It's a sad day, friends, but one I saw coming. As you've probably already noticed, technical innovation in the US is fast fading. Most of the stuff we post—the phones, the PCs, the MP3 players—come from smart people very far away. What does the US have? Motorola, Apple, Microsoft, and TiVo. Oh, there are a few others, but those are the folks that are making the biggest waves.
Case in point: at the latest TopCoder event in Las Vegas—a large gathering of top programmers who compete for prize money—there were 4 Americans... and 11 Poles. That's right—coders from the land of the submarines with screen doors and one-armed tree surgeons thrashed our boys but good.
It's not at all clear that any of the famous U.S. technology entrepreneurs of the past several decades would have done particularly well at such a contest.
Still, when contemplating how out of place some of the strongly disciplined Russian or Polish programmers would be among American college students, who all too often become either slackers or salary-obsessed careerists out for the easy score, it's hard not to be depressed.
That said, I believe the children are our future and that they should get off their fat asses and start taking an interest in innovation. We are currently technological consumers, not creators, and that's one of the most frustrating things about this industry. (Thanks, Kasper!)