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Ethernet's High-Wire Act

As ever-richer media burden data networks, a new IEEE standard is needed to ensure quality of service

4 min read

If there's a next killer application for the U.S. telecommunications industry, it's the triple play of voice, video, and data. Cable companies like Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner have been aggressively selling Internet and voice over Internet Protocol telephony services. Meanwhile, the three biggest regional U.S. phone companies, BellSouth, SCS, and Verizon, are gearing up to offer homeowners the same television content cable providers do. Each does so by piggybacking on the broadband data services they've been pushing for a few years now.

But voice and video services are very different from broadband data. No one much cares if it takes an extra half-second for an e-mail or Web page to show up onscreen. A half-second hitch in the middle of that championship football game or an important telephone call, though, would seem interminable. How, then, can carriers deliver these time-critical applications across the Internet?

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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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