The image doing the rounds of $205 million in cash (from a drug lord’s stash) reminded me of an IKEA double bed. In fact, it’s pretty much what I like to imagine Bill Gates’ bed looking like.

The great knock-off font swindle

When Apple launched Mac OS X, they made a big thing about its typographical capabilities. To show off the new type rendering engine, they licensed and bundled… More than $1,000 of the best fonts available today, including Baskerville, Herman Zapf’s Zapfino, Futura, and Optima; as well as the highest-quality Japanese fonts available, in the largest character set ever on a personal computer. It’s interesting to contrast this with Microsoft’s approach. Back when they launched Windows, they needed some fonts too.

Quote of the week

Further proof that satire is truly obsolete: Microsoft Corp. mogul Bill Gates and the leader of Ford Motor Co. outlined a future Friday in which software enables cars to fix themselves and never crash. […] Eventually, Gates said, there could be a car that wouldn’t let itself crash. —Washington Post Even ignoring the issue of who’s saying it, the scenario of cars that don’t allow themselves to crash is about as realistic as the scenario of fusion powered hover-bikes.

Borrow-and-spend Republicanism

The House has passed a $550 billion tax cut. The attempt to remove all taxation from corporate dividends failed, however, as even a few Republicans couldn’t see why people like Bill Gates needed to be given their millions of dollars a year in dividends tax free during a recession.

Microsoft: Perjurers or traitors?

May 13th 2002: Jim Allchin (VP for platforms) and Bill Gates swear under oath that disclosing Windows source code could compromise US national security, and that some code is so flawed it simply cannot be disclosed. February 28th 2003: Bill Gates announces that Microsoft will be revealing the complete Windows source code to China. So, which are they? Perjurers or traitors?

Five Admirable Billionaires

1. Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple Computer. C’mon, you knew I was going to pick Steve, didn’t you? It’s not that he doesn’t have his faults. He’s notoriously egotistical, can be breathtakingly rude, and allegedly cheated Woz on the payments for the design of Breakout. (Still, Woz seems to have forgiven him.) I’m not sure I’d want to work for Steve Jobs, and I’m still angry that he destroyed the Newton for no good reason, but it can’t be denied that he has turned Apple’s product designs from lackluster to stunning, and brought back a wonderful OS that may yet save the company in the long run.

A response to Ben Stein

The following annotations are meta-commentary on Ben Stein’s recent article in Forbes. Speed up the decay of the school system—introduce voucher schemes to divert the money that would otherwise be spent on education, and funnel it into religious organizations. Discourage the teaching of science by introducing mandatory “Creationism” lessons, and putting confusing disclaimers on science textbooks. Send your children to private schools. Enshrine a thoroughly corrupt electoral system, in which corporations fund the politicians, and the politicians then give the money back to the corporations in exchange for airtime and media space.

Microsoft and Groove

Ray Ozzie, one of the founders of Lotus, has been sighted standing obediently behind Bill Gates at the Windows XP media events. Obviously the fact that Microsoft paid Groove (Ray’s new startup) $51m is the reason. Equally obvious is the fact that Groove will suffer the same fate as most of the other companies that have decided to let Microsoft invest in them. Expect to see Groove technology bundled into Windows and .

Microsoft prepares to turn the screws…

Now that George W is Acting President, Microsoft is confidently returning to its old business practices. Like every successful monopolist, they’ve decided that it’s time to bleed the customers dry. There are apparently two main components to this strategy: If you don’t upgrade to Windows XP or Windows 2000 and Office 2000 by October, you’ll have to pay full retail price for future Windows and Office upgrades. Yes, they’re coupling Office with Windows—be running the latest version of both by October, or pay full price for upgrades for both.