Ask Slashdot: Is Going To a Technical College Worth It?
"The main issue as I see it is that you can't even get an interview in some places without a degree of some kind."
^^^ Unfortunately this is very true. Where I work resumes w/ no degrees don't get passed on to the hiring managers. Which is sad really, because most of us in the R&D department (where I work) agree that there are probably plenty of bright, non-degree'd engineers out there. But stupid Human Resources has their rules. Usually for this reason alone, I recommend to younger friends that if they really do have a desire to work in the corporate world (not for everyone of course), they should at least seriously consider and look in to a 4 year degree program. I know that I would not be where I am in my career today without mine. Maybe I would have eventually gotten here, but it would have taken a lot longer (as I would have most likely started farther down the ladder).
IT Salaries and Hiring Are Up — But Just To 2008 Levels
If only I had mod points I'd mod you up. I work for a medical device company in Colorado and we have a tough time finding software devs. Why? Because we're looking for devs with RTOS and C++. Not a super common combination. RTOS and C is a lot more common. So yes, specializing can and does have its benefits. And I agree, there is a big difference (skills, salary, etc) between the various "IT" jobs.
Google Kills Desktop Search and Gadgets
Dang, I actually use Google Gadgets on Linux. Luckily I only use it for the Weather.com gadget/widget/whatever. So I'm not heavily invested. I'm sure I can find a replacement. Still a bummer though, it looked like it had potential for a great x-platform widget-ma-dohicky.
Last.FM To Require Subscription For Mobiles and Home Devices
Guess there's a reason why I listen to Slacker (and every blue moon, Pandora) on my cell instead of Last.Fm.
Apple vs. Google TVs
That article makes it sound like Google TV doesn't have Netflix etc. However it's been announced that it will indeed have that stuff.
Today's Children Are Officially Potty Mouths
That's funny because I just watched Kick Ass last night and the little girl in that movie is definitely a potty mouth!!! Actually had me interested in watching the behind the scenes to see if they addressed the fact that they had her say such things.
Response To California's Large-Screen TV Regulation
As others have already replied, LCDs use a lot less power. But if you want a flat screen for a decent price with an excellent picture, Plasma is still the way to go (as your research told you obviously). And Plasmas are getting better / more energy efficient (just not as good as LCDs).
I did the same thing you did...spent weeks doing my research and looking at TVs in stores, and walk away with a Plasma. Because picture quality was more important than my electric bill going up by $1 a month. Granted my Plasma is only 42" and is rated at 286W (with people online claiming they've measured an average of only 200W used).