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Gates Pledges $750M to Vaccinate Children

samzenpus posted about 10 years ago | from the ends-justify-the-means dept.

Microsoft 1251

chriskzoo5 writes "The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is pledging $750M to vaccinate children worldwide over the next 10 years. Much maligned for his business practices, is this proof that sometimes the ends justify the means? Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity."

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Er (1, Insightful)

DrMrLordX (559371) | about 10 years ago | (#11466498)

Does the Linux community have $750 million? Just curious.

Re:Er (0, Flamebait)

jerichohol (821580) | about 10 years ago | (#11466502)

Nope SCO does ;)

Re:Er (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466613)

The Linux-communists are cheap fucks who rather use their money to develop subversive tools to selfishly steal music and software and movies instead of donating to a good cause.

William Gates is an honorable man who has done more for the poor and underprivileged than any other human being living today.

Re:Er (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466512)

Hehe, probally a lot more if you add everything up :p.

Linux community already donates (4, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | about 10 years ago | (#11466554)

There's many Linux clusters hard at work calculating new drugs and new treatments against illnesses.

Linux doesn't cost money, it costs effort. Linux also doesn't donate money, the community donates effort.

Re:Er (0)

iamvego (785090) | about 10 years ago | (#11466560)

"Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity." Since Bill Gates has bled the world dry, monopolised countries, business and home computers, the console gaming world and is now getting into the new Bluray and HDDVD standards, this gesture, although very effective and useful, is barely a dent in his finances, and for all we know, it's just in response to the peak of considerably bad press M$ has suffered in the past month. "Yes, buy Windows. Think of the children." I'll concede that it's stil a nice gesture though, and his army of accountants wouldn't be too happy.

Re:Er (-1, Troll)

JeremyGL (765476) | about 10 years ago | (#11466567)

Is this $750 million of real money that Bill is donating ?

In the past quite often such donations consisted of software "worth $X million" i.e. software with a retail price of $X million which cost a dollar fifty to actually produce.

This "donation" could just be 7.5 million copies of office "which the child vaccination centres can use to imrove their productivity therefore benefiting children worldwide"

Or should I adjust my cynicism setting a little ?



Re:Er (2, Funny)

rbarreira (836272) | about 10 years ago | (#11466611)

No, you should just adjust the RTFA module on your brain...

Re:Er (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466634)

It's probably money in a useful form, as it's coming from Bill the man, not Microsoft the company.

IMO it's not Bill that's evil but his company.

Re:Er (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | about 10 years ago | (#11466582)

My mother always told me not to ride in stolen cars. I assumed that meant stolen Ferraris as well.

Re:Er (1)

suso (153703) | about 10 years ago | (#11466623)

Actually, we most likely have much more than that.
There are an estimated 18-20 million linux users. That makes it about $37.50 a person.

fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466499)

first post

viruses (4, Funny)

Bolshoy Pimpovich (846605) | about 10 years ago | (#11466500)

haha... against viruses... har-dee-har-har

Re:viruses (0, Troll)

MrRTFM (740877) | about 10 years ago | (#11466537)

Excatly - this is what people dont realise.

They aren't donation money - they are donating licenses of the Microsoft Virus Scanning Tool - FREE to any third world country child who wants to download it.


Microsoft, not Bill (5, Insightful)

shreevatsa (845645) | about 10 years ago | (#11466505)

"Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity." There cannot be some charity contest between Linux and Windows! Anyway, most of the Linux community's displeasure is with Micro$oft and its activities, not Bill Gates the individual himself

Re:Microsoft, not Bill (2, Insightful)

crazedmaniac (647278) | about 10 years ago | (#11466519)

Linux community gives 100% up front. Microsoft takes 100% and gives a little - a very little - back. Which is more generous?

