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Comment Re:What purpose does HFT serve? (Score 1) 321

High Frequency Traders (HFTs) are not investors, they are market makers. They find a willing buyer and a willing seller, arrange the transaction, and execute the trade. They make a profit on the spread between the buy price and the sell price.

Except that a neutral third party (the exchange) could connect the willing buyer and willing seller who both are willing to perform the transaction at higher prices, and split the difference. i.e. the Seller is selling for $1.05 and the buyer is willing to pay $1.06. HFT makes money by buying from the seller, selling to the buyer, and pocketing the $0.01 (minus expenses and trading costs.)

But wouldn't the buyer and seller be better off if the exchange, who is taking a transaction fee to perform the service, closed the transaction at $1.055? And if the buyer and seller are serious about wanting to make the trade, requiring the offer to be valid for a full second (for example) would give the market plenty of time to guarantee that the trade occurs.

Since the introduction of high frequency trading, transaction costs have fallen considerably, saving plenty of people a lot of money

It is not clear if this is a case of cause or effect. Without cheap transactions, HFT doesn't make sense. (And if the number of transactions were an order of magnitude smaller without the HFT noise, the cost of the infrastructure to execute the trades would be dramatically cheaper as well, which would reduce the cost of trades.)

But the fact remains that HFT acts as a hidden transaction fee on every trade. All of the money they make comes at the expense of someone executing an order.

Comment Re:In the mean time... (Score 2) 93

However, you can't mold honeycombs, foams, or other objects with complex internal structures that might be more efficient.

Then it's just a question of comparing the costs of industrial printing a part vs. the other ways you can improve vehicle efficiency.

Comment Re:100 more will die today (Score 1) 1719

We have about 10,000 firearm homicides in the US per year (and similar numbers of suicides), compared to 600 accidental deaths. Your "1/3 of deaths being an accident" is seriously miscalibrated.

Overall suicide rates have not changed in countries that banned firearms (Australia), so those probably wouldn't change even if guns are banned.

Comment Re:Spamming and Trolling and PR (Score 1) 373

But if were into advocacy for any controversial subject, it would be cool to have an account on G+ that I could post everything publicly. (That being the whole POINT of advocacy vs. limited postings for my friends.)

Blocking my cow-orkers only deals with half the equation.

And I'd still have to worry about who's subscribing, and if it's someone's 3rd cousin, etc. (Not to mention people re-sharing with my name attached, etc.)

I'd be happy to pay money for it. Or put up a bond. Or whatever. But as long as it handles the case where someone who's being stalked, abused, persecuted or prosecuted can set up an account for free and some people can elect to see it, I'd be satisfied.

Comment Re:Spamming and Trolling and PR (Score 3, Interesting) 373

I'm firmly atheist. I don't choose to participate in skepticism advocacy, but if I choose to, I might well prefer a pseudonym. (There are several fundamentalists in my management chain at work.)

I know of several people who are involved in the burner and pagan communities, who keep all of their non-mundane activities under pseudonyms. I don't currently know anyone involved in the SCA, but in the past I understood that many people didn't mix their role and real life.

I've been told that the BDSM community uses nicknames almost exclusively.

Many actors, musicians, authors, etc. work under pseudonyms, and would probably prefer not to mix their personal and public identities.

People being stalked (in real life or online) might have something to say, but not want to post under their real name.

Activists in the middle east and china certain prefer not to be forced to post under their real name.

Pretty much any individual or community that is subject to personal, social, legal, or political harassment may have motivation to operate in a public space, but use pseudonyms.

How about having a couple of flags, for "anonymous accounts" and "pseudonymous" accounts (the latter being "google knows my name and has verified it as much as anything else, but it isn't posted associated with this account). And indicate anony/psuedo accounts at the top of the profile screen. Add a security setting to block them entirely.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 437

I have read about an equipment recall on aircraft due to errors caused by cosmic radiation at altitude causing problems with a specific sensor.

But I agree with you that this would much more likely cause unintended stops or stalls, or engine misfires, or computer resets, rather than just unintended acceleration on hundreds of vehicles.

This may be due to a failure mode, but it will likely be due to something like corrosion of a sensor or bus (as suggested by one professor) rather than single bit errors.

Comment Not about IPO (Score 1) 315

I assume from your description that the company isn't likely to go public any time soon, and that it is probably not likely to be acquired. (You'll want the agreement to cover those circumstances, but I don't think that's your major focus.) So ignore everyone above talking about going public, options, etc.

I'll bet that the company has a half-dozen to a dozen employees, and basically the owner / CEO is offering you a share of the company that they think you've earned over the last 6 years. With a half-dozen employees, figure his profits go down by 20% if you leave. (Until / unless he can successfully replace you.) And if you're good, and perhaps competing with them, it might hurt even more.

So basically, this sounds to me like you're becoming a minor partner in the firm. That's not a bad deal in theory. You get to be the owner of a consulting firm without having to deal with starting it from scratch, finding accountants, setting up accounts receivable, payroll, etc.

So follow up with a lawyer and a tax accountant to verify the deal is legit. And ask for company financials to get an idea of what 10% of the company will be worth on an ongoing basis. (i.e. how much would dividend you'd have been paid the last 2 or 3 years.)

But if you like the work, go for it!

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky