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Fata Morgana
2004-10-02 22:04
Gates' visit to Berkeley
So Bill came and went. I'd write up a detailed explanation of what happened, but Joe Hall has already done a better job than I probably could, and Ping has a good summary too. I'll sum it up as predictably propagandized, as all such public appearances tend to be. We handed out about 800 flyers to the crowd in the hour or so before the event, and talked to two Microsoft PR folks (friendly guys, but they seemed to be focused on smoothing ruffled feathers) and the press for an hour or so afterward. The two points we kept trying to make to them was that if Microsoft really wants to change its image, two things it could do was to stop making false or inflammatory statements (like Bill's claim that the GPL prevented commercialization), and to follow their words with actions (like what Cory Doctorow said in his DRM speech at Microsoft Research last June). Anyway, we also set up a blog, so you can make comments on the questions that were on the flyer.

I ran into the Dean the day before the event. I took a class that he co-taught last fall, so he recognized me and I mentioned that I was going to the Gates talk. He asked me if I had any "hard" questions to ask Bill. He went on to describe a few that he wanted to ask (and did), but explained that he didn't want to make them "too hard." I mentioned the Waterloo C# issue, and he said, "Oh, but that was the Waterloo faculty who initiated the offer, not Microsoft!" I said that's not what I had heard, but then he talked a bit more about what he wanted to say and then had to go, so I didn't get to talk about any of the other questions we had. Ah well; one of the event staff gave him a flyer the next morning (though he didn't incorporate any of it into his own cue cards). In general, the event staff were very friendly and a few said they were glad we were there. Right before we went in, I saw one older woman holding up an anti-Microsoft sign by the Bears Lair entrance across from Zellerbach, but otherwise there was no other dissent that I saw.

Also, I'm proud of Ping for his statement.

So far I've gotten one positive blog post as a result of the event and one negative (and rather irrational and hateful) one, both on other posts since I'm writing this one a day late. Interestingly, the negative one exhibits the same sort of irrationality that I sometimes see liberals say toward conservatives, and one that I don't like coming from either side. It's just as worthless to call Bush stupid as it is to tell me that I and others like me should be "shipped to some deserted island" - both are examples of a personal attack fallacy, and neither change minds or add useful information to a particular argument.
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2004-10-03 05:14 (UTC)
(no subject)
I syndicated Joe Hall's blog as nqb2 here.
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2004-10-03 07:26 (UTC)
I was at Waterloo just before the Microsoft C# deal went down, and was following it somewhat closely -- I'm one of the cofounders of uwstudent and had to cope with the slashdotting.

what the dean said didn't juve with my memory, but check UWS for more details.
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2004-10-03 21:30 (UTC)
(no subject)
Ah, found Ping's journal. Off to comment in it! (Though my opinion of his action differs from yours.)
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Fata Morgana
2004-10-03 23:47 (UTC)
(no subject)
We were both handing out flyers and talking to the press. He also made a comment during the question period.
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2004-10-03 23:48 (UTC)
(no subject)
It's about the nature of his comment that I was seeking him out.
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"..I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes...": comment
2004-10-05 21:06 (UTC)
The Alliance..
Does this mean m$ won @ Cal?
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2004-11-14 17:12 (UTC)
(no subject)
Hi. I'm only a student so maybe what I have to say doesn't matter. But I was on a chat about Playstations, which led to a discussion about iPods, which led to Microsoft, which led to Bill Gates. But in the middle of it something came up and somebody said it impacts Berzerkely...I mean Berkeley...sorry. :-)

Look at this blog story:


There was somebody who was a boyfriend of a journalism student who is a news intern, and he said Berkeley will lose money if Gates wins that case. He said his girlfriend believes the owner of it doesn't want Gates to get anything good out of it, because he already robbed him or something, but Gates is scheming to find tricky ways to acquire it or use it to win and screw the university of california. He said his girlfriend said that same blog lists a refernece that makes Steve Jobs' iPod new patent invalid, or questionable, but that it has already been stolen by Bill Gates secret friends at some big law firm.

Maybe one of you should tell the administrators or lawyers at Berkeley to look into this?

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my journal
September 2013