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Comment This is actually pretty smart social science (Score 1) 118

This is actually pretty smart social science. If you wanted to, you could gather actual statistics about PC saturation in households and the divorce rate or church attendance, and you could do the same for gaming.
Am I the only person who thinks it could actually be interesting to see what that would look like?

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 446

There are a few reasons why these typical excuses ("we're providing liquidity to the market;" "We are eliminating market inefficiencies") which hedge funds continually offer to justify their own behaviour sound shriller and staler with every passing month. In this case they definitely don't hold water.

1) This system trades only in the very largest of large cap stocks, which are covered by the news media in massive rivers of text, and traded in oceans of volume. If it is fair to say that a trader in these shares would ever have to wait for someone wanting to make the opposite trade, it would be safe to say there were maybe only 5 dollars in the world. Arguably, adding more liquidity to these markets does not help, but actually hurts, the security and stability of the markets. We have learned that lesson time and time again.

2) We are dealing in microseconds here, and in a battle of speed between computers, all of which make trades faster than a human hand can click a mouse. it is no longer valid to say that waiting times need to be shortened, or that inefficiencies need to be eliminated, from a market like this.

These trades are ultimately mercenary in nature, and shorting massive quantities of a stock in a short time period like this is precisely what triggers sudden drops like the one we saw in the US recently. The Germans have it right, and and the hedge funds will need to find better excuses to defend the status quo which caused the financial meltdown of the past three years.

Comment Re:Hey (Score 1) 164

Agreed - on a Lenovo s10, going to Lucid from Fedora 12 is like what it must have been going from Vista to Windows 7, for Windows people - waking up from an ice age. I installed fedora 13 on release day yesterday and couldn't have made a better choice than to junk it and go for Lucid.
I have it installed on all my systems now - it's a silver bullet for all those bugs that various distros had on various hardware. Hands down the best linux yet.

Comment Mandriva is not the same thing as Chrome.. (Score 1) 296

The most important thing is going to be to get a full-fledged Linux desktop onto people's little ARM devices, with a Thunderbird they can configure and an OpenOffice they can run. If people have that they are going to use it, and then it's going to be fashionable.
The most important job belongs to Aaron Siego and Arnaud Laprévote here - it's make-or-break to get a proper, usable Linux onto these devices, and not some flimsy excuse for an OS. If they can get a Linux into people's hands which they can use, they will!

Comment Re:Old fashioned attitudes (Score 1) 273

I also have been working this way for years. The small European company I currently work for actually had no office for a chunk of time before I got hired, and its entire workforce of half a dozen people worked this way. This has been going on for a long time actually.
I won't say I disagree with people who miss the social interaction aspect of the workplace, but people who need a workplace for social interaction might try thinking historically about how people were OK at social interaction a long time before they had offices. It's a pretty nice trade-off to be able to be in any country you want.

Comment Re:Profits, but for whom? (Score 2, Interesting) 624

The typical justification for this type of trading is that it "eliminates market inefficiencies." But the problem is that these kinds of short-termist hedge fund strategies work by exploiting price volatilities, so they actually thrive on, and need, volatility in the market. There are some times when it can actually magnify them, creating price bubbles, etc. When large volumes are traded through quant strategies like this it's easy to see how that could happen. Some box says 'buy' because prices rise a millionth of a click; then a million shares are bought, driving the price up further. Other traders who follow the really fast quant traders follow suit, and then you have a price bubble.

Comment Re:External and Online (Score 1) 611

I don't know who your average slashdotter is, but I guess compared to most of you all I'm a regular joe, and my backup method of choice is to have a whole second computer. Who doesn't have one kicking around? And if not, even so the price of a second drive is what it is, and then you can go to the pawn shop and choose between a USB bridge for it, or some ancient, probably hot laptop with a standard drive bay in it?

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