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Comment Re:Buying Windows does some good in the world! (Score 0) 451

> What marketing does Bill and Melinda Gates need?

Like most people they are concerned for their own reputations. Marketing is a way of addressing that concern.

> Could you be any more selfish and bitter?

It is interesting how vehemently people defend the virtue of Mr and Mrs Gates. Why the emotional atttachment?

Comment Re:Philanthropy (Score 1) 451

> it doesn't matter what the motivation for doing it is, the end result is what is important.

For someone who doesn't believe that the motivation matters, you have a very strong opinion on the topic

> When every conceivable want and desire is met, what is left but to be generous to your fellow man?

I seriously doubt that the wealthy are free from want and desire. Do you have any evidence to support this unusual idea?

It seems more likely to me that this is an example of people pursuing other common desires - the desire for reputation and the desire for influence.

I really don't think this is cynicism, by the way. Rather, it is expecting rich people to behave like anyone else.

Comment Re:Irony (Score 3, Insightful) 134

This is exactly why the digital rights activists need to go on the offensive. As long as we are continually on the defensive we are vulnerable to aggressive industry lobbying. Legislation needs to be promoted and passed that will solidify protection for digital rights, and weaken the position of our opponents. In strategic terms, we need to take the battle to the enemy.

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 1) 193

I agree with your sentiment generally, but this part is completely wrong:

"When the IRA were blowing up buildings every few months or so the UK never resorted to police state tactics and it never militarized the police."

Resorting to police state tactics and militarizing the police is exactly what they did in Northern Ireland I'm the 70s and 80s. I know because I grew up there. What is happening in England now is merely the chickens coming home to roost.

Comment Re:Openess (Score 3, Insightful) 180

Apple looked at the same problem that Nokia is looking at and decided that since they had an operating system in house already, it made more sense to just modify it then modifying someone else's open operating system.

Except that Apple's operating system is based on modifying 'someone else's open operating system'.

Comment Re:Tell you my "stragetgy" (Score 2, Insightful) 370

The second I want to make any contributions, depending on how I used the GPL code, my entire portfolio might be in legal jeopardy.

Firstly, "making contributions" does not normally trigger the GPL.

Secondly, the GPL does not put your portfolio "in legal jeopardy". The worst case scenario is that you have to remove (somebody else's) GPL'ed code from your portfolio.

Finally, it is copyright law which makes this a requirement, not GPL.

Comment Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (Score 1) 492

I can write an opinion piece to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution declaring the President to be a bumbling buffoon, calling every Senator in Washington a bunch of dirty names, and expressing the opinion that Georgia's governor has terrible taste in suits. I run zero risk of being arrested for these acts.

You also run zero risk of being published.

Comment Re:The new Gates (Score 1) 841

Bill Gates has already given away a huge chunk of his money, and will have given away the vast majority of it by the time he dies.

But the Foundation actually increases the amount of money he controls rather than reducing it. Granted there are restrictions on what he can do with that money, but as I pointed out before the rules permit him to use that money to exercise political influence and enhance his personal reputation. These things are of more value to Bill than buying another car or house.

Secondly, it's his wealth. He wants to see it go where it will do what he wants.

You seem to be contradicting yourself here. How can it be his wealth if he has given it away?

Thirdly - whatever douchebag. He's never been convicted of any kind of felony, and neither has Microsoft.

Microsoft has been found guilty of criminal behaviour (under Bill's watch) in both American and European courts.

Comment Re:The new Gates (Score 2, Insightful) 841

No, the rest is reinvested to "allow for the continued funding of foundation programs and grant making".

But they do this by "investing for profit".


The point is that the focus on maximising ROI inevitably means that ethical considerations come second.

The goal is to keep the foundation around forever so that it can continuously hand out money forever.

Since Bill controls the Foundation, it is effectively he who is handing out the money.

This clearly gives him a great deal of economic and political power.

For example most people have access to investment funds like 401k and such, however, I'm pretty sure nobody really looks at the list of companies or bothers to keep track of the list of companies within each fund.

Unlike most investment funds, the raison d'etre of the Foundation is supposedly humanitarianism.

Given that ROI comes before humanitarianism in 95% of its investments, one cannot help but feel that there is some hypocrisy involved.

Comment Re:The new Gates (Score 0, Troll) 841

If you want to say that he "maintains control of his wealth", understand that means that he can control which cause gets the money, not go buy a Ferrari.

It should be obvious that exercising political influence is more important to Bill than owning another car.

The Foundation allows him to use his wealth for this purpose, while also accessing the other benefits I mentioned.

I'm not saying Bill is a good man, or that it's even excusable, just that I don't think his motivations were entirely selfish.

My point was that his motivations are probably less altruistic than they appear, not that they are entirely selfish.

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles