Tell that to Rovio. They've made millions and haven't been bought out. Apple and Google aren't interested in entering the games business. They're already the gatekeepers and getting a cut just by having their walled-garden apps stores.
The other AC commenter is mostly right. EE is dead in the western world, for the most part. You can still make a career there, but it's not easy, because most of the work is being outsourced to Asia now. When companies design products using those microcontrollers and SoCs you talk about, these days they usually send them over to an ODM in Taiwan to be both designed and manufactured there, with the software part being considered the "trade secret" part, and kept in-house here in the US. There's still small companies doing their own hardware design, but it's drying up, plus working at small companies usually means a meager salary.
The exception to this is if you're interested in being an RTL designer, i.e. designing circuits in VHDL and Verilog. Those fancy SoCs you talk about are usually designed here in the US by people with EE degrees. That's where all the EE work has moved: on-chip. But it's mostly digital, done in HDLs, and as such isn't really that different from software. So if you're interested in designing SoCs, then by all means go get a EE degree so you can work at one of the many semiconductor companies in the US, such as Intel, AMD, Freescale, Atmel, Microchip, Marvell, etc. But if you want to design board-level electronics, either look for another profession for your "day job", or be prepared for a much narrower job market, either working at a poorly-managed small company in Bumblefuck for peanuts, or maybe working at one of those large semiconductor companies as an applications engineer.
I don't get the creationism/climate-change-denial perspectives, either.
I find it interesting that so many Slashdotters have a hard time understanding this; it makes me think that there's very few people here who have worked as engineers (not in IT). Highly conservative thinking is very common among engineers. Engineers are NOT scientists, no matter how much some people try to conflate the two.
This isn't that uncommon in the engineering profession actually. Engineers tend to be very conservative and religious; there was even an article a few years ago pointing out that a lot of middle eastern terrorists have (or had, they tend to blow themselves up a lot) engineering backgrounds. Engineers tend to have very black-and-white thinking, and that kind of mentality frequently leads people into fundamentalist religions. The respective mindsets of scientists and engineers are extremely different.
Spoken by someone who has zero understanding of Ohm's Law or electricity in general.
it seems that fiddling is a big part of Linux because its a hobbyist thing, and for windows its just a chore.
You've obviously never used a modern Linux distro like Mint. Except for doing updates and making backups (which you have to (or should) do on any OS), there isn't any "fiddling" necessary.
Um, go read my post again. I only said Google's UIs suck, and then I said that all other large corporations' UIs (including MS) also suck. I never compared the two directly, I put them in the same boat. I don't know who would be a good company to do the UI, because they've all lost their minds these days.
No, they've gotten both better and worse, in other words, things are different.
You're right; ageism is much worse these days in computer-related professions (and others). However, OTOH, technology is cheap and easily-accessible today, unlike 40 years ago. Today, if you're brilliant, you don't need some big institution to give you access to their computers for you to do computer-related work; you can buy a laptop for $100-200 on Ebay and do all the coding you want. You can even easily start a business with it: write a brilliant app for smartphones, start your own 1-person company, and sell it on iTunes/Google Play and make millions potentially. Or you can start a highly-successful open-source project and become the next Linus Torvalds or Guido von Rossum. Unfortunately, Engelbart retired about the time microcomputers were starting to become popular, so he was well ahead of his time.
That might have something to do with the fact that most Canadian homes don't cost over a million dollars [trulia.com].
You've obviously never looked at the housing market in Vancouver BC.
You obviously haven't used GMail lately.
No, they need to split it up into two sections: the back-end and the front-end (the customer-facing website's UI).
Let Google do the back-end, because they seem to be pretty good at that stuff. Don't let them do the UI, however, because it'll suck. Even Ebay does better UIs than Google. Who should do the UI then, you may ask? Honestly, I don't know, but it shouldn't be any large corporation (including MS), because all their UI designers have drunk some tainted kool-aid.
Exactly. Sure, some might try to tell you DRM is just to prevent unauthorized copying, but that's total bullshit; the copyright cartels really want the ability to do stuff like we see here with Amazon: pull your access to something you paid for, on a whim, when they decide they want to sell you access to it in a different way. DRM is all about maintaining control over copyrighted works, whether it's just to prevent unauthorized copying, or for much more insidious purposes.
We tolerate it with Netflix because it's just a rental model. The cost is super-cheap, and if we get pissed, we can cancel our subscription at any time. We were never under any illusions that we "bought" anything of permanence. However, when we lose access to something that we "bought" on Amazon (and paid a much higher price for), we get pissed, because it's obvious we've been lied to.
#1 and #4 are not sufficient for picking an OS that gets no security updates, especially when there's readily-available alternatives that don't have this problem, and have free licensing to boot.
#2 and #3 (which either must be the same thing, or else you're sadly mistaken if you really think anything network-connected can somehow be secured without security updates) may work for some products/systems, but I've seen way too many industrial systems running on Windows which are in fact network-connected. I'm not just talking about building security systems, I'm talking about all kinds of other stuff out there running on Windows, like $10k-200k oscilloscopes and logic analyzers, multimillion dollar industrial robotics and automation systems, etc. Many of these are in fact intended to be network-connected, and run on ancient Windows versions without security updates. There's simply no excuse for that.
Netflix is different because you know that you're not "buying" anything on there, you're just paying a flat monthly fee for all-you-can-use access to their library. Movies may or may not disappear, the playback may pause randomly on Friday nights, but you know this because you're just paying for a service (and the cost of that service is much less than buying (or "buying") each movie individually).
That's what happens when you have a thoroughly corrupt government. Companies can advertise using whatever language they want, even if it's basically lying, and there's no repercussions.