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Wi-Fi for the People

Philadelphia plans to become the biggest wireless hot spot ever

8 min read

If you look hard enough, you can see the future of Philadelphia high above the streets. It’s a tiny white box with two antennas poking up from the roof of a café in Love Park, in the heart of the city’s main business district. Smaller than a shoebox, the radio transceiver and router allow anyone nearby with a laptop to surf the Internet. Anybody can simply boot up and go online—no wires, no muss, no fuss. Philadelphia—all of it—is going Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi has been around for at least seven years now. You can get the service at little or no cost in countless airports, coffee shops, and chain restaurants. And now entire cities are blanketing themselves with the technology, making it available at low cost to one and all. They’re doing it because they see citywide Wi-Fi as a source of two kinds of booms: economic, because they hope it will put them on the high-tech map, attracting investment and brainworkers; social, because they hope to usher the poor as well as the rich into the same culturally vibrant world.

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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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