Sunday, August 23, 2009

The latest in UPS control technology

Apparently if you have an APC UPS there is a program which is supposed to kick PowerChute's butt back to the 90's, which to be honest is the last time that stuff was really updated.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

High frequency trading

I tend to be against this sort of stuff as I think smart people could be better used. This article presents a defense of the practice and also points out how silly the people who oppose it sound.

My awakening began when I read a recent Times column by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, who commented that much of today's trading is a "socially useless" activity, as opposed to a higher calling, like say, writing opinion pieces. He ripped apart traders for the crime of making money "mainly by outsmarting other investors, rather than by directing resources to where they're needed."

. . . .

But I became a little worried when I realized how low the professor sets the bar for non-public information. He's not talking about Gordon Gekko learning about the impending takeover at Blue Star Airlines. Far from that, Dr. Krugman first cites high-frequency traders, who by processing public information faster than the next trader, are damaging society.

The implicit argument is that since not everyone has "superfast" computers, the information that high-frequency traders are reading from the public tape is still essentially non-public until everyone has had time to read and digest it. It's a good point--why should a trader have an advantage over his competition just because his broker splurged on a nitrogen-cooled, tungsten-coated nanochip processor? Shouldn't algorithm providers be polite and wait until the old-school broker with the paper ticker tape and the Atari 800 catches up?

My prediction is that the Obama administrations next push will be to require all computers which interact with market centers to be Atari 800s. My vintage computing hobby will finally be vindicated and I will be able to sell my equipment for tens of thousands of dollars.

How to be a programmer

Some useful technical and practical tips. GDPL licensed, of course. Useful bits include "Don't work 80 hours a week" and "Go home if you are about to commit homicide".