What this headline misses is the fact that trading companies are planning to use microwaves to high-frequency trade faster than the speed of light in a fiber (as opposed to the math we all know about speed of light in a vacuum).
This is nuts.
In this approach, McKay Brothers are planning on linking New York city with Chicago using microwave transmission. This is a 790 mile distance but fiber seldom takes the most direct route. Let’s assume a fiber path distance of 850 miles which will yield 6.9 msec propagation delay if there are no routers or other networking gear in the way. Give that both optical and microwave require repeaters, I’m not including their impact in this analysis. Covering the 790 miles using microwave will require 4.2 msec. Using these data, we would have the microwave link a full 2.7 msec faster. That’s a very substantial time difference and, in the world of high frequency trading and 2.7 msec is very monetizable. In fact, I’ve seen HFT customers extremely excited about very small portions of a msec. Getting 2.7msec back is potentially a very big deal.
The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.
The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.
As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, “very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is,” Dunning told Life’s Little Mysteries.
Algiers - Atlanta “doom soul” according to Nialler9’s review.
Algiers is Franklin James Fisher (b. North Carolina, l. NYC) / vocals, guitar, keys, programming, and percussion; Ryan Mahan (b. Georgia, l. London) / vocals, bass and percussion; and Lee Tesche (b. Georgia, l. London) / guitar, vocals, programming, and percussion.
DJ Shadow – Live @ Park Plaza Hotel, LA - 31.10.2009
2010 German issue limited edition CD album featuring a live set by DJ Shadow spinning tracks from a crate of vinyl across 3 turntables in a small ballroom at LA’s Park Plaza Hotel at ‘The Halloween Masquerade Benefit Ball’ event organised by KCRW, on 31st October 2009
A 718-page digital document obtained by Mother Jones contains names, phone numbers, neighborhoods, and alleged activities of thousands of dissidents apparently targeted by the Syrian government. Three experts asked separately by Mother Jones to examine the document—essentially a massive spreadsheet, whose contents are in Arabic—say they believe that it is authentic. As Bashar Al-Assad’s military continues a deadly crackdown on dissent inside the country, the list appears to confirm in explicit detail the scale of the regime’s domestic surveillance and its methodical efforts to destroy widespread opposition.
“Instead we have today the democratization of criticism, represented by customer reviews of books and films on the Internet. Critical judgment increasingly resembles what we find on Web sites where hotels and restaurants are usefully rated by people impelled to write in or sound off. Their irritations and enthusiasms are unedited, and we know nothing about where they come from. We must turn into critics ourselves to weigh their worth. Criticism becomes a form of polling, in which we look for enlightenment from the man in the street.”—The Work of a Critic - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education (via infoneer-pulse)
So far as the wider world knew, the Colonel was Thomas Andrew Parker, born in Huntingdon, West Virginia, some time shortly after 1900. He had toured with carnivals, worked with elephants and managed a palm-reading booth before finding his feet in the early 1950s as a music promoter. Had anyone taken the trouble to inquire, however they would have discovered that there was no record of the birth of any Thomas Parker in Huntingdon. They might also have discovered that Tom Parker had never held a U.S. passport—and that while he had served in the U.S. Army, he had done so as a private. Indeed, Parker’s brief military career had ended in ignominy. In 1932, he had gone absent without leave and served several months in military prison for desertion. He was released only after he had suffered what his biographer Alanna Nash terms a “psychotic breakdown.” Diagnosed as a psychopath, he was discharged from the Army. A few years later, when the draft was introduced during the World War II, Parker ate until he weighed more than 300 pounds in a successful bid to have himself declared unfit for further service.
Wow that’s almost as morally objectionable as setting the standard for ready-bake pop boy-band managers.
“Every time society advances, it faces challenges from those people economically and emotionally invested in the past. Undoubtedly stone age flint knappers were less than happy about bronze-age technology disturbing their business model. The medieval church was none too pleased about printing technology breaking their hegemony over knowledge, but we’d never have had the Enlightenment without it. Today the media-conglomerates, governments and educational institutions that profit from gatekeeping knowledge of all kinds are pushing the Stop Online Piracy Act, and even more draconian legislation to try and hold back the flood of free knowledge that threatens their power. Unless we want to stay in the knowledge equivalent of the stone age, and miss the next enlightenment the knowledge revolution promises to bring with it, we should all redouble our efforts to make sure they lose. For centuries the book has been the highest symbol of knowledge. The object that has enshrined and preserved knowledge through history. The book is so inextricably linked with our concept of knowledge that for many people it is hard to separate one from the other. But for human knowledge to reach its full potential, we may have to let go of the book-as-object first, or open our thinking to a radically different definition of what a book is.”—Are books and the internet about to merge? | Books | guardian.co.uk (via wildcat2030)
A newly discovered document, written by one of Europe’s most famous philosophers, Thomas Hobbes, reveals a plan that, if successful, could have turned the tide of one of England’s bloodiest wars.
