1. I smell the influence of a marketing person in all this, and not an engineer's decision. Although it's not out of the question that there was a government hand in it too.
2. Am waiting for the new Drone Bus, an nnovation in public transportation where the bus gets driven by a remote drone pilot over a non-encrypted link. Because nothing could go wrong with that idea.
Currently I am the only white guy in a startup composed of Chinese and Indians. Some dev staff is overseas. I hear the green cards discussing their status all too often.
Not one person is doing something that could not be done by Americans, and indeed, I know of many, many Americans with the required specialized skills who cannot get work.
Earlier this year I interviewed at a a large company with a department having the majority of staff in India, and of the US staff in this department, half were employees and the other half contractors. All of the work could have been done by US citizens, and by employees and not by temp labor. That company makes plenty of profit, but doesn't share it.
Sometimes I wonder who exactly set this whole H1B thing going, who are the bastards who started the race to the bottom and destruction of American labor? Finance guys and think tanks lobbying the scum in Washington? Because this is not just some CEO getting smart. It's a movement, it's been pushed.
And the best part of this is, when your disk with 6000 movies goes bad suddenly with no warning, the data recovery fee will be less than $4 billion.
Well yeah, with these disks eventually becoming cheap, backup onto another will be easy and fast. Er, semi fast. Well, kinda fast. Okay okay. Damn that's taking a long time, and why is the disk glowing red and what's that grinding sound on the backup disk?
The easy solution is to outsource and offhshore the boss. First of all, you get cheaper management labor. Second, it solves the meeting timezone problem. Third, many outsourced bosses will work for merely a bowl of curry in the morning. Fourth, you don't have to spend money on indoor toilets anymore. Fifth, like my cheapass clients, you don't have to spend money on telecom anymore, by forcing everyone to use Skype and Gmail for your communication infrastructure.
Soon you can be as excellent as HP and Adobe and Symantec and Cisco and other great American companies, and use the excess profits to move to Dubai and avoid taxes.
UIs have indeed gone downhill a bit. The Public Storage website provides a typical example. They use orange or else light gray text on a white background, rendering contrast down to terrible levels. The default font size for data fields is tiny too. The readability is terrible and nobody there cares.
I attribute this to companies hiring the youngest and cheapest labor they can (and the least experienced), or offshoring dev.
In general UIs are in poor times. The Microsoft Ribbon's issues with consistency of access to functions is a large demonstration of this. (One of many examples: numbering functions in Word can be approached multiple ways in the UI, and some ways/paths omit critical settings the other paths have, leaving the user clueless how to do what he needs to do.) Marketers or hotshot visual designers run the show, and the result slaps the user in the face repeatedly.
As far as icons go, those trying to free them from their history are not considering the human perception issue. It's like some 17 year old who doesn't like red and green traffic lights and has the power to replace them with the words "CAN HAZ WALK?" and "RUN DOOD RUN".
Punched paper tape. Punched cards. Core memory. Teletypes. Vacuum tubes. TV dinners in aluminum trays covered with aluminum foil. Mechanical calculators. 78 RPM records.
I'm 63. You kids get the hell off my lawn and take your damned revisionist icons with you. The $ sign has been good for 150 years and I'll be damned if you want to screw with it. Take my floppy from my cold, dead hands I say. Whimper. Leave Gramps to die in peace, you whippersnappers with your iPads and clouds.
Actually, modern interfaces are confusing as hell because user interface design has become so screwed up. When you use Gmail, some functions cannot be found, do not appear, until you're in the right region with the cursor and in the right mode of operation. It is confusing as hell when every new app uses it's own damned UI scheme created by a slacker who likes videogames and puzzles. So those who complain about the obsolescence of icons, how about creating usable software instead of complaining. And now again: lawn, off. Now.
The following two sets of data were collected:
Set 1. Notes. Helmet fitted to dog. System started.
Dog: "OMG this poop is delicious! I'm going eat ALL of it! And then go lick the lab human."
Set 2. Notes. Helmet fitted to dog. System started. Note: I seem to have forgotten what I did here, and the dog is missing.
Dog: "These damned humans interrupted me while I was contemplating superluminal particle theory. You! Human! Remove the helmet. Forget. Forget. Now sleep."
The only perfect science is hind-sight.