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Comment Re:Whoa! (Score 2) 84

No, what happens usually is that the prophet was not particullarly good in math and calculated the wrong date. Let me quote you the original prophecy:
"The system goes online August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug."

Comment The buzz was needed (Score 4, Insightful) 53

I think the awareness it created by doing an incorrect disclosure and the frantic reactions that followed, made it possible that many sites were patched, that otherwise were not patched at all, and certificates renewed, that otherwise would stay the same due to laziness of the maintainers.

The legitimate question is of course if that outweighs having the whole world open to this vulnerability for a short amount of time. (On the other hand, they were open anyway).

Comment Re:HFT = a cost to society (Score 1) 342

To be the devils advocate:
The beneficiars are the manufacturers of said equipment and warehouses, which pay their employees and their suppliers for the work done, who in turn will pay their employees as well. And by the way these employees will buy houses, cars and food from other companies, which .... Need to go on? And every part will pay some tax as well.

The investments are probably paying themselves off. One can debate if the service delivered is a usefull one, but in the end it translates to 'real' economic value in terms of production of other goods. Because economy is about pumping money around. The faster, the better. And if the investment pays off really good, then there is money for investing in improved banking services as well. A win-win situation here.... Ok, I'm a bit sarcastic here.

So, my conclusion, yes, there is a cost, but yes, there is also a benefit to society in terms of economic activity (real). And I think it is better to focus on the unfairness part of it, which is on the part of the big, fast, but not so fast traders. But it is a rat race and I'm confident it will be sorted out. The end result is no one will make money this way and that again there will be a fee asked for trading. Problem solved.

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Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?