It's easy enough to check. Surf to any public https secured site, and check the certificate's chain of trust. If the self-signed cert at the top of the chain is the school's cert, they've been pwned.
Do the Go-pro carrying quad-copters fly in a different atmosphere than commercial aircraft? No? Then at some point the two can come in contact with each other. The FAA needs to have some regs that govern the places where these two could meet. "No flying anything (toys, kites, balloons, drones) within X of an airport" seems perfectly reasonable.
Inherent stability, long term or not, is NOT a requirement for a currency to be useful. Just ask Argentina, Zimbabwe, heck, even China has to manipulate the hell out of the world markets to keep their currency "stable". All of those, and really EVERY currency that isn't the current "Reserve Currency" is still valuable to people making exchanges with it every day for food, shelter, work, etc. Maybe not AS valuable as the reserve currency in the world market, or in the home country of that currency, but still useful as a measure of portable, convertible value.
About the only way to deal with third party libraries is through the terms of the contract. If you agree to license it, you're going to hold them responsible for security violations. Perhaps you stipulate they must run their code through a designated scanner like Fortify or Klocwork and they must agree to fix all critical or severe errors, or that they undergo an annual independent code review.
If all that seems like it's too heavy handed for a simple library, just wait till you get hacked. That's a lot more expensive.
Except when you go to a parts store, you have very specific needs: 5 1k resistors, 3 NPN transistors, 4
For Radio Shack to sell any resistors means they also have to stock a few dozen primary values of resistors, plus a few types of transistors, plus some caps, connectors, project boxes, switches, relays, and a whole bunch of other surrounding components. Sure, they could do without the little barcoded bags, but the bags aren't the primary expense here. The expense is in needing to have hundreds or thousands of components on hand in order to sell even a few of them.
Think of it this way: if they advertised themselves as the "470 ohm resistor store", how many customers would leave the 470 ohm resistors out of their on-line shopping carts in order to drive over there just to pick up their 470 ohm resistors? (If you guessed "zero or less", you'd be right.)
The people who are giving Microsoft difficulty here are the people who distinguish purchase types based on price. If they're going to spend $500 or more on a thing, that thing represents a significant investment, and they have always received 20-50 years of durability from significant investments in the past. Washers, cars, tractors, refrigerators, houses, all those things are expensive, but they last a long time. Even a color TV from the 1970s is still good enough for many of them.
You say "people shouldn't keep computer upgrade cycles to the same timing as vehicle or appliance upgrade cycles", but why is that true? All the rest of their experience is that "expensive things should last 20+ years" (even though they know that occasionally requires a roll of duct tape.) I see that as the root of the problem Microsoft has created here. Microsoft agrees with you on that assumption, but practical viewpoints of the world do not.
You and I know that security problems, reliability problems, media incompatibilities, speed incompatibilities, and all those things make keeping up with technology important, at least for people who are focused on the technology, but we have to consider that most of this equipment is now owned by people who aren't focused on the tech.
And we really can't reach them, either. If we use technical terms like "buffer overruns", we'll be ignored. If we say "upgrade or they'll steal your credit cards" they'll say "so I won't buy online, or I'll pay cash at the store, or I don't have a credit card anyway." If we say "it's too slow, or it's too limited, or the screen is low res" they'll say "it's good enough for me." And if we say "new computers are cheap these days", they'll say "I can't even afford to fill my car with gas." They are probably already feeling the pinch of not enough disk space, or ancient browsers unable to display their favorite web sites, but they simply can't afford an upgrade now or in the immediate future. Filling the gas tank helps them get to their paychecks, and food and rent are simply more important than upgrading their computers.
These people expect to get 20+ years out of their computers. It's our problem to live with them, viruses and all; it's not their problem that they have old gear.
For a lot of these hold-out users, it's a matter of pride to keep a 50 year old tractor running, because it proved they made a good investment when they acquired something that has durability. For them, acknowledging that they have to replace a 9 year old computer means they made a bad decision when they bought it, and they don't want to admit that they invested in a piece of crap. Investing in a new computer after such a short time means they personally failed. They can understand replacing damaged parts, but they don't understand buying "improvement parts" just to keep doing what they've already been doing.
Microsoft's business model doesn't acknowledge this mindset. Their old profit model was built on upgrades to existing products, not sales of new products. They needed customers who are the opposite of who I described above, people who pedal the upgrade cycle every two or three years. But Microsoft's gotten really good at developing good software that meets people's primary needs, and the incentives to upgrade to Office yyyy+3 have dried up. Their new profit model is to lease software and services via the cloud. But to get everyone to the leasing model, they need to make that last push to upgrade them.
