Posts about interesting (old posts, page 14)

A High Frequency Trader Apology

I'm a former high frequency trader. And following the tradition of G.H. Hardy, I feel the need to make an apology for my former profession. Not an apology in the sense of a request for forgiveness of wrongs performed, but merely an intellectual justification of a field which is often misunderstood.In this blog post, I'll attempt to explain the basics of how high frequency trading works and why traders attempt to improve their latency. In future blog posts, I'll attempt to justify the social value of HFT (under some circumstances), and describe other circumstances under which it is not very useful. Eventually I'll even put forward a policy prescription which I believe could cause HFT to focus primarily on socially valuable activities.

Bob Brown delivers the 3rd annual Green Oration

Surely some people-like animals have evolved elsewhere. Surely we are not, in this crowded reality of countless other similar planets, the only thinking beings to have turned up. Most unlikely! So why isn't life out there contacting us? Why aren't the intergalactic phones ringing?Here is one sobering possibility for our isolation: maybe life has often evolved to intelligence on other planets with biospheres and every time that intelligence, when it became able to alter its environment, did so with catastrophic consequences. Maybe we have had many predecessors in the Cosmos but all have brought about their own downfall.That's why they are not communicating with Earth. They have extincted themselves. They have come and gone. And now it's our turn.

The neuroscience of magic

Writing in Smithsonian magazine, magician Teller describes the neuroscience that underpins magical illusions, using admirably clear language to describe some of the weirdest ways that our brains can be made to fool us.

How We Won the Hominid Wars

How did our species come to rule the planet? Rick Potts argues that environmental instability and disruption were decisive factors in the success of Homo sapiens: Alone among our primate tribe, we were able to cope with constant change and turn it to our advantage. Potts is director of the Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program, curator of anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and curator of the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, which opened at that museum last year. He also leads excavations in the East African Rift Valley and codirects projects in China that compare early human behavior and environments in eastern Africa with those in eastern Asia. Here Potts explains the reasoning behind his controversial idea.


But no matter what you think about formal education, it has one thing going for it: The separation of teacher and student. Ideally, while the teacher has an interest in the student's success, the teacher does not rely on the student's influence. The teacher can fail the student. The teacher can force the student to learn things that are not fun or interesting. A student who just wants to learn enough to get a job can be forced to learn things that "Won't be asked in the interview." A student who loves the recreational aspects of computer science can be dragged away from optimizing his personal HashLife project and told to get cracking on understanding principles of large-scale software architecture.

Why I'm a Pirate!

I would pay for such a service if it is as simple, as fast and, unlike the Bay, if it can make some guarantees on the quality. But you don't offer that. Instead, you are trying to build fences and limitations. You are asking for huge amount of money only through credit card and you don't have half the music I'm looking for. That's not convenient and it's more expensive.

IBM Forecast 5 Innovations For Next Five Years

Every year IBM predicts the future of technology via the IBM 5 in 5 initiative-our forecast of five innovations that will help transform aspects of modern life, making the planet smarter, within the next five years. We assess not just the availability of a new technology but also the likelihood of its large-scale adoption.This year's predictions: People power will come to life * You will never need a password again Mind reading is no longer science fiction * The digital divide will cease to exist * Junk mail will become priority mail

The Physics Of Clown Cars

It's the most requested clown gag ever," asserts Greg DeSanto. "Everyone wants to see a lot of clowns come out of a really small car." Considering DeSanto's position as the executive director of the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center in the consistently hilarious burg of Baraboo, Wisconsin, this is an assertion that needs to be taken almost somewhat seriously.

The Physics Of Clown Cars

Radioactive Cargo Container

On July 13, 2010, this cargo container arrived in Genoa, Italy. It was emitting torrents of radiation. No one knew what was inside. And no one knew what to do next.

Your Brain Knows a Lot More Than You Realize

Only a tiny fraction of the brain is dedicated to conscious behavior. The rest works feverishly behind the scenes regulating everything from breathing to mate selection. In fact, neuroscientist David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine argues that the unconscious workings of the brain are so crucial to everyday functioning that their influence often trumps conscious thought. To prove it, he explores little-known historical episodes, the latest psychological research, and enduring medical mysteries, revealing the bizarre and often inexplicable mechanisms underlying daily life.