Sometimes it feels that we ought to have a reporter covering Paul Allen full time. The 48th richest person in the world is a very busy fellow. Here is what the second richest Oregonian has been up to (Nike's Phil Knight just edges him out, according to Forbes, and Allen owns a home in Portland and also the Trail Blazers, but technically, he is from Seattle):
*This week, he announced a donation of about $867,000 behind a new project called Wikidata, which is intended to create a free data base of knowledge that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike. Think of a turbo-charged Wikipedia.
*This past week, Allen could be found in the Western Pacific on his mega yacht, the Octopus. He was playing the role of citizen journalist, tweeting his coverage of James Cameron, the filmmaker who was performing a seven-mile solo descent to the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench.
*On March 27, federal investigators charged an AWOL Army soldier with attempting to defraud Allen with a bit of identity theft.
*And in the least verified bit of news, Portland sports pundit Dwight Jaynes reported that Allen is talking to two groups about selling the Portland Trail Blazers. Allen dismissed the idea, though it was clear that the team was for sale back in 2006. What is also true is that the value of NBA teams, particularly in smaller markets, has increased since the successful negotiation after the NBA lockout of 2011.