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Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 260

by Kevin Stevens (#42109841) Attached to: Prediction Market Site InTrade Bans US Customers

You can trade in London, because it is based in London. Just like you can buy a car from a german car company, but once it is on US soil, it needs to comply with US standards.

InTrade is acting as a futures market in the US, so it needs to be regulated by the SEC if it wants to continue to do so. I am not intimately familiar w/ the situation, though I have used InTrade in the past, but I don't see what is stopping them from becoming a legit exchange. I think it will help their business a great deal.

Imagine a convenience store that initially sells some cans of lighter fluid. Then it starts selling some gasoline in soda-like cans intended for lawn mowers. Then it starts selling larger cans that are primarily used to put into car tanks. The government is saying "Hey now, you are really starting to look like a gas station, and need to follow the rules and regulations that go along with being a gas station, and you can't sell any more gas until you do."

Comment: Re:Cool, (Score 1) 150

by Kevin Stevens (#41900575) Attached to: Gate One 1.1 Released: Run Vim In Your Browser

This isn't mission control, we are talking about a few blogs here. The security policies I am avoiding are intended to prevent data being sent out of the firm undetected, and I am not doing that, and I don't have the ability to do that in any reasonable way.

I don't consider loading up a web browser from a friend's house or wherever I am in an outage situation to log into my server "beyond stupid." I wouldn't even consider it mildly stupid, and its certainly not something to flame someone about.

I hope your day gets better.

Comment: Re:Cool, (Score 1) 150

by Kevin Stevens (#41897899) Attached to: Gate One 1.1 Released: Run Vim In Your Browser

It is a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

I run a few websites that generate a small but growing amount of traffic (and hopefully one day, revenue), so its also nice to know that from any computer, I can log in to my jump server, and take a look if something goes down, with nothing more than a web browser. It could be a locked down computer only offering a web browser, or a friend's computer I don't want to be fumbling around and installing putty on, etc.

But yeah 98% of my use is avoiding IT policies.

Comment: Re:putty replacement? (Score 1) 150

by Kevin Stevens (#41897483) Attached to: Gate One 1.1 Released: Run Vim In Your Browser

Yeah there are. Most are pretty crappy. GateOne just performs far better, to the point where you can actually use it for useful work. I used to use ajaxterm, it worked, but had weird bugs. Later I moved to webshell, which was a big improvement. GateOne is an improvement further still. I use this on my personal server, so unless they are inspecting packets to see that this is an app, which currently my very paranoid company does not do, this won't get blocked.

Comment: Re:Cool, (Score 1) 150

by Kevin Stevens (#41896433) Attached to: Gate One 1.1 Released: Run Vim In Your Browser

The main use of this is being able to access an environment from anywhere. This includes networks that do not allow you to ssh out of their networks, which is becoming a common security practice these days.

I have this installed on my server, as my company's netsense filter is far too aggressive and I can not access personal email or chat programs from work. I find from time to time I need to answer personal emails in a timely manner (like when I bought a house), and tapping out messages on a phone doesn't cut it. Gate one is actually quite awesome. I used predecessors that had the same functionality, and they were only useful in the most dire situations because of the slight lag and other display issues they had. You can actually attempt to do some real work with Gate One, though obviously putty is preferred if you can use it.

Comment: Re:Manhattan unsuitable for data centers? (Score 1) 231

by Kevin Stevens (#41842291) Attached to: NYC Data Centers Struggle To Recover After Sandy

About the history and feasability of moving data centers out of Manhattan:

I am not an expert on this, but Wall St has been a datacenter hub because it has always been an information hub. There has always been a huge telecom demand down there, because there has always been a huge information demand down there. From telegrams, ticker tapes, masses of traders on phones, to bloomberg terminals, to exchanges sending quotes out, there has always been a big demand for data lines down there- I am using data lines generically, because we are talking technology spanning back to the 1900s. So when the first data centers were being built, lower Manhattan was a natural location. It actually made financial sense for a time, as running lines used to be really expensive, and there were major telco facilities based in lower Manhattan.

