Also includes some details on how high-volume arbitrage (the actual issue at stake) works.
"Although the term “high-frequency trading” (HFT) is often used loosely to describe trading at high speeds by computers, in this case we mean something specific: high-volume arbitrage activity, which plays on small, temporary differences in price between, say, a security trading both on the New York Stock Exchange and DirectEdge.
[...] By anticipating future NBBO [National Best Bid and Offer price], an HFT algorithm can capitalize on cross-market disparities before they are reflected in the public price quote, in effect jumping ahead of incoming orders to pocket a small but sure prot. Naturally this precipitates an arms race [...]
[...] HFT doesn’t actually make markets more efficient. It’s great for those who practise HFT, but it reduces profits to everyone else, because in those few milliseconds before the NBBO is calculated and disseminated, the high-frequency traders carry out deals at a price that favors them.
In fact, [...] the difference between investor bids (offers to buy) and asks (offers to sell) is wider when arbitrageurs get into the mix, meaning neither sellers nor buyers in the non-HFT world are getting the best price they could."
If I remember correctly, there was something like that in one of the classic Tom Swift novels - maybe "Tom Swift and His Sky Train; or, Overland Through the Clouds" (1931). It was actually better - Swift's airship would drop from the sky and grab his train car from the rails while running...
Anyone who got the book can confirm?
On 29 April, Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), advocated a major shift away from categorising diseases such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia according to a person's symptoms. Instead, Insel wants mental disorders to be diagnosed more objectively using genetics, brain scans that show abnormal patterns of activity and cognitive testing."
Link to Original Source
Well, aluminium is also known as "solid electricity", I guess this just gives the expression a new meaning...
I wonder how efficient would be the process of recycling the spent aluminium plates, compared with recharging a conventional battery of comparable power. We should also take logistic costs into account - that is a lot of mass to collect from service stations, recycle, and then redistribute to service stations. I guess you could use electric trucks for that. I also wonder how that would compare with the logistics of fossil fuels distribution.
Having to stop for adding water sounds odd, even if this is an experimental rig. Why not have a water tank and a pump? (OK that could get interesting in winter, I doubt you can add antifreeze to the water that goes into the battery...)
Energy density is what makes this interesting - after all, energy density is the Holy Grail of battery technology for electric cars. 8 kWh/kg are 28800 kJ/kg (if my math is right!), that really seems a lot - according to Wikipedia, energy density for Li-ion batteries is 460 kJ/kg - that is a 60 to 1 ratio! (I still think there is something wrong with my math!) Battery weight should also be taken into account when evaluating overall energy efficiency of such a system - after all, an electric car must also carry around the weight of the battery.
Besides that, this sounds fun. Refuelling would be similar to swapping batteries into a toy car, just much bigger.
The Connecticut policeman mentions an interesting detail. Apparently, Lanza replaced the magazine of his rifle every time, before entering another room, even if the magazine in the rifle was not empty yet. The policeman suggested that he had learned this trick by playing first person shooters. While this would be difficult to prove, it sounds plausible. Playing FPSs may not have made Lanza a killer, but might have made him a somewhat more effective one.
That said, while I do not condone gratuitous violence in video games (or other entertainment media for that) I do not believe censure would do any good (news media covering this kind of events probably are much more harmful); I also believe that more effective controls over the acquisition and possession of firearms would be appropriate, regardless of these tragic events (the existing rules are way too easy to circumvent), but I do not really believe this would stop a determined psychopath.
While we are at this, I also believe better mental health services should be put in place, also regardless of these events, nevertheless I expect most mass shooters would just "fly under the radar" (I can not find it right now, but someone pointed out that, according to current criteria, most of the mass shooters involved in recent episodes would *not* qualify for compulsory psychiatric treatment *before* they went on a killing spree.)
So... does anything work? Can we "fix" this just by changing some rules? I would say no. Rules cannot fill in for the loss of moral values.
As another poster mentioned, this is society eating itself. Sometimes I really wonder whether it is still redeemable.
I can not find it right now, but I remember an anecdote by a traveller - maybe Jacques-Yves Costeau? - returning to an island in the Pacific he had visited years before. He was surprised to find a police station, that was not there on his previous visit.
As he remembered the natives being the nicest and most peaceful fellows ever, he asked a police officer "Do you really mean, there is crime here now?" The candid answer was, "Of course sir, there is law enforcement now, there must be crime as well."
So uh, what you're saying is that if you were profiting from the situation, even if everyone and their mom was telling you that you were evil scum, you would spend any amount of money to avoid believing them?
