Voices

The wise knew the demise would be slow. Bill Gates gave newspapers another 50 years

Nerds of the cyberstocracy

There may be something oddly prophetic in Douglas Coupland's novel Microserfs, writes Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Throw away the Times and win

Today the Times transforms itself into Britain's biggest freesheet. The newspaper is being given away as part of a marketing campaign by Microsoft, the American software company.

Wall Street in the grip of techno-frenzy

Netscape is going to be the Microsoft of the Internet - or so investors hope.

Leading Article: Keeping up with the barons

Free countries should be fractious places. Newspapers, television channels, magazines, electronic information services are there to amplify the arguments - in short, to cause more trouble. This newspaper was founded precisely because the great media warlords of print and screen cause too little trouble in the bear garden of ideas.

Struggling to put a brain to a face

review

Inmarsat joins race to build first global satellite mobile phone system

THE RACE to build the first global pocket satellite telephone system intensified yesterday when Inmarsat, the London-based consortium, unveiled plans for the first stage of development, writes Russell Hotten.

Home is where the office is

IT IS estimated that anywhere between one and four million people in Britain work at home, and - with the rail strike likely to accelerate the trend - the numbers are rising.

City & Business: Bizarre options

PETER KINDERSLEY is an influential publisher and a very rich man. As a book designer in the 1970s he helped produce the seminal bedside manual, The Joy of Sex, before going on to found his own publishing company, Dorling Kindersley. Apart from the occasional hiccup, DK has prospered, producing a raft of distinctively designed reference books. Bill Gates of Microsoft was impressed enough to take a 20 per cent stake in the company, and the two sides are busy converting books on to interactive CDs.

Wealthiest 120 in US worth total of dollars 251bn

AMERICA'S 120 billionaires are worth a combined total of dollars 251bn. Should they choose they could balance the books for the Federal government, which is expected to run a fiscal 1994 deficit of dollars 225bn.

YORK ON ADS / No 21: Apple

APPLE IS making its pitch for the world of multimedia and information super-highways. It's getting there via the sensibility of the moderately hip thirtysomething - ie, The World of Jonathan Ross.

Pembroke: Wedded bliss

BILL GATES, 37-year-old head of the software giant Microsoft, has no fears that his forthcoming nuptials will hamper his business drive. Mr Gates, who is the richest man in the US and has been dubbed 'The Nerd', told a gathering of Britain's business leaders: 'I've been trying to tell people - it takes a lot of time being single. I think being married will be very efficient.' Romantic, huh?

BOOK REVIEW / Brainy nerds with a greedy passion for chips: 'Accidental Empires' - Robert X Cringely: Viking, 16.99 pounds

THE AUTHOR of this boisterous history of chips and keyboards reckons that the personal computer industry, which in 1990 recorded sales of pounds 70bn, is the fourth-biggest business in the world, behind cars, energy and, of course, illegal drugs. That's not bad for a gadget only 15 years old. But Robert X Cringely resists the temptation to write pious hymns to the wild energy and far-sightedness of the brainy Californians who introduced us to the special pleasures of staring at a small screen, wondering what the hell's going on in there. On the contrary, he is here, he says, to point out three things:

BOOK REVIEW / Follow the nerd instinct and make a billion: Hard Drive: James Wallace & Jim Erickson - John Wiley & Sons pounds 14.95

BILL GATES is an ugly sort of chap. At 36 going on 19, spots, dandruff and checked sports shirts are still high on the agenda, while personal hygiene and grooming come somewhat lower. If your daughter brought him home, you'd probably take her aside and ask her what she was doing with such a nerd.
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