Friend of mine just moved into a new house that has NBN on it in NW Sydney. Fibre goes all the way to a termination box inside the garage and then he has standard cat6 ethernet ports connected to the fibre modem. No ability to have a fibre switch in there according to him.
That seems to describe a lot of badly written multithreaded code that I'm having to currently "fix".
Major problem there is the same as the mobile market - you have to write very fundamentally different code for a mobile and desktop. Some fascinating figures came out of this year's Siggraph. On the desktop you typically have up to 300W of power dedicated to graphics hardware. On a mobile device you have at most 1W (phone) or 5W (tablet). Those numbers will _never_ go up because anything more than that starts to fry your pocket or hand. So, the optimisation techniques that one uses to write a desktop app or game are extremely different to those written for a mobile device. There's just no getting around that at all.
One of the other interesting factors is that from a developer and graphics perspective now, except for the desktop gaming market, D3D is all but gone. I saw one mention of D3D at Siggraph this year, and that was because the chair of the panel was from MS. All those tablet/phone game writers were way over in the OpenGL ES camp. MS is trying to force the issue again like it's 1999 and now allowing OpenGL drivers on Win8, so you'll see how quickly the game studios will react to that - Even Valve were demoing OpenGL games this year that had better performance on Linux than on Windows on the same hardware according to their statements at one talk. Apart from business desktops, I don't see much more future market for the Microsoft and PCs. The games of interest are now appearing on mobiles and those developers are definitely not in the MS camp.
Summed up, it's a failed strategy and will do more to make people move away from MS than towards it.
You'd be surprised at how often point #2 cannot be assumed to be true. There are some personality types that just cannot see big picture stuff, despite how much you work on training them to see it. These are the detailed-oriented people who become fixated on minutae that they can't see big picture stuff.
I'm wondering what that might make room for in the pre-7th curriculum.
Have a look at what the Motesorri style of teaching does. I have a few relatives that are teachers (active and retired) in traditional schools and the younger ones are sending their kids there, rather than through the traditional system.
Tufte's ideas are good for presenting simple information. He gets many things right (eg if the visualisation doesn't work in black and white, adding colour won't fix it). However, many in the infovis community are outright sceptical, if not dismissive of his ideas for analysing high dimensional datasets.
Where his ideas really work is once you have "the answer" that you want to present to someone else. However, the basic exploration of the data to find interesting keypoints, is not what he specialises in. There's whole communities devoted to techniques for datamining and presentation, principly infovis/Visual Analytics.
The infovis community has been dealing with these subjects for years. There's many different visualisation techniques around. Here's a list of the past conferences and the papers:
Plenty of good products out there, but the one that I like most is from Tableau Software (http://www.tableausoftware.com/).
The one thing that my friends and I still talk about was the SWG crafting system. It's been the best of the lot. The whole concepts of materials having inconsistent quality and that the quality could allow you to produce good and bad lots of the same item, or optimise for one attribute over another really set them apart from anything before or after. It was the sort of thing that made a crafter playable as a long term character because there was so much variety and constantly having to stay on top of things, compared to the grind of combat characters.