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Could the Internet Fragment?

Alternative Nets raise the specter of balkanization

4 min read

Logging onto the Internet is billed as a universal experience. Yet for years, below the radar of most people’s online experience, there have been sets of Internet domain names accessible to some people but not to everyone. Before the introduction of an official .biz domain, an independent .biz had existed for six years—and for a time the two survived in parallel, so that typing in a .biz address might send you to different sites, depending on which Internet service provider you had.

And now countries using non-Roman alphabets, notably China, are pressing for full domain names in their native scripts, prompting concern about whether the domains will be accessible to users of Roman alphabets. Will the proliferation of alternative domain names make the Internet more user-friendly and global, or will it accelerate a fracturing of the Internet that may have already begun?

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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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