Face Time

Our reporter gets ready for her own digital close-up in this month's Back Story

1 min read

Some day soon, movies will feature ”actors” that are just software. Countless high-tech companies are working toward that goal [see ”Ready for Their Close-ups,” in this issue]. One of them is a little company named Mova on the third floor of a former can-making factory in San Francisco’s Dogpatch district.

When Senior Editor Tekla S. Perry, who edited the article, visited Mova in February, the Mova team put her into a swivel chair inside a metal cage, facing a bank of fluorescent tubes and 28 high-resolution digital cameras. For about an hour, Perry tried not to sneeze, scratch, or moisten her lips as a production assistant sponged her face with a cold mixture of phosphorescent and flesh-toned makeup. After the makeup dried, Perry was ready for her closeâ''up. During the exposure, black lights alternated with standard lights to create two sets of images—one with her face in normal lighting, one glowing eerily in the dark.

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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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