Re:Microsoft, not Bill (3, Insightful)

shreevatsa (845645) | about 10 years ago | (#11466578)

My point exactly.
The Linux community is all about charity, every line of code written, every time someone gets an OS for free, is generosity itself.
On the other hand, this continuous generosity means that they do not have zillions of dollars to publicly give away from time to time.
But you must admit that what Bill Gates gives to charity is indeed a good thing, and he has made many donations. Maybe a small thing for the richest man, but it's still a significant thing.

Re:Microsoft, not Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466604)

The things is you can convert what MS does into cash for charities like this. You can't convert what linux does into cash to suppost charities like this., or at least it would be difficult.

Open source and linux is a far greater asset for the richer countries and the poor developing countries, but not for those in poverty.

Re:Microsoft, not Bill (3, Interesting)

Von Helmet (727753) | about 10 years ago | (#11466605)

Here's what Jesus thinks [gospelcom.net] about that.

Re:Microsoft, not Bill (4, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | about 10 years ago | (#11466529)

Carnegie, Rockefeller, Mellon, and now Gates... The robber baron syndrome. It helps them psychologically deal with the things they've done to become super-wealthy.

Re:Microsoft, not Bill (1)

sydb (176695) | about 10 years ago | (#11466642)

Ummm... seeing as he cofounded the source of the "Linux community's displeasure", I'd humbly suggest that relevant complaint should be directed at him.

Who is responsible for hitting the target - the arrow or the archer?

Anyway, I agree that it is ridiceulous to ask the "Linux community" to match his trust's donation. That community hasn't taxed the majority of computer users for over a decade.

Let's see. Bill taxes the rich (West) and gives to the poor (3rd World). Does that make him some kind of Robin Hood character?

Well, I suppose he gets to see himself that way.

It's hard to attack the man whn he is evidently doing good in the world. But let's remember that people are not usually entirely good or entirely bad, rather they have good attributes which (hopefully) compensate for the bad ones.

So slashdot, as you were.

This is great. (2, Interesting)

TooTechForYou (816044) | about 10 years ago | (#11466507)

Regardless on weather you like Microsoft or not, you have to admit this is great. But about the Linux community matching, maybe the same percentage of thier profits would be possible. The truth is however, that these are two completely diffrent situations.

Re:This is great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466584)

"Regardless on weather you like Microsoft"

Yes, the weather is nice at Microsoft.

Bill Gates, the Robin Hood of modern times (1)

Kman_xth (529883) | about 10 years ago | (#11466508)

steals from the rich, donates to the poor

"Steals from the rich" (2, Interesting)

kmmatthews (779425) | about 10 years ago | (#11466534)

Yeah, too bad the money will be used to buy our (American) drugs at our ridiculous prices. That money could go so much further if the vaccinations were purchased in other countries.

Re:Bill Gates, the Robin Hood of modern times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466541)

I think you mean "steals from everybody, becomes rich himself, then donates to the poor".

How Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466509)

Very nice of them.

Article submission is a complete troll however. Seriously, can't the editors screen somwhat better?

Flamebait (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466510)

The Linux community will match it when they have as much money as Gates. Not many people or companies have $750Mil to give.

Is it possible to mod a news article as flamebait?

Matching the generosity? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466514)

Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity.

How can we? We don't sell anything.

However, we can provide these children with a free open-source operating
system that runs will on older machines, and comes with thousands of applications,
tutorials and how-to's.

Re:Matching the generosity? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466552)

I can't wait to see the look on some fly-covered African's face when we give him an OS and he has to edit a config file in order to get flash animations of food working on his box... we provide.

Re:Matching the generosity? (4, Informative)

blastedtokyo (540215) | about 10 years ago | (#11466565)

No you can't, the child's dead before they might possibly be productive (let alone afford) a computer.

Because if the child's not vaccinated, there's a good chance they'll be one of the 10 million who die every year before the age of 5 (source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews /TPStory/LAC/20050125/VACCINE25/TPInternational/Eu rope).

