So what if you're one of those new hires (or hope to be one)?
I'd say keep polishing your resume. If you dropped out of school, look for a school with low tuition that isn't University of Phoenix but finish your degree. Stay on your toes: work your way through to graduation, get internships each September (as much as you can).
And though the retire-as-a-millionaire thing might have vanished, you'll land on your feet.
It's very interesting that we perceive this (public) shutdown as "dictator-like" behaviour while the US uses gag orders, laws and secret courts to force (tech) companies into complying. If you don't want to, you have to shut down your company (see Lavabit). Yet Brasilia is "anti-technology" (sic) because they're not abusing their power in secret.
My thoughts are that if you're not planning for an Orwellian Nanny-State who will demand access to all your private keys, you're probably not going to be able to scale up to the UK and China.
HN readers will be designing business models with that in mind.
Not saying this is "old news," just that the actual bill that aligns the US with China in terms of human rights violations will not affect startups as much as it will affect large incumbent businesses: Apple, Reddit, Google, Amazon, etc.
Those incumbents will continue to make money right up until they are disrupted by startups who can route around the internet damage caused by the US spying infrastructure. 
So here's a toast to the first HN company that succeeds.
I would think Google should be more worried than Apple at this point, since Swift works on iOS but Go support in Android is second-class. In fact, there are significant efforts to run Swift on Android which places it at least on par with Go there (and, obviously, ahead on iOS).
How exactly does a factual statement, "Microsoft cut off security fixes for Windows XP, except to some big users that pay exorbitantly," cause Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt?
Are you really uncertain about whether Microsoft will EOL your current Windows version, or what that will mean for legitimate businesses who need it to continue to function?
If you don't want to hear what the FSF has to say, that's fine. But their statements are carefully worded in the hopes we can have a calm, logical discussion about the issue -- user freedom has become impossible with Microsoft's latest OS.
The low-barrier-to-entry plays are getting lots of attention, while the ones that take more capital, research, a breakthrough, or all three, are also getting some attention.
The article also simply states the obvious: trivial stuff "is trivial."
This "culling of the herd" can happen continuously, or there can be a flood of investment leading to a bubble. Lots has been blogged about how to make different mistakes , how to think different , or just how this time will be different .
>"the employees snuck this by us. We had no idea. Absolutely no clue whatsoever. Pinkie swear."
That's how I read the headline. Good thing I wasn't in mid sip when I read it. You can imagine what would happen to an engineer that tried to bring that up. I swear you can smell that dynamic at a company within fifteen minutes of walking in the door.
 Seriously this sort of stuff happens, the board members should be banned from serving on a board of directors again.
It won't be long before their email servers are going to be impounded. I assume they've long since been scrubbed of evidence but then there are the backups. It's going to be very tough to keep that house of cards standing if it isn't grounded in fact.
Personally I wouldn't write a line of code like that even when authorized by management, I'd rather resign (but then again that's a argued from a position of relative luxury), but I hope that German programmers working for VW or Bosch would want to see some very explicit authorization that this is exactly what it is they are supposed to make with a note to the effect that they believe this is not legal or ethical or both.
If not they may very well end up holding the bag, I have no doubt that this thing will be researched to the bottom.