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Comment Re:Uhm Yeah (Score 2) 163

They will get blown out of the first court. Thats the norm.

Federal judges have lifetime appointments, and little inventive to rule against what they actually believe to be right. Since Google HQ is in California, the first court is likely to be in the 9th district, which has a reputation for smacking down government overreach. Google may ultimately lose, but it isn't a certainty.

Comment Re:Sometimes I think *de*regulation is the answer (Score 1) 152


Frontrunning is illegal, regardless of whether it involves HFT. An obvious solution is to make it illegal for a single company to be both a broker (trading on behalf of their customers) and a trader (making money on their own trades).

tiny statistical arbitrage between similar stocks

No, arbitrage increases liquidity, decreases volatility, makes the market more efficient and stock prices more fair, and is a Good Thing.

Comment Re:Sometimes I think *de*regulation is the answer (Score 1) 152

In fact, the crash would have been less severe if HFTers had better models which would have allowed them to stay active during the crash.

This is pure speculation, not a fact.

It is enough of a fact to be accepted by the SEC. One of the recommendations of the 2010 investigation was to find a way to keep HFTers active during periods of volatility. Perhaps even requiring them to actively trade in order to keep markets liquid.

Comment Re:Sometimes I think *de*regulation is the answer (Score 2) 152

People keep saying that HFT needs to be regulated to avoid crazy spikes and crashes due to algorithms with stupid positive feedback loops.

There is no evidence that HFT causes spikes and crashes. Actual evidence says the opposite: by increasing liquidity, HFT reduces volatility. HFT was initially blamed for the "flash crash" in 2010, but when the investigation was complete, it was found that most HFTers had pulled out of the market during the crash, and HFT played no role in causing or exacerbating the crash. In fact, the crash would have been less severe if HFTers had better models which would have allowed them to stay active during the crash.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 476

Tax them! These speculative transactions do not add value to the economy.

HFT is not speculation. It is the exact opposite. HFTers are market makers, not speculators. This tax will result in higher spreads between buy and sell prices, and will be passed onto you in the form of higher transaction costs whenever you buy or sell a stock. It isn't clear to me what people that want to constrain HFT are trying to accomplish. Reduce volatility? The balance of evidence is that HFT results in less volatility. Encourage long term investing? Average hold time of stocks is actually correlated with lower overall economic growth. Stop people from doing something that sounds scary to people that don't understand it? Maybe.

Comment Re:Would anyone care if it crashed? (Score 0) 128

Fill the plane with Engineers, Computer Scientists, Scientists, Technicians, and the other people who actually make the world work, and you might have something.

Unlikely. People that are good at implementing solutions are not always the same people that are good at envisioning them. My experience is that techies are the worst people to have at a brainstorming session. When an idea is floated, instead of expanding on it, they start nitpicking the technical details. Example: The people on the plane came up with some interesting and provocative ideas, and nearly every comment here is "This won't work because ...."

Comment Re:Cute. Too bad it won't scale up... (Score 2) 113

to be a significant power sources without either destroying foodcrops or natural ecologicies

Plenty of cropland is already used for biofuel. If we can do so more efficiently, then more area will be available for food and/or nature.

or get more than about 5% efficiency - less than a solar panel.

Comparing biofuels to solar panels in area efficiency is silly. Solar panels cost hundreds of dollars per sq meter. Cropland does not. The important metric is not watts/area but watts/dollar. Also biofuels are liquid and can be used as transportation fuel in affordable vehicles. Solar electricity cannot.

Keeps everyone hopeful, despite the complete silliness.

TFA is completely devoid of any technical information, so I don't think you don't have enough information to determine if her invention is silly or not.

Comment Re:Beware of the next step (Score 1) 337

Fine. Political opponents. Sheesh. TeaBagger=TeaParty=AntiObama/Democrat=PoliticalOpponent

Not everyone that opposes corruption does so for political advantage. Some of them actually really believe in honest, transparent government. Many of the most outspoken critics of the NSA spying have been Democrats. Such as Ron Wyden the Democratic senator from Oregon. If you look at his record, he is about as from a "teabagger" as you can get.

Comment Re:Beware of the next step (Score 3, Insightful) 337

What stereotype? I didn't write down any stereotypes

You use a derogatory term to refer to anyone that would suspect Democrats of abusing the national security apparatus for political ends, while stating that it is nonetheless reasonable to suspect future (presumably non-Democrat) administrations. If you study history, you will learn that the most dangerous authoritarianism is that which is cloaked in righteousness.

Comment Re:Tech specs (Score 4, Informative) 115

Helium? I think we are wasting so much.

The market is already fixing this. Helium prices are rising. The primary reason for this is shale gas. Helium is a byproduct of natural gas production. Some gas wells in Texas contain as much as 4% helium. Gas wells outside the USA contain very little helium, making America the dominant producer. But America is switching to shale gas, which contains very little helium, and the helium producing wells are being shut down because they can't operate profitably with historically low gas prices. So helium prices are climbing, and frivolous uses are being curtailed. Disneyland Tokyo has already stopped selling helium balloons of cartoon characters.


Comment Re:Tech specs (Score 1) 115

Is there any reason not to use hydrogen for this application?

How do you know they are not using hydrogen? TFA does not say what gas they are using. So maybe they are using hydrogen but don't want to say so because of the idiots that associate it with the Hindenburg or hydrogen bombs. Thousands of people drown every year in a liquid that is 2/3 hydrogen, so there is no denying that it is dangerous stuff.


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