Bill Gates's third act Oh, surely you didn't think Bill Gates would fade away into saintly obscurity after retiring from his day job at Microsoft, did you? Techflash reports he has a new company, a sort of think tank called BGC3. The letters stand, roughly, for "Bill Gates Catalyst". The three? Possibly a reference to the companies he's founded. Microsoft was Gates's first company; Corbis, the photo-licensing agency, his second. (Should we count the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, since it's a nonprofit.) BGC3 will house Gates's intellectual musings, with the resulting innovations to be funneled largely to Microsoft or to his foundation. It sounds a bit like former Microsoft research chief Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures, minus the controversial accumulation of patents.