Saturday, October 23, 2010

Action Shots of Water Ballons

Just saw a great article on NPR's web site about Edward Horsford's photographs of water balloons as they burst. The photos are brilliant, they capture the rupturing plastic and swirling water as the balloon breaks. 
On his Flickr stream are several other fun shots, including a detailed close-up of a spider and another of a snowflake.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Illegal Manipulation of Automated Trading Systems

From this CNBC Article:
Two Norwegian day traders have been handed suspended prison sentences for market manipulation after outwitting the automated trading system of a big US broker.
The two men worked out how the computerized system would react to certain trading patterns – allowing them to influence the price of low-volume stocks.
This could become a more serious problem as trading systems become more automated, and I suspect that there are cases similar to this one that we never hear about.

One argument made by the defense is interesting: the defense lawyer admits that his clients misled the trading algorithm in order to make a profit, but weren't responsible for the actions of the computer. They're appealing the case.