Bill Gates: The Mosquito Prankster

Who knew that Bill Gates could be this "funny"?

LONG BEACH, California (AFP) – Microsoft founder turned disease-battling philanthropist Bill Gates loosed mosquitoes at an elite Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference to make a point about the deadly sting of malaria.

"Malaria is spread by mosquitoes," Gates said while opening a jar onstage at a gathering known to attract technology kings, politicians, and Hollywood stars.

"I brought some. Here I'll let them roam around. There is no reason only poor people should be infected."

Gates waited a minute or so before assuring the audience the liberated insects were malaria-free.

Well, I guess if he made a mistake, and a mosquito or two did have malaria, Bill Gates has the money to fight off some of the lawsuits (although not as much money as he used to have -- so he had better be more careful).

Pirates of Silicon Valley

I just watched Pirates of Silicon Valley (again). It was originally a TNT made-for-TV movie, it came out on DVD/VHS a few years back, and apparently it is on YouTube as well. For a techy person like me, this movie was really good. For a non-techy person, this movie should be quite good as well. It stars Noah Wyle (of ER fame) as Steve Jobs (of Apple fame), and Anthony Michael Hall (of Breakfast Club fame) as Bill Gates (of filthy rich -- errrr, Microsoft fame).

It is set from 1971 to 1984 (with a glimpse of 1997) and discusses the rise of these two powerhouse companies -- how Apple "stole" all the constructs for the Macintosh OS from Xerox Parc, and, in a weird sense of irony, how Microsoft stole the constructs for Windows from Apple Macintosh.

The movie really shows, whether true or not, interesting sides of both Jobs and Gates; their business savvy, their quirks and their relationship together. I personally like the way the movies personifies Jobs as a brilliant mind, yet a man who sometimes has a distorted view of reality around family and work (e.g. around his daughter Lisa, whom he claimed was not his, but he named a computer after)

In the end, we all know what happened. Gates got the better of Jobs. Microsoft won, owned the 1990s, and Apple has been playing underdog and catchup ever since. But, since 2000, Apple has coming on very strong and is really a formidable force in both hardware and software nowadays -- all due to Jobs returning as leader of Apple back in late 1997. Hey, I am writing this on a MacBook Pro running OS X Leopard.

This is a popular interpretation of how Apple and Microsoft got their starts and the relationship between Apple/Jobs and Microsoft/Gates. I don't know if the movie provides *the* truth or not; I wasn't there. But still.....great movie!