back to article Bill Gates nicks Larry Ellison's health center

The Bill Gates-Steve Jobs rivalry may have cooled, but the Microsoft Chairman is still going to toe-to-toe with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. A year after Ellison backed out of his promise to fund a multi-million dollar public health institute at Harvard University, Gates has revived the project at the University of Washington. On …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yep M$ is Satan

    Granted, some of their technology leaves a bit to be desired among nerdy techie types but you gotta Bill credit for trying to help the rest of the (non-tech) world.

  2. Don Mitchell


    The foundation is doing impressive things. And with all the gratuitous criticism of Windows, personal computers have changed the world for the better and in a way that the UNIX community never did until they felt themselves marginalized.

  3. Brett Brennan

    Something about Vanderbilt and Rockefeller here...

    If I recall my history properly, the last "big wave" of philanthropy of this scale was promulgated by those wonderful humanitarians with names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Peabody, etc. You know, the ones that caused the passage of the Sherman anti-trust act and regularly sent out squads of hired goons (Pinkertons) to coerce their workers back into death-trap factories. Ah, yes, a fine American tradition is being upheld...

  4. Neil Cooper

    Gates Foundation

    I wish they'd do something, anything, for environmental/wildlife/animal charities rather than just those that are human/health-related.

    The last thing this planet needs is more people.

  5. Aubry Thonon

    Little test...

    Let's do a little test here, shall we? How long do you reckon the funding'll last if IMHE decides to install Macs and/or *nix boxes in their labs and offices?

  6. Chris

    Credit where its due

    First off, I hate Bill Gates. He has prospered and profited through the use of illegal and unethical means, by illegally crushing and restricting competition, while at the same time giving the world an unstable, easily-exploitable product. And he knows it. Vista is the worst, with it's built-in obsolescence mechanism (being that Vista needs to "phone home" every so often, or else it thinks it's a pirated copy; how long will Microsoft keep that "phone home" server operational once the next version of Windows is released?).

    Yes, Bill has more money than god. He has more money than he knows what to do with. He has more money than he'll ever be able to spend.

    All of that being said, it's still good to see that at least some of the money is going to try to help people. of course, if he sold Windows at a reasonable price, I'd gladly and voluntarily donate the difference to the charity of my choice.

    As for the Vanderbilt/Rockerfeller comment, my take on that is that the only way anyone can give a gift of that magnitude is if they are insanely rich. And you can only get insanely rich by (in effect) stealing from other people. The size of gifts/donations doesn't mean anything to me when trying to judge how generous a person (or company) is. It's the percentage of their income/worth that matters to me. A person making $25,000 a year who gives $2,000 to charity is more generous (in my eyes) than a person making $1.6mil a year who gives $100,000.

    Lastly, I agree that the environment, wildlife, and animal rescue need more support. We humans have this obsession of strip-mining every morsel of land we find, and then moving on to strip-mine more. We destroy everything in our path. At the rate we are heading, it is only a matter of time before we make this earth uninhabitable. Though while it would be sad to see the earth and the wildlife die off, it would be a blessing in disguise for mankind to force itself into extinction.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "The last thing this planet needs is more people"

    Well it seems to me that we're already doing a bang-up job in keeping the numbers down - by simply ignoring Darfur, for example (one of many, actually).

  8. Chris Miller

    I wonder why

    ... all the misanthropes who feel that having a greater number of healthier human beings is "the last thing the planet needs" don't just top themselves and do Gaia a favour? Of course, they might feel slightly differently if their children were dying of entirely preventable diseases.

  9. James Anderson Silver badge


    Don "personal computers have changed the world for the better"

    They may well have but they hard work was done by apple, tandy IBM et all.

    The personal computer revolution would have happened whatever brand name was on the OS, and it would probably have been a more intersting, and we certainly would have better PCs if MS didnt engineer a monoply.

    However being rather too good at business does not make Bill an evil person!

    Does seem reminisent of Andrew Carneigie though ruthless monopolist and cruel employer -- yet he is remembered for a Hall and a Library or two;

  10. David Griffin

    Bill Gates is Robin Hood

    Don't get me wrong - I don't enjoy Windows and since W98SE and Office 97 I feel it has all been going backwards.

    But the people that Bill takes money off can afford it (anyone with a PC is probably in the richest 5% on the planet) and the people that benefit from the Bill and Mel foundation are often some of the poorest.

    And you have a choice (many different flavours of Linux).

    Contrast with Steve Jobs (the hereo of the hour).

    When did I last read about the contributions made by the Jobs foundation to anything ? Er....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of Carnegie.

    Amongst other things the public baths and library in Sowerby Bridge were funded by the Carnegie foundation, I used to use them.

  12. Eduard Coli

    Maybe this sums it up somewhat

    "I have 100 billion dollars... You realize I could spend 3 million

    dollars a day, every day, for the next 100 years? And that's if I

    don't make another dime. Tell you what-I'll buy your right arm for a

    million dollars. I give you a million bucks, and I get to sever your

    arm right here."

    --Bill Gates

  13. Mike Silver badge

    Inevitable revolution

    "The personal computer revolution would have happened ..."

    Maybe, but not quite the way it did. It was the flakey coding of IBM PC software (notably the IBM BIOS and Flight Simulator) that was death for "MSDOS Compatible" systems. CP/M systems could innovate in hardware because the OS actually did its job, but on the PC, you had to be bug-for-bug compatible to sell at all. This led to the commoditization of the hardware, which led to prices dropping like a stunned pigeon.

    We might have a lot neater computers today if the PC hadn't unfolded the way it did, but there would be fewer of them, and they'd be more expensive.


  14. Fred Fnord



    ... all the misanthropes who feel that having a greater number of healthier human beings is "the last thing the planet needs" don't just top themselves and do Gaia a favour? Of course, they might feel slightly differently if their children were dying of entirely preventable diseases.


    Hint: most of us don't have children. Because the last thing the world needs is more human beings.


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