Stock trades, art and algorithms

If you ask me one of the more fascinating things going on out there right now is high-frequency trading. High-frequency trading (HFT) occurs when traders program computers to buy and sell stocks (or other financial products) in quick succession under certain, pre-defined circumstances. (a good starting point to learn more about HFT is this planet money episode or this ai500 article by Joe Flood). Apparently High Frequency trading enables successful trading firms to skim of enormous surplus off t…

I have changed my mind...

About the Noord Zuid Lijn: i really think that instead of finishing of the line and having subway trains running somewhen past 2015 they should just finish the tunnel and then turn it into a super deluxe underground bicycle express-path. The tunnel would dramatically cut down the time needed to get to the center, prevent you from rain and would probably be used by more locals on a daily basis than a subway ever will. The thing needs to have lots of smooth on- and off-ramps that connect it to the…

Computer Science is the Science of the Future [and more pics from Cuba]

So i finally finished uploading my pictures from cuba to flickr [see here and here]. among them is one more series that deserves special attention. it consists of a number of photos of an abandonened boarding school building that we found along the road from Bayamo to Las Tunas in eastern Cuba. The soviet-style prefabricated builing stands at a stark contrast with the surrounding countryside. When we first stopped there we had no idea what the building was. While exploring the building it became…

Steal this Film II revisited

So Felix (make sure to check out that splash page!) has posted an really good review of Steal This Film II to the nettime mailing list. If you still need a reason/excuse to download and watch STFII i suggest reading his review: This experience reinforces the main point of the film: file-sharing – a technologically super-charged, deep cultural practice – is beyond the point where it can be stopped. The old media industry has lost control over the distribution of content, radically reducing the po…

Steal this Film - Part 2

The second installment of Steal This Film has just been released. you can download it in 4 different resolutions) here and Torrentfreak has an interview with Jamie. By now i have seen it it numerous times (in different stages of production) and i will probably watch it again just for the sake of it (i am downloading the HD version right now). Now it does not really matter if i watch it again or not but this movie is essential viewing for all those out there who still believe that file-sharing,…

Email == artillery

Spend two days at my parents place in east Germany this weekend and yesterday my dad suddenly came up and insisted on reading us a short excerpt from the complete works of Heinrich von Kleist. It is a short note that he wrote in october 1810 as editor of the ‘Berliner Abendblättern’, where it was published under the title ‘Useful Inventions: Concept for a bomb mail system’: It’s a bit of a far-fetched concept that suggests to address one of the main shortcomings of the then-just-launched telegra…

Lille 3000

Absolutely no idea why it is called lille 3000 and not some other arbitrary number, but apparently the local government decided that 3000 sounds mighty futuristic (and 2006 would be so last year in three months anyway) and here we go… I am also not sure if lille 3000 is the same as the ‘Bombaysers de Lille’ (the sexual pun is apparently intended) exhibition that was opened with much French pompousness this weekend. Like the city of lille the exhibition is definitely worth a visit: Ashok has a gr…

São Paulo 2001

Yesterday i seriously thought i would not like São Paulo. It seemed empty for a city with 16 million-or-so inhabitants. And the people who where on the streets where either selling incense, crystals and other hippie-shit (on the Praça Republica next to my hotel) or the seemed to be a bit too fond of tattoos and body manipulations for my taste (all the kids i ran into on the subway on their way to some kind of tattoo convention). But mostly they were simply absent. The lack of people on the stree…

My workplace in 2015 (in dutch)

Last week we had a research and development workshop at Waag Society about 20 of us had to engage in 2 days socratic talking. I still do not really know what exactly this was suposed to accomplish but there are two additional days to come, so lets see. For the first day of the workshop we were asked to write a short account of a day at the Waag in 2015. below you find my somewhat negative vision (all the other visions i have read were positive and mostly focussed on technologically augmented tel…