will one day allow computer implants - but hardwiring's not for him.

    Nor me - since I'd rather not end up forcibly strapped to an operating table as the BSA brain surgeons deal with my alleged patent infringements.

  • One of the things people overlook when they talk about computer implants is that it would take a surgical procedure to upgrade the hardware when/if you needed to. The more complex the technology, the more likely you'll want to improve it occasionally.
  • by SlashDread (38969) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:47AM (#12973829)
    when I can remember everything I have heard or read digitally?
  • New meaning to "blue screen of death" :(.
  • Jack into Windows? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FridayBob (619244) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:52AM (#12973847) Homepage
    I'd rather not. Imagine suffering the BSOD on a really personal level. You might end up soiling yourself as a result, or perhaps you'd be left in a catatonic state until somebody else would come by and reboot your Windows PC for you.

    But, seriously. If such an implant were ever to be made by M$, you can bet that it would never work with anybody else's software.
  • by weavermatic (868696) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:53AM (#12973853)
    I've been using WinXP pro since pre-launch, on multiple computers, with several hardware upgrades, and have never, ever, had a single BSOD. Could you Linux addicts please come up with something new to bash on Windows with other than Kernel32 era bsod insults?

    Seriously, for people that claim to know Linux inside & out and be extremely bright IT professionals, if you can't keep WinXP running smoothly then your knowledge is seriously lacking.
    • by dmaxwell (43234) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @12:01PM (#12973896)
      Seriously, for people that claim to know Linux inside & out and be extremely bright IT professionals, if you can't keep WinXP running smoothly then your knowledge is seriously lacking.

      It can be done. Much of the time, my job entails doing just that. It's just that it is more trouble and expense than it's worth.
    • by mh101 (620659) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @12:32PM (#12974024)
      I've been using WinXP pro since pre-launch, on multiple computers, with several hardware upgrades, and have never, ever, had a single BSOD

      Try pressing the power switch.

      *rimshot*

    • OK,

      1, Ad-ware / Spyware.
      2, Virus, worms, Trojans, etc.
      3, Web browser components running in kernel mode (means more 1 and 2).
      4, Difficulty to use non-privileged accounts for regular use.
      5, Too much patches that require reboot.
      6, Bloat.
      7, Slow development model that still has not delivered simple things as a tabbed browser, or other already available features.
      8, Obscene licensing terms (Ever read your EULA?).
      9, Crappy interoperability because of the lack of documentation, hidden apis, "embrace and extend" mo
    • BSOD is now a generic term for a Windows crash. By default, of course, Windows just reboots and you often don't see the blue screen, or often is just hangs at the desktop.

      Windows crashes less than it used to, but still reasonably often. I don't know a single 2000 or XP user, including me, that can honestly say they've never had Windows crash. My own experience is that it crashes more often that Solaris, BSD or Linux.
    • by dustmite (667870) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @03:27PM (#12974732)

      I've been using WinXP pro since pre-launch, on multiple computers, with several hardware upgrades, and have never, ever, had a single BSOD

      Maybe that's because WinXP's default behaviour is to spontaneously reboot rather than BSOD. It's probably happened a few times to you, and you probably just thought "WTF?" and then went on working after it restarted. I've seen XP boot up with the "... has recovered from a serious error" message many times.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Gates is a smart man. At least he won't be the one whose peripheral vision is invaded by banner ads, and he'll never see the blue screen of death again.
  • by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @11:56AM (#12973864)
    Might I suggest a new Bill Gates thumbnail based on this sexy pic [geekrant.org]?
  • I know the Microsoft employee who is whinning William about implant: Steve Ballmer.

    He's very passionate about to have an implant and keeping his monkey boy careography database in mind all the time.
  • PLUG ME IN. As long as the RIAA doesnt have access, i'm gooooood.
  • which is what Bill Gates and Microsoft are primarily...

    This makes it damn near certain that one day Bill Gates will have some sort of implant..

    Trust Murphy...

    Mr. Gates does...
  • Where is Enuch? This story would be perfect for s/he to spew forth his/her insanity about transcending humanity. If you are curious, just check out his user name and history. For once s/he could be on topic!
  • by johansalk (818687) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @01:02PM (#12974149)


    Imagine a future situation where under the guisse of equal and universal access to education it would be mandated that every child from a young age be plugged in and online. Or imagine under the guisse of fighting "terrorism" - hey, we'll still be at it as long as it's expedient and serves special interests(!) - those in power would claim that "if your got nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about!"

    Wait for it!
  • I mean, the guy still wears glasses, for chrissake. If he hasn't had his eyesight corrected via surgery, do you really think he's going to go for some borglike hardware eyeball replacement?

    Unless he's had the surgery done and just wears the glasses now as a fashion statement.
  • by Mulletproof (513805) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @01:14PM (#12974213) Homepage Journal
    I think Bill Gates has a point. When I want to leave the office, I want to leave the the office there, not take it with me everywhere I go. I'm just imagining having a pager built right into you 24/7... And that's just for starters.

    I'm sure there will be different implant levels, but nah, i think I'll pass too.
    • by Mazem (789015)
      There are a lot more uses for cyborg'ish tech than simply being a more efficient worker bee at the office.

      Need to calculate 356.31 * 2.4168. If you can't think of a situation in your daily life where you would need to do calculations like this, then you wouldn't be on /.. Well, either you could carry a calculator with you all the time, or you could just offload the calculation to your built-in math chip, and get the answer back instantly in your mind. Think of the emergent behavior your mind would come up
  • by PizzaFace (593587) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @01:23PM (#12974262)
    'One of the guys that works at Microsoft... always says to me "I'm ready, plug me in."'
    The funny thing is, Bill thinks that guy is talking about computers.
  • http://images.slashdot.org/topics/topicms.gif [slashdot.org] is the Slashdot topic icon for Microsoft and Gates. I clearly see a standard Borg equipment (from around 2364).

    Over the last years, I started to trust Slashdot more than this former CEO, so unless proven otherwise, this Gates statement might be wrong.

    I remember the CES show together with Conan O'Brian (sp?) a few months ago. You could really see his implants. It was later explained with some subdermal explosions (due to high blood pressure) in Gates' body when
  • For all /. makes fun of him, he still is one bright guy. I think the negative publicity and consequences of hard-wired implants for outweighs the benefit from the few who would want such things. The obvious exception being those who already have a major disability.
  • by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Sunday July 03, 2005 @02:37PM (#12974538)
    Imagine a beowulf cluster of ME!

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