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Gates Nose-Dives at CES 1451

Lots of submissions this morning about Bill Gates' performance at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. His Media Center PC presentation crashed. (The presentation is online.) He also gave an interview to CNET, where he described anyone who doesn't support ever-increasing intellectual property laws as "communists". Boingboing has some commentary on that interview as well.
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Gates Nose-Dives at CES

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  • Where is that video (Score:4, Informative)

    by suso ( 153703 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:52AM (#11274521) Homepage Journal
    someone provide a link to the video where Windows 98 crashed on Gates and former MS employee at Comdex in Chicago circa 1998.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:56AM (#11274556)
    • Time of crash (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      For those interested, the crash for this year's CES happens at about 26 minutes in.
  • by beeglebug ( 767468 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:52AM (#11274523)
    Fly the flag with pride comrades! []
    • by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:55AM (#11274543) Homepage
      In Soviet, erm...

      I'm sure there's a joke here somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is. ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:09AM (#11274667)
      Actually, isn't a government granted monopoly (copyright) and "incentives" more communist than capitalist? Do we really need to pour millions of dollars into the pockets of the recording industry and artists? I mean, I accept the premise that entertainment is worth money, but when one organization controls the distribution channels, content, and advertisement, where's the competition?
    • Eh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:15AM (#11274710) Homepage Journal
      Shows you what you know. Flags are for fat old aparachnik fogies. All the cool revolutionaries know you wave bloody shirts.

      To the barricades!

    • by Benanov ( 583592 ) <brian.kemp@membe ... minus physicist> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:16AM (#11274726) Journal
      That should be a patent-unencumbered PNG! Where is your sense of decency, comrade? :)
    • by maynard ( 3337 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:30AM (#11274892) Journal
      "Fly the [boing!boing! USSR/Copyleft] flag with pride comrades!"

      NONONONONO!!! I know you're trying to be funny, but I'm not laughing... The last thing free software proponents need is to associate themselves with a failed economic ideology that has resulted in tens of millions of unnecessary deaths worldwide. Free Software has nothing to do with statist communism and everything to do with individual freedom of association and collaboration. When Bill Gates frames the debate between the capitalists on his side and communists on the other, the last thing to do is embrace the presuppositions of his frame! Down that road evokes an ideological wasteland of failure! Do copyleft supporters want to associate themnselves with that? --M
      • by plumby ( 179557 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:29AM (#11275598)
        Free Software has nothing to do with statist communism and everything to do with individual freedom of association and collaboration.

        And statist 'communism' as practiced in places like the USSR and China has very little to do with real communist/socialist theory.

    • by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:30AM (#11275611) Homepage
      A better picture [].
  • by bitswapper ( 805265 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:53AM (#11274530)
    Never show up at an event hosted by a comedian.
    Using Windows.
  • by millennial ( 830897 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:53AM (#11274537) Journal
    I always knew Gates was a robot. Now they installed SP2 on him, and LOOK WHAT HAPPENS! Increased security, my foot!
  • by Sottilde ( 836088 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:54AM (#11274541)
    I wish they'd stop developing new, useless BS out at Microsoft and get to work on bug fixes.
    • by Asprin ( 545477 ) <<gsarnold> <at> <>> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:06AM (#11274638) Homepage Journal

      Agreed - the last paragraph of that sfgate piece really sez it all:

      "While Microsoft's goal is to turn the PC into a superhub that does everything -- plays music, works as a cell phone, stores your photos -- they're running up against the fact that most people buy discreet components that do particular things."

      Personally, I kinda like having seams of one sort or another. They are boundries around systems that restrict their awareness and let me take control of them again when I need to.
      • by Dogers ( 446369 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:23AM (#11274807)
        That, and your data/life doesnt get held hostage when something goes wrong with it!
      • by Twanfox ( 185252 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:25AM (#11274840)
        To heck with taking control of them, I just want the devices discreet and seperate so that, god forbid, my DVD player take a dump on me, I can still watch TV, watch a VHS tape, play a game on a console, or look up my email on my computer. The 'One Box Does It All' mentality may simplify what you have to carry or buy, but it also represents a single point of failure for a large number of services. Getting it repaired, especially if it's out of warrenty, can be a major pain in the ass.

