Not sure if Java is better or worse than Pascal. A similarity is that part of it's popularity is that it is a teaching language, perhaps more than a production language.
First, funding for basic research will continue. The military is probably the most fiscally irresponsible entities on the planet, and so labs claim military application for snail poop. The research money is not significant compared to the entire budget, and some of these things might work, so funding continues and labs continue to do work that will produce nice technology, but for the most part not useful to the military.
Second, the military just everyone else is obsessed with the science fiction possibilities of lasers. This, however, brings up what the real application of lasers are, and why they are used in space opera instead of projectiles. Lasers don't have recoil, so precious propellent is not wasted to provide opposing momentum. Laser cannot be seen before they reach their target, so there is no option for countermeasures prior to being hit. The mean free path in space, even in LEO, is measured in kilometers, light years for deep space, so dispersion is not a problem. Spacecraft can be expected to travel along a predictable path, so one can expect 100 milliseconds to hit the same spot and do damage.
So lasers are useful in space, and the only fiction that exists is the magical power source that provides the endless lasing in a ship no bigger than a caddy or a gun no bigger than an old brick cell phone.
But what are the benefits of more terrestrial warfare. Pretty much nothing near the surface of the earth. The one place it makes sense is in the arena of anti-ICBM defense, but only when we consider the possibility of a nation with a few ICBMs, and only able to launch one at a time. In such a scenario a single launch will be detected, confirmed, and tracked within about 300 seconds, not impossible. Once tracked, a fleet of high altitude laser house in large jets will target the laser and fire within 100 seconds. The speed of the lasers is important because once the ICBM ends boost phase and deploys the warheads, including decoys, it would be difficult to prevent collateral damage from the destroyed bits, if the warheads could be destroyed at all.
Even this realistic application is not yet feasible, and it's limited scope may make it unreasonable. We are taking 10s of billions of dollars to defend against North Korea.
Likewise, phone use is complex. I am much more concerned with the student who never turns off the phone at home than a student who uses the phone at school. Phones should be turned off between something like 10PM and 7AM so students can sleep. We have seen suicide cases in which the student simply would not turn off the phone. Parents have to model and enforce this.
As far as phones at schools, they need to teach proper phone use. We cannot turn time back. Students are going to have access to phones and computers at college and at work. if they do not have successful strategies to manage their time and use these tools wisely, they will be less likely to succeed. The loss of five days of class time is miniscule compared to the loss of a scholarship or tuition for a semester.
Here is the thing. Apple, Facebook, MS, are all employers just like any other employer. They want to acquire employees at the least cost. They want to pay the least they can. they don't want people to leave. If this can happen with local employees, that is great. They are cheaper to acquire. But local employees know how much it costs in the US and can leave at any time. That means they cost most in the long term. It would be one thing if local employees could be contract, but the courts have said they can't if they don't have control over the schedule. It would be one thing if local employees could be tied to a job, but courts has awarded money for anti-poaching schemes.
So what is an employer to do. H1B is a good solution. Workers don't know how much the cost of living is, and is likely to be willing to live a much lower standard of living for a certain amount of work. Workers are much harder to poach. Workers are much less likely to complain about an employer violating the laws of the US.
So no, it is not wrong for these companies to want H1B employees. There are not enough US kids who are willing to do a days work that also have mad technical skills. And no, it is not wrong to encourage US kids to go to school and learn the latest technical skills. Even if they do not use them directly, and really many college graduates don't work in their field of study, these skills are useful not matter what. It is also wrong to live in a country where we think that workers do not have a right and need to organize in cartels just like employers do.
Some people do not agree with this. Some people think that are are objective instruments in which we can measure certain attributes that can accurately rank applicants. We should therefore only use those instruments to choose the top candidates.
However, most people who work with such assessments knows that this is a myth. There is no objective measurement be it an SAT score, and ACT score, GPA, or IQ test. Therefore universities use a wide range of subjective measure to create a broader ranking. One of the subjective measures that are used is the cultural diversity that the student will bring to campus. Saying that this is not valid is like saying giving credit for volunteer hours, or the essay, or any of the other subjective measures universities use to rank students is invalid.
That said, small payments don't work. The administrative costs of any payments are huge, and customers rightly demand a expensive level of service once payments are made, even if those payments are very small. Probably a $15-$20 a year would cover some costs, but would still require ads. What might be more workable is a sponsored product. A branded credit card would do it.
Yearly payments could work. People pay for sub-basic cable that only supplies local channels. People pay for Hulu. But Hulu plus is almost $100 a year.
Therefore the only task of those who write software to grade essays is that the variation of the machine is no worse that the variations of the humans. There is some success in this. Edx has a module that will grade essays. As far as I know the value in this is quicker and more uniform feedback for practice essays. Of course humanities majors, who have generally have minimal understanding of advanced technology, hate it. This, of course, includes journalists.
This is not to say that computer graded essays are going to be as good of an assessment as human graded essays. However, it may be good enough, and better than other objective measures, such as fill in the bubble tests. In fact anything that minimizes the cost of open ended free response assessment is going to benefit anyone. Securing multiple guess test is very expensive, and the value of them are highly questionable. They tend to overestimate the value of student how have vague passive knowledge, and underestimate the value of those who have an ability to actively apply knowledge.
I even doubt there will be suitable insurance or bonding, as one reason Uber can be so cheap is because they externalize most costs to the driver, which means consumer do not have the protection they normally expect. I mean if something happens on the trip, or to a product, who are you going to sue? The driver who doesn't even hold the title to the car? The driver's insurance company that specifically is not going to cover commercial activities?
Even with proper insurance and bonding, it still leaves the consumer open to receiving counterfeit property. The driver substitutes the counterfeit for the original, gives the authenticity card to the customer, and end up with an authentic $2500 bag for the costs of counterfeit.
In any case I am sure these problems exist a the colleges that occupy the space between community colleges and legitimate universities, where such problems are much less dominate. That is why it still makes a difference where one goes to school, and why some schools can charge a premium.