Close the Gates


Smile for the Camera!

Bill Gates wants people to think he's Edison, when he's really Rockefeller.
Referring to Gates as the smartest man in America isn't right.
Wealth isn't the same thing as intelligence.

- Larry Ellison

I don't think there's anything unique about human intelligence.
All the neurons in the brain that make up perceptions and emotions operate in a binary fashion.

- Bill Gates

Who Knew?


Bill Gates was arrested for running a red light and driving without a license in New Mexico in 1977.  Two years earlier he had received tickets for speeding and driving without a license.  Why would he repeatedly drive without a license?  Did he not have one?

I would guess he doesn't get many traffic tickets these days...

The Plot to Get Bill Gates

by Gary Rivlin

To understand the magnitude of Bill Gates, one must first understand the people who hate him, most of whom suffer from an acute case of "Bill Envy."

The Plot to Get Bill Gates is the true, hilarious story of a loosely knit cabal of Silicon Valley's wealthiest and most successful leaders and their quest to defeat the richest man in the world.  These leaders are known within Microsoft as Captain Ahab's Club for their self-destructive fixation with harpooning the Great White Whale of Redmond, all two hundred pounds and $50 billion of him.  Acclaimed journalist Gary Rivlin tells their tale as a high-tech variation on Moby-Dick, and by taking us deep inside the world of Gates and his enemies, he vividly reveals their consuming obsession.

Lead players in The Plot are Lawrence Ellison of Oracle, Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems, Ray Noorda of Novell, Marc Andreessen and James Barksdale of Netscape, Philippe Kahn of Borland, and Gary Kildall (the unsung programmer who could have been Gates), with special guest appearances by venture capitalist John Doerr, consumer activist Ralph Nader, zealous attorney Gary Reback, and the Fraternal Order of Antitrust Lawyers.  The author describes each man's ill-fated attempt at besting Gates, who seems to become bigger, hungrier, and more dangerous after each attack.

Rivlin also conducts an in-depth investigation of Gates himself, examining each crucial step in the ascension of the slope-shouldered billionaire with bad hair and unearthing the most telling details to explain why Gates is so rich and we aren't.  (The short answer: monomania.)  Rivlin concludes with an illuminating analysis of Microsoft's latest upgrade of its CEO, Gates 3.1, which seems to be operating with fewer bugs than previous incarnations.

Gary Rivlin's reporting is irreverent and intellectually independent, free of the romanticised portraits and techno-hype perpetuated by many in the media.  As an award-winning political reporter, he brings a fresh perspective to the avaricious, bloodthirsty behaviour of these new icons.  The result is a savagely funny morality play about big business at the century's end.


"You really Do Make Your Own Luck" Says Scientist

New research suggests people are not born lucky but create and improve their own good fortune as they go through life.  Psychologist Dr Richard Wiseman spent 10 years looking for the elusive "luck factor" and trying to understand the psychology behind good fortune.  Dr Wiseman, who heads a research unit at the University of Hertfordshire, studied the lives of 400 of the luckiest and unluckiest people.  He found that those with charmed lives are, without realising it, using four basic principles to create good fortune for themselves.

bulletThe first principle of the lucky is that they maximise their opportunities.  They are skilled at creating, noticing and acting upon chances through networking, adopting a relaxed attitude to life and by being open to new experiences.
bulletSecondly, Dr Wiseman discovered that people who appear to have good fortune tend to make effective decisions by acting on their intuition and gut feelings.  They also take steps to boost their intuitive skills, such as clearing their mind of other thoughts or meditating.
bulletThirdly, lucky people go through life expecting good fortune and in the certainty that the future will be positive.  These expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies by helping lucky people persist in the face of failure and shape their interactions with others in a positive way.
bulletThe fourth principle Dr Wiseman found is that lucky people have the ability to turn bad fortune into good luck.  They usually employ various psychological techniques to cope with and often even thrive upon any ill fortune that comes their way.

Source: Friday 3 January 2003

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