2 min read

Bill Gates’ green machine

The U.S. tax office uses a special computer to house the Microsoft chairman's financial data. However, it doesn't make things efficient

Okay, we get it. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is really, really, really rich. According to recent news reports, the world’s wealthiest man said the U.S. tax office has to store his financial data on a special computer because his fortune is so immense.

Gates revealed the information about his taxes at a recent Microsoft conference in Lisbon.

“I am constantly getting these notices telling me I haven’t paid something, when really it is just on the wrong computer,” he added in comments broadcast on television.

“Then they will send me another notice telling me how bad they feel that they sent me a notice that was a mistake.”

Poor Bill. Well, not literally poor: Gates is reported to be worth around US$55 billion. While it’s easy to be cynical about Gates’s wealth, it should be pointed out that he and his wife Melinda, along with rock star Bono Vox (Paul Hewson), were Time magazine’s “Persons of the Year” for 2005, owing to their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health.

The question is, does the U.S. tax office’s “Gates computer” run Windows? And how often does it crash? There’s some irony potential here.

High tech humour

Now it’s time for some high-tech toilet humour. According to news reports, police in San Diego are looking for a crook who swiped a high-tech toilet seat worth about $3,000. Apparently, the seat is thermostatically controlled and circulates hot water to warm the bottom. And that’s all we know (or want to know).

The toilet seat thief was still at large at press time — so keep the washroom door locked.

PCs for guns

Canadians concerned about gun crime could take a page out of Mexico’s books, where residents of the country’s capital city are being invited to exchange weapons for computers.

Authorities in one of Mexico City’s 16 districts are offering a new computer, out of 150 donated by a charitable foundation, for each gun handed in. The computers-for-guns program, which echoes past schemes in other city districts that offered groceries for guns, will target some of the district’s most crime-hit areas.

It wasn’t clear weather the computers included technical support, Internet service — or ammunition.