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Software

Knight Trading Losses Attributed To Old, Dormant Software 223

New submitter alexander_686 points out a Bloomberg article about the cause of Knight Capital Group's $440 million algorithmic trading disaster from a couple weeks ago. The report says a dormant software system was accidentally activated on August 1, which immediately began increasing stock trade volumes by a factor of 1,000. The Wall Street Journal has further details: "Knight Capital Group Inc.'s accidental trades earlier this month were triggered by a flawed upgrade of trading software that caused an older trading system connected to the computer code to inadvertently go 'live' on the market, according to people familiar with the matter. The errors at Knight on Aug. 1 involved new code the Jersey City, N.J.-based brokerage designed to take advantage of the launch of a New York Stock Exchange trading program, which was introduced that day to attract more retail-trading business to the Big Board, the people say. ... When NYSE Euronext trading floor officials called Knight at about 9:35 a.m. to try to pinpoint the cause of unusual swings in dozens of stocks, just after the Big Board opened for trading, Knight traders and their supervisors had a difficult time detecting where in its systems the problem was located, say people familiar with the morning's events. The NYSE had to call Knight several times before deciding to shut the firm off, the people say."
The Internet

Race Pits Pigeons Against Poor UK Rural Broadband 298

Mark.JUK writes "Rural internet access in the United Kingdom, like many other countries around the world, is slow. So slow in fact that Trefor Davies, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at business ISP Timico, has decided to pit a typical rural broadband connection against homing pigeons (with attached memory cards) to see which can get 200MB of HD video data across an 84 mile trip the fastest. Meanwhile a farmer will attempt to upload the same video file to YouTube before the pigeons can complete their journey. The comical stunt is designed to raise awareness of the often woeful broadband speed experienced by many people who live in remote and rural parts of their country. However Davies does admit that 'there isn't a benchmark for pigeon data speeds,' yet."

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