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

by replicant108 (#40626665) Attached to: Melinda Gates Pledges $560 Million For Contraception

> 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

by replicant108 (#40626465) Attached to: Melinda Gates Pledges $560 Million For Contraception

> 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

by replicant108 (#40607945) Attached to: SOPA Provisions Being Introduced Piecemeal From Lamar Smith

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

by replicant108 (#39984315) Attached to: Britain Bringing Out 'Sonic Gun' For Olympics Security

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:Again Kickstarter is used to rob the commons (Score 1) 114

GitHub are really well positioned to provide a crowdfunding platform for FOSS projects.

I suspect that, with the success of Kickstarter and other similar sites, it's only a matter of time before someone makes the model work for commons-based stuff.

Comment: Re:Openess (Score 3, Insightful) 180

by replicant108 (#29747171) Attached to: How Nokia Learned To Love Openness

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

by replicant108 (#27760421) Attached to: Is Apache Or GPL Better For Open-Source Business?

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

by replicant108 (#27465597) Attached to: North Korea Launches "Communication Satellite" Rocket

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

by replicant108 (#26750151) Attached to: Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

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

by replicant108 (#26741901) Attached to: Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

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".

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story

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

by replicant108 (#26740263) Attached to: Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

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.

Comment: Re:The new Gates (Score 3, Informative) 841

by replicant108 (#26737771) Attached to: Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

The Gates Foundation only gives away 5% of its value every year. The rest is re-invested to maximise profit.

By transferring his wealth to a foundation, Gates has managed to:

a) minimise his tax liabilities
b) maintain control of his wealth (and use it in support of his fight against free software and generic drugs)
c) invest in restoring his reputation (which, for those with short memories, was damaged by his involvement in criminal behaviour )

Furthermore, investigations have found that the Foundation's attitude to ethical investment to be lacking.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story?coll=la-home-headlines

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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