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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

February 4, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Gates releases mosquitoes at tech confab, Web has field day

Steve Jurvetson/flickr

An image of Gates at TED, captured by venture capitalist Steve Jurveston with a Blackberry and posted on flickr.

I’m trying to verify this with the press office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but if the reports streaming in from Twitter are to be believed Bill Gates just released mosquitoes into a crowd of smart, rich people to make a point about malaria. He then said to the audience at TED, an exclusive conference on technology, entertainment and design, “Not only poor people should experience this,” according to several reports.

[Update, 3:19 p.m.: Some Tweets (or Twits, your call) suggest that Gates only pretended to release the mosquitoes. But an official-looking TED Twitter account posted this update about an hour ago: “#TED Confirmed: yes they were real mosquitoes. No they were not malarial. An amazing TED moment.”]

The digs are coming in along these lines, “Well, anyone who uses M. Gates’ products already knows he has no shortage of bugs to spread around.” (From Gawker comments.)

Comments | More in Bill Gates, Gates Foundation, Personalities, Philanthropy, Public policy & issues

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