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More Bugs From Microsoft: Bill Gates Releases Mosquitoes at Ted 2009 Conference

by Lambert Varias
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If you were campaigning to put an end to violence, would you threaten to beat up your audience to drive home that “violence = badong”?  No? That’s because you’re not a genius. From now on let such sublime logic be known as WWBGD – What Would Bill Gates Do? Microsoft’s chairman was at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) 2009 conference to help raise awareness against diseases that plague developing countries.

gates_at_ted

One of those diseases is malaria, and so Gates was calling for support from rich governments to help fund efforts against the disease.  Malaria has been eliminated in first-world countries in 1970 through the development of the drug quinine, but it’s still present in third-world countries. Hence Gates’ little joke: he opened a jar containing “more than a few, but probably fewer than ten” mosquitoes and said, “we’ll let them roam around the auditorium. There’s no reason only the poor should experience this…”

Techflash confirms the expected: the mosquitoes weren’t carrying malaria. But I think he still scared – and pissed off – a few people in the crowd. Up next: Gates campaigns for better internet security, aims to raise awareness about viruses… and trojans?

[also via Ethan Zuckerman’s blog]

image via msnbc



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