        (Only one device I've ever really had repaired was my Minidisc player, twice, and that was under CircuitCity's own extended warrenty. Took weeks to get it back, though thankfully it did come back fixed, or at least with an explaination as to a point of failure like the power adaptor. TV, Microwave, my Clie.. it's almost cheaper to just buy a new one since it is generally designed to just barely outlive it's warrenty)
  • by G-Licious! ( 822746 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:54AM (#11274542) Homepage
    I'm going to accuse them of being modern day capitalists.
    Sounds just as bad to me.
    • by Lifewish ( 724999 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:05AM (#11274630) Homepage Journal
      a) Calling free culture advocates commies shows a... slight misunderstanding of the two ideologies. At its best, Communism was never particularly concerned with the individual (possibly why it is so successful in the Confucian environment of China).

      b) Arguing that "Communist" is not a pejorative is likely to go down like a lead balloon in much of America. The McCarthy witchhunts were ludicrous but they happened for a reason. Communists *were* the enemy - defending them carries the same overtones as defending Naziism to the French.
      • by lenski ( 96498 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:23AM (#11274805)
        There is communism (insane totalitarianism found in USSR and an earlier China) but they never achieved that Marx wrote about. No "government" ever has (In the '60's and '70's people had communes, but they always broke apart on the shoals of human nature). The people who started "communist" revolutions never completed the process. I don't call those insane assholes "communists", they are insane oligarchs, just like the Czarist regime before them.

        There was a time when the new government in this continent did something that had not been done before or since: They *gave up power*, placing that power in the hands of people. Since then, the concept has fallen on hard times. Today, we have oligarchs like Mr. Gates trying to restore Traditional Values: Own and control access to *fucking everything*. And they have enough financial resources to buy off what passes for government these days. And the only people doing anything about it (in information technology, they are FOSS advocates) eschew government and political process. Too busy writing actual reliable code, I suppose...

        I don't like arbitrary authority, so I don't like big centralized government. On the other hand, I cannot think of another way to slow down the assholes who want to charge me for the privilege of working (using "their" "intellectual" "property"). It's a dilemma that I don't know how to resolve.
    • Obviously, Gates intends to make the allusion that these people are big-C Communists (whose motivation is to keep themselves in power through suppression of the masses), rather than little-c communists (whose motivation is to serve the people through suppression of those currently in power). He's playing off the ignorant knee-jerk reaction of most Americans to equate the word
      "Communism" with "Evil" (Stalin did, after all, kill millions of his own people).

    • by mindaktiviti ( 630001 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:15AM (#11274720)
      I'm not going to defend capitalism (granted I think it's much better than communism), but communism itself is pretty bad.

      I myself have fairly left-wing views (I'm from Canada and completely agree with universal healthcare, etc), but communism doesn't seem to take one thing into consideration: Humans are greedy, and this includes the ones controlling the government of a communist country. Much like the very purpose of an incorporation (Check out this movie []), there's an underlyting wrongness about communism that doesn't have enough checks and balances (at least not in my country of origin).

      Anyway, Bill should grow up and know better than to call people commies. It's unprofessional.
  • by PDXNerd ( 654900 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:56AM (#11274553)
    It sounds like Bill Gates may be infested with SpyWare, a typical memetic programming that took place in the 1950's in which everyone who was not a right-wing-christian-gun-loving-American was a communist. It sounds like it's causing his PR ability to crash. Should we help him out and format him and put linux on him? (Wait.. Put linux on him, linux is Tux, the mental image that is coming to mind is... DISTURBING!!!! ACK REBOOT REBOOT!)
  • Bzzt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Cisco Kid ( 31490 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:56AM (#11274557)

    But while promoting what he calls the "digital lifestyle," Gates showed how vulnerable all consumers -- even the world's richest man -- are to hardware and software bugs.

    It would *REALLY* be nice to see someone in the media finally get this right.

    SB: ... showed how vulnerable all *WINDOWS USERS* - even the founder and ex-CEO of the very company that makes Windows -- are to ... (the fact that Windows is a buggy piece of shit)
    • Re:Bzzt (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
      Keep in mind there is a danger in letting people assume that non-Windows systems are totally secure and 100% bug-free.
  • Out of touch.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jsimon12 ( 207119 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:56AM (#11274559) Homepage
    Is it me or does Gates seem to be very out of touch with what is going on in the real world and mostly seems to be getting his current information from his "Human Search Engines". Not to mention the fact he is constantly doing little more then plugging Micro$oft products.