Actually, this sounds like a pretty good definition of "denialism".
Now look, if one or two people tell you that someone is an asshole it might be bias, but if everyone tells you they're an asshole, it's probably true — even if they're talking about you.
Disclaimer: I am convinced that this civilization is going the way of Easter Island and nobody can stop that.
Let us look at this the other way: "Billionaires Secretly Fund Vast Climate Denial Network" to me sounds more like "Bogus Scientists Organize Network To Sell Climate Denial Propaganda to Desperate Billionaires".
If I were an oil tycoon, and 97% (1) of the damned "scientists" were saying that the whole planet is going to Hell and it is my fault, and a guy in a lab coat showed up and told me he can prove otherwise, I would start signing checks even before asking myself whether the guy is the genuine article or not.
So the guys are selling Bogus Science to Uncle Pennybags - not a big deal, right? Unfortunately, Uncle Pennybags pays the guys to propagate their "discoveries" as Good Science. Also unfortunately, in a technological civilization, where people are supposed to make informed choices, a very large number of people (if not the majority) are still unable to tell Bogus Science from Good Science. Hilarity ensues.
(1) I just made this up.
Believe it or not, before purchasing my current smart phone, I actually looked for an arrangement like that - a very small (5" max) Android 4.x tablet with Wi-Fi (no 3G) and a small, sturdy phone that could also work as a Wi-Fi hotspot (which cheap Android phones seem to handle pretty well now, btw).
Eventually I gave up because (a) I could not find a tablet smaller than 7" of acceptable quality (this may have changed - I did not check again after I eventually purchased a smart phone) and (b) where I live (somewhere in Europe) network operators charge you extra if you use your cellphone to connect other devices to the 'net (it is actually a separate service from the smart phone data package).
If I could overcome these issues I would still go that way. I would expect much better battery life for both devices (like when I carried a Palm TX and a cellphone) and I would not be a bit surprised if the two devices together would be cheaper than a high-end smart phone. Fringe benefit, I would expect to be able to upgrade each device separately when needed. Also, when I do not need the tablet I could leave it at home.
Details to be defined: where the GPS receiver should be (I'd say in the phone, even if the map app should obviously run on the tablet), what to synchronize between the two (I'd say only the contacts, the tablet being the master).
I am a bit of a Star Trek fan, and I always considered how Starfleet officers carry two devices - a communicator (always) and a datapad (when needed). OK make three devices with the Phaser
Were I live (Italy) we switched to DGTV some time ago, and last time I checked, Teletext was working just fine (for the few channels still running it, mostly the three main public channels). I agree, must be a political decision.
On the other side, I tried MHP (which should replace Teletext among other things) some time ago and IMHO it was terrible. The decoders I have now do not support MHP - MHP-enabled models are more expensive - maybe the service improved in the meantime, at least I hope so.
Maybe some of you are familiar with another webcomic: General Protection Fault
Some time ago they ran a story where a customer hires GPF Software to develop a multi-platform (i.e. iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and WebOS) mobile application for their customer portal. Each developer in the staff is assigned a platform according to his/her knowledge. Developing the apps runs smoothly, till they are ready to launch them on the respective apps markets...
(Sorry, I can not browse the comic right now, you will have to look for the episode in the archive by yourselves.)
Did you read the next page of the article with the guy dressed up like Link from The Legend of Zelda?
Believe it or not, once upon a time in Hollywood, Robin Hood used to dress like that. You know, before the movie with Kevin Costner.
(OK, I am that old!)
Another interesting article on the subject that I bookmarked a few weeks ago:
"An EU financial transactions tax would be both desirable and feasible, argues an influential economist, Avinash Persaud, [...] his argument is based on the long-term impact of the UK's Stamp Duty Reserve Tax, which levies 0.5% on transactions in UK shares.
[...] the levy has been around in its current form for 25 years - and for longer in other incarnations - and hasn't been associated with the mass departure of equity trading away from the UK.
In fact, the London Stock Exchange has been remarkably successful in persuading international companies to list their shares in London: it has probably been the most successful stock market in the world, in that respect.
[...] a transactions tax might reduce the volume of transactions - especially in derivatives - designed for purely speculative purposes by increasing their cost.
[...] there is some evidence those deals increase irrational exuberance and manic depression in markets, to the detriment of businesses trying to finance themselves, and are also devices for extracting excessive fees from more gullible businesses [...]" (emphasis is mine)
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, financial markets were created for businesses and investors to meet. Or so the old legends say - I was not there yet, I am old but not that old
On the same subject: BBC News - How scary is a financial transactions tax?