Personally I believe the government funded search efforts are less than altruistic. This first occurred to me as I was standing in a park in Perth one night high on LSD when a massive Lockheed AP-3C Orion flew overhead at low altitude. I recognized the craft immediately though I'd never seen one in person, a truly massive american behemoth.
That experience, compounded by news in the local papers that a Chinese destroyer had joined our own Australian naval vessels off shore to assist in the search cemented in my mind that the search for MH370 was really just pretence; an excuse for regional governments in the southern hemisphere to conduct wargames. The amount of fuel alone consumed in the search thus far is astronomically uneconomical, it makes no sense to me otherwise.
This means that the entire Australian internet could be monitored by just one warrant if ASIO wanted to do so, according to experts and digital rights advocates including the Australian Lawyers Alliance, journalist union the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Electronic Frontiers Australia. The new anti-terror laws also cover the media, jail-time for those who "recklessly" disclose intelligence information. Under the new laws journalists, bloggers or officials could be jailed for 10 years if caught disclosing restricted material."
Link to Original Source
I'd like to quote the opening introduction to a book by Richard Feynman I've just started reading called 'There's plenty of room left at the bottom" that seems relevant;
"I imagine experimental physicists must often look with envy at men like Kamerlingh Onnes, who discovered a field like low temperature physics, which seems to be bottomless and in which one can go down and down. Such a man is then a leader and has some temporary monopoly in a scientific adventure. Percy Bridgeman, in designing a way to obtain higher temperatures, opened up another new field and was able to move into it and to lead us all along. The development of ever higher vacuum was a continuing development of the same kind. I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be done in principle. This field is not quite the same as others in that it will not tell us much of the fundamental physics (in the sense of, "What are the strange particles?") but it is more like a solid-state physics in the sense that it might tell us much of great interest about the strange phenomena that occur in complex situations. Furthermore, a point that is more important is that it would have enormous number of technical applications. What I want to talk about is the problem of manipulating and controlling things on a small scale."
Nanotechnology! The very notion that we're running out of Science to do is utterly ridiculous. Due to the nature of scientific revolutions involving paradigm shifts in understanding there are no doubt many 'easy' things still left to discover that have been hiding right under our noses all along and all it takes is another Einstein coming along to shake things up.