Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Video: Bill Gates, the TED Conference and a Box Full of Mosquitoes

What does it look like when one of the world’s richest men unleashes a box full of mosquitoes at a high-end conference? That’s what Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates did at the TED gathering earlier this week in a much-discussed stunt.

And now you can see for yourself:

Less exciting than it sounded, right? Here’s the thing: The mosquito bit is just the publicity-generating part of Gates’s talk, which is a thoughtful discussion of the problems the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is focused on, and the methods the nonprofit is using to try to solve them.

Modest title: “How I’m Trying To Change The World Now.”

You can see the complete speech here, and it will require 20 minutes of your time. But it’s free, and worthwhile.

The video comes from TED’s–that’s the Technology, Entertainment, Design conference, by the way–“TedTalks” page, which is slowly releasing clips of this week’s conference for those of who couldn’t make it to Long Beach this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing Elizabeth “Eat Pray Love” Gilbert’s presentation, which seemed to generate lots of buzz; you can see what various Twitterers (including our own Walt Mossberg) had to say about the conference here.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work