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Comment: ANY delay destabilizes the system (Score 1) 342

by mangu (#46685089) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

If you need to sell some stock or commodity within a second of buying it, then something is wrong

Oh, yeah? Then, please, tell me in your infinite wisdom how long I should wait? Ten years? Twenty?

The fact is that ANY delay in a feedback system tends to destabilize it. In mechanical systems this is called "backlash" and there is extensive research on how to eliminate it and cope with the problems it causes. Anyone who proposes to artificially introduce backlash in a feedback system know nothing about what he is talking about.

In a market it would be trivially easy to manipulate prices if an artificial delay were involved, especially for the bigger traders. Put a buy order for a million shares and watch the prices rise, then sell at the higher price that would result a half second later. The same principle would work no matter how long the delay is.

Markets work so well because there is negative feedback in many different loops all over the economy. Some of these loops have shorter response times, other are slower to respond. If you invent an artificial delay that overlaps everything, this creates a well defined eignevalue that anyone with the proper technical knowledge could exploit.

Comment: Tax == Arbitrage (Score 2) 342

by mangu (#46684831) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Imposing a tax only means the profit threshold is raised. That creates the market distortion called "arbitrage", where the relative costs between different transactions are not symmetric.

A .01% tax per transaction would mean that for me, a small trader, there would be a net loss unless my own profit per trade is lower than .01%. For a bigger trader, the cost per trade is lower, therefore they would gain and advantage over us, the smaller guys.

The true solution? Let it be, do not change anything.

Apart from some guys who get a lot of profit selling books claiming HFT is bad, no one actually makes very much on HFT. The margins are very low, extremely low, so you need to invest a lot of capital to get any profit from it.

Getting a small profit from economy of scale is something that hurts no one, it happens in every sector of the economy. As a small investor, I have an indirect gain from the higher liquidity when the big investors go into HFT.

The economy is not a zero-sum game, there are situations where everyone profits and situations where everyone loses. With HFT everyone gains, with taxes everyone loses.

Comment: Re:Greatest, but maybe not the most damaging (Score 1) 102

by mangu (#46642021) Attached to: Book Review: How I Discovered World War II's Greatest Spy

The US didn't need to use the bomb again, the mere knowledge that it existed was enough.

Anyhow, it was several years until the Soviets got their own bomb, and even longer until they had some way to deliver them. Until the mid-1950s at least the Soviets had no bomber planes or missiles capable of dropping atom bombs on the USA.

Comment: Re:I'm not covinced by Dyson (Score 1) 125

by mangu (#46210747) Attached to: Dyson Invests £5 Million To Create 'Intelligent Domestic Robots'

And don't someone come up with the BS about everyone will sit around in blissful nirvana writing poetry or music or coding or go kayaking all day.

No, of course not. They will sit around and watch TV.

How many people have the ability and the inclination to write poetry or music or code anyhow?

Comment: Voice needs context (Score 1) 113

by mangu (#46084765) Attached to: Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

Voice interface is one of the hardest things to implement well in AI because there are so many sentences that sound similar, understanding depends so much on context.

Without understanding the context of the conversation, a voice interface will not be able to know if you are talking about sodas or sawdust, robots or row boats, new displays or nudist plays.

Comment: Bye bye, aircraft carriers (Score 1) 197

by mangu (#45953599) Attached to: How Quickly Will the Latest Arms Race Accelerate?

work on space exploration, fusion power, renewable food production,

You know what's even worse than working on developing weapon systems? Working on 90 years old weapon systems.

Aircraft carriers were state of the art during WWII, today they are as obsolete as the USS Arizona was in 1941.

What's the point is spending hundreds of billions of dollars in building sitting ducks that can be taken out by a single hypersonic missile?

Comment: Re:Here We Go Again (Score 1) 674

by mangu (#45889095) Attached to: The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

your own personal information that is being bundled up and sold off.

I repeat, there is no need to "monetize" everything.

Does that personal information have any monetary value to you? Can you sell it? Does someone using it take anything away from you? If not, then you are losing nothing while you get to use the services of a site without having to pay for it.

All that information does is to enable someone to send you advertisements that might interest you. If it doesn't interest you, too bad, but it's no worse than all the junk mail you have been receiving for so many years.

Anyhow, if you do not like the way it is, no one is forcing you to use any of those sites. It's not like the government taking taxes away from your pockets.

Comment: Re:Here We Go Again (Score 2) 674

by mangu (#45887521) Attached to: The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

How did this half-wit get published by the NY times?

Hint: they also publish the bullshit that Paul Krugman writes.

It's easy to say that internet companies only employs X people, while forgetting that they do not charge users for whatever they provide.

I, for one, think the greatest economic advantage is when we are able to get things for free. There's no need to "monetize" everything.

Comment: Re:"Android most important platform for gaming" (Score 2) 128

by mangu (#45878369) Attached to: Nvidia Announces 192-Core Tegra K1 Chips, Bets On Android

There will be plenty of people who prefer casual games on a phone screen, there will be plenty who prefer high-resolution fancy graphics displayed on their big TV with a control system more flexible than a touch screen

The problem with consoles right now is that any argument you can make for consoles vs. tablets you can also make for PC gaming vs. consoles, and any argument you can make for consoles vs. PCs you can also make for tablets vs. consoles.

Consoles are in an ever shrinking gap between tablets and PCs, I don't think their market has very much space to grow.

Comment: Re:Will be interesting ... (Score 3, Informative) 106

by mangu (#45877013) Attached to: Stellar Trio Could Put Einstein's Theory of Gravity To the Test

And how do you know if your equations are correct?

That's the whole point raised by TFA. You know your equations are correct if the results of the simulation agrees with the results of the observation.

This system offers an unprecedented way to check how much does model general relativity fit the actual universe.

It's all in TFA, but I suppose reading it breaks the slashdot rules. Since we have three stars that are much more massive than any other three body system observed before, we can make measurements of the effects of gravitation with more precision, because the effects of those three stars on each other are so much bigger than the perturbations from other masses.

Comment: Re:bullshit (Score 1) 385

by mangu (#45867201) Attached to: Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

provided people are free to leave.

But don't forget this is a two ended trip. There must also exist a provision that no country should be allowed to refuse immigrants.

If a person from India or Malawi wanted to go live in the USA or Western Europe they should be allowed to do so, without any hindrance.

Otherwise, it would be just a matter of luck that you inherited your parents' nationality.

Comment: Re:bullshit (Score 1) 385

by mangu (#45864875) Attached to: Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

Why is it fair to inherit money? Because it's like any other inheritance.

Is it fair that people inherit good looks from their parents? Or athletic potential? Try getting to play in the NBA if you had two very short parents.

Or what about the place where you were born? Is it fair that some people are born in Germany, Sweden, or the USA, while others are born in Somalia, Afghanistan, or North Korea?

The simple fact that you inherited money doesn't mean you didn't deserve it. You deserve it as much as anything else you got by pure chance.

If you think it would be fair to "equalize" the situation by taking away the money people inherit, then there are many other situations that should be equalized as well. One could start by abolishing nationalities, allowing everyone to live and work in whatever country they wanted. Then one should abolish all professional sport competitions, no one should be judged by their sports skills. Also, what about people with inherited musical skills? Get rid of music as a profession as well...

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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