    Just remember: If you don't buy from Micro$oft you are a Communist!
  • also... (Score:5, Funny)

    by millennial ( 830897 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:56AM (#11274561) Journal
    When I read that he nose-dived, I was hoping for a video of him tripping and flying off a stage or something. I am sorely disappointed!
  • by nudnikmeow ( 846945 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:57AM (#11274562)
    Gen. Jack D. Ripper: I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:57AM (#11274564) Journal
    Use his influence with the federal government to tie the open source effort with terrorism. Terrorism is the new communism. Cloak anything you don't like in terrorism and it gets done. Couple that with this administration's ability to be bought off by corporate interests and he can get what he wants. OK, mod me down now.......
  • Search. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:57AM (#11274565) Homepage
    From the interview, on the topic of search engines:

    Oh, sure, everybody is working on those things, but just take the idea of finding your local pizza place and doing that right; search doesn't do that well today.

    Sounds like someone needs to clue Bill in to using Sherlock under OS X -- that's exactly what I used it for yesterday.

  • by JohnHegarty ( 453016 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:58AM (#11274569) Homepage
    Worlds largest blue screen of death here []

  • by thewiz ( 24994 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:00AM (#11274590)
    I, for one, welcome our new copyleft communist masters (and logo).

    Seriously, Bill Gate and Co. continue to try and paint anyone who doesn't agree with their stance on IP as un-American. Who died and made him J. Edgar Hoover, Jr.?

    America was NOT founded on the principles of IP but on freedom of choice (religious and otherwise) and the idea that everyone is supposed to contribute to the public good. The recent push to IP, patent, and copyright every little "innovation" (think one-click)is what is hurting our ability to produce something new and better without having to wade through a morass of legalities.

    I will continue to support copyleft, OSS, and any other program that contributes to the dissemination of knowledge and ideas.
  • Unusual (Score:3, Interesting)

    by papasui ( 567265 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:00AM (#11274593) Homepage
    I find it pretty unusual that both cases caused the machine to stop responding completely. That hasn't happened to me since Windows 98/Me. 2000 and XP have generally been pretty stable theirselves. Individual programs still crash, but they don't usually take the system down with them. I wonder if there was some bad ram or other hardware failure as part of the cause. Still funny and I'm sure embarrassing all the same. :)
  • Minute 7 (Score:4, Informative)

    by kngthdn ( 820601 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:00AM (#11274595) Homepage
    If the video still works, Conan O'Brian does some hilarious stand-up badmouthing Gates at minute 7. Skip the garbage before that.
  • by Transcendent ( 204992 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:00AM (#11274598)
    he described anyone who doesn't support ever-increasing intellectual property laws as "communists".

    But... doesn't sharing mean caring? At least that's what my parents always said.

    In all seriousness, there's nothing wrong with a communial society, it's just really really hard to pull off because of human nature.
  • by totatis ( 734475 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:01AM (#11274602)
    So, his media player presentation crashed, and the link to this is ... a .asx.

    Kinda ironic don't you think ?
  • by Titusdot Groan ( 468949 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:02AM (#11274613) Journal
    "Bill Gates is a Persian cat and a monocle away from being a villain in a James Bond movie."
    -- Dennis Miller
  • You may laugh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by east coast ( 590680 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:03AM (#11274620)
    he described anyone who doesn't support ever-increasing intellectual property laws as "communists".

    While this is generally laughed at by the slashdot community we still need to consider that Joe Sixpack pretty much sees it the same way. Not that he minds downloading free music and pr0n but ultimatly he does see it as theft.

    And this could really bite at the community in the future. While most people here laugh at Joe Sixpack he's the one who helped Gates build an empire.
  • Marketing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Custard ( 587661 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:06AM (#11274642) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if the fathers of capitalism ever imagined the levels of marketing we would have today. I believe it really skews the whole idea of competition...

    It didn't hurt Windows 98 sales after Gates got a blue screen [] during a demo, Ashlee Simpson is still selling albums even though we found out that she really, really, can't sing (SNL [] + Orange Bowl []), and G. W. Bush got the presidency despite being a below average public speaker.

    The american public really doesn't hold public figures to a very high standard anymore.

    There are music geeks who hate Ashlee for taking away a spot at a record company that some talented band might have had, political geeks who know every single word GW has said wrong, and normular computer geeks who know the design flaws in Windows.

    Still, the public doesn't seem to care, and prefer to be sheep following celebrity shepards rather than thinking humans supporting the most qualified public figures.

