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Comment: Re: Learn math (Score 1) 330

by ax_42 (#45210363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Bruce Schneier Be Trusted?

Schneier isn't even a credentialed cryptographer. He's the guy who wrote the popularized book that the establishment didn't want published. He's a popular writer, and a pundit.

Schneier is more then a "pundit". Before he wrote the "popular" stuff, he proved that he was heavy on the technical ( for example, as well as the various algorithms he (co)-invented.

You, however, are an ignorant troll.

Comment: Re:Douche-o-matic (Score 1) 251

by ax_42 (#45080267) Attached to: Police Demand Summary Domain Takedown, Traffic Redirection

It seems to me that it's more like walking around saying that Yellow Pages Inc. (or whatever, your favorite phone book) allows the immoral John Doe to list himself in their book.

And on top of it, you're asking that the Yellow Pages keep John Doe's listing, but put in someone else's phone number!

Comment: Re:Bruce Schneier (Score 4, Informative) 413

by ax_42 (#44550395) Attached to: Schneier: The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet

He wrote one of the seminal (mathematical) books on the subject, (co)designed several high-quality algorithms which have stood the test of time and then had a somewhat damascene conversion on how security is much more dependent on people than on the technology, and has written several books on the subject. He is not the only expert (arguably, there is no field of research where there is just one expert), but he is a leading light.

Comment: Re:HFT is organized theft (Score 1) 476

by ax_42 (#44039085) Attached to: Have We Hit Peak HFT?

This is how captialism works - you start up, you make some money, you make barriers to entry ( for other potential entrants to the market.

As for your comments on Wall Street types - I don't disagree with that at all. Making money at all costs isn't good for anyone. However, ethics and responsibility are hard to engender on people who have none.

Capitalism, red of blood and claw, allows you to build barriers and abuse monopoly powers. We (and I use "we" loosely here) have long ago identified that unfettered capitalism actually worsens society's prosperity (the rich get very rich, the poor generally revolt, causing much death, mayhem and bloodshed). Hence, we regulate, and disallow abusive behaviour, and lock up the worst offenders (or so I thought, been proved wrong too often recently).

Take a look at the income and asset distribution in the USA, land of the free. It's so frighteningly skewed towards the 0.1% it's not even funny. And the entire top 50% are in favour of keeping the status quo (ie the actually think they'll make it to the 0.1% one day -- pipe dream). How the hell is this sustainable??

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 476

by ax_42 (#44038985) Attached to: Have We Hit Peak HFT?

No, this is arbitrage, not HFT. If Jon knew about the market apple @ 30c, he would buy it. Extensive information (which modern markets provide) ruins arbitrage, which is probably fine, but your example has NOTHING to do with HFT (except that arbitrage gaps nowadays are extremely short-lived, so only HFTs can benefit from them).

Comment: Re:Good (Score 5, Insightful) 476

by ax_42 (#44038951) Attached to: Have We Hit Peak HFT?

Jim is standing over there, and shouts out "50c to buy this apple". Flash the wonder asshole stands close to Jim, so he hears this first. He then runs to Jon at the speed of light (which is faster than sound) and asks Jon "Would you buy an apple for 51c?". Jon says "why yes, that sounds reasonable". Note, Jon would, by definition, also be happy to pay 50c for the apple. But Flash is a fast fucker, and the sound of Jim's call hasn't reached Jon yet, so Flash buys the apple and runs to Jon and sells it to Jon at the higher price.

In economic terms, Flash has pocketed the surplus 1c, which would otherwise would have accrued to Jon (as he would have paid 1c less than his maximum). Sounds great so far, Flash is benefiting from his l33t running skills, Jim got his price (50c) and Jon paid what he was prepared to pay (51c).

Except it's not that simple, or rosy.......
First of all, Flash is running between willing participants in a market, adding no value to anyone but himself (arguably he is destroying value by forcing the exchanges to put in more and more expensive infrastructure, which everyone in the market is paying for). The fact that Jim sells his apple a microsecond faster is not relevant to a normal market participant.

Second, and much worse, Flash is not actually asking Jim "would you like to buy an apple for 51c". He's asking "would you like to buy for 51.05c", ah, no, "how about 51.049", no? how about "51.048" and so on (creating and cancelling orders all the time, massively loading up the system). Simultaneously there are two possible ways he's trying to figure out Jim's minimum price -- he's either asking Jim "sell for 49.99?", "49.991?", "49.992" ....until Jim says "yes" or, if he's a real scumbat, saying "I'll give you 50.5" and when Jim says "OK", say "Hah, made you look, order is cancelled, how about 50.45" and because he is so quick, he can cancel before the order fills.

Oh yes, and if you screw up, you go plead to the market to get your positions reversed. And because you pay so much to the market in fees (stock exchanges are companies, which charge traders to participate in the market), the market turns a blind eye.

And that, kids, is why HFT is fucking antisocial scum -- they manipulate the markets for their own ends, squeezing out surplus for only their own benefit. They add no value to anyone but themselves (increased liquidity is a trope -- no normal investor needs microsecond delivery). They've corrupted their system of oversight (the exchanges) to be dependent on the fees they pay.

One solution: ticked trading, bids and offers get queued and matched at a fixed interval (say every 0.5s), this would kill HFTs immediately as you can no longer run between Jim and Jon faster they can communicate themselves.

Alternative solution involves tar, feathers, a rail and a town.

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.