The Billionaires: Cash and chips - the perfect recipe
This may not be hot news. But this year's Forbes list of "Richest Americans" tells the story more vividly than ever. Bill Gates - Richmond is the home of his software colossus, Microsoft - emerges as both number one on this list (again), but as also the wealthiest person on the planet.
More than that, though, among the top five on the list, only Warren Buffett, in second place, made his money by doing something other than fiddling with bytes. (His special talent: Wall Street investing.)
Nowhere can now challenge the computer industry as the place to turn innovation and grit into fortunes. Forbes itself highlights this striking contrast: in 1982, when it published its first list, it was the energy industry that ruled - eight of the top ten had made their money from oil. No longer.
It is no accident, that California - the cradle of the cyber-industry - claims number one spot as the US state with the most members of the 400-club. (It has 83 of them, compared to just 47 for New York in second place, and 29 in Texas). Scan the list and the familiar names leap out, from software factories to processor makers: Intel, Apple, Netscape, Hewlett Packard and so on.
Beneath the top five (whose four high-tech entrants are Gates, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, and Intel chief Gordon Moore), you find Steven Ballmer (No 6), also of Microsoft, Michael Dell (16), of Dell Computer, and William Hewlett (23), of Hewlett Packard.
These cyber-fortunes are mostly on paper, however. Fortunes can be made and just as quickly dashed in Silicon Valley as investors pour dollars into a new venture and just as quickly abandon it. And if Wall Street ever trips on its upwards climb, the technology stocks - and the Forbes stars - could crash quicker than a computer.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to be published
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is actively r...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: A Level Chemistry Teacher - Humb...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Teacher of Religious Education ...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...