Members of the case modding community have long looked up to John Hanlon, aka JohnHanlon303, as more than just a friendly face; many consider him a full-fledged mentor. Earlier this year, the community learned that Hanlon suffers from incurable asbestos poisoning that leaves him with 40 percent lung capacity and recently, left him permanently unable to work. Rather than simply sending social media condolences, the modderati, with the help of several sponsors, leaped into action to try and raise funds for Hanlon. The result -- the John Hanlon Fundraiser PC -- went up for auction on eBay this afternoon and looks amazing.
Over the next three years, Mozilla will collect $900 million from Google as agreed upon in a recently renewed and extended search deal that will keep Google as the default search engine in Firefox. That's a three-fold increase annually over the previous search deal, which in 2010 worked out to $103 million, or 84 percent of Mozilla's revenue. Now Mozilla is imploring Firefox users to donate $10 or more.
Visit any Wikipedia page and you'll see at the top a big, bold font personal appeal from site founder Jimmy Wales who once again is asking for handouts. His plea starts off by letting visitors know Wikipedia is the No. 5 website in the world, serving 454 million people each month and dishing out billions of page views. Maintaining its modest army of 400 servers and 95 staff costs money, and advertising has no place on Wikipedia, Wales says. As for your cash, well, that's a different story.
When a sticky-fingered thief pilfers your laptop, you rarely get a chance to track him down – unless you use Prey, that is. We've already covered how to use the GPS-enabled, screenshot-sending program to recover your notebook in just that circumstance, but creative researchers at MIT have started using Prey for a more humane effort. They've begun installing the software on second-hand electronics sent to developing countries in Indonesia, South Asia and Africa to help charities put a face to people who are helped by the donations.
Microsoft this week announced plans to donate more than $1 million in grant money to the two schools at the Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez Learning Center in Los Angeles. The grant will enable the schools to equip their campuses with state-of-the-art technology and includes a $50,000 cash donation for ongoing technical support, teacher and student training, curriculum, and mentoring opportunities for students to learn about new careers, Microsoft said.
"We believe students can do amazing things when they have access to the right technology, tools and training that will help them build 21st-century skills to prepare them to be college- and career-ready," said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp. "It is our hope that we can inspire the next generation of leaders to see the opportunity to compete for better jobs and improve their economic status by pursuing interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and math."
Both schools will have access to new software for all 420 computers on campus, including Windows 7, Office 2010, Microsoft Math, and Microsoft Publisher. In addition, the grant will provide new hardware such as seven new laptops for teachers, and three Smart Boards and seven Mimeo equipment packages, to create 10 new SMART classrooms.
Earlier this week. Gates and Buffett announced that 40 signers, including no less than 30 billionaires and other wealthy families, have signed on to the Giving Pledge, a program whose members have agreed to give away at least half of their fortunes. When you're talking about a group of millionaires and billionaires, that's a lot of green.
We know, we know, Bill Gates isn't really part of the tech circle anymore, or at least not in the thick of things like he once was. But c'mon, no matter what your opinion of Microsoft, you have to hand it to Gates for his charity work and the truckloads of cash he's raised for philanthropy. And assuming you're a paying Windows customer (or Office or any other products Microsoft offers), you deserve a bit of kudos on this one as well.
All in all, not a bad start for a program that's less than two months old.
Jimmy Wales, founder of the popular human encyclopedia site Wikipedia, has posted an open letter soliciting donations to keep the number 9 website (according to Alexa) afloat. The plea follows weeks of fund raising efforts, which prior to the letter managed to raise $3.5 million. Days later, that number now stands at over $5.8 million.
"Your donation helps us in several ways. Most importantly, you will help us cover the increasing cost of managing global traffic to one of the most popular websites on the Internet," Wales wrote in his letter. "Funds also help us improve the software that runs Wikipedia -- making it easier to search, easier to read, and easier to write for. We are committed to growing the free knowledge movement world-wide, by recruiting new volunteers, and building strategic partnerships with institutions of culture and learning."
Wales says that annual expenses are less than $6 million. Because Wikipedia is largely volunteer-based, the site's paid staff sits at just 23, which is 23 more than it had in its first couple years of operation. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if Wikipedia's business model changes, as the site doesn't collect any advertising revenue. While the fundraiser appears to have raised enough to keep the site live for another year, it remains to be seen if readers will again be willing to open up their wallets on an annual basis.
Will donations be enough to keep Wikipedia going? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.