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back to article COW a-BUNG HER, dude! 'Secret Santa' Bill Gates buys lass a HEIFER

Microsoft zillionaire Bill Gates has, in short, spent $500 on a cow for a Reddit.com user in the website's annual secret Santa gift swap. Pic of Bill Gates taken from Reddit Bill with the donation ... Beats the heck out of an iTunes gift card (Credit: NY1227) The software tycoon participated in the popular site's festive …

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Gold badge

That's actually a rather thoughtful gift. I rather like it. Nicely done, Mr. Gates. As for the lady involved...I think she took a totally unexpected brush with uber-wealth quite well. Better than I might have in her place. Nice little holiday story all around.

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Hate him but...

"Gates' donation sponsors a cow for poor farming families struggling in Africa, but that five hundred bucks is nothing compared to the $42.8m grant the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave to Heifer International in 2008"

I have to say that while I detest Bill Gates he actually seems to be doing some useful shit with the appalling amount of money he's made. Fair play to the guy, he's putting some back where others just choose to sit and count their dosh and do fuck all for the world.

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It's not only his own wealth

He's also teamed up with the like of Warren Buffet to persuade other multi-billionaires to give away large chunks of their personal fortunes... I think they use an argument along the lines of "What can you possibly spend it on anyway?"

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Re: Hate him but...

On a personal level I can't say if I hate or love him, never having met the guy. I did dislike some of Microsoft's business practice's, but that's how businesses operate, and drives new/better products ultimately.

I suspect Melinda's influence in giving it all away. Here's to her.

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Pint

Re: Hate him but...

"I have to say that while I detest Bill Gates he actually seems to be doing some useful shit with the appalling amount of money he's made. Fair play to the guy, he's putting some back where others just choose to sit and count their dosh and do fuck all for the world."

Agreed. And for that, in the unlikely event that I ever meet the guy, I'll happily buy him a pint*.

* And he can buy all of the pints for the rest of the evening. He can afford it! ;)

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Thumb Up

Re: It's not only his own wealth

"What can you possibly spend it on anyway?"

This -> Project Utopia

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Re: It's not only his own wealth

'"What can you possibly spend it on anyway?"

This -> Project Utopia'

But only if your name is Stromberg, surely!

(And I apologise for calling you Shirley)

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Bronze badge

Re: Hate him but...

And his Dad prior to Melinda IIRC from reading an autobiography a long time ago. The discussion was something like: "Don't be like Rockerfeller and those folks who left massive endowments after they died, do it now while you're alive".

Wise advice, you get to see the outcomes, it must be a very good feeling to have that much power to do good and actually do some good. And, a useful side effect, the benefit happens now rather than much later, Bill does look pretty healthy.

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Re: Hate him but...

Bill Gates is rather a good (but not unique) example of why there is no such thing as making an "appalling amount of money". The only appalling thing is doing nothing with it once you have it.

I'd sooner see Bill make effective use of billions of dollars rather than teams of civil servants squander it as is usually the case.

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Re: Hate him but...

Gates clawed his way to the top with a sociopathic need to win. Once he got married, had kids, and got older, he realized how much damage he'd caused, stopped micromanaging, set out to help the world, and eventually retired. He may be an ambivalent character overall, but he was redeemed, even if his former company still isn't perfect.

Larry Ellison on the other hand....

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Cows trump Rococo in my book.

I loathe Microsoft software, but if Bill Gates manages to spend his fortune better than countless oilmen and other industrialists, perhaps we'll all share in his terrific luck.

P.S. Bill, I'd be willing to accept $189,271 for my past troubles with your products and call us square on my end of the 'luck' sum--the bad to your good.

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Re: Cows trump Rococo in my book.

And he isn't just giving his money away and crossing his fingers... The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation take business methods to their philanthropy to get the biggest 'bang for their buck', by looking at where their money can do the most good. Their resources are such that have looked at eradicating entire diseases and other large scale projects.

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Thumb Up

Re: Cows trump Rococo in my book.

looked at eradicating entire diseases

And tackling the serious but less fashionable ones, like malaria, which needs lots of money but probably isn't going to deliver the Nobel prizes that AIDS and cancer researchers hope for. Bill has his fame/notoriety already, he can truly concentrate on "bang for the buck" in purely health terms.

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Re: Cows trump Rococo in my book.

'Bang for Buck' - also looking into unfashionable areas such as condom improvements to reduce disease spread etc. It takes business and engineering minds to approach problems without emotion etc.

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Angel

I for one am appalled.

Aren't you meant to wait until Christmas day to open your presents?

(Good on you Bill, the malaria work is also very impressive.)

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Wealth and it's uses.

Having spent half my morning messing about trying to get check boxes to work in Word, I have no real reason to have warm feelings about Bill Gates

But this is good stuff and I'm loving his work. Wealth is a funny thing and I generally find the Rich to be a pretty tedious bunch, but people like Gates do change my perception a bit and genuinely do some good in this world.

My personal favourite tycoon has always been William Morris, the motor magnate, who formed the Nuffield Foundation and said simply 'No man should die rich'.

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Malaria

It's not that malaria is less "fashionable" than cancer, it's that it no longer affects the developed countries. Malaria is an entirely eradicable disease. Until not long ago both the southern United States and southern Europe were malarial. For example during the invasion of Sicily, the disease was as much of a problem for the Allied troops as enemy action.

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We know Gates, Buffet and some of the others out there are using their good fortunes to use, but you never hear of anything from Cook, Schmidt, Jobs' estate, etc.

Once you've hit a $100 million or so, anything over really is nothing but pure greed.

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Wow, he's aged, thought it was fellow Jew Woody Allen!

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Bill Gates isn't Jewish.

He does look quite a bit older than his actual age — he's only 58 per Wikipedia. Given that he spent his professional career near Seattle, I don't think he can blame sun damage.

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Anonymous Coward

That rich dropout only has too much money because he was grossly over paid.

How wonderful for the gullible masses; I see it as what it is, a misdirection Theatre "media event"..

The economic system is so rigged that a minority of people like this lawyers son gets obscenely rich while the income of most of the people who actually do productive work has been sliding downwards for several decades, inflation and tax corrected, that is so FU, and /will/ end badly!

The FU financial system caused shares, thus executives excessive pay, to rise to ridiculous levels, because they are some of the early beneficiaries of the flood of hot fake currency coming from central banks, especially the private shareholder run FED, before this inflation causes the price of goods to rise in compensation, so making most people poorer! If the financial system was not mostly a fraudulent wealth transfer system for the rich, we would not see such obscenely rich people; rarely need to use the term millionaire, and not even need to use terms like Billionaire, or even Trillionaire for the Rothschild mafia!

It is about time this farce ended and the wealth was spread according to who genuinely earned it, not as rich whim charity crumbs which are spend abroad, either wasted, or used for seeming innocent schemes which can end up benefiting the obscenely rich indirectly e.g. Vaccination (a profitable psuedo-scientific fraud), GMOs (profitable harmful, even deadly, seed), and other misguided, stupid and nasty stuff.

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Re: That rich dropout only has too much money because he was grossly over paid.

You nearly got an upvote, until that truly, completely, utterly stupid comment about vaccination - then you showed yourself to be a moron.

Merry Christmas, especially to people working on vaccinations!

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Re: That rich dropout only has too much money because he was grossly over paid.

"not as rich whim charity crumbs which are spend abroad, either wasted,"

Only those within your own nation are worthy of assistance? My goodness that is short sighted. Will you sit back and refuse assistance from foreign aid if your government or natural environment ever screws you over?

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