Of course things have changed, connectivity has gotten way cheaper, to the point where proximity is no longer very important, especially from an economic standpoint. On top of that, 9/11, and to a greater extent the blackout of 2003, made companies realize that having geographical diversity is really important.

So yeah, not only is it feasible to move datacenters out of Manhattan, it is happening, and preferred. Its much cheaper and easier to build out in suburbs and exurbs. However, partly because these facilities already exist in Manhattan, and partly because a good Business Continuity Plan also has data centers in close proximity to your main offices, there are still data centers downtown. My firm is running at reduced capacity for some specific processes due to a data center under water, and at least as of yesterday was running some on generator power, but we are fully functioning. I am sure there is an infra guy right now who is regretting on a micro level the usage of this particular facility due to its placement and vulnerability (though I know this building houses machines from many firms, and I am not sure how easy it is to find data center space in Manhattan), but having a facility in Manhattan is part of the BCP.

High Frequency Trading doesn't really play a part in this btw. The stuff running in our data centers in Manhattan is mundane stuff. HFT requires you to be close to the exchange's matching engines, which in the case of NYSE are actually in mahwah NJ, near the NY border.

Comment: Re:The numbers (Score 1) 172

by Kevin Stevens (#40945209) Attached to: US Adoption of 10 Mbps+ Broadband Nearly Doubles In a Year

If that makes you envious, FIOS now offers 300 down, 65 up in my neighborhood. Its a standalone plan, and costs about $200 a month, but that just blew my mind. It appeared I could also increase my current 50/25 to 150/50 for about $20. My current 50/25 plan, all in with the "triple play" currently costs $100/month.

Comment: Re:ICS fo Galaxy Tab (Score 1) 224

by Kevin Stevens (#40442363) Attached to: Google's Own Nexus Tablet Leaks Into the Wild

I am with you on that. I went Android after owning a 3GS. I mostly liked it, but the pace of change just seemed so slow- even what seemed to be infuriatingly easy to implement features like being sent invitations from exchange and having apple recognize them. The walled garden of the app store, lack of flash support, and then finally the small screen size vs android phones made me switch. I loved the widgets on android, and the fact that apps like the NYTimes could DL content overnight so I can just pull up the app on the subway and read the morning's news (this is finally in the latest IOS release).

So I bought a Samsung Galaxy S II. Aside from the super large screen, I was really excited about Google Wallet and NFC, which were only supported in ICS which would be coming down to the S II "any day now" when I bought it. 9 months later, I am still waiting for AT&T to release it. This is supposed to be a flagship phone. My buddy spends many hours rooting and tweaking his phone with ICS images found on the net, but my phone is something I just want to work with as little effort as possible. The fragmentation makes it harder for the carriers to support, but also harder for people to bitch- "antenna gate" could never happen with an android device because it would be so easy to deflect as a carrier specific modification causing problems!

Google really needs to tighten up the reins a bit. Aside from the absurd branding each carrier does (Sprint's flavor of the SGS II is officially called the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. Really?!), even the hardware is different on each model- I was told that the SII would have an FM tuner on it, which I was quite excited about, only to find out that wasn't the case for AT&T. Single phone models across carriers (hard). Force them into some sort of SLA that requires them to provide updates within a few months for a support window of 2 years.

I like the choice among Android phones, but at the same time the Android universe is so fragmented, I really have no idea what someone has in their hand when they say they have an android phone- it could be a cheap POS, or a premium phone. At least with an ios device I have an idea of what features are supported and when and what I am getting with each new release. If Apple comes out with an iphone with a competitive screen size, I am going back.

Comment: 10 years experience on Wall St- advice. (Score 1) 181

"Wall St" is a tremendous beast, and fortunately for you, the biggest banks have larger "IT" departments than major software companies. I put IT in quotes, because in general, I think of IT as being the networking/desktop support guys, not developers, but on Wall St, developers are considered IT. Most jobs need no real financial experience, you are just building a web app or piece of infrastructure, and in the case of real IT jobs, you are just building infrastructure like any other- a network on a trading floor might have a bit more fail over and edge protection, but its still just a network. The highest paying "quant" and automated trading jobs do require financial knowledge, but there are many jobs that don't require that.