Re:Matching the generosity? (5, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 10 years ago | (#11466638)

"Mommy I'm starving... and thirsty. Also the malaria is really starting to kick in bad, where is all the kindness when we need it.?"

"Well honey, we don't have any medicine, food or safe drinking water. But good news, you can now browse the internet without any risk of your personal information being stolen thanks to a great man named linus and his band of merry men!"

"But mommy, we don't have a computer, or electricity."

"Don't worry sweety. I'm sure as soon as we can safely browse the world wide web, all your troubles will go away."

Yeah! We can! (1)

evilmeow (839786) | about 10 years ago | (#11466515)

Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity.

Sure thing! We can refuse to procreate. Less children = less sickness worldwide.

Oh wait, this is Slashdot.

Kickass, we can sit and do nothing instead but still take all the credit. :P

Re:Yeah! We can! (1)

shawng (814093) | about 10 years ago | (#11466571)

Sure thing! We can refuse to procreate. Less children = less sickness worldwide.

Good point! I suppose we should just kill everyone in the world and then no one will ever be sick again.

Bahh (2, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | about 10 years ago | (#11466517)

Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity

Someone mod this -1 Troll...

Re:Bahh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466547)

If I mod points could I would....

Matching generosity (2, Insightful)

tod_miller (792541) | about 10 years ago | (#11466518)

Well, about 1/7 of the worlds population would have to give a dollar. Only counting working people, that goes way up.

Just think, to amass this much 'generosity' how much the world must have already paid to him (including developing countries).

Money fades, Linux stays forever. Of course, if everyone who uses Linux were to donate the cost of a winXP home license to a needy cause, that would be sensational.

Good pulicity for them though. In other news SCO donate free 'SCOnix' (?) licenses to hungry children.

Gates' Hidden Agenda: do the math (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466521)

$750 Million = about 375 million vaccinations = about 300 million living adults in 14 - 18 years = at least an additional 250 million Windows XP-2020 licenses. At $400 USD each that's $10 BILLION.

This outperforms Microsoft stock even. Genius.

Number of users (1)

aking137 (266199) | about 10 years ago | (#11466523)

The original poster says:

"...Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity."

But as there aren't quite as many Linux users as there are Windows users out there, it'd only be fair to expect us to raise an amount proportional to the $750M raised by the Windows users.

PC competition for the I-Mini MAC? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466524)

When MAC announced their "I-Mini", it caught my eye. Wanting to buy/build a small computer for my already cramped breakfast bar, I started pricing out similar hardware. The results startled me. Most of the configurations I found were more than the humble US$499 of the "I-Mini". To match price I had to configure with a much bigger shuttle-style case.

My question is this. What PCs are currently on the market to compete with this? When my wife asks for the "cute little MAC", what real computer can I buy instead?

Re:PC competition for the I-Mini MAC? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 10 years ago | (#11466559)

Get her a mac and stop whining.

We moaned and bitched and complained about wanting something like this, now we got it, and your STILL complaining?

This is part of his plan (2, Funny)

brian0918 (638904) | about 10 years ago | (#11466525)

This is just the beginning of his campaign to create a more secure human being, which will eventually include various bug fixes, tracking chips, emotion inhibitors, and one bionic extendo-grab arm.

wow.. that's alot of money (1)

furtivefelon (852476) | about 10 years ago | (#11466526)

linux community? It's ganna take a lonnng time for any normal individual to cough up 750 million dollors. However, we'll look to big linux distributors for the answers :D

Much of the work... (2, Insightful)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | about 10 years ago | (#11466530)

...done by free software developers is charity, anyway. It might not be vaccinating kids, but at least they'll be able to afford a free OS when they don't die of whatever would have killed them before Mr Gates came along.

Re:Much of the work... (1)

mjh (57755) | about 10 years ago | (#11466598)

Excellent point! We should be able to quantify the donation that free operating system developers have already made to those same kids by counting the number of them that use a free OS. Multiply that number times the cost of a Win XP license and that's how much has already been donated.

