Bill Gates Ain’t Scared [10/4/08]

Another brief Sunday morning round up. My ritual is to watch – in order Meet the Press on NBC, This Week on ABC, then Late Edition and GPS on CNN. By the end of GPS, there’s either sports on, or I have to get on with my supposed life.

Typically, though, as I did today, I sleep through most of Meet the Press, and the first half of This Week. But I was on my second cup of coffee by GPS, where the guest was Bill Gates.

Bill Gates is more worried about the state of US high school education than he is about the financial markets. He sees that thing as a short term correction, and believes the actual economy, drive by ideas and innovation, shows signs of recent improvement.

Besides, he did not say, regardless of how you think derivatives should be marked for accounting purposes, you’re still going to do that with Excel.

(Say what you will about Microsoft, for my money, Excel si still the most functional spreadsheet program on the market, and the only reason to plunk down $$ on MS Office. If it doesn’t come bundled with XL, you might as well download OpenOffice.)

Having played around some with Open Office, I can tell you that I have to go back to Excel to make complex character sheets, and the word processor has an annoying habit of trying to finish my words for me. Whatever algorithm they’re using to guess what I’m trying to type has poor luck predicting the syntax of roleplaying game rules. The outline functions are frustrating me too, but that may still be a learning curve issue.

Hey, Pakistan has a new head spy. Amidst all the drama about the financial meltdown and the antics of Sarah Palin, the post which may have the most direct impact on the battle against al Qaida changed hands. Who knew? Well the AP, of course, and the Sepia Mutiny, for those who don’t want to rely upon CNN for the 30 seconds of coverage the most volatile and heavily armed region of the world gets in the average US 24 hour newscycle.