Gates matters more than Jobs, says Forbes

Larry Ellison? He doesn't matter at all

Bill Gates is more powerful than Steve Jobs. Osama bin Laden still has a bit more clout than Julian Assange. And Larry Ellison doesn't matter at all.

"There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. Here are the 68 who matter," is how Forbes introduces its latest exercise in list-making fun and games: "The World's Most Powerful People".

Topping the list is China's president, Hu Jintao, whose "near dictatorial control over 1.3 billion people" edges him ahead of last year's el numero uno, Barack Obama, who "suffered a mighty blow in U.S. midterm elections."

David Cameron, by the way, comes in at number seven, trailing — in ascending order — Merkel, the pope, Putin, and you'd never guess: Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud.

But The Reg is a tech organ, so where are the techie types ranked?

Bill Gates, number two, is honored not for anything he accomplished when in his old stomping grounds at Microsoft, but for being co-chair of the "world's most influential charity." For current tech accomplishments, you have to wait until slot 17, where appears the "insanely creative Apple cofounder" Steve Jobs.

Moving a bit further down the list, the joined-at-the-hip "brainy duo" of Larry Page and Sergey Brin share number 22 for "trying to put all the world's information at your fingertips," but chided "in some quarters for decimating traditional publishing [and] journalism."

At least Larry and Sergey were a wee bit more respected by Forbes than Grand Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il, who ranked 26 and 31, respectively.

Another supreme leader with questionable social skills, Mark Zuckerberg, is the fortieth most powerful person in the world, in Forbes' estimation.

Hanging onto the bottom rung of the list is the "genius provocateur" Julian Assange, of whom Forbes says, "Governments and corporations with dirty laundry should be afraid, very afraid."

And speaking of afraid, the Oracle minion responsible for burnishing Larry Ellison's image might be quaking in his or her boots at this very moment: the crotchety yachtsman and part-time fighter pilot didn't make it onto Forbes' list at all. ®

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