Bill Gates 'Ask Me Anything': 2014 Reddit Thread Talks Microsoft, Condoms

Image: Bill Gates 'Ask Me Anything': 2014 Reddit Thread Talks Microsoft, Condoms

Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 01:11 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Bill Gates returned to Reddit this week for a 2014 "Ask Me Anything" session and fielded user questions on everything from the National Security Agency's infamous surveillance program to his new role with Microsoft to condom design.

"I had a lot of fun doing last year's AMA and am excited to come back for another round of questions about everything from philanthropy to technology to how to lose a chess match in less than 90 seconds," Gates wrote on the site Monday.

Here are the highlights from Gates' 2014 "Ask Me Anything" Reddit session:

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What is something you enjoy doing that you think no one would expect from you?


"Playing Bridge is a pretty old fashioned thing in a way that I really like. I was watching my daughter ride horses this weekend and that is also a bit old fashioned but fun. I do the dishes every night — other people volunteer but I like the way I do it."


Any luck with the condom design competition?


In March 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced one of its Gates' Grand Challenges, a series of grant programs aimed at solving the world's biggest health problems. The condom-design contest was intended to help stop the worldwide spread of HIV/AIDS.

"This is a sensitive topic. The idea was that men don't like the current design so perhaps something they would be more open to would allow for less HIV transmission. We still haven't gotten the results. One grantee is using carbon nanotubes to reduce the thickness."


Can you describe your new role at Microsoft?


Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recently moved into the role of technology adviser to Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Gates' company Microsoft. 

"I make sure we pick ambitious scenarios and that we have a strong architecture to deliver on them. I encourage good work (hopefully)."


What is your best personal financial advice for people who make under $100,000 per year?


"Invest in your education."


How do you feel about the NSA and its oversight of computer usage?


"This is a complex issue. Privacy will be increasingly important as cameras and GPS sensors are gathering information to try and be helpful. We need to have trust in the way information is protected and gathered. There is a role for the government to try and stop crime and terrorism but it will have to be more open. I do think terrorism with biological or nuclear weapons is something we want to minimize the chance of."

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