But, of course, that number is really small in comparison to how much free OS developers have donated to the world in general. For every million users of a free operating system, that's a $100 million donation.

Small Percentage (0, Troll)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | about 10 years ago | (#11466532)

Okay let's say Bill is worth 50 billion dollars on paper. 750 million is something like 1.5% of his total worth? Is this a huge amount for him? It would be like if I had a hundred bucks and I gave the homeless guy on the street a $1.50

Re:Small Percentage (1)

fishfinger (685260) | about 10 years ago | (#11466595)

I concur with this completely. It's easy to be 'generous' when you have more money than you can spend!

Re:Small Percentage (1)

Bertie (87778) | about 10 years ago | (#11466603)

Only less so, because when you've got countless billions in the bank, you've got more money than you could ever possibly need, so if you give it away you really won't miss it at all. If you've only got a small amount of money, and you give the same proportion away, you might feel the pinch.

Let's face it, when you get to Gates levels of wealth, it's just numbers. The only reasonable thing to do is put it to some practical use for the good of humanity, whether that's eradicating disease, building libraries or whatever. I commend him for this, but I really don't see what else he could spend it on, anyway.

Re:Small Percentage (5, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 10 years ago | (#11466614)

Okay let's say Bill is worth 50 billion dollars on paper. 750 million is something like 1.5% of his total worth?

Given that there are plenty of weathly people who give nothing to charity, anything Bill gives is better than that - whatever the percentage.

Is this a huge amount for him? It would be like if I had a hundred bucks and I gave the homeless guy on the street a $1.50

Unless you live in your parents basement and own nothing, I very much doubt you are worth only $100.

Your post makes it sound like you don't think that his 750 million is particulary generious. Given that he didn't have to make the donation and could have easily kept the money for himself (benefiting no-one but him), I would say you're wrong.

Re:Small Percentage (5, Insightful)

millwall (622730) | about 10 years ago | (#11466626)

First of all, I'm quite sure that 750 million is more than 1.5% of his total assets.

Second of all, even if it's only 1.5% of his assets, it's a good thing, how many of you have donated 1.5%?

Why don't we all try to donate 1.5% of our assets instead of whining about the poster's flamebait.

Re:Small Percentage (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | about 10 years ago | (#11466635)

Yeah, but I bet Bill gets a much more meaningful tax deduction from his $750M than you would from your $1.50...

The Linux Community? (5, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | about 10 years ago | (#11466535)

Well, maybe the "Linux Community" can't match that kind of donation, but I'd like to point out the obvious:

  1. Mr Gates is the head of a company that sells software for a profit, while the 'Linux Community' often gives its software for free to all comers over the Internet. That's one big difference.
  2. I don't think Mr Gates will have any money problems if he ever gets sick. While Patrick Volkerding -- the maintainer of Slackware, the oldest surviving Linux distribution out there -- who has been sick for several months, is asking people to buy Slackware version 10.1 [slackware.com] to help him pay his medical bills...

The difference? One of them is someone who can afford to make such a generous donation, while the other is still making his software available for free over the Internet. That makes that last remark pretty insensitive and gratuitous, IMHO.

I know which one I admire the most. But, heck, that's a personal view.

And $0 for anything really important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466536)

These rich bastards are always doing things to be able to pat themselves on the backs, but when it comes to repairing the real damage they've done in the world, for which they should feel guilty, they do nothing. So, no, he will give $0 toward employing more American workers in the USA and continues to prefer cheaper foreignors, and no he will continue to ruin the future of software with his software patents and concomitant legal-bribery for politicians. And oh, he will also give $0 to help save the US democracy which has been repeated attacked by the Bush Crime Family with its rigging of elections, but he supports Bush and prefers a rigged democracy because it's better for business (http://www.votecobb.org).

Is samzenpus michael's replacement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466540)

Between this and the "new keyboard" [slashdot.org] story, it looks like michael has an apprentice. With blatant trolling like "Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity" right in the heading, it's no wonder people are begging to be allowed to moderate the stories themselves.

