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Bluetooth Cavities

Bluetooth’s security woes are a language untothemselves

3 min read
Illustration: Greg Mably
Illustration: Greg Mably

As I’m sure most of you know, Bluetooth is a wireless networking standard that uses radio frequencies to set up a communications link between devices. The name comes from Harald Bluetooth, a 10th-century Danish king who united the provinces of Denmark under a single crown—just as Bluetooth, theoretically, will unite the world of portable, wireless devices under a single standard. Why name a modern technology after an obscure Danish king? Here’s a clue: two of the most important companies backing the Bluetooth standard—L.M. Ericsson and Nokia Corp.—are Scandinavian.

But all is not so rosy in the Bluetooth kingdom these days. The promises of a Bluetooth-united world have become stuck in the mud of unfounded hyperbole, diminished expectations, and security loopholes. It’s the last of those concerns that has the Bluetooth community reeling, as one security breach after another has appeared and been duly exploited. For our purposes, these so-called Bluetooth cavities have generated a pleasing vocabulary of new words and phrases to name and describe them.

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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
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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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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