Spaghetti code is not getting any respect. Software experts denigrate it; coding classes avoid it like the plague; and when students go out into the world, they spend inordinate amounts of time trying to follow their mentors’ instructions. This unalloyed disparagement of spaghetti code is unfortunate, because we owe so much to it. Continue reading
As Moore’s Law runs out of steam, and fabrication of Boolean circuits on silicon appears to be reaching its limits, some computer scientists and physicists are looking beyond the limits of current computing to “reversible computing.” That is, instead of one-way circuits that produce a deterministic output from given inputs, reversible computing works both ways: Inputs can be obtained from outputs by running the circuits in reverse. Generally speaking, computation runs in one direction, producing outputs from inputs, without the ability to run backwards and compute inputs from outputs. Continue reading
There is a new trend apparently emerging to defend against data loss and data damage as a result of external hacking. Some organizations have been removing their sensitive data from the Internet or isolating such data on “private” networks. This trend reminds me of Willie Sutton’s answer when he was asked, “Why do you rob banks?” His answer was, “Because that’s where the money is.” If this trend is real and if it spreads further, expect the hackers to simply move from external hacking to insider hacking. If you ask a hacker, “Why do you rob computer systems?”, he or she would likely answer, “Because that’s where the data is.” I doubt hackers care whether it requires an external hack or an insider hack. As you will see later, removing or isolating sensitive data from the Internet has apparently not stopped the CIA from being either the hack-er or the hack-ee. Continue reading
The internal combustion engine (ICE) has reigned supreme for over 100 years, but prognosticators are predicting its demise over the next few decades – or NOT, depending on your data analytics. Like all technologies, sooner or later a disruptive replacement comes along and renders the status quo extinct. Will electric vehicle (EV) technology be the disruption that kills the ICE? I think so, but the future of EV transportation is not guaranteed.