back to article RISE of the MACHINES and Bitcoin: Bill Gates' Reddit tech predictions

Bill Gates has engaged in a Q&A on Reddit to dispel some of the myths about himself and to ask for the internet community's help in spreading the truth about US foreign aid. "That's the biggest myth about me: this idea that I'm the biggest philanthropist," he said in a video presentation. "I'm not sacrificing and living in …


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  1. Hud Dunlap

    He taking his cues from Andrew Carnegie

    Massively screw people over to get rich and then give back a small percentage and people thing you are a great guy.

    Never thought he was the worlds biggest philanthropist.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: He taking his cues from Andrew Carnegie

      Check your facts, douche.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He taking his cues from Andrew Carnegie

      Think about all the poor corporations he hurt. How long shall they kill our profits, while we stand aside and look? Some say it's just a part of it ... Somewhere a native American looks upon the ruins of Netscape with a lone tear rolling down his cheek.

      Indeed, they were jerks. But let's have some perspective.

    3. Robert Grant

      Re: He taking his cues from Andrew Carnegie

      So what you're saying is that it's cool that he wants to clear up that point. Well done.

  2. JDX Gold badge

    Very interesting reddit.

    Recommend taking 5-10min to read through it yourselves. Lots of nice things there.

    Also Meredith (though I don't know the reddit culture enough to know if that was real or a joke).

  3. gary27

    worlds most effective philanthropist

    It's sad that there are so many pathetic pondlife individuals, who have done nothing with their own lives, so they moan and complain about those that have been successful and have made a huge contribution to humanity - such as mr Gates.

    Yes he had luck being in the right place at right time - having access to computers 15 years before uk's rubbish education system for example - but he saw the opportunity and most importantly actualy did something about it - unlike 99% who talk hot air but do nothing - he executed spectacularly successfully - he didn't screw people - ibm where muppets at the time the owner of dr dos was too stupid and arrogant to even meet ibm, so left to his wife to do the meeting!

    Nobody has ever forced anyone to buy Microsoft - they offered great products such as windows 95 and excel which provided massive value.

    Mr Gates does not have to spend so much money and time charity - but he does - amazes me that so many cynical idiots, somehow construe this as bad ! like the idiots who blame record cold in us on global warming.

    He's doing wonderful work and getting much better bang for buck than most non profits who are - lets face it not well run in general - thats why Warren Buffett has committed his $50 billion to gates to distribute - which is astonishing and proves what a genius and good guy Bill really is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm not sure I'd go as far as calling him a good guy

      But one thing is clear: not only does he give vast amounts of cash to philanthropic causes, he is very smart about it, sets goals (re-designing the toilet or reducing deaths from malaria) and will ultimately (I believe) help save/improve a lot of lives.

  4. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit


    "But such money needs to be traceable, unlike Bitcoin he noted."

    The brown beer tokens in my pocket aren't traceable, there's no way to establish who's hands they have been through until now. Did I get them from a cash point, as change from a purchase or as a gift? No way to know. Physical notes are uniquely identifiable by the serial number and can be verified as genuine by those who know. Digital currencies must be identifiable and verifiable but why traceable? I'm sure the spooks would love it but that's no reason at all in my book.

    1. poopypants

      Re: Why?

      If money is used to buy slaves or illegal arms or drugs, it would be useful to know where it came from.

      1. dogged

        Re: Why?

        I don't buy that for a moment. You'd just use a different and non-traceable currency if you were buying hot-button items like those.

        Unless you were planning a single world currency but that would also require a single world bank and a single base taxation system.

        None of those are actually terrible ideas, unless you let Americans near them.

  5. NormDP

    What chutzpah! If he's not the world's biggest philanthropist, why isn't he!? He's the world's richest man, isn't he?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You miss the point. he may be the richest man but for a start believe Warren Buffet has pledged more of his cash - but we are talking many billions from each. The point was he may be giving up a load of cash but it's not affecting his life doing so - i.e. he's still enough cash to do whatever he wants / needs - whereas other people are giving up more (not just cash) of what they have.

    2. Stuart Castle

      I think you've missed the point. The point he was making was that he can give billions. He can help entire countries with his wealth and he will still have enough money to live comfortably on. But, he doesn't think that he is a hero for doing that. He thinks the real heroes are the ones actually "on the ground" helping those in need directly, and also those that don't have much money, but give some anyway.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > What chutzpah!

      Norm, I don't know how much money he gives. OTOH he says he invests about 2/3 of his time on charity work. Being a high profile individual he's rather more likely to be successful at motivating and persuading others and ultimately getting things done.

      Now, may I ask you:

      1. What percentage of your net worth do you contribute to charity?

      2. How many hours a week do you contribute to charity?

      3. What influence, expertise, or other non-tangibles do you contribute to charity, in addition to that mentioned above?

      4. Why does he not say "Hey! Someone should do this! (Just not me, you understand)"?

      Luckily we have you here to take care of point 4.

