Summary: How Bill Gates really started his career of monopoly abuse, lobbying, and PR
Bill Gates runs a massive PR campaign which we no longer cover as much as we used to. The tricks he uses are repeatedly pulled, so we covered most of them already (in one context or another). Gates found ways to help people forget the crimes he committed and distract from the fact that he keeps getting richer, in part thanks to his lobbying (he got $7 billion richer last year alone). Unlike Aaron Swartz, Gates was never at risk of going to jail. When he got arrested his rich parents bailed him out. But little is ever said about how he was breaking expensive systems for personal gain. Here is another reminder from the news:
In 1970, a 14-year-old boy dialed into a nationwide computer network, uploaded a virus he had written and caused the entire network to crash.
That boy was Bill Gates. Five years later, he founded Microsoft.
A few years later, two young men went around college dorms in California selling boxes of wires that let students bypass telephone-company restrictions and make long-distance calls for free.
Anyway, these are hardly role models. And they did none of this in the interest of civil rights.
It is worth mentioning that Gates’ jobs destroyer, Microsoft, killed the mobile world leader while trying to exploit it and that, as Pogson puts it, the Wintel era is ending. “Now,” he says, “that doesn’t mean 15% of users rely solely on smartphones for Internet access but surveys report that a good number do operate that way. As Wintel PCs age or die and are not replaced, that share will increase. I expect all that is holding back that growth is the high cost of Internet access over wifi. In countries where ISPs are often wifi only, the share is much higher. In Kenya, for instance where wired access is largely skipped to save cost, 34% of Internet access is via smart thingies.” This trend shows lack of foresight from Microsoft and Gates. They are used to destroying or buying (at times stealing) stuff, not creating stuff. █
“The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”