Microsoft’s Gates Wants Meeting with Brazil’s Lula

Bill Gates is trying to get a meeting with the president of Brazil, presumably to lobby against the Brazilian government’s planned migration to Linux and free software.

Tired of paying costly licensing fees to companies like Microsoft, Brazil, the world’s eighth-most wired nation, has told agencies in its sprawling federal bureaucracy to move to Linux and free software programs that run on it.

This year, the government will try to get private citizens to make the switch. It will partially subsidize the purchase for lower middle-class people of 1 million computers running Linux along with 25 other open source programs.

Microsoft has had some success combatting these kinds of government initiatives by coming in and offering huge discounts, which makes me wonder how many of these announcements are just ploys to get price breaks from Microsoft. Brazil seems pretty committed, though, and doesn’t seem to even want to talk to Gates.

Lifestyle May Explain Much of Drop in Heart Deaths

A study attributes the recent dramatic drop in heart attack deaths in the UK to lifestyle changes. This articles contains what I think is an astonishing statistic:

Statistics show that over the 1980s and 90s, deaths from heart disease fell by half in England and Wales. The new study, which is based on the cumulative data from past research, found that there were 68,230 fewer heart disease deaths in 2000 than in 1981.

This, the study authors estimate, added nearly a million years, in total, to the lives of English and Welsh adults between the ages of 25 and 84.

It makes sense when you think about it but it’s still an amazing number.

New U.S. Food Guidelines Stress Vegetables, Grains

The Federal government’s new dietary guidelines are out and they’re being hailed as the strongest yet.

The guidelines, updated every five years, recommend eating up to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and specify that at least three of the daily servings of grains be whole grains such as whole wheat, oats or brown rice.

They also emphasize getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day — an hour for children. And officials said the “food pyramid” may be replaced by something easier to understand.