N800 Fights the Bad Guys

If you want to find the vulnerabilities in your system before the black-hat hackers do, Nokia's programmable handheld is just the ticket

2 min read

Last month we took a look at the Nokia N800 as a platform for thought experiments in user-programmable ­ubiquitous computing (”Hacking the Nokia N800,” April). But the tiny, reasonably powerful device turns out to be ­useful in professional as well as personal contexts. A good example is the assessing of system security.

In the days of wired-only networks, an engineer would test a system’s penetrability by trying to hack in through firewalls or terminal servers or through social engineering--that is, convincing gullible employees to help him. Now anyone with a pocket-size device can carry out the same kinds of attacks wirelessly.

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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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