The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Vascular patterns provide new means of identification and authentication

4 min read

Researchers have been toiling for years to produce biometric devices to quickly and reliably indicate whether people are actually who they say they are, using traits unique to them. These traits include fingerprint patterns, the arrangement of tissue in the eye’s iris, and the timbre of a person’s voice.

A new type of biometric identification device takes advantage of the fact that the network of vessels in each person’s hand forms a pattern that can be distinguished from anyone else’s. The leading manufacturers of these vascular pattern recognition devices, TechSphere, of Seoul, South Korea, and Japan’s Fujitsu and Hitachi, have already sold tens of thousands of them in Asia and Europe.

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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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