From the point of view of the hold-outs, why would they junk a perfectly suitable 50 year old tractor just so they can lease a shiny new one for a ton of money every month? That's crazy talk.
Not necessarily. Sure, some devices, like the Nest thermostat, only work with a data-grubbing service. Others allow you direct control. Some offer remote control via a service because people can't figure out how to safely poke a hole in their firewall, but offer unsecured local control from within your network.
Fortunately, not every thing is sold as a service. You can still exert control with your wallet. Support good companies that don't require a service, and shun those that do.
You're assuming that the speed at which the problems are solved is positively correlated with fundamental understanding of the concepts. For problems like multiplication, this isn't really the case.
Not only is it not the case, in highly intelligent people, for large problem sets, it is often reverse-correlated. When I was a kid, if you gave me 50 math problems, I'd take longer to solve them than the folks who were making Fs in the class—not because I was struggling, but because after the first five or ten problems, I was so bored that I'd spend a few seconds working on a problem, followed by fifteen minutes daydreaming about anything else but the subject at hand.
You mean "Teng-Yen Global Factory" made the device, and installed sticker part #LG-20140304 on assembly 87-B showing that it was made on behalf of Lucky-Goldstar.
Actually, I did have a useful dealer sticker on my lawn mower, once. It had the name of the hardware store I bought it from, along with their phone number. I called them when I needed service, once. But soon after I bought it they changed area codes, and then I think they went out of business.
My local Radio Shack carries various Arduino boards and kits, shields, peripherals like motor controllers, servos, sensors, and other stuff from various independent sources like SeeedStudios. I was quite surprised and pleased to see those hit the shelves in the last couple of years. Radio Shack has also become a heavy advertiser in Make magazine. And they're even advertising on TV with their "Do It Together" campaign.
They are trying to appeal to the makers, they are partnering with all the right independents, but the message isn't always getting through, and apparently the money still isn't pouring in. I think they've demonstrated that hobbyist demand just isn't self-sustaining for brick-and-mortar stores.
The problem is "inventory is expensive". For a store to have a cabinet full of resistors and switches, they have to buy them from the manufacturer, put them in little plastic bags, then send them out. Let's say that parts cabinet cost the store $2000. The store has now lost money until 100 hobbyists have shown up and each bought $20 worth of stuff from it. With as few hobbyist customers as they see, that could be two or more years away. That makes buying it a risky proposition. Then figure that Radio Shack HQ makes every store buy one: that's perhaps $10,000,000 investment that won't break even for two years.
They can't just carry the 3 most popular resistors, either, as their customers have varied needs and require a broad selection. People who buy resistors also buy LEDs, transistors, capacitors, wires, solder, breadboards, etc. So if they're going to carry components, they have to have enough so that they can meet reasonable requests. If they are missing a single essential part, the customer is likely to abandon their entire basket, then go on line to Digikey or Mouser.
Despite the Metro UI, I like my Surface Pro a lot more than my iPad, and I use it constantly. It doesn't suffer from the walled garden of iOS, and I have a ton of programs installed. Very few Metro apps from the app store, however - I mostly have desktop and command line stuff from sourceforge (plus the obligatory Office suite.) The Microsoft app store is lacking, so I rarely think of it as an iPad type tablet. Instead, I think of it as a very portable laptop. And with the i5 and the SSD, performance hasn't been a problem.
Even though I lug them both around in my backpack, and the Surface is twice as heavy as the iPad, I use the iPad only about once a week these days, and that's only because of some iOS-only apps I need for work. Otherwise, the Surface is my go-to portable platform.
Plus, ever since iOS 7 came out, both platforms are now essentially equally ugly. iOS 7's UI changes are about the best gift Apple could have given Microsoft.
Keurig once again showing that the inferior machine wins and the only thing that counts is marketing.
And every Keurig shareholder says "yay, we win!" The only thing that counts to the business owner is profit, and all you're doing is confirming that they've made very good choices so far.
Of course, this will hit them in their long term profits, and four years from now as they're chasing their CEO out of town with chipped pods containing Keurig brand tar-and-feathers 2.0, they might finally understand the DRM lessons the rest of us already know. But until they actually learn this lesson, they'll continue to think they're geniuses.