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Europe Looks for a Peer-to-Peer TV Alternative

An open-source P2P project to compete with BitTorrent, Joost, and IPTV

5 min read

2 April 2008--The same kind of peer-to-peer file sharing that made Napster famous--and infamous--is being used in a new research project in Europe that aims to pipe TV programs over the Internet. As part of the P2P-Next project, engineers from several European universities, research institutes, broadcast networks, and manufacturers have agreed to pool their expertise to develop a file-sharing system, based on free open-source software, that could someday allow users connected to the Internet to deliver videos from anywhere to anywhere--and to any number of people throughout the world.

The four-year project, which has attracted more than 20 member organizations, including the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, and STMicroelectronics, will receive 19 million (US $29 million) from the European Union under its Seventh Framework Programme, with another 5 million to come from the project partners. The goal is to develop not only an entirely open P2P platform for delivering video on demand and live webcast streaming services but one that is also legal, secure, and reliable, according to Johan Pouwelse, a professor at Delft University and scientific director of the P2P-Next project.

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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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