Bill Gates has scribbled a piece for the BBC News website on what he reckons you need to succeed in today's world. As well as an ability to understand IT, surprise surprise, the Microsoftie talked about how a good knowledge of Math and Science was essential for people to get ahead in the 21st Century. Choice quotes, plus Bill's body art shocker, are below.

A solid working knowledge of productivity software and other IT tools has become a basic foundation for success in virtually any career. Beyond that, however, I don't think you can overemphasise the importance of having a good background in maths and science. If you look at the most interesting things that have emerged in the last decade - whether it is cool things like portable music devices and video games or more practical things like smart phones and medical technology - they all come from the realm of science and engineering.

A fair amount of plugging for the company he founded—Microsomething, is it?—went on, with Gates saying that software was the key to the future, be it its future development or implementing it in other organisations. As well as the ability to communicate, Gates placed a lot of importance on knowledge-gathering.

I also place a high value on having a passion for ongoing learning. When I was pretty young, I picked up the habit of reading lots of books. It's great to read widely about a broad range of subjects. Of course today, it's far easier to go online and find information about any topic that interests you. Having that kind of curiosity about the world helps anyone succeed, no matter what kind of work they decide to pursue.

As for the Zune tattoo, well, come on people, it's Friday morning and news is kinda slow. My money's on a transferrable tat of a unicorn on his wrist, put there by his daughter. [BBC News]