    You have to be a really dedicated researcher if you want to get beyond the multi-million dollar marketing hype surrounding most products and people these days.
  • by mogrify ( 828588 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:08AM (#11274657) Homepage
    Although he accepted guffaws from audience members in the theater, the technical hiccups didn't prompt Gates to engage in a hard-hitting analysis of computer reliability and security.

    Doesn't that just sum up everything that's wrong with Microsoft?
  • Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrRuslan ( 767128 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:09AM (#11274669)
    Throwing words like comunist is very imature and unprofessional on Bills behalf IMHO.
  • by Arkahn ( 14759 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:10AM (#11274680)
    Fast forward to the interesting portion of this riveting presentation.
  • re: Communists (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:12AM (#11274691) Journal
    You know I was ready to call B.S. as I was reading the article because I got to here and read "There are fewer communists in the world today than there were". I thought man, saying that Bill called everyone communists was a bit of stretch but then I read a little further, "There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises."

    Yep, he pretty much just said that if you don't support IP then your a Communist. What a douchebag. That statement is going to haunt him for a long time and rightly so. The world's richest man and still as greedy as ever. Again, what a douchebag. Oh btw for the 12 year olds among you who can't think like adults yet, yes you can still be a douchebag and be philanthropic at the same time.
    • Re: Communists (Score:4, Informative)

      by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:41PM (#11276716) Homepage
      I was ready to call B.S. until I started reading the Slashdot thread full of people explaining how Communism isn't so bad. I'll let them explain this to my girlfriend, who grew up in part of the former USSR (now Latvia). Funny thing - since we got together I've met many people who used to live in the Eastern Bloc - 100% of them (the ones I've met) think that Communism is about the worst thing to ever infect the planet. The scariest thing (at least to some of the posters in this thread) is that most of them now vote Republican.

      What kills me is that the left-wingers who advocate communism (to call them Liberals would be an insult to, well, Liberals) so blindly ignore the fact that it has caused some of the worst environmental and human rights abuses in history. We go around villifying Hitler, and rightly so, but he was strictly junior-varsity when compared to Stalin. The most evil corporate polluters (and yes, I think that a few companies are actually evil in this regard) have nothing on Moscow's old five-year plans.

      My suggestion to these wanna-be Commies is that they go live in an actual Communist country for awhile. Enjoy life in these workers' paradises full of happy people. Oh, what, these people have either thrown the Communists out, or would do so if they didn't have guns to their heads?

      Yes, I know there are a few people screaming about why they can't mod this post -50 flamebait (feel free, I have karma to burn). I'm not saying everyone that supports Open Source, Creative Commons, etc. is a Communist. Far from it: I doubt that more than a tiny, tiny percentage of them actually are. I am, however, shocked at how many crawl out from under their rocks when a subject like this pops up.
  • by FlimFlamboyant ( 804293 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:15AM (#11274717) Homepage

    We'd be supporting the idea of the government owning all intellectual property.

    However, not to defend Mr. Gates (and surely to piss off a lot of the OSS community), but there is some small degree of validity to his statement, though he used the wrong word.

    Many people who completely reject the idea of intellectual property (not all) aren't really communists as Mr. Gates would propose, but in fact, radical left-wing anarchists. They despise authority in any form that it comes in; that is why such things as IP and copyrights are hated so much. The idea of God introduces a supreme authority, so they hate him even more.

    They wear the "communist" label with pride, not understanding who they really are, or what communism really is and what it has done to nearly every single society that has been foolish enough to try it.

    They are the modern day hippy, when it comes right down to it. They stand for and oppose the same things and the same principles.

  • Bill bet the farm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maskatron ( 7560 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:15AM (#11274718) Homepage
    He has to say this sort of thing since he's bet the MS farm on DRM and the like. When you hear people making these kind of references though, you know they are concerned. That tells me the DRM plan isn't going as well as they thought it would.
  • by haplo21112 ( 184264 ) <haplo&epithna,com> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:19AM (#11274764) Homepage
    ...reforming the IP laws to be fair to all people would hurt his pocketbook. The real problem as I see it is that the laws need to be reformed enough so that OPEN/FREE software can do anything that Closed/Commercial can. Right now some of the IP laws prevent this from happening, and some of the coming ones will tighten that even more. All I presonally want is a level playing field, and so long as we have "Trade secrets", Broadcast flags, CSS, etc that can never happen because IT locks out Open/Free which requires that those secrets begiven to everyone using the software and nothing be hidden. Thankfully we won the battle with the W3C and they dropped that whole RAND thing for web standards. A step in the right direction, but not the whole road.
  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:25AM (#11274828)
    Note that capitalism is not about monopolies. In fact, capitalism relies on free market, and you can't have free market if one of the players controls a majority of it.

