They teach too, but research has always been a part of it. Now if you don't want them getting patents and such on research that's fine, but then you need to increase funding. Part of the issue is that states have continually cut funding to universities. If that money isn't being paid in by the state, it needs to come from other sources, either higher tuition, or more research dollars.
Because it's "stuff that matters."
Choosing to shelve a project for an ethical principle, for the reason I stated in my last sentence, makes sense only if you think you are uniquely clever and no one else will think of it.
That strikes me as profoundly arrogant. Perhaps a few people in the world at any time are justified in so thinking, but there are plenty of historical examples that suggest even really clever things can be conceived of independently.
Strictly speaking coders are not engineers. We use that term colloquially but I definitely got the impression that the article was speaking primarily of PEs.
Very few engineers of any sort are PEs, at least in the US. Whether you are a classical mechanical/electrical engineer, or a coder, seems to be purely a subjective distinction. Some coders I know are definitely engineers, some are not (by my world view).
I think the article applies to any of the above, but the cited examples may be the domain of PEs - which as stated in the article - are not funded at all like corporate engineers, and thus have concerns more relevant to their funding model. Plenty of coders are involved in making missiles, and in fact some distruptive things (like bitcoin) were created by coders. There are huge ramifications to bitcoin, should it become successful: tax evasion, illegal trug trafficking, import/export bypass, etc. All things our government was asked to interfere with, by someone, for some reason, that are bypassed by someone's experiment. You may not support "the war on drugs", but the freely elected government of the US chose to take it on in response to various pressures. There are ethical implications to providing a mechanism to easily bypass this to others.
This topic always comes up, but the bottom line is: if it can be done, someone will do it. The world is not populated by exclusively ethical people, engineers are no different. Having a thing and then choosing not to use it probably causes less actual destruction than not having it at all.
Who do you imagine are their customers, and what is it that you imagine that they're selling?
You're probably wrong on both counts.
...where NSA contracts begin. Much to the surprise of absolutely no-one at all.
Tablets tend to suck for creation. There are limited exceptions, but for the most part a mouse n' keyboard, and a screen without your fingers in the way, are what you want for creating things. This includes software, of course, but also more mundane business things like financial spreadsheets, e-mails, and so on. It applies to other creative pursuits such as writing, video editing, and so on.
Basically tablets are reasonably good if you want to consume content. You can read a book, surf the web, etc with ease on a tablet. However when you start to talk creation, they are not as good. They can do in a pinch, but much better to have a real keyboard and larger screen.
What we are actually seeing is not desktops and laptops "dying" but rather maturing. The market is more or less done growing. However that doesn't mean it is going away. The two states are not "growth" and "death". Rather it can be stable.
We've already seen this in things like mainframes. Desktops didn't kill off mainframes. You can still buy them, and people do. There are more of them now then when there were only mainframes. However it is a mature market. There aren't many organizations that want one, and you don't replace them that often. So there's no growth, but it isn't dead by any means.
That's what is happening with desktops. Go in to a business, have a look around, they have not tossed all their computers and started playing with tablets and phones. There is a computer on every desk practically. However, as noted, there is a computer on every desk. They've got their computers. They buy for replacement now largely, not to increase the numbers.
The only people who think desktops/laptops are going to "die" are either kids who just play on their smart phone and don't do productive work with a computer, or idiot tech journalists.
Experienced this ( or something rather similar ) in a deep rock fissure in the Mauritanian Sahara. I had hiked through the desert for days, and finally found this place very, very far away from any human being. For five nights, I slept in there - that is: I tried. The silence drove me mad: I had to go outside to find sleep amid wind-generated, soft noise.
There is also the citation from Job, in the Bible, who has retired to a very lonely place to mourn: "The beatings of my heart subdue me with terror."