I've been experiencing Wirth's law firsthand lately. Wirth's law basically states that "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster". This is no place more apparent than the antivirus programs we are all forced to run on our computers these days. I have a pretty good development machine with dual core processors and lots of memory. Yet I constantly find my machine bogged down taking way too long to do things. Especially in Visual Studio. It gets very frustrating when you're trying to get some work done. <whisper>Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I turn off my antivirus so I can get my work done on time.</whisper>
So have the terrorists really won? Here we are using half of our computing power to protect our computers against attacks from a bunch of shortsighted jackasses who think it's funny to write viruses. Like most terrorists they don't realize that they are also hurting themselves. Unless the people who write viruses don't protect their own machine from other people's viruses.
It reminds me of the old addage from Benjamin Frankin. "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety". Replace liberty with productivity. Do we really need to much computing power reserved for protecting ourselves from viruses? Should Visual Studio be optimized so that it doesn't use so many system resources? Probably a little of both. But no one seems to care about optimizing their code any more. It's all about pushing out new features, not making things run faster.
It's OK though because computers keep getting faster, right? I think Wirth's law is winning over Moore's law.