My box (3, Funny)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | about 10 years ago | (#11466542)

I would like him to pay for my Windows installation at work to be vaccinated from virus infections.

Will someone please think of the computers?
Oh wait, that should beWill someone please think of the children?

Generosity (1)

vladd_rom (809133) | about 10 years ago | (#11466543)

>> Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity.

It already did. Several times.

Think of all those "donations" that happen implicitly every time a poor guy in a 3rd world country uses a legal Linux box instead of commiting piracy.

This is kind of "give me all your money and I'll donate 5% to charity!" compared to "I don't want any money from you".

Re:Generosity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466629)

Think of all those "donations" that happen implicitly every time a poor guy in a 3rd world country uses a legal Linux box instead of commiting piracy.

Yes, I see homeless people in the streets every day warming their hands on their Athlons, thanking the Linux community for providing them with a free OS to run their cpu's at max speed and generate maximum warmth. Starvation and disease wants to be free!

This isn't what we meant... (1)

jdduke (733610) | about 10 years ago | (#11466544)

...when we said MS should do something about viruses.

Bill Gates does lots of good (5, Interesting)

egyber (788117) | about 10 years ago | (#11466549)

I am friends with the daughter of the head of the Gates Foundation... Bill has told her (my friend) that his goal is to give as much as possible of his money to charity. He actually really cares about the world and his foundation and its work is proof of his commitment.

Many may disagree with Microsoft's practices but Bill Gates is extremely committed to the world.

Re:Bill Gates does lots of good (0, Troll)

KontinMonet (737319) | about 10 years ago | (#11466591)

What percentage of Sir Billy's income/wealth goes to charity? What percentage of income/wealth of the average (presumably working) charity-giving Joe goes to charity? Let's see who wins the pissing contest on that basis.

Re:Bill Gates does lots of good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466644)

Don't forget that taxes are a form of Charity. I mean how else would some of the lazy folks out there get fed and housed without the Government giving them your hard earned dollars.

Re:Bill Gates does lots of good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466615)

I would be too if I had his amount of cash.

We did (1)

suso (153703) | about 10 years ago | (#11466551)

Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity.

We did, we made an operating system that doesn't result in you taking an angle grinder to your computer.

Let's see if the Linux community, etc. (5, Insightful)

ettlz (639203) | about 10 years ago | (#11466555)

Vaccinating children worldwide can only be a good thing. Indeed, Microsoft pumps a lot of money into various charitable causes --- again, only a good thing.

But what does this have to do with the Linux community? Microsoft's raison d'etre is profit, and given the amount it makes, it has a social obligation. In this way, it fulfils it. The Linux community is driven by the product itself, not sales figures. "Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity" is not only irrelevant, it verges on being not very nice.

When I'm worth 30 billion... (1)

gnalre (323830) | about 10 years ago | (#11466556)

When I'm worth 30 billion, I will also donate 750 million to my pet charity.

Dammit I will donate 20 billion. I know I will only have 10 billion to keep me in food and shelter, but that is the kind of generous guy I would be...

Also I won't even claim my tax perks from it...

Re:When I'm worth 30 billion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466645)

I believe he plans to keep less than that stated in your plan...

Rubbish (4, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 10 years ago | (#11466557)

Of course the ends don't justify the means in this case, yet nevertheless this is a good thing the Gates Foundation is doing. It's not an All or Nothing proposition. Gates can be a convicted monopolist who does awful things in the business world while simultaneously spending his money on humanitarian things. Doesn't justify his business crimes. Hey, look at Andrew Carnegie. Similar to Gates in the business world, but he spent his money on lots of good things such as libraries.

If a gangster throws a block party for his neighbors, it doesn't justify all the people he killed in his work. It's still a nice party, and he's still a gangster.

