Musing, News, and the Past

236 notes

talesoffjords:

Viking Expansion:An image illustrating the Viking expansion really well. Most of Europe have been under Old Norse influence by one way or another. As an example, there were trade rutes around modern day Spain and Portugal, and Sicily were literally under Viking control.- Also note that the “Rus’ States” is what were later to become Russia, and that some Vikings actually were all the way down around Turkey and Greece, as some were mercenaries for the Byzantine Empire.
(Picture from Wikipedia)

talesoffjords:

Viking Expansion:

An image illustrating the Viking expansion really well. Most of Europe have been under Old Norse influence by one way or another. As an example, there were trade rutes around modern day Spain and Portugal, and Sicily were literally under Viking control.
- Also note that the “Rus’ States” is what were later to become Russia, and that some Vikings actually were all the way down around Turkey and Greece, as some were mercenaries for the Byzantine Empire.

(Picture from Wikipedia)

(via orthopraxis)

111 notes

theatlantic:

Everything You Need to Know About High-Frequency Trading

The stock market isn’t rigged, but it is taxed.
It always has been. As Justin Fox points out, for as long as people have been trading stocks, there have been middlemen taking a cut of the action. Now, that cut has gotten smaller as markets have gotten bigger and more technologically-advanced, but it’s still there. It’s the implicit fee that intermediaries charge for making sure there’s a buyer for every seller, and a seller for every buyer—for “making markets.”
But there’s a new kind of middleman today. They don’t work at stock exchanges or banks. They work at hedge funds, and trade at whiz-bang speeds. These “high-frequency traders” (HFT) use computer algorithms—a.k.a., algobots—to arbitrage away the most infinitesimal price discrepancies that only exist over the most infinitesimal time horizons. You can see just how small and how fast we’re talking about in the chart below from a new paper by Eric Budish and John Shim of the University of Chicago and Peter Cramton of the University of Maryland. It uses 2011 data to show the price difference between futures (blue) and exchange-traded funds (green) that both track the S&P 500. These should be perfectly correlated, and they are—at minute intervals. But this correlation disappears at 250 millisecond intervals, a little more than half the time it takes to blink your eyes. This is the “inefficiency” that HFT makes less so.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

Everything You Need to Know About High-Frequency Trading

The stock market isn’t rigged, but it is taxed.

It always has been. As Justin Fox points out, for as long as people have been trading stocks, there have been middlemen taking a cut of the action. Now, that cut has gotten smaller as markets have gotten bigger and more technologically-advanced, but it’s still there. It’s the implicit fee that intermediaries charge for making sure there’s a buyer for every seller, and a seller for every buyer—for “making markets.”

But there’s a new kind of middleman today. They don’t work at stock exchanges or banks. They work at hedge funds, and trade at whiz-bang speeds. These “high-frequency traders” (HFT) use computer algorithms—a.k.a., algobots—to arbitrage away the most infinitesimal price discrepancies that only exist over the most infinitesimal time horizons. You can see just how small and how fast we’re talking about in the chart below from a new paper by Eric Budish and John Shim of the University of Chicago and Peter Cramton of the University of Maryland. It uses 2011 data to show the price difference between futures (blue) and exchange-traded funds (green) that both track the S&P 500. These should be perfectly correlated, and they are—at minute intervals. But this correlation disappears at 250 millisecond intervals, a little more than half the time it takes to blink your eyes. This is the “inefficiency” that HFT makes less so.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

81 notes

newsweek:

Last week, we learned from the Associated Press that USAID (United States Agency for International Development) — the government agency which manages billions in overseas “humanitarian” aid programs — plotted to overthrow Cuba’s communist regime via a covertly-funded fake Twitter platform.
The idea was to get Cuba’s youth to sign up for ZunZuneo (Cuban slang for the sound hummingbirds make—get it?) without anyone knowing about USAID’s involvement, get the kids hooked on pointless tweeting, collect all sorts of data on the users, and then rile them into an anti-regime rage — a “Cuban Spring” revolution.
Presumably the US government had been studying Twitter’s ability to supercharge its users with outrage vapors here in the Free World, where legions of credulous idiots spend their waking hours chasing the outrage dragon. It was only a matter of time before some DC spooks and Northern Virginia contractors would see the angles.
Of course, the ZunZuneo plan failed. ZunZuneo collapsed, a bunch of money went missing (likely into the coffers of the Castro regime’s state-controlled telecoms firm, or so they say), and the Communist Cuban menace still threatens the Free World’s slick underbelly.
The murderous history of USAID, the US Government agency behind Cuba’s fake Twitter clone | PandoDaily

newsweek:

Last week, we learned from the Associated Press that USAID (United States Agency for International Development) — the government agency which manages billions in overseas “humanitarian” aid programs — plotted to overthrow Cuba’s communist regime via a covertly-funded fake Twitter platform.

The idea was to get Cuba’s youth to sign up for ZunZuneo (Cuban slang for the sound hummingbirds make—get it?) without anyone knowing about USAID’s involvement, get the kids hooked on pointless tweeting, collect all sorts of data on the users, and then rile them into an anti-regime rage — a “Cuban Spring” revolution.

Presumably the US government had been studying Twitter’s ability to supercharge its users with outrage vapors here in the Free World, where legions of credulous idiots spend their waking hours chasing the outrage dragon. It was only a matter of time before some DC spooks and Northern Virginia contractors would see the angles.

Of course, the ZunZuneo plan failed. ZunZuneo collapsed, a bunch of money went missing (likely into the coffers of the Castro regime’s state-controlled telecoms firm, or so they say), and the Communist Cuban menace still threatens the Free World’s slick underbelly.

The murderous history of USAID, the US Government agency behind Cuba’s fake Twitter clone | PandoDaily