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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.

August 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Bill Gates takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge [video]

Bill Gates is the latest tech titan to take up the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS.

Gates accepted the challenge, issued Wednesday, by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Gates drenched himself in ice water in the most engineery sort of way (see video above). He then challenged Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, entertainment host Ryan Seacrest and TED curator Chris Anderson.

In addition to Gates and Zuckerberg, other tech titans — including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin — have joined a spate of celebrities in taking part in this summer’s viral video stunt that has raised millions for ALS research.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said Gates also made a personal donation to the cause, though she didn’t specify the amount.

ALS — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — is a neuromuscular disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing those with the disease to progressively lose control of their muscle movements. It often leads to paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis, according to the ALS Association. There is no known cure.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was started by the family of Pete Frates, a former Division I baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS two years ago, according to a Bloomberg report.

As of Friday, the ALS Association said it had received $9.5 million in donations, compared to $1.6 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 15), adding that the contributions have come from existing donors and 184,812 new donors.

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: bill gates, ice bucket challenge

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