The more dangerous question is what is the culture like? The crisis has really hit the banks hard. I used to love my job and the industry, but its really changed from work 10 hours a day because you love it and want to get ahead, to work 11 hours a day or else you are at risk of being laid off- and that risk is very real. The banks nowadays seem to hiring and firing in waves, and just kind of seeing what sticks. Layoffs are a semi-annual occurrence. I have watched the culture from generally being team based and cooperative, to very competitive. People are overworked, and no longer willing to take time and risk their projects being late to explain how something works to someone new. So in general you have to work twice as hard reverse engineering stuff and looking at years old docs and source code to learn how things work. The guys that are thriving on my team are young, single, and generally don't have friends and families in the area. They don't mind working late nights and weekends as much, and don't seem all that concerned that they are heading into their late 20s alone. I sometimes wish I never got a dog, because while my wife can tolerate me working late to some extent (because she often does as well), I have real guilt when the clock hits 7:30 pm and I know my little furball is sitting in a crate anxiously awaiting for me to come home. I also miss my wife and dog as well- it was a lot easier to work past 8pm when I only had some transient roommates at home waiting for me.

Some things that make me happy: I work on real, important systems. These make real money for the firm, and my contributions have real bottom line impact on revenue. There are no "throwaway" projects, code that doesn't make it into production, etc that I hear about in a lot of places. The pay is generally good, but as I spoke before, the hours are murderous, and bonuses are way down. They are no longer something you look forward to all year round. The culture used to be exciting and dynamic, and I hope that the industry will get its groove back, but it seems to be permanently calcified- moving from IT to the business side or to a real quantitative role is nearly impossible once you are boxed in as an "IT" guy.

Things that make me unhappy: At larger firms, its really hard to innovate. At a smaller firm, I would read about a new boost release, see something I wanted to use in it, work a little late that night to upgrade the codebase to it, and be done with it. Heard about a new IDE or compiler? I would DL it and try it out. Same for new versions of software like Chrome, firefox, or whatever. Playing with new technology makes me happy. At larger banks, everything is locked down. To upgrade from boost 1.35 to something more recent, is going to require a business sponsor, or some proven improvement- which is really hard to do when you can't even DL the source code as just about all download sites are blocked! You will be using winxp, and the approved version of the software packages your company has blessed- which is always several years behind. I was quite excited when we moved from gcc3.4 to 4.1 last year. There are lots of meetings, a lot of time spent coordinating with other teams and regions. There is also a general trend for all new hiring to occur in cheap regions like budapest, eastern europe, and India.

What I don't know, is the requirements for working overseas as a foreigner. I can tell you, that I have seen a few transfers from the US to Asia, and it seemed to go fairly smoothly. At least some of the guys I talk to in Shanghai seem to be from the US/EU, just based on their lack of accent and knowledge of US culture. I don't know for sure their background, as the time differences between NY and Asia mean its very late and very early for each of us, so there is zero chit-chat. Which brings up an interesting point- you are likely going to be in a role where there is inter-region interaction, be prepared to be on conference calls at inconvenient times.

In the US market, the best way to get a job is to talk to some recruiters- some of these guys also recruit for roles in Asia as well. Those guys are somewhat rare, but good recruiters can refer you to someone else as well.

BTW- I have been working in finance most of my career, though I did start out at a software consulting firm. Send me a PM if you want.

Comment: Re:City, State, whatever (Score 2) 118

by Kevin Stevens (#39859207) Attached to: Global Broadband Speeds Dropped At the End of 2011

As a resident of Jersey City, I am not surprised we are on that list. They pretty much started ripping up the entire waterfront starting about 15 years ago, and just rebuilt the whole thing from scratch. I actually had fiber running into my last apartment, which was a new building. Multiple data jacks in each room- topped off with a real patch panel in one of the closets, it was a dork's dream...

Many people have never heard of it, but Jersey City is directly across from Manhattan on the other side of the Hudson river, and many financial firms, which have big data requirements, have relocated their technology departments (or their entire offices) there. Verizon Fios is available in most parts of the city, and they offer 150/35Mbps, though the "standard" is 50/20 or 25/25.

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