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Comment Re:Super-low latency trading Considered Bad... (Score 1) 157 157

None of that profit the mega-corp makes is economically useful activity (ask any economist) - they're simply leeches in the system, able to legally game it to their advantage (and, to everyone else' disadvantage, since trading is a zero-sum game).

I broadly agree with you, but it's not true that there is no useful work being done. The arbitrage that this high speed link enables has the direct effect of bringing HK prices in line with London prices and Wall Street prices, with lower latency. It is a benefit to each regional market that you can get the best price in the world at the click of a button and not just the best price on a particular exchange. It is of special benefit to smaller exchanges as HFT arbitrageurs transfer liquidity from the large exchange to the small exchange.

Comment Re:Monetisation will work and advertising will die (Score 1) 444 444

Currently it costs around $0.01 to make a btc payment, and about 30 mins to process. BTC devs estimate (don't have the link handy) that in its current form it could maybe scale to handle the number of transactions now processed by VISA/Mastercard, but of course it would need to scale way beyond that to handle single cent page view payments. It really is not a good technology for micropayments, much better for medium to large transactions IMO.

Comment How do i keep up with technical material (Score 1) 337 337

I once did a PhD in theoretical physics and I'd like to keep up with important new developments. I always found that it was better to read the actual papers rather than some leaky abstraction in a blog, but now I have another job I don't have time to look through *all* the different articles and trawl through the citations.
So, my question is this...is there some kind of pagerank or suggestion service for reading articles on arxiv?
I'm thinking something a bit like reddit, where it maintains a global score of each article as well as tracking what you read so it can suggest what to read next based on what you liked. Citations don't quite do this as they only point backwards.

Comment Re:tough transitions (Score 1) 184 184

I find it really easy to use virtualenv (sometimes together with zc.buildout) to encapsulate applications and modules. In fact, I tend to cuss when a module that I want to try doesn't offer a way to be easily integrated with virtualenv (such as an egg or at least a subversion checkout with a working setup.py package file).

The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia co-founder starting over

smooth wombat writes: Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, will be moving in a new direction starting this week. He will be unveiling Citizendium, a competitor to Wikipedia which he hopes will have far fewer warts than Wikipedia does.

The difference this time is that those who contribute will be required to use their real names and experts in a given field will be asked to verify the facts. From the article:

"If there's going to be a free encyclopedia, I'd like there to be a better free encyclopedia," says Sanger, 38, who has a doctorate in philosophy and speaks slowly, as if cautiously choosing every word. "It has bothered me that I helped to get a project started, Wikipedia, that people are misusing in this way, and yet the project itself has little chance of radically improving."

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams

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