Time's Man, Woman and Man of the Year
There is a certain cycle to getting and being rich. You gain gobs of money,
buy a bunch of expensive junk, get bored, and then feel guilty about all those
that don’t have expensive junk like you. Out of guilt, to make yourself
feel better, and sometimes out of true compassion, the rich become philanthropists.
The truly unenlightened spend billions restoring huge mansions in Newport --
it’s for history, they say.
But Bill Gates is far different, far bolder and far smarter. Gates has pledged
to give away the majority of his wealth, but he isn’t just dropping his
billions in a Salvation Army bucket in front of the Redmond Wal-Mart. His foundation
carefully researches pressing needs, such as disease in India, and pledges money
to things that actually have a good shot at working. For this, Time
magazine named Bill and his wife, Melinda, as Persons of the Year. Joining
them is Bill bud Bono, who uses his fame to convince rich governments to be
nicer to poorer ones, like by forgiving debt. Hey Bono, I’ll pledge 10
percent of my salary to debt relief -- if you stop wearing those sunglasses!
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Google and Microsoft Don’t Always Completely Hate
A lab at UC Berkeley has benefactors as different as Saddam and George W. Sun,
Microsoft and Google all agreed to kick in $7.5 million to keep the lab going
for five years. The RAD Lab aims to help entrepreneurs build free Web services.
The big question is what exactly is a free service? Is it one that costs nothing,
but is overrun with ads? Can it go beyond that and begin to take over parts
of our computers? And how long must these services remain free?
To find out more about RAD (and maybe pitch ‘em your idea) hop over here.
Solomon Wises Up in Version 6.5
The Solomon accounting system is now called Microsoft Dynamics SL (which says
as little about what the software does than the name Solomon) and is
now version 6.5. The new software, available either now or very soon, depending
on where you live, boasts tighter integration with SharePoint portal services,
making it easier to collaborate and share finances with employees and partners.
Do you want to see more coverage of the Dynamics series and other high-end
Microsoft business apps? You know where to write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.