Bitcoin’s widely trusted ledger offers intriguing possibilities for business use beyond cryptocurrency
Stories by Peter Wayner
The Internet is a pit of epistemological chaos. As Peter Steiner posited -- and millions of chuckles peer-reviewed -- in his famous New Yorker cartoon, there's no way to know if you're swapping packets with a dog or the bank that claims to safeguard your money. To make matters worse, Edward Snowden has revealed that the NSA may be squirreling away a copy of some or all of our packets, and given the ease with which it can be done, other countries and a number of rogue hacker groups may very well be following the NSA's lead.
The transition from cutting-edge curiosity to practical workhorse is not one that many technologies make. Yesterday's precocious upstarts often fail to live up to their Version 0.1 promise -- not so for the technologies that make up the fiercely acronymized MEAN stack.
Computer languages have a strange shelf life. The most popular among them experience explosive growth driven by herding behavior akin to that of the fashion industry. But when they fade from the spotlight, something odd happens. Instead of disappearing like a pop song or parachute pants, they live on and on and on and on. The impetus behind this quasi-immortality? It's often cheaper to maintain old code than to rewrite it in the latest, trendiest language.
For several decades, enterprise developers had to support one simple platform: computers on desks. Then the smartphone came along and we had to find ways to deliver the data to a smaller, more mobile rectangle. All of these challenges, however, prepare us little for the next big platform to come: the automobile.
In the 1980s, the easiest way to start a nerd fight was to proclaim that your favorite programming language was best. C, Pascal, Lisp, Fortran? Programmers spent hours explaining exactly why their particular way of crafting an if-then-else clause was superior to your way.
In one episode 1.06 of the HBO series "Silicon Valley," Richard, the founder of a startup, gets into a bind and turns for help to a boy who looks 13 or 14.
Watch out! The coder in the next cubicle has been bitten and infected with a crazy-eyed obsession with a programming language that is not Java and goes by the mysterious name of F.
The big languages are popular for a reason: They offer a huge foundation of open source code, libraries, and frameworks that make finishing the job easier. This is the result of years of momentum in which they are chosen time and again for new projects, and expertise in their nuances grow worthwhile and plentiful.
Whether you think it's wired into the human mind or an inevitable product of society's formation, dualism defines much of our lives: Communism vs. capitalism. Savory vs. sweet. Passing the ball vs. running the ball in football. Everywhere we look, pairs are locked in an eternal battle, presenting us with myriad opportunities to define ourselves by which side of the line we favor at any given time.
Faster innovation, better security, new markets -- the case for opening Swift might be more compelling than Apple will admit
A long time ago, developers wrote assembly code that ran fast and light. On good days, they had enough money in their budget to hire someone to toggle all those switches on the front of the machine to input their code. On bad days, they flipped the switches themselves. Life was simple: The software loaded data from memory, did some arithmetic, and sent it back. That was all.