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Tsunami Alert System Starts Up in Indonesia

Four years after the mother of all monster waves struck, Indian Ocean countries will know of a possible tsunami just 3 minutes after an earthquake

3 min read

Indonesia has switched on a tsunami detection system designed to prevent a recurrence of the disaster following the monstrous wave of 2004, which killed at least 130 000 of its people and nearly half that many in other countries.

Waves that big strike the shores of the Indian Ocean only about once every two centuries, on average. But even between such big events, the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS) should pay for itself by helping to mitigate the effects of relatively small earthquakes and the lesser waves that they produce. The first test came on 17 November 2008, just days after the system went live, when a fairly strong earthquake hit central Indonesia and the government issued a tsunami alert, though no killer wave appeared.

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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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