Winner: Viva Mesh Vegas

The gambling capital antes up for a new mobile broadband technology

12 min read

A giant neon cowboy beams down at us. It's Vegas Vic, the smiling, smoking, mechanical icon of downtown Las Vegas. I'm sitting in the back seat of an SUV driven by Mitchell Gonzalez, president and founder of Cheetah Wireless Technologies Inc., a small start-up located in a cookie-cutter business park directly opposite Las Vegas's busy McCarran International Airport. I'm surfing the Web at healthy broadband speeds—1.5 megabits per second or so—as we drive around a 5-square-kilometer patch of the city where Cheetah is adding the finishing touches to a pilot mobile broadband wireless network.

I'm here because this little district of casinos, hotels, wedding chapels, and souvenir stores could be the ground from which the seeds of a telecommunications revolution will grow. Cheetah's mobile network is one of the first municipal installations to use mesh wireless technology, which will allow users to access the Internet anywhere within the coverage area—even if they're driving at 100 kilometers per hour. If the technology is adopted by the City of Las Vegas and other municipalities beyond, it will herald the arrival of a major player in mobile broadband, leapfrogging cellular technologies and next-generation WiMax.

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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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