Ensuring that the motion of a hyperkinetic kung-fu master taking on hordes of henchmen does not appear blurred or jerky on, say, a 60-inch plasma screen requires gigabit-per-second data-transfer rates between the high-definition video player and the TV. Up to this point, the only products that did this wirelessly were those containing pricey and clunky transceivers that transmitted signals on millimeter-wave frequencies between 57 and 66 gigahertz.

SiBeam Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.�based fabricationless semiconductor company, aims to dramatically cut the price of these US $1000-plus components, putting wireless A/V connectivity within the reach of the average consumer. With OmniLink60, SiBeam has achieved 4 Gb/s data rates between devices within 10 meters of each other on the same 60-GHz band with commodity-priced CMOS components instead of exotic semiconductors like indium phosphide and gallium arsenide. A SiBeam spokesperson says that this breakthrough will make these transponders so cheap that they’ll be a negligible addition to the bill of materials for TVs and other home electronics equipped with them.

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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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