The ends never justify the means (1, Flamebait)

1010011010 (53039) | about 10 years ago | (#11466562)

So he's spending his monopoly money for the children. Thank God someone's finally thinking of the children.

The ends justify the means only if you have a corrupt morality. If you commit a crime, but use the proceeds in some "altruistic" way, is the crime then excusable?

The Robber Barons of old used charity to improve their image. Rockefeller, for instance, handing out shiny new dimes to children.

No, of course not (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | about 10 years ago | (#11466563)

To say the end justifies the means is to assume that his business practices, many disagree with were done, with this end in mind. Have you seen any evidence of this?

Bill Gates is a capitalist. He's also a philanthropist. They're not mutually exclusive; in fact, some claim it's the "rich man's burden" to help society when they can. But they're also not inextricably entertwined, either. Why do people persist in judging one by the other?

hmm (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | about 10 years ago | (#11466564)

four guesses:

1) he feels bad for ripping of so many people and forcing thousands of people out of work
2) he wants tax breaks
3) he wants people to like him, and he can spare 750m for that cause (like when mr burns does in the simpsons, except mr burns throws pennies off a bridge)
4) he's a good man, except in business

personally, i wouldn't go for 4

I'll see you that OS and raise yu one office suite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466568)

Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity."

I think the Linux community has already exceeded his generosity. They've created a free OS and scads of free software, thus (potentially) enabling the developing world to boostrap their economies long after Bill's vaccine and money have gone.

What ELSE... (1)

Anoraknid the Sartor (9334) | about 10 years ago | (#11466570)

What ELSE can a super rich man do with his money?

And since he got it by rather dubious business practices in the first place, I can't say I am terribly impressed.

As for the Linux jibe - the existance of Linux ensures that when those kids grow up they won't have to buy overpriced buggy software to generate more dodgy profits for a character like Bill G...

real changes will be made by changing the society (1)

kinsoa (550794) | about 10 years ago | (#11466574)

give XX billion of dollars doesn't matter, if the capitalism structure stay in place.

Gates give less than 4% of his fortune, it's not really a lot, and on the other hand he continue to say that open-source advocacy are communists, refering to old social structures and ignoring the open society concept.

the solution of the worldwide problems is in sharing the ressources, not by driopping some peanuts.

(sorry for my bad english)

Backing this up with contraception? (1)

CdXiminez (807199) | about 10 years ago | (#11466576)

I'm glad a lot more children will live to a higher age. However, should this not be backed-up by a contraception-campaign as well? Population pressure is a big cause for the spreading of disease and ecological disturbance.

Fish (1)

femto (459605) | about 10 years ago | (#11466577)

Mr Gates is handing out fish, while the Linux Community is teaching people to fish.

Handing out fish is a commendable act.

penguinistas, get your machetes out (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 10 years ago | (#11466581)

" I've seen horrors...horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call
me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that...But
you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is
necessary to those who do not know what horror means.
Horror. Horror has a face...And you must make a friend of horror. Horror and
moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces...Seems a thousand centuries ago...We went into a camp to innoculate the children.
We left the camp after we had innoculated the children for Polio, and this old
man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went
back there and they had come and hacked off every innoculated arm. There
they were in a pile...A pile of little arms. And I remember...I...I...I cried...
I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized...like I was shot...Like I was shot with a
diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead...And I thought:
My God...the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect,
genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were
stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not
monsters...These were men...trained cadres...these men who fought with
their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with
love...but they had the strength...the strength...to do that. If I had ten
divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You
have to have men who are moral...and at the same time who are able to
utilize their primordal instincts to kill without feeling...without passion...
without judgement...without judgement. Because it's judgement that
defeats us. "

The Linux community has ALREADY "matched this...." (1, Flamebait)

TrueJim (107565) | about 10 years ago | (#11466583)

The Linux community has ALREADY "matched this generosity." Rather than charge money in exchange for software and then give some small fraction of that money back as charitable donations, the Linux community lets people keep all their money in the first place. That's more efficient, and I think a lot more generous, than charging for the software in the first place.

