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Emerging Technologies

Database technologies do not exist in isolation: Database architectures are heavily influenced both by the evolution of software applications, and by advances in computing hardware and operating system design. In this column we’ll keep track of the major emerging technologies that influence the software and hardware landscape and on the databases of the future.



The emergence of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology may prove to be almost as significant an innovation as the internet itself. Blockchain offers a mechanism for the mediation of any transactions that previously would have required trusted third parties, while cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may eventually become a significant alternative to traditional "fiat" (e.g., government-backed) currencies. These technologies could eventually revolutionize the global banking infrastructure which has underpinned global commerce for centuries.

Posted August 09, 2017

Although Java and JavaScript are the most popular all around programming languages today, the C programming language remains the language of choice for high performance computing after almost 45 years of mainstream use. However, where runtime performance considerations are paramount, Go and Rust are emerging as valid successors to C.

Posted June 01, 2017

There's a wide and growing acceptance that containers are replacing operating systems as the deployment target for application components. While application modules were previously designed to be installed upon a specific version of an operating system on a particular hardware platform, they are now increasingly being designed to run within a virtualized representation of an operating system—most frequently within a Docker container.

Posted April 07, 2017

Imagine you are standing by a railway track near a lever that switches between two sets of tracks. A runaway rail trolley is heading toward the fork in the tracks, and five people are trapped on the currently activated line. You could switch the trolley to the alternative track, but there is a single person trapped there as well. Do you switch the trolley? The artificial intelligence community is increasingly wrestling with similar moral conundrums implicit in the ever-more pervasive algorithms that underlie much of our technological infrastructure.

Posted February 08, 2017

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