In the words of Hobbes, the plan would prevent the “ruine of the English nation.” The document was written during the height of the English civil war, a series of conflicts between 1642 and 1651 that saw King Charles I (and later his son Charles II), pitted against his country’s parliament.
Hobbes, whose work encompassed politics, history, law, physics and mathematics, was a strong supporter of the king. And in the newfound document, discovered among papers of English writer John Evelyn in the British Library, Hobbes proposes a plan to win the war by getting the head of the parliamentary navy, Earl of Warwick Robert Rich, to defect.
“Eventually I found the farm, and a teenage boy who worked there - who was at that moment preparing to bring some cattle in, for the end of the day - showed me which narrow little path to take. You walk down a long sloping plain toward the ocean. A stark place to live, even for early Christian Irish monks, who I think of as having been an intensely stark people, a people who saved civilization more or less by sitting there and being really stark, until people were ready to read their manuscripts again.”—NYT: My Debt to Ireland
‘In the name of the law!’ cried the tipstaff again, making a most desperate attempt to break through.
‘F*ck the law,’ cried the seamen, and Bonden, grappling with the bailiff, wrenched the staff from him. He flung it right down the lane, fairly into the water, and said, ‘You’ve lost your commission now, mate. I can hit you now, mate, so you watch out, I say. You watch out, cully, or you’ll come home by Weeping Cross.’
The bailiff uttered a low growl, pulled out his hanger and hurled himself at Jack. ‘Artful, eh?’ said Bonden, and brought his stretcher down on his head.
“This is the worst war we’ve ever seen. And they’re getting away with it.”—The late journalist Marie Colvin, as written in a personal obituary penned by Channel 4’s Lindsey Hilsum. Colvin, a reporter for the Sunday Times, was one of two western journalists killed after the shelling of a neighborhood in Homs, Syria on Wednesday. [Channel 4] (via producermatthew)
Those donations have helped new Republican-leaning outside groups swamp Democratic-friendly super PACs in fundraising — money that is used largely for attack ads. The large sums also have rejuvenated the underfunded campaigns of principal challengers to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the race for the Repulican nomination.
"Without the flow of super PAC money, the Republican race would be over," said Anthony Corrado, a campaign-finance expert at Colby College in Maine. "Super PACs have become a vehicle for a very small number of millionaires and billionaires who are willing to spend large sums in pursuit of their political agenda."
The James Webb Space Telescope may someday put Hubble out of business, but until then NASA’s old standby is still making new discoveries. Today, that comes to us in the form of the first exoplanet “waterworld”—a water-covered planet shrouded by a dense, steamy atmosphere, the first confirmed planet of its kind.
The planet, known as GJ1214b, was discovered in 2009 by ground-based observations. But at that time it was difficult to glean much from the data other than the fact that the planet was indeed out there orbiting a red dwarf and is roughly 2.7 times Earth’s diameter. But its nearness to its star—just 1.3 miles away—meant that scientists could be reasonably sure it is hot there, likely around 450 degrees.
The financial fraud uncovered by the Italian prosecutors in Potenza includes two checks issued through HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) in London for 205,000 pounds ($325,000), checks that weren’t backed by available funds, the prosecutors said. As part of the probe, fake bonds for $2 billion were also seized in Rome. The individuals involved were planning to buy plutonium from Nigerian sources, according to phone conversations monitored by the police.
The fraud posed “severe threats” to international financial stability, the prosecutors said in the statement. HSBC spokesman Patrick Humphris in London declined to comment when contacted by telephone. The U.S. Secret Service assisted the Italian authorities, spokesman Edwin Donovan said.
When Joshua Bearman was a third grader, he got locked out of the lunchroom economy. His classmates piled their jazzed-up, sugarfied, food/not food snacks on the table and traded until the best junk won, while Joshua sat on the sidelines with the sardines and raisins his family sent. Then, one magical day, he dreamed up the delicious cake futures.
I also happen to enjoy that NPR stores backlist podcast mp3s under an /images/ root directory. Heh.