Bill Gates talks tech with Rolling Stone

Even though I've been covering Microsoft -- its people, its strategies and its products -- for decades, I've written very little about founder Bill Gates in the past five years.

The reason? Once Gates left his day job at Microsoft to focus on his foundation, he seemed to focus very little on Microsoft or the tech world anymore. Sure, he was Microsoft's board chairman until last month, when he was replaced and made "Technology Adviser." And yes, I've heard tales of him sitting in on occasional product reviews over the past few years. But … Read more

Bill Gates reclaims 'world's richest person' title with $76B

Microsoft has gotten a new CEO, bought Nokia's devices and services business, and had better-than-expected earnings the past few months -- another big change is that company chairman Bill Gates has reclaimed his title as the world's richest person.

Forbes released its annual rankings for the world's richest people on Monday showing that Gates overtook telecom mogul Carlos Slim for the first time in four years. Gates' current net worth is $76 billion, up from $67 billion last year, while Slim's fortune fell from $73 billion to $72 billion. The Microsoft chairman has held the No. … Read more

The 404 1,436: Where you're never too old to start Tindering (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Apple CarPlay to bring iPhone experience to your next car's dashboard.

- This electric condom promises to supercharge your sex life.

- 60-year-old goes on Tinder tear: "By the end of the year, I had slept with 15 men, 11 of whom were in their 20s or 30s."

- A smart Netflix employee invents wristband that pauses your shows when you fall asleep.… Read more

Why Mark Zuckerberg's future points to Bill Gates' past

As fellow billionaire tech moguls, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates can fill up auditoriums even when there's no chance they'll deliver headline-making news.

Gates has been doing this for decades. And while Zuckerberg's a veritable piker at this, Facebook's still-under 30 CEO has already mastered the art of saying little while the cameras whirr. Monday's Mobile World Conference chat offered a prime example of how the game gets played.

But one of Zuckerberg's passing comments to his on-stage interlocutor at MWC, David Kirkpatrick, also revealed a determination to pursue a policy of enlightened self-interest, … Read more

Bill Gates fesses up on Reddit to his one 'expensive guilty pleasure purchase'

"Hello Reddit - I'm Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft founder. Ask me anything."

And so they did.

Fresh from helping to choose the next CEO to run the company he co-founded nearly four decades ago, Gates descended from the mountaintop to mix it up with the new media masses with his second Reddit appearance in the last year.

Even before the festivities officially got underway, Gates posted a video where he answered a question ahead of time by someone left on the Reddit board asking whether he would pick up … Read more

Nadella: Our industry respects innovation, not tradition

He wears jeans with a T-shirt and suit coat. Sometimes he wears a hoodie like Mark Zuckerberg. He is a decade younger than his predecessor Steve Ballmer. He grew up in India, but has spent more than half his life in the US. He likes cricket and poetry. He has worked at Microsoft for 22 years, most recently as head of the company's $20 billion cloud and enterprise group. This is Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO.

As he settles into his new role, the question is what will Nadella do different from his predecessor to make Microsoft a … Read more

As Microsoft CEO rumors swirl, consider the Bill Gates factor

As Microsoft allegedly edges closer to naming its new CEO, rumors about a new, more involved role for company founder Bill Gates are gaining steam, too.

According to three different reports from the past few days (Recode, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal), Gates may end up resigning as chairman to take on a more active product development role at the company.

As I've blogged before, I do not have any first-hand board-level leaks about the CEO appointment process. I don't know if Microsoft's current cloud and enterprise chief Satya Nadella really will end up taking on the … Read more

When the Bay Bridge towered over San Francisco

These days, the Golden Gate Bridge is by far the most famous span in the world, let alone California, or even San Francisco. Yet, in 1937, when it was completed, it was considered an afterthought by many, overshadowed by a much larger and more ambitious cousin.

That other bridge, of course, is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, also completed in 1937, an architectural masterpiece that took the Depression-era world by storm.

Today, San Francisco's de Young museum debuts "The Bay Bridge: A Work in Progress, 1933-1936," a brand-new exhibit of about 100 photographs and other works. … Read more

Bill Gates: I assume my phone's not being tapped

"It's not as if government surveillance is absolutely bad in all cases."

Oh, that's a relief. With all the revelations over the last months, I'd begun to wonder.

Thankfully, with these words (and others), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates tried to offer some reassurance to those thinking of moving to some distant private island as a form of escape.

Speaking to Jorge Ramos on Fusion TV, Gates said he believed it was possible to find a balance between security and privacy, though he didn't offer what that magical formula might be.

However, he does seem … Read more

Jimmy Fallon tries to hide his Mac from Bill Gates

It all started so well.

Jimmy Fallon called Bill Gates "cool," which hasn't always been the first word used to describe Microsoft's co-founder.

Gates appeared on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and talked about the stunning success he has contributed in the fight against polio.

Ultimately, though, Fallon wanted to talk gadgets. How will computing change?

Gates replied that tomorrow's computers will be able "to see, to listen, to talk, to recognize handwriting."

Gates has always been keen on handwriting and styluses, hasn't he? Though, I wonder how many of … Read more