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The science of networks analyzes the hidden weaknesses and strengths of critical infrastructures now at risk from terrorist attack

8 min read

The fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11 cut off Internet service in South Africa. A cyberattack in 2003 shut down a section of the Internet, halting the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio. Later that year, an apparently minor fault at FirstEnergy, an electric utility in Ohio, plunged 50 million North Americans into darkness.

Each case posed a problem of particular concern for homeland security: how to guard critical infrastructure that is so vast and complex that we cannot afford to protect every part or anticipate the ultimate effects of a disruption?

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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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