What, you believe in the waterfall development model? An iterative process is the only way to go.
Developing software is not like building a skyscraper. You can very easily turn your design upside down at any time, and you're going to miss opportunities for better features if you blindly follow some original plan. Of course it can come at the cost of time, but it's the manager's job to make these business decisions.
So far all our alternatives suck at traversing rough terrain. The wise move is to copy nature, because natural selection has already tried so many designs for us.
Once we get better at re-making nature new options might appear, but not yet.
My wife is Chinese, and I've visited her family who live around Shanghai.
Her parents and grandparents only speak Shanghainese, and thus can't read or write. This isn't because Mandarin is "too hard", but because their generation never had a proper education, and they don't really encourage the elderly to reeducate themselves.
My wife's generation grew up speaking Shanghainese, but then learnt Mandarin at school.
The new generation of kids know enough Shanghainese to understand their grandparents, but they don't want to speak it. Their parents commonly speak Mandarin, and they're being taught Mandarin from the earliest levels of school. Within a couple generations it wouldn't surprise me if Shanghainese becomes an endangered language.
The government seems to have a very successful campaign to move everyone to Mandarin, and they are also actively trying to prevent English from penetrating too deep into Chinese culture. If China can maintain its position as a superpower then Mandarin will definitely become a necessary language for international business.
Big endian makes a lot of sense when sorting in left-to-right languages. You need to look at the most significant bits first, and then finally sort on the smallest.
There's nothing wrong with writing numbers from most-significant to least, but English is inconsistent with how it writes everything else. Addresses are little endian, and dates are either little endian D/M/Y or the bonkers American M/D/Y.
I'm learning Chinese, and its beautifully consistent. Numbers, dates, addresses are all written (and spoken) in largest-to-smallest order. Even peoples names are big-endian because they put the surname first. You can't get better than this for sorting data.
For my sign-up page, I replaced the image CAPTCHA with a text box labelled "Enter the text 'I am not a spammer'". This solved my spam problems, but neither of our solutions would work if our websites became popular and spammers decided to specifically target us.
Most amusing (and effective) DRM I ever saw was actually a fairly loose and easily broken copy protection scheme
I did this with my game. The code that checked the cd-key was easily bypassed, but that code also fixed a critical bug that happened on level 10. It was funny that we had people coming to our support forum asking for help, and we could easily call them out as pirates!
We actually manage to convince one of them to buy the game properly.
C#'s IDisposable and using statement are probably the best you're going to get in a nondeterministic garbage collected language though, so I wouldn't complain about that.
Java can go die in a fire.
You say "with short attention spans", I say "who must speak succinctly". And although you can just use it like a crippled RSS feed, it's also a little bit like a public chat room for people to discuss issues. There's a lot of political discussion going on over Twitter, and I do think this overlaps with educated trendy people with too much money.
So much of American politics is driven by emotionally-charged ignorance. Information means nothing when people are unwilling to hear it.
I wouldn't expect higher education to change people to vote more like the "educated" people. Do you hate how extreme christians vote? If you force them all into college they'll just make their own college which will amplify their prejudices.
If you want a more informed society, get them to socialise. BSc/BAs are completely unrelated to this.