How Facebook Could Make Cloud Computing Better

Facebook and other social networks could provide a framework for safer resource sharing

3 min read

27 July 2010—The term cloud computing evokes whimsical images of angels compulsively checking their e-mails from pillowy cumuli. But in reality, the phrase refers to a ubiquitous but poorly defined method of virtual resource sharing. The concept has garnered a lot of attention, but skeptics have questioned whether private data and essential computing needs can be trusted to strangers in the cloud.

Computer scientists at Victoria University, in New Zealand; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, in Germany; and Cardiff University, in the United Kingdom, say their approach could make the concept of cloud computing more palatable. At the IEEE Cloud 2010 conference in Miami on 5 July, they proposed the creation of a "social cloud," which would facilitate the sharing of information, hardware, and services by using the computing resources of a person’s online network "friends."

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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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