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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

December 15, 2006 at 12:03 PM

Bill Gates and Bono talk politics

Apparently Gates and the U2 frontman had dinner Wednesday and talked about ways to get presidential candidates talking about global health issues in the next campaign.

Perhaps he was inspired by all the talk of Bill running for president.

I heard about this third hand, through one of the bloggers that Microsoft flew to Seattle to schmooze with Bill on Thursday. They left with some gossipy blog fodder and the gift of a Zune, but apparently no breaking news.

Below are some excerpts from a recap by Steve Rubel, one of the 14 bloggers who participated. Rubel also happens to work for Edelman, one of Microsoft’s PR firms, but he’s still one of the voices Microsoft was trying to influence.

Anyway, it sounds like Bill deflected questions about SCO and Linux, agreed that digital rights management needs more work, recounted how he once planned to become a lawyer, and reiterated his interested in biology and energy ventures.

Other tidbits selected from Rubel’s blog:

Q) What is the most important thing we can do as tech leaders re. education/healthcare?

A) Get involved in the school where your children go…. For healthcare (and developing nations), distance is an issue. Sometimes the most we can do is vote for certain political candidates. (Gates said he and Bono discussed this over dinner last night — specifically what they can do to surface these two issues in the upcoming Presidential campaign.)

Q) What would you be looking at today if you were an independent entrepreneur?

A) Something dramatic like artificial intelligence. Biology. Energy.

Q) What’s on your Zune? (Rubel’s question)

A) All of the U2 stuff plus a lot more musicals than you might expect — for example, Wicked.

Q) Are there things on the horizon that will bring more transparency to government?

A) It should be interesting to watch online video in upcoming presidential election. People will try to outdo each other to be the online hip guy.

The internet has made it difficult to run a regime that runs on secrecy. Government is already benefiting. Government isn’t open to competitive forces. All things good or bad will come more slowly to government

Q) What’s on your Christmas list?

A) I am always hard to buy for; www.teach12.com has great lectures on science topics. I didn’t buy the last DVDs of (the TV series) 24. I try not to purchase these so I can receive them as gifts.

My suggestion to Melinda: The last season of 24 was awful. Bill might want one of these instead.

Comments | Topics: Microsoft, Public policy

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