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March 03, 2004

Bill Gates speaks at the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and tells a funny story: (Link via Joanne Jacobs.)

People waste a lot of time on various communications modalities. Today software doesn't know which calls or e-mails are important to you. We've all been in meetings where peoples' cell phones ring. We've all gone to our e-mail and found lots of unusual, unwanted e-mail that wastes our time. I have been offered many university degrees in that spam e-mail. (Laughter.) I don't know if they're targeting me or if other people are being offered those as well. The most interesting ones, they said that for dollars a month they would pay all my legal bills. (Laughter, applause.) That one, I know they didn't mean it to come to me probably. (Laughter.)

Another good story about that is just this weekend my wife and I were sleeping in a little bit. Our 7-year old came in and woke us up and said, "You've got to come, you've got to come." And we said, "No, no, no, it's still 7 o'clock, why don't you go back and keep doing what you were doing?" And she said, "Well, I was using the computer and it's amazing." And I said, "Well, keep using it." (Laughter.) And she said, "No, no, no, we won, we won money, dad." (Laughter.) And I didn't want to say something flip, like, "Hey, we don't need more money." (Laughter, applause.) So I got up and, of course, it was one of those come-on type things, and there's my 7-year old who thinks she's won some amazing contest, and I'm trying to explain to her about it's just somebody trying to get her to go to that website and all that.


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