A Match Made in Packets

Coming soon: cellular handsets that can use a Wi-Fi network

4 min read

Wi-Fi married to a cellphone would surely be a union made in heaven--a wedding of cellular's ubiquity to the high data rates of local-area networking. It would minimize expensive cellular minutes, replacing them with free or cheap Wi-Fi time. Often, too, it would yield a higher-quality call, because cellular coverage is usually weakest where Wi-Fi excels--inside homes, stores, and offices. Walking inside while in the middle of a cellphone conversation, you wouldn't even notice as your handset switched seamlessly to Wi-Fi; and when you went back out, it would revert to the mobile network just as unobtrusively.

Sadly, while the engagement has been announced, the happy couple still hasn't set the date. To be sure, a growing number of PDAs include both technologies. A few, such as Hewlett-Packard's iPaq h6340, are even smart enough to use Wi-Fi when available or a GSM cellular network otherwise--but it can't switch between them automatically during a call. The two radios inside these devices barely communicate--like Romeo and Juliet, banished to their separate homes, they can only dream of final union.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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