I think this article mainly concerns itself with certain segments within certain industries. Mobile phones, for example, seem to be going the other way, with companies cramming more and more features into them. It might just be that those are the ones grabbing the headlines, but it definitely means the high-tech segment is looking for features, not lower-quality.
Cheap, fast, simple tools are suddenly everywhere. We get our breaking news from blogs, we make spotty long-distance calls on Skype, we watch video on small computer screens rather than TVs, and more and more of us are carrying around dinky, low-power netbook computers that are just good enough to meet our surfing and emailing needs. The low end has never been riding higher.
On a completely different note, there’s this quote about airships (emphasis mine):
Piloted aircraft are still valuable, he’s quick to add, but because the Predator can linger, it has enabled a new type of strategy—remotely guided surgical strikes with fewer troops and armaments. It’s a lesson that surprised the Air Force and other services, Mathewson says, but one that has been learned definitively. “We’re now looking at aircraft capabilities for the future that are even more persistent,” he says. “We’re exploring airships again, which could stay airborne for up to five years.”