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For the second time in four years, the Gibraltar peninsula and the British nuclear attack submarine HMS Tireless have figured in a bitter diplomatic spat between Britain and Spain. This past July, the Tireless paid a six-day visit to Gibraltar, which is claimed by both countries. The visit riled Spanish officials, still seething over a yearlong stay that started in May 2000, when engineers repaired a cracked pipe in the cooling system for the sub's 70-megawatt (thermal) pressurized-water reactor.

Visible in this photograph, taken in Gibraltar's port on 9 July, is the sub's search periscope. It juts up highest from the sub's conning tower, more properly known as the sail. According to Stuart Slade, senior naval analyst at Forecast International Inc. in Newtown, Conn., the cone-shaped top of the periscope houses an omnidirectional radar warning receiver, which gives instantaneous notice of radars operating in the vicinity. In front of the periscope is the T-shaped radar used for navigating and avoiding collisions with floating objects.

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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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