Winner: Investment guru Warren Buffett plans to give away nearly all of his $44 billion fortune to charity, mostly to the world's largest charitable organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The gift could nearly double the size of the foundation, which focuses on education and global health. This news comes on the heels of Gates' announcement that he will step away from running Microsoft Corp. to run his foundation. Their unprecedented philanthropy should be an impetus to others in a position to make significant contributions of their time and wealth to improve the lives of others.
Winner/Loser: Veterans Affairs dodged a huge bullet this week when a missing laptop containing sensitive data on 26.5 million veterans and others was recovered. The FBI said an initial review showed the data had not been accessed or copied. While this is good news for millions of people, this episode exposes the critical need for government and private businesses to secure data containing personal information. Identity theft is rampant, and thieves would like nothing more than to capture mass amounts of personal information.
Winner: One can only imagine the utter joy of a Salt Lake County family reunited with their cocker-retriever mix, Puppers, that had been missing for nearly three years. Thanks to an identifying microchip, the South Salt Lake Animal Shelter was able to return the dog to its owners. All pet owners should license their dogs, place identification tags on their collars and, if possible, obtain microchips. Animal shelters across Utah are full of animals who cannot be returned to their owners for lack of proper identification, which is a travesty to pets who deserve better.