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…

Kabul tourist guide

The city of Kabul (and Afghanistan in general) is still pretty high on my list of places i want to visit. Unfortunately, the closest place to Kabul that i got to so far is Delhi. Fortunately, however, there is the fabulous internet where Safi Airways ‘the international airline of Afghanistan’ is publishing PDF versions of it’s fabulous in-flight magazine. Browsing through the three available issues only reinforces my desire to go and visit the place. As far as the standards of such publications…

Apparently the dutch had video telephony well before i was even born...

Last year i spend a fair amount of energy to get the open video platform openimages.eu off the ground, but so far the videos that have been uploaded there (mainly from the polygoon collection of the institute of sound and vision have utterly failed to impress me. Now after 4 month of operation there is finally a video that i can approve of. It has the perfect combination of techno-optimism, cuttting-edge design and sideburns: if you do not see a video here you need a better browser ‘first test w…

The first world catching up with the third

While cycling along the Keizersgracht this morning i noticed that a number of the buildings now use CFL lamps for the outside illumination: CFL lightbulb in a lamp on the outside of a building on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam Looks like the first world is starting to play catch-up with the third world.…

Mall of hyperbole

The National (from that other place of hyperbole, the UAE) runs an fascinating article (‘Mall of misfortune‘) about a desolated shopping mall in Dongguan in China’s Pearl River Delta: The South China Mall which opened with great fanfare in 2005, is not just the world’s largest. With fewer than a dozen stores scattered through a space designed to house 1,500, it is also the world's emptiest - a dusty, decrepit complex of buildings marked by peeling paint, dead light bulbs, and dismembered manne…

There is another warehouse way beyond the end of the long tail

So the commonly used images to visualize the Long Tail are shots from inside the enormous warehouses run by the online book retailer amazon.com all over the world. Seems like that these warehouse are not the only ones associated with the long tail. In reality (which is not properly depicted by all those fancy graphical representations of the long tail) enormous warehouses are being constructed way beyond the (imagined) end of the long tail: The Guardian has an excellent article (‘Inside the tomb…

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk > Grand Ayatollah Sayid Ruhullah Musawi Khomeini

At least when one is to believe the flight schedules of Turkish airlines and Iran Air. Since november 2007 both airlines have a daily service connecting Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport with the new Imam Khomeini International Airport just south of Tehran (actually it is quite a bit south of the city but very close to the shrine of the the late Grand Ayatollah). Is it just me or isn’t it at least a tiny little bit ironic that there are direct flight’s between two airports that are named…

Slideshows

Ran into some amazing slideshows in the last couple of days which somehow remind me of my trip to Dubai, India and China (see here) late last year. First, the New York Times (which apparently is one and a half inches less wide these days) has a beautiful slideshow from construction sites in Dubai (see my own pictures here): Photo by Tyler Hicks nicked from NYTimes.com And the Atlantic Monthly hosts an extensive slideshow by James Fallows (complete with voiceover and cheesy pseudo Chines…

Europe is so 20th century ...

… coming home form the (opening of the going to be) excellent mycreativity event/conference/meeting i stopped by the shoarma place around the corner from my house. The egyptian guy who runs the shop was in chatty mood and somehow we ended up discussing Syriana which he described as… … a film about the CIA and the Arabs (sic!) fighting about influence about the enormous oil resources of the Persian gulf … form there our discussion went towards describing how much of a mess this confrontation and…

For the benevolence of expression....

Patrice (thanks!) posted a translation of a posting by the french philosopher Fréderic Neyrat to the internal multitudes mailing list to nettime. It was made as a comment on the appeal by French intellectuals for a Salman-Rushdie-style protection of Robert Redeker, a philosopher threatened by fundamentalist groups after publishing statements deemed insulting to Muslim culture in general (more background here). well worth the read: For the benevolence of expression and against the ‘clash of civil…