back to article Gates looses mosquitoes on tech conference bloodsuckers

Bill Gates opened a jar of mosquitoes on stage at a conference for elite technology bloodsuckers on Wednesday to make a point about the spread of malaria. "Malaria is spread by mosquitoes," Gates said before unleashing the insects at the Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference in Long Beach, California. "I …


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  1. Matt Bradley
    Gates Halo

    Too easy

    Bill Gates releasing bugs which can lead to an infection? Surely not!

    ... to easy.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Were they female mosquitos?

    "Malaria is spread by mosquitoes," Gates said ...

    Well, half right. Humans are the other half of the vector, or so I'm told.

    Attendees may want to think about West Nile Virus and maybe Eastern Equine Encephalitis too, as at least WNV has been reported in SoCal.

    What a fscking doofus.

  3. J


    Good title for the video.

    But attendees need not worry. It's extremely unlikely that he got those mosquitoes from the jungles. We have lots of them in labs, for example, and they are obviously clean. Who knows, he might even have released male mosquitoes only, which do not feed on blood and therefore do not transmit anything.

  4. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Re-read the article...

    ...and replace "mosquitoes" with "Windows". It will make a lot more sense.

  5. andrew stevens

    @AC 19:28

    you spelt "fucking" wrong

    On a different topic, this happened on Wednesday, and only gets reported here late in the day on Thursday? Have the hacks at "El Reg" given up reporting now and started just recycling whatever they see on the BBC website? I remember the good old days...

  6. Craig
    Thumb Up


    To be fair.

    Thats fairly awesome.

  7. Adrian Esdaile
    Gates Horns

    Edge of Darkness...

    Bill goes all Darius Jedburg on us! How cool!

    Does it remind anyone else of Darius' little trick with some weapons-grade plutonium? "As a matter of fact, I got some right here..."

    Next thing we know, Bill will turn into a tree...

    (cue guitar solo from Eric Clapton)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @andrew stevens

    <blatant off-topic>

    > you spelt "fucking" wrong

    Haven't you been f*cked over by fsck yet?

    The two words are almost synonymous, at least when it comes to ext2/3 or other Crap Source filesystems.

    Long live XFS!

    </blatant off-topic>

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    deeply disturbing

    I wouldn't give the convulsive one a job. No wonder the software's crap.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Where these mosquitoes Native?

    I am wondering if these Mosquitoes were natvie to the area in which Bill Gates released them?

    If not, did he just violated several serious laws!

    Introducing a foreign species into the local enviroment!

  11. Eddy Ito


    Easy fix, been known for years, it's called dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. I understand it's good for dengue fever too.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gates you nutter

    if only you had been a little more like this with your OS.

  13. Simon Painter

    the word replacer

  14. Rafael

    "But attendees need not worry"

    Are you kidding??!! It was a SWARM of DEADLY VICIOUS DISEASE-RIDDEN KILLER MOSQUITOES and I am QUITE SURE they sucked ALMOST ALL MY BLOOD!!!!11!! I need a doctor... and a lawyer.

  15. Chris C

    Stupid idiot

    How utterly stupid. In all seriousness, I hope the attendees sue him. He voluntarily and willingly inflicted fear and emotional distress to all of the attendees, allowing them to believe that their safety (and, in fact, their lives) were in danger. That is completely unacceptable behavior, even for one of the richest men in the world. If he had said, as he released the mosquitoes, that they did not carry malaria, that would be one thing, but he did not. There is also no guarantee that the mosquitoes weren't carrying any other disease which the attendees could not be infected with (much like deer ticks can carry Lyme disease). To say nothing of the possibility of one of the mosquitoes sucking the blood of an HIV-infected attendee, then introduces that blood into another attendee. Sure, in all likelihood, there will be no negative affects other than some temporary itching, but the truth is, we (and he) just don't know.

    And, since this is the US and the previous administration liked to call everyone a terrorist, consider this -- Bill Gates really is a terrorist. By definition, a terrorist is someone who uses terror/fear to coerce someone into doing something. And that's exactly what Bill Gates was attempting to do. So when will he be arrested and tried as a terrorist?

    There are plenty of (correct) ways to get your message across, and to ask for aid. That was not the way to do it. And while a lot of people will defend the guy, if he's that gung-ho about it, let him contribute a lot more of his personal fortune. He can afford it a lot more than those attendees.

  16. Jamie
    Thumb Down

    Devil in the detail

    Please get the year right. It's basic journalism...... 2006 is a long time ago!


  17. Graham Marsden
    Gates Horns

    Anyone charged him...

    ... with Bio-Terrorism yet?

  18. James Woods

    not cool

    Can they only bite one person? I don't know much about these bugs but if it's possible for them to bite multiple people then the possibility of spreading other diseases is very likely. Who knows what these people have that are in the conference. Or what about the illegal alien help they probably have working the event, what are they bringing over here, gotta wonder. I'd sue, he'd sue you if he had the chance.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    @chris c

    "He voluntarily and willingly inflicted fear and emotional distress"

    Fear? Really?! Emotional Distress?

    The poor little blighters attending TED were obviously to dim to realise it was a stunt and feared for their lives, their children's lives and probably their dog's too. That's three frivolous lawsuits then!

    As stunts go this is also easily controllable, use some clean male mozzies from a lab, because they don't bite, and noone is even itchin'.

    As for HIV, nice use of a bit of emotional FUD in your argument, but surely, surely, HIV has been around long enough for everyone to know mozzies are not a vector for HIV [ if you don't]


    PS: never ever thought I'd use that icon...

  20. martin

    @chris c

    unless i've been trolled ... you even bring in terrorism, nice work...