    The basic ideas of capitalism work just insanely effective. When we had communism in Poland, most shops had empty shelves -- and within just months after the communism's fall any shortages were just gone, as if by a wave of a magic wand.

    On the other hand, communism is based on monopoly. It's supposed to be a monopoly of the "working class", but in reality in all cases it turned out to be a monopoly of the Party. And then, if you can buy the Party's blessing -- you can have a monopoly in your sector, too!
    Whatever you say, you can't ignore the fact that all real-life implementations of communism were based on the control the Party had on the citizens. In fact, it's the control what the communism is about.
    So... we have a company who tries to gain the sole control of a sector of industry -- and it's them who dare to call their enemies communists.
  • by canuck57 ( 662392 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:28AM (#11274868)

    where he described anyone who doesn't support ever-increasing intellectual property laws as "communists".

    Does this make Bill Gates a communist? Xerox and Apple had windows before Microsoft. TCP was borrowed from Digital. Sun for RPCs and J#. Supercalc and other had spead sheets before Microsoft. Does work perect or others get roaylties rom Word for the word processor?

    In fact, Linux uses X for it's windows which predates Microsoft. Maybe Microsoft should pay royalties to commercial UNIX and Linux for the RTU of Windows.

    And look at Microsoft's legal track record.

    This was obviously a hypocritical comment on Bill's part. A typical reaction to a monoplistic looser.

  • Minute mark (Score:3, Informative)

    by eclipsemgp ( 533543 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:34AM (#11274925)
    Just so you don't have to watch the entire video (2 hours), the crash happens when they are trying to modify a car at around the 01:13:30 mark.
  • by Mindjiver ( 71 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:34AM (#11274932) Homepage
    Havn't Steve Jobs been going on and on about the digital hub for the last several years? Nice to see that Microsoft is using their good old R&D-lab called Apple again.
  • by miyako ( 632510 ) <miyako&gmail,com> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:35AM (#11274937) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so I'm going to go a little bit off topic here, but gates implies that if you support free software, then you are a communist, the thing of it is, I'm not sure how exactly this is a bad thing.
    Capitalism and Communism are each at opposite ends of a scale of scarcity- that is to say, Capitalism works great when there is a limited amount of stuff to go around, relative to the population size. It encourages effeciency and results in a population as a whole getting the most of what it wants from a limited pool of resources. Communism on the other hand is ideal for a world where, relative to the population size, resources are unlimited, or at least nearly unlimited. In the perfect theoreticaly communist society, the only limit to how much of something that can be made is the number of people available to make it.
    Socialism is basically just the name given to the middle ground.
    Now, capitalism is great for a lot of things, because as a society/country/planet today in many areas our resources are still finite. For many aspects of our world, capitalism is still the best thing we've come up with to deal with the limited resources we have, relative to the world population.
    In the world of software however, we have a situation which is more closely related to the communist ideal world. Once a program is written it can be copied over and over again essentially for free. In this case, the only limit to the software that can be developed is the amount of skilled people who are able to work on it.
    Looking at it like that, what I see when gates says people who support free software are communists is really his admission that we are using a superior philosophy for our little section of reality.
  • by NotoriousGIB ( 44865 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:39AM (#11274994) Homepage
    The irony of Bill Gates' anti-communist rhetoric in the wake of his recent crash and burn presentation on Windows Media Center is that Microsoft itself resembles a creaky Soviet-era state-run monopoly much more than a lean, mean emblem of free-trade capitalism.

    In my opinion Microsoft is essentially a state-sponsored monopoly and, as such, represents, little more than a tweaked version of the classic communist state entity.

    The rational for this position is the simple fact that although Microsoft has been found guilty of being a monopolistic barrier to free-trade in the software industry it was given tacit state sanction to operate as such when the courts and the DOJ failed to press for meaningful controls on their business practices.

    From an objective perspective this is no more than a refined version of the classic communist state monopoly. Like Soviet era monopolies Microsoft must compete in the international market as a representative of the State economy while at home it is given tacit control of the market in exchange for loyalty to the political leadership. Also like Soviet era monopolies, state pressure for reform of business practices amounted to little reform but a large increase in the amount of money passed on to corrupt politicians. Take a look at Microsoft's political contributions post-trial and I think you'll see this pattern is quite obvious.

