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Ring of Steel II

New York City gets set to replicate London's high-security zone

4 min read

The district known as the City of London is two-and-a-half-square kilometers of winding thoroughfares and dark alleyways where ancient churches nestle in the shadow of glass-clad skyscrapers. The City, as it is known to Londoners, is Europe’s financial heart, home to more U.S. banks than New York City and more Japanese banks than Tokyo. For the British government, it is valuable real estate—this small area alone generates 4 percent of the gross national product of the United Kingdom.

That’s why the area is protected by one of the most sophisticated security systems on the planet. The so-called ring of steel, inaugurated in 1998, is a network of cameras that provides comprehensive video coverage of a large part of the City. Every vehicle entering the area is photographed, its license plate checked against a national police database, and an image of its driver stored for posterity. ”The ring of steel has had a dramatic effect on crime in this environment,” says Andrew Mellor, a superintendent in the antiterrorism department of the City of London’s police force and the person responsible for managing the system.

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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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