Free software is also going to help the third world develop more quickly than it would under a purely proprietary model, so there's an extra kicker that'll help the next generation too, not just this generation. "Teach a man to fish..." and all that, ya' know?

Gate's only regret... (1)

brian0918 (638904) | about 10 years ago | (#11466586)

Gate's dying regret is going to be, "I could have done more."

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466587)

Much maligned for his business practices, is this proof that sometimes the ends justify the means?

What kind of idiot logic is this? For all we know, if Microsoft hadn't been so abusive, a competitor would have made all the money and donated even more to charity.

I'm not saying that this isn't good of him, but it doesn't excuse crippling the computer industry. The ends most certainly do not justify the means.

mod story... (0, Redundant)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | about 10 years ago | (#11466588)

-1 Flamebait.

A simple test... (1)

B747SP (179471) | about 10 years ago | (#11466589)

Go to your local GP (General Practitioner). Ask him or her... "Do you have your children vaccinated?".

A bit of research on the subject of vaccination is pretty eye opening actually. Turns out, vaccination != immunisation. A lot of the 'scientific' evidence that supports the "vaccination == immunisation" myth gives wonderful stats that show disease rates dropping dramatically at approx the same time as vaccination was introduced, but completely ignores other data, like the general improvement of public hygeine, the introduction of running water, the recognition that things like washing hands and sterilising surgical instruments are good.

Now a lot of the stuff I've read that claims that vaccination != immunisation and/or vaccination is bad has been written by total crackpots with not a single ounce of actual scientific or academic validity, but at the same time, some of it is valid. A close look, as I've said, at a lot of the 'proof' that vaccination is good is also fatally flawed.

It's a really difficult psychological situation. There's plenty of scientific evidence to show that vaccination is bad. But since the day we grokked what was going on around us, we've been told that vaccination is good, necessary, and that people who don't vaccinate their kids are nutbags. It's really tough, when you become a parent, to decide which way to go.

Which brings me full circle. After your GP/Doctor answers that question honestly (and in the negative), ask them why.

Trustworthy? (0)

groupthink (568205) | about 10 years ago | (#11466590)

His generosity not withstanding... this guy is single handedly responsible for creating the most hospitable environment for viruses we've ever seen. (caugh, Windows, caugh IE). Should we really be trusting him with vaccinations?

I used to contribute to Unicef (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466592)

until I realized that the worst thing you could do is decrease child mortality without changing the conditions that require having large families, e.g. poverty mostly. If you don't do that then you end up with a huge populations of mostly young, poor, unemployed people. A recipe for social unrest.

Code value (1)

stm2 (141831) | about 10 years ago | (#11466593)

Let's add all the open/free sofware value "donated" to hospital, schools and public libraries worldwide to see how is giving away more.

Ends justify the means? (1)

StringBlade (557322) | about 10 years ago | (#11466596)

I highly doubt it was Bill Gates' Master Plan(TM) to build up Microsoft and trample other smaller companies like Netscape into the ground just so he could donate to charity like an insane philanthropist.

In short, no - Microsoft's corporate actions are not justified just as most abusive monopolist's actions are not justified. However, it is very generous of him and his wife to donate such a large share for their excess wealth to charities. But don't kid yourself, it's not like he's going to have to sell his 300,000 acre mansion and live in a normal three bedroom house because he's given so much of his money away.

Bill and Melinda are fine people. Bill is an incredibly shrewd businessman and Microsoft can be ruthless. Please don't confuse the issue for the sake of boiling people's blood and getting a reaction.

gg bill (1)

Stanneh (775821) | about 10 years ago | (#11466597)

am not a big bill fan to be honest but i do admire his generosity to charitys he is a great donator. but this £750 million biz just make me cringe at how much drug companies charge to supply medicine to the children. and i thaught micro$oft was the route to all evil.

