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Wi-Fi Nodes to Talk Amongst Themselves

A new standard for mesh technologies will lower the costs of citywide wireless networks

4 min read

Wi-Fi is one of the great success stories of the past decade, and the industry that's grown up around it hasn't been standing still. In the past few years, amendments to the IEEE 802.11 family of standards have improved security and greatly increased the speed with which data can be moved around. Soon Wi-Fi access points will be able to cluster together in what are called mesh networks, making large wireless networks cheaper to operate by allowing a cluster of access points to exchange traffic and share a single high-speed connection to the Internet. Last March, an IEEE task group approved the new mesh capability, known formally as 802.11s.

Meshing is already used in some wireless applications--for example, in the sensor networks used to monitor manufacturing processes and in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. In 2003, the IEEE approved a standard for those networks, 802.15.4, popularly known as ZigBee. Unlike the new Wi-Fi standard, ZigBee was designed to support relatively low-power, low-data-rate networks.

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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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