Bill Gates talks encryption, and clean energy

Tobin Low Feb 23, 2016

Don’t space out yet, it’s only Tuesday. Here are some need-to-know numbers to end your day.


As the debate over encryption rages on — the FBI wants Apple to unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino attackers, while Apple has called the request “unprecedented” — Microsoft founder Bill Gates enters the fray. Speaking to the Financial Times, Gates said that he thought tech companies should cooperate in case-specific instances, and that this would not lead to the creation of general access to devices. The position sets the tech mogul and philanthropist apart from many of the big names in Silicon Valley, who have taken Apple’s side in refusing to comply. But according to the BBC, a Pew Research survey found about 51 percent of Americans think the FBI should be given access.

One place where many of the tech giants agree is clean energy. Founded by Bill Gates, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition boasts some of the biggest names, including Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, and Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, to name a few. Gates joined Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to talk about the united mission of the group, which includes a belief that “ruthless,” private-sector business strategies should be applied to energy innovation. Gates is thinking a lot about the future, as evidenced by his latest letter to followers of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — it’s addressed to 15-year-olds.

Maybe some of those teenagers are dreaming of becoming just like Gates. Or maybe they want to be astronauts. In any case, both options are pretty tough. Especially when you consider this fun fact: in its most recent call for astronaut applications, NASA received a record 18,300 applications. As WIRED UK writes, that’s about 10,000 more than the previous record.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.