Free software helps the developing world (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466599)

...and the potential worth of that help is greater than $750 million.

My guess is the reason for Bill's philanthropy is the same as for (nearly) all rich people -- he sees that he cannot take it with him, and he wants to do something to have the rest of mankind remember him fondly when he is gone. Carnegie and Rockefeller did the same thing.

Perspective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466600)

Why does the linux community has to do that ?

Mr Gates is very rich and can afford it. I'm quit sure that if you make a sum of all charity donations made by people in the linux community you will still have a nice sum.

Djeezes. Perspective please ?

Ummm. (1)

Skiron (735617) | about 10 years ago | (#11466606)

Call me a cynic, but there is always an ulteria motive involved in moves like this, as seen from past donations made from the fund.

Wow (1)

TheVidiot (549995) | about 10 years ago | (#11466609)

MSAV is back! In needle form!

Sure we can match Bill Gates generosity (1)

lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) | about 10 years ago | (#11466616)

Let's see the Linux community match that generosity

Sure we can. There is an estimate that the cost of the software on a typical Linux distribution disk is $4 billion (i.e. 4x10^9). Which we're giving away for free (as in gratis) in most cases.

If that's not generous, I don't know what is.

I wonder if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466618)

He has shares in the companies producing these vaccines.

chriskzoo5 (5, Interesting)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 10 years ago | (#11466621)

This story looks like both a troll and flamebait, and it gets me to wondering about the submitter. What a shocker. He's a known troll [slashdot.org] .

Cool. (1)

humberthumbert (104950) | about 10 years ago | (#11466624)

Good that he's helping a much needed cause. Don't diss Gates for helping because this sure beats letting the money rot in a bank somewhere.

Also, it's not about how much you give, it's about how much you can afford to give. Remember the widow's mite. Those who give, despite being needy themselves, are really something.

Greedy plan! (1)

af_robot (553885) | about 10 years ago | (#11466625)

Gates secret business plan:
1. Spend $750M to vaccinate children
2. ??????
3. Profit!!!

credit where credit is due (3, Insightful)

MC68000 (825546) | about 10 years ago | (#11466628)

I am not exactly a fan of Microsoft, but come on. The knee-jerk anti Microsoft tilt of /. is amazing. I can see it now. There will be some post rated funny talking about how little Gates has spent to vaccinate Windows PCs against viruses, and it will completely trivialize what is being done here. I can't understand how anyone could come up with any negative aspect of this $750 million gift. Does an orphan in Guatemala care about how terrible Windows is? At least give the guy credit where credit is due.

As I am a Meaning Nazi... (1)

GbrDead (702506) | about 10 years ago | (#11466632)

Let's see if the Linux community can match his generosity.
We have already given much more. And it's not just a Linux community, you know.

Handouts vs Economic growth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466637)

The linux community donates code, while not much in itself, helps struggling countries build up their infrastructure cheaply and legally.

This in turn helps get countries and areas up to a point were they do not need hand outs to support themselves, which is infinately better then just simply handing out vaccines.

Not knocking vaccines or anything, but it's economic growth and democracy/freedome that would save lives hell of a lot more then just UN-provided hand outs.

Now if the small part that the Linux community plays in this sort of deal is worth more then 75 million dollars per year for ten years, I don't know.

It's good that Bill is helping out though. After all when you have 10 billion dollars handing out some of it to helping children aviod some diseases is a great thing.

Might make people like Bill so much that Poland would let the whole unfortunate thing with patents slide in MS's favor.

apt auto added slashdot message (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11466641)

this was at the bottom of the page when I was reading the story

"If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. -- Dorthy Parker"

Proof? (1)

HogynCymraeg (624823) | about 10 years ago | (#11466646)

is this proof that sometimes the ends justify the means?
If I steal your car, use it as a taxi, then give a small percentage of my profits to a good cause, then does it justify my stealing your car? Not at all. I'm still a thief who should be banged up for it.
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