Reddit AMA with Bill Gates21 February 2013
Reddit's online public question and answer sessions or Ask me Anything's are all the rage at the moment, with the great and the good signing up to give users their opinions on any topic the Reddit audience cares to throw at them.
Bill Gates was the latest person to enter the arena and although the majority of the discussion was focused around his work with the Gates Foundation he still found time to give us a few nuggets of wisdom about the current and future state of the technology industry. We've pulled out the questions we found most interesting below, but if you have time it's worth reading this compilation of all his answers.
Q What are your thoughts on the push against the open and free Internet that we have been seeing in the recent past and present (such as sopa, etc)?
A: There are two things this could reference. One is the free/pay for software mix. The Internet has benefited from having lots of free stuff and lots of commercial software. It has been interesting see people inventing hybrid models. Even stuff that is pretty commercial often has free versions for some audiences. Even the most open stuff often have services people choose to pay for. The second thing is the anonymous versus identified tension. This is another one where both will probably thrive since you want anonymity for some things and full identity for others. I am surprised how little progress has been made in the identity space but it will improve.
What emerging technology today do you think will cause another big stir for the average consumer in the same way that the home computer did years ago?
Robots, pervasive screens, speech interaction will all change the way we look at "computers". Once seeing, hearing, and reading (including handwriting) work very well you will interact in new ways..
Do you still code?, if so which language?
Not as much as I would like to. I write some C, C# and some Basic. I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming. It would be great if most high school kids were exposed to programming...
And because it just wouldn't be Ubelly if we didn't manage to find a way to reference this - we were delighted to see that one intrepid user had asked Bill if he still jumped over chairs and equally disappointed to learn he didn't do it as regularly as he used to. If you have no idea what the past paragraph was about, watch the video below and prepare to be amazed by the former Microsoft CEO's physical prowess.
So do you agree with Bill, should more be done to make programming languages simpler or should we accept that there is always going to be that level of complexity? Follow Bill on Twitter and find out more about the Gates Foundation here.