    What's worse is that this "tweaked" form of state control can be conducted legally through Political Action Committees with little need to resort to passing money under the table as occurred in the old Soviet Union.

    That's right folks, Microsoft's brand of communism is conducted right under your noses while real innovation and competition in the software industry is systematically squashed through monopolistic trade practices tacitly sanctioned by the state. It's high time that all you Democrats and Republicans out there swallow the blue pill and see things as they are, not how you want them to be. Either we believe in free trade or not and no matter how you dice it monopolies are antithetical to free trade. Those who acquire them will always attempt to redefine competition so that the rules don't apply to them. Ooogedy boogedy people! Look-out! International competition means we have to stick together and support our local monopoly. Oh no! Look over there people, those communist are trying to wreck our good capitalist monopoly. It's total nonsense if you just step back and take a look at it for what it really is.
  • by nysus ( 162232 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:50AM (#11275080)
    Communists? Come on, Bill, you can do better than that! Who cares about Communists anymore? Just look at all the business we're doing with Communist China these days. The word "Communism" has definitely lost its cache.

    Here's some advice for your public relations folks: We're not communists, we're "software terrorists", Bill, and we're out to kill little babies and children in the name of FOSS. We hate freedom and the American way of life and we're out to destroy it.

    Now, if you can get that message across and paint that picture to the American public, you'd kill FOSS forever. Hell, you could probably get the FBI to start raiding the homes of Linux users.

    Good luck in your future endeavors, you Capitalist Pig.
  • Seriously, a fair bit of what he says really sits uncomfortably. For one thing what he says about IE and Firefox is, although perfectly true, not quite as clear-cut as he seems to be making it sound.

    So when people say Firefox is being downloaded onto people's systems, that's true, but IE is also on those systems.

    That's not exactly by choice in all cases. I am confident that were IE trivially uninstallable from a Windows setup then that point would be less valid.
    I don't necessarily think that every FF user would uninstall IE if it were easily doable but I do think that in many of the cases where "IE is also on those systems" it's only because there's no simple way of remiving it.

    As for his stance on IP rights then I think he hasn't got a clue.
    However what I will say is that I'm no businessman and he runs a very successful business. So I freely admit that as much as I disagree with his points of view they obviously work in business. In fact I'd be pretty surprised if he didn't have views like that - many businesses seem to share the "IP Rights are Good" mentality.

    Having said that I do think that what's good for business isn't always good for innovation and incentive. And that's why I personally think that the concept of "Intellectual Property" needs a major overhaul. Patents and non-terminating copyrights simply have too many drawbacks.
    Like the main incentive for Patents that companies seem to have is that if they have a great idea then not only should they benefit from selling it but they shoudl benefit from anyone improving on it - as they'll have to pay to license it. Great from a business perspective but from a technical perspective this is dreadful because if someone's got great dieas to extend something but no money or Patents to bargain with then the new idea will be lost.

    From a BBC News article [] about the speech:

    Mr Gates said the PC, like Microsoft's Media Centre, had a central role to play in how people would be making the most out of audio, video and images but it would not be the only device.

    "It is the way all these devices work together which will make the difference," he said.

    Obviously I find it a bit odd when Bill Gates (or anyone Microsoft spokeperson) talks about things "working together". Unless they're having a complete turnaround in their policies he probably means that when "devices work together" they will always be working via Windows.
    Obviously this makes a great quote as he goes down as saying that interoperability is important - or something like that - but it just falls flat as more often than not he isn't tlaking about devices talking with non-Microsoft devices.

  • by MoronGames ( 632186 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:18AM (#11275417) Journal
    We're not having the Red Scare anymore. Why didn't he label them terrorists? That's today's thing.
  • by TheMediaWrangler ( 817300 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:49AM (#11275882)
    About 33 minutes in and just after the second crash, Conan provides some filler and gives my favorite quote in the presentation:

    "Last night ... I got so drunk, I woke up with a hooker. Bill got so drunk, he woke up with an Apple computer."
  • by Hobart ( 32767 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:02PM (#11276089) Homepage Journal
    RMS answered the "communist" accusation in 1992's
    Why Software Should be Free [], the section "Why don't you move to Russia?".
  • Torrent (Score:5, Informative)

    by mnordstr ( 472213 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @01:29PM (#11277464) Homepage Journal
    There is a torrent available of the entire video at this blog [].

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court