  6. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    While I detest a lot of Microsoft software, Microsoft the faceless corporation mired in it's own self-inflicted hell and the predatory manner in which Microsoft operated at times, I do respect what they have done and what they have built.

    Bill Gates was instrumental to a lot of this and regardless of his business actions, he's still a human and while I don't agree with all of his personal views, I agree with some and respect the others or just appreciate his angle on them. In other words, just like most of us, he is human and he has his own passions, beliefs and even a sense of humour... :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Everyone on here seems to detest Microsoft and Apple for a start - but Google seem pretty much ok (despite being worth more than Microsoft and only second to Apple now). Google are effectively tax on every purchase you make as businesses basically have to use Adwords to get found and even if business A does not businesses B, C and D (their suppliers) probably do.

      At least with Microsoft and Apple you choose whether to buy their products.

      And don't get me started on privacy...

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        "Everyone on here seems to detest Microsoft and Apple for a start - but Google seem pretty much ok (despite being worth more than Microsoft and only second to Apple now). Google are effectively tax on every purchase you make as businesses basically have to use Adwords to get found and even if business A does not businesses B, C and D (their suppliers) probably do."

        You must be new here. Otherwise you would have noticed that a fair old number of posters express a lot of distrust and dislike for Google and their increasingly intrusive ways.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If McDonalds were a charity, your mom would be the world's "biggest" philanthropist. Literally.

  8. sisk Silver badge

    Bitcoin IS tracable

    Every single Bitcoin transaction is out there in the blockchain for the world to examine. Most of those transactions, if you follow the trail long enough, will lead to a wallet tied to someone's account on Mt. Gox or some other exchange where you can trade 'real' money for virtual currency, and most of those exchanges will tell you who owns said account if you slap them with a court order. Failing that they'll probably also lead you to an online store that has to have the customer's shipping address on file, and if they're in the US (or, probably, anywhere else in the 1st world) they can be served a court order to hand over that information. All in all it's less anonymous and more traceable than cash or precious gems (excluding diamonds).

    Basically the BC is semi-anonymous, but if the authorities feel the need to track you down through your transactions they can easily do so.

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Bitcoin IS tracable

      Now now, you are talking tech here- it should be clear that it's not Billg's strong point, so you should cut him some slack here...

  9. IGnatius T Foobar

    Gates FAIL

    First of all, the money Gates gives to charity doesn't even begin to make up for the raping, pillaging, lying, cheating, and stealing Microsoft did to take in that money. End of *that* discussion.

    As for what Gates thinks is going to be big in the next wave of technology -- based on his track record, I think it's safe to say that whatever Gates thinks is going to be big, go focus on something else.

    1. Shane Sturrock

      Re: Gates FAIL

      I agree. I'm old enough to remember the microsoft of old when Bill was in charge. It was under his tenure that MS was dragged into court multiple times for anticompetitive behaviour. The company built a monopoly by shutting out competition after they got a lucky initial start with DOS (bought from a poor shmoe in Seattle) and then took many iterations to get their version of Xerox' GUI to be anything like as good as Apple's (remember Apple paid Xerox in Apple shares for access to the technology, Bill just stole it) and they got to power by being cheap. Then along comes Linux which is even cheaper and the dirty tricks really started (Halloween documents anyone?)

      Once the courts found them guilty and should have broken the company up, Bush came in and killed that so they then became the Ballmer run has been we see now. Can this new guy turn the ship around now that they've lost the bi-annual upgrade revenue with many people running their PCs for much longer and buying portable computers AKA tablets and phones instead of a hulking box stuck on a desk (remember you couldn't buy a PC without a new Windows license even if you already had one because they weren't transferable, and yes, you could build your own and migrate across but most people didn't and those sales were like printing money for MS)

      I can see what Gates is doing with the money that should be good (although I always worry that the money will come with ties such as when he wants to encourage children to program but only on Windows) but we should remember how he got here and not be fooled by the image he is carefully presenting today.

      As for his predictive ability, yes he completely missed a lot (MSN?) but even when he is onto a good idea it generally gets hobbled by MS tying it to other products and if you don't go all the way with MS it is difficult to go anywhere. That's where Google wins these days. We dumped Office largely not because Google products were better, they're not, but the interoperability is there and we can access the material from any device anywhere. That's important and when you compare the cost against the MS options there's no contest.

  10. Herby Silver badge

    Maybe he will BUILD a nuclear power plant

    And show everyone that it can be done. It would be a nice change of pace.

    It is not that he can afford it, but it might be called a "major purchase".

    p.s. The Columbia River has lots of cooling fluid to use, and it borders Washington State.

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