demachina writes: Matt Taibi's latest rant on HSBC getting off with a fine amounting to 5 weeks of profits, for knowingly laundering at least 9 billion dollars over a decade for drug cartels and terrorist groups. Mexican cartels were walking in to HSBC branches with boxes designed to just slide through the teller windows filled with $100,000 in cash. Clinton partisan Lanny Breur decided HSBC was too big to fail, they couldn't risk criminal prosecution and big banks are officially above the law. Meanwhile ordinary drug offenders go directly to jail and have all their assets seized.
demachina writes: Interesting paper on High Frequency Trading, speed isn't their only advantage, "HFT reacts to information leaked by LFT in order to anticipate their actions". HFT also uses a volume clock which offers advantages over time based trading. Toxic trading strategies they use include quote stuffers, quote danglers, liquidity squeezers, and pack hunters where algorithms gang up for kills. The paper also covers strategies low frequency traders(LFT) and humans can use to defend themselves Link to Original Source
demachina writes: Interesting paper on High Frequency Trading, speed isn't their only advantage, "HFT reacts to information leaked by LFT in order to anticipate their actions". HFT also uses a volume clock which offers advantages over time based trading. Toxic trading strategies they use include quote stuffers, quote danglers, liquidity squeezers, and pack hunters where algorithms gang up for kills. The paper also covers strategies low frequency traders(LFT) and humans can use to defend themselves. Link to Original Source
demachina writes: A journalist took a job at a warehouse filling online orders where most workers are permanently temporary, working for minimum wage, no benefits with unreachable goals. Describes a new American subculture called "workampers", people living in RV's driving from one warehouse temp job to another. U.S. working conditions seem to be gaining on Foxconn's. Link to Original Source
demachina writes: Robert Boisjoly dies at 73. Boisjoly, Allan J. McDonald and three others argued through the night to stop the Challenger launch but Joseph Kilminster, their boss at Morton Thiokol overruled them and NASA managers didn't listen to the engineers. Both Boisjoly and McDonald were blackballed for speaking out. NASA's mismanagement "is not going to stop until somebody gets sent to hard rock hotel," Boisjoly said. "I don't care how many commissions you have. These guys have a way of numbing their brains. They have destroyed $5 billion worth of hardware and 14 lives because of their nonsense." Link to Original Source
demachina writes: Rolling Stone has a great exposé on the pivotal role Goldman Sachs has played in one economic crisis after another, including the recent bubbles in housing, oil, commodities and the Internet bubble. It also illuminates how Goldman Sachs alumni in powerful positions in the government under both Republican and Democratic administrations have enabled their activities, which in some cases border on securities fraud, and other cases are just manipulation of markets. This is a must read if you want to understand how this powerful bank has profited at the expense of all of us. Rolling Stone doesn't have an online version so this link is to a scan.
demachina writes: Buzz Aldrin writes in Popular Mechanics the U.S. should abandon Ares I, put the Orion capsule on Atlas V or Titan IV heavy, extend shuttle flights to 2015 with one a year to the ISS to eliminate dependence on Russia. He also backs Falcon 9/Dragon for commercial uses and a small shuttle like the X-37B. He calls the proposed return to the moon a "rehash" of what we did 40 years ago and proposes instead partnering which China, Japan, Russia, India and EU and letting them lead the return to the moon. He proposes the U.S. focus instead on resuming development of the ISS habitation module and renaming it XM, Exploration Module, and using it for long duration missions to comets and asteroids followed by a landing on the Martian moon Phobos. He supports something I've advocated for years, for expeditions to Mars to be our primary focus and for them to be one way trips for permanent colonists.
demachina writes: An Australian company, Revetec, has a new internal combustion engine design, the X4v2, which may double fuel efficiency. It is supposed to be "50% smaller, 50% lighter, has 50% lower emissions and is cheaper to manufacture" than a conventional engine with the same horsepower. It has four pistons in an X configuration pushing two counter rotating, multilobate cams. Though take this with a grain of salt and your mileage may vary:)
demachina writes: Details of a Federal Appeals court decision on Gitmo were released today. The 3 man court insists the Bush administration release a Chinese Uighur Muslim held in Gitmo for six years or make a real case for holding him. The decision ridicules the Bush administration's basis for holding the man by quoting Lewis Carrol's poem "The Hunting of the Snark": "I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.". The Bush administration claims that since three of their own classified reports say the man is a terrorist, he is one, without need for any supporting evidence. Following the administration reasoning they can hold anyone indefinitely if they just write three reports saying you are guilty.