At $72B, Bill Gates is richest American for 20th straight year

It's hard to think of a year in which Bill Gates wasn't at the top of the Fortune 400 list, considered as the definitive annual list of America's richest.

And so it goes: the Microsoft co-founder continues to be the wealthiest American for the 20th year in a row, according to the list, thanks to his total net worth of $72 billion, up $6 billion from 2012.

In second place comes Warren Buffett with $58.5 billion, up $12.5 billion from 2012. Despite the 25 percent increase in personal wealth year over year, it's … Read more

John Sculley spills the beans on firing Steve Jobs

It's perhaps one of the most famous -- or infamous -- personnel moves in Silicon Valley history: then Apple CEO John Sculley's 1985 firing of Steve Jobs. But until now, we've never known much about how it happened.

At a Forbes conference in Bali last week, however, Sculley opened up about the firing, telling some of the richest and most powerful people on Earth just how he came to deliver Jobs' pink slip.

At the conference, Sculley spent eight minutes rehashing the infamous history after an audience member asked about it. "The ballroom then sat in … Read more

The 404 1,267: Where we fang with briends (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- The Worst Room makes everyone in New York feel terrible.

- San Francisco hotels pricey? Van on Airbnb is only $92 a night.

- A bold new font lets dyslexia sufferers read.

- Bang With Friends goes mobile, because some people want to get it on the run.

- A Wi-Fi enabled Microsoft ad printed in Forbes magazine offers free Internet to readers.… Read more

Microsoft turns Forbes magazines into Wi-Fi hot spots

I have always believed that the old and the new can coexist with extreme joy.

Microsoft appears to believe this too.

In a promotion that melds the dying world of magazines with the living world of Wi-Fi, select copies of Forbes are enjoying a Wi-Fi router, which oozes 15 days of free Wi-Fi through T-Mobile.

This fetching gift was first noticed by someone on the Slickdeals forum -- handle BigMacG4 -- who wondered whether anyone else had been fortunate enough to be gifted this way.… Read more

Bill Gates twixt Putin and pope at No. 4 in Forbes 'most powerful'

Wielding both wealth and influence, Bill Gates is the world's fourth most powerful person, as ranked by Forbes.

Rising to fourth place from fifth last year, Gates was cited by Forbes for his vast fortune. The Microsoft co-founder is worth $65 billion even after donating more than $28 billion toward various causes.

But it's also his mission and his influence that make Gates a powerful man.

As co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he's been on a quest to stamp out a variety of diseases around the world. As Forbes notes, Gates estimates that the … Read more

Steve Jobs -- The untold tales

Steve Jobs left strong impressions on the people he knew, and some of them have shared those impressions in the latest issue of Forbes.

Stories about meetings and encounters with Jobs are always intriguing owing to the multifaceted personality of the man.

This Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the death of the Apple leader, prompting the magazine to publish some of the "untold" tales about Jobs as related by friends and colleagues.

Web browser guru and now venture capitalist Marc Andreessen related a story in which Jobs showed him a prototype of the first iPhone in 2006. … Read more

Gates up, Zuckerberg down in latest ranking of super-rich

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates held onto his No. 1 position for the 19th straight year in Forbes' annual ranking of the 400 richest people in America.

Helped by the appreciation in Microsoft's stock in the last year, Gates' $66 billion net worth increased by $7 billion from a year earlier.

He was joined on the list by fellow tech moguls Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, whose $41 billion put him in the No. 3 spot. CEO Jeff Bezos finished 11th with $23.2 billion. Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google held down the 12 and 13 spots … Read more

Microsoft's Ballmer challenges Vanity Fair's 'lost decade' claim

Did Microsoft lose itself over the past decade? Its CEO obviously doesn't think so.

In a Forbes interview published yesterday, Steve Ballmer was asked about the recent Vanity Fair article that charged poor management and bureaucracy at Microsoft with hurting the company financially and technologically over the past ten years.

Ballmer's response?

"It's not been a lost decade for me! I mean, look, ultimately progress is measured sort of through the eyes of our users," he told Forbes. "More than our investors or our P&L [profit and loss] or anything else, it'… Read more

Would you wear a TV?

David Forbes is a man with a fashionable vision.

After completing a working video coat with a mega assortment of color LEDs, Forbes has moved onto a smaller, slightly more practical application: an LED TV vest.

The $20,000 array is no slouch, using custom-made circuit boards that pump nearly 5 gigabits of data to 14,400 red, green, and blue LEDs.

Surveillance video technology limits the resolution of the video so content is watchable on the flexible vest, which displays content at 160x120. Battery life clocks in around 90 minutes, and runs off lithium-polymer batteries commonly used for remote … Read more

Zuckerberg voted 9th most powerful in the world

Power, unlike beauty, is less in the eye of the beholder and more in the hands of the cudgel-wielder.

The question, then, is just how much people ought to be shivering at the idea that Forbes has declared Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the ninth most powerful person in the world.

Yes, it seems there are only eight people alive who can stop him in his quest to control precisely everything.

Who, of those eight, might be prepared to do it? At No. 1 is President Barack Obama. But he seems pleasantly disposed to Zuckerberg. They've even had dinner together. … Read more