Can Bill Gates Control the Weather?

Photograph: Courtesy of Microsoft
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is a man with a permanent light bulb over his head. His latest idea? Controlling the weather. Sounds insane, but in a patent application recently released to the public, Gates and several co-inventors have concocted a scheme to kill hurricanes over the ocean before they wreak havoc on land.

The idea is for barges to pump cold water from the depths of the ocean to create a sort of road block for the hurricane. Since hurricanes cull power from the water's warm temperatures, cooling the water could theoretically lessen the impact or outright dismantle a hurricane.

Intellectual Ventures Lab, an organization built by former Microsoft executives to brainstorm new technologies to benefit mankind, says that this isn't a Plan A or Plan B scenario, but rather a Plan C. Pablos Holman wrote in the company's blog that Big Hurricane Suck would be used when "humans decide that we have exhausted all of our behavior changing and alternative energy options and need to rely on mitigation technologies."

It's hard not to make a joke here about Windows -- the analogy is too powerful. Once Microsoft exhausted its resources patching and promoting Vista, it was forced into pushing Windows 7 out earlier than expected. Stop the storm before it intensifies, lands, and destroys PCs due to faulty builds. Ahh. There, I said it.

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