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Bill Gates Answers Questions From Redditors 154

First time accepted submitter rroman writes "Bill Gates is answering questions on reddit. He talks about the work that is being done by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, about his life and about his opinions on various topics." Jump right to the answers.
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Bill Gates Answers Questions From Redditors

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  • Re:Looking forward (Score:5, Interesting)

    by earlzdotnet ( 2788729 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:03PM (#42867289)
    I think we've all moved on to Steve Ballmer being an idiot rather than Bill Gates being evil
  • Good Read (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GreggBz ( 777373 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:07PM (#42867311) Homepage
    This really is an excellent AMA. It's good to see Mr. Gates mixing witty one-liners with several long, open and thoughtful answers.

    In a weird way I wish that this was the Bill Gates that was still leading Microsoft. I mean, in that alternate universe it certainly wouldn't be all rainbows and freedom, but at least Microsoft would be a company that I could understand. These days, I have no clue where Microsoft is going and it kind of makes me sad that they are becoming a weaker, less competent rival to their open source and corporate opposition. Ah well, It's likely better that he's taken his drive and his billions and put it towards a noble cause.
  • Handwriting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:16PM (#42867369) Journal

    Robots, pervasive screens, speech interaction will all change the way we look at "computers". Once seeing, hearing, and reading (including handwriting) work very well you will interact in new ways..

    I'm very surprised he's still hung up on handwriting recognition. It is a DEAD END for human interfacing to a computer (with the sole exception of OCRing existing handwritten documents, and perhaps security as a form of credential). Think about it for one moment, the amount of muscle control, precision and time required to DRAW A SHAPE which is then interpreted as a single input glyph. It is a horribly slow and tedious method of input - I would rather (and literally have) key Morse Code into my android phone than write text.

    It also shows he's still a bit out of touch, and still thinking stylus-centric (which, IMO, was one of the reasons Window Mobile / Windows CE failed, was because it never completely shook the stylus-required-to-interact-with-tiny-widgets problem). Is a person really expected to draw on a modern touch screen with their finger to write letters for the device to recognize (and feel like a preschooler fingerpainting)? Or are we going to step back into having to keep track of a stylus?

    Just found it odd he threw in handwriting in this day and age. It was beat to death with Palm starting a decade and a half ago. It's gone. Dead. Byebye.

  • Re:Handwriting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kwyj1b0 ( 2757125 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @09:42PM (#42867515)

    Just found it odd he threw in handwriting in this day and age. It was beat to death with Palm starting a decade and a half ago. It's gone. Dead. Byebye.

    There was another article which stated that paper-and-pencils are the best tools in the classroom. While handwriting recognition (like all technologies) has had its hype, it is now becoming a serious tool. The stylus is actually a nice way to get work done on a computer in many technical fields (where drawings and notes are the way the people communicate).

    I know faculty and students who use OneNote/EndNote and really like the Ink-to-Math and Ink-to-Text functionality.

  • by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @10:22PM (#42867721)

    From my observation of 10ish years on slashdot (I didn't register until some time of lurking,) slashdot *was* almost entirely in favor of apple, but no longer.

    The common argument in favor of apple at the time was how open they are (e.g. using posix rules, incorporating samba, etc.) I frequently pointed out that if apple was as dominant as microsoft, they would impose far worse restrictions on user freedom than microsoft ever did. I was shot down at the time, but it turns out that I was right.

    Anyways, most of slashdot now agrees with that assessment and is largely anti-apple these days.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351