  21. raving angry loony

    blood suckers

    Personally, I hope someone takes him to court for something like reckless endangerment. Especially if someone was sick at the time. It's about time that bloodsucking bastard got what's coming to him.

  22. Erik Olafsen

    I'll bet...

    ...they were male mosquitoes. You may not like him, but he's not thick.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Adrian Esdaile -- Edge of Darkness

    First thing I thought of!

    Joe Don Baker -- What a seriously stellar star!

  24. Daniel Wilkie

    @James Woods

    That's because he's a Merkin, we're better than that. We should just retire to the Gentlemans lounge and belittle the rapscallion to ensure that the other fine young men all know just what a cad he is what?

  25. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I wonder if there ever were any mosquitos...

    <blah blah>world health<waffle waffle>foreign aid<mumble>

    [reach under desk]This jar (opens jar) contains mosquitoes (waves jar around) which transmit malaria

    Why not? No one will look at the jar beforehand, and given how hard it is to spot the little bastards in a small hotel room, trying to decide whether there were any in big press arena would be a nightmare.

    So, call me a cynic, but "No mosquitoes" = same publicity factor, no potential for law suit for someone who was in a malaria zone last week blames their holiday malaria on you and (for me the biggie) no tedious trip to Insects'R'Us beforehand to stock up

  26. Philip J.F. Quinlan


    Fortunately HIV can't survive in a mosquito the way Malaria and other diseases do.

    I'd assume he used males from a lab source, but of course terror is unrelated to the actual risk involved and so I'd say he could be sued for bio-terrorism.

    That said I'm reminded of the quote "The only way a rich man goes to jail is if a richer one wants him there",and there aren't that many richer than Billy.

  27. Ascylto

    Ha ha ha!

    Bill Gates releasing bugs and helping to spread virus and other infections.

    Nothing new here, M'am. Move along please.

    Maybe this was dreamt up by the same ad agency that gave us the Seinfeldt/Gates promos!

  28. Alex

    @ Chris C

    Are you aware that he gives more money to charity than the entire US ?!

  29. David Kairns


    Needlework population reduction.

    "But wait, he wouldn't do THAT"

    Of course not. Neither would Hitler.

    Uh huh, all the other sheep say that too.

    Better wake the hell up.

  30. David Kairns

    Chris C

    I could jam an ice pick into the peak of your pointed empty skull and swear I'm there to help you, and you would believe it.

    Your wool is overgrown, get a haircut.

  31. David Kairns

    In The Sheep Pens Of Earth...

    ...vacuum skull disbelief is far and away the oppressor's greatest ally.

    You really think the lunatic is NOT in with the FDA who recently said mercury is just fine for pregnant women and children?

    Scathing ignorance is a volotile poison to us all.

    Wake the F UP!

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @andrew stevens

    > you spelt "fucking" wrong

    Two fscking doofuses in 24 hours, what are the odds of that?

    Your nerd status is hereby revoked.

  33. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    Are you aware that all that money is chump change to him ?

    Sure he gives a lot, and of course it's a good thing. Never forget, though, that he has reaped a million times what he gives from the gouging he gave the market.

    In my view, the only thing he's doing is buying himself some respectability.

  34. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris C

    I hate to shock you, but mosquitoes are found in the wild all over the US. During about half the year, I don't need Bill Gates to bring around a jar, I just have to walk out into my back yard. Remarkably enough, I've not yet come down with malaria, dengue, yellow fever, or West Nile Virus.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Just a gimmick

    It is just a PR stunt on Billy Boy's part.

    Paris, cuz she like to bite too.

  36. Steve John

    @Simon Painter

    That word replacer is genius.

    The following link contains swears!

  37. Charles Smith
    Gates Halo

    Mandatory LINUX angle

    Was that the guy who released the MoSCOtos a couple of years ago?

  38. Sonya Fox

    Re; angry raving loony, andrew stevens

    @angry raving loony

    "It's about time that bloodsucking bastard got what's coming to him"

    <sarcasm>That bastard! Where does he get off donating all of that money to charity? Someone really must put a stop to this, what a felonious cad!</sarcasm>

    @ andrew stevens

    "you spelt "fucking" wrong"

    You spelled "fscking" wrong.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid idiot by Chris C

    true dat.

    There's nothing funny or clever about it. I think we all know that (poor?) countries have major problems with malaria. They also die from diahrrea. It is not my fault. So why should you put laxatives in the buffet? I am sort of sick of the rich countries being told they should help out the poor ones, when the actual reason they are poor is because of the RICH corrupted people in charge.

    What good will it REALLY do, to donate nets to Africa? What good will it do when a supposedly common belief (or excuse) is that raping virgins cures men of AIDs?

    Why is there a charity getting lots of press about stopping tetanus in poor countries? Yes, terrible. They are dying of tetanus. Lets help them. THEN we find out the reason they're getting tetanus is because they are stuffing open wounds with dirt from the ground in some weird attempt to make it heal?

  40. Aaron Guilmette
    Gates Halo

    @Chris C

    The comment "And while a lot of people will defend the guy, if he's that gung-ho about it, let him contribute a lot more of his personal fortune. He can afford it a lot more than those attendees" is ridiculous populist tripe. He funded the BMGF with $220m of his own money, which is far more than you'd most likely make in 50 lifetimes. While it is a small fraction of his estimated $40bn (most of which is perpetually falling US stock holdings), it's still a significant monetary amount.

    Additionally, Gates has publicly stated that upon the death of he and his wife, 99% of his remaining wealth will be donated to charities, which will still most likely be in the neighborhood of $30-40bn. Additionally, when he and his wife die, the entire endowment of the BMGF must be distributed within 50 years.

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