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Topics - Iason Ouabache

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Aneristic Illusions / The Flash Crash was created by...
« on: October 04, 2010, 07:33:47 am »
... a single mouse click in Kansas.

Sorry, couldn't find the original thread about the "Flash Crash" back in May so I'm doing the follow up here.

It was a stock market mystery that had everyone guessing for months: just what caused that harrowing flash crash last May?

On Friday, after months of investigation and speculation, federal authorities finally provided the answer: it all began with the click of a computer mouse in Kansas.

In a long-awaited report on one of wildest days in Wall Street’s history, regulators said that the automated sale of a large block of futures by a mutual fund — not named in the report, but identified by officials as Waddell & Reed Financial, of Overland Park, Kan. — touched off a chain reaction of events on May 6. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 600 points in a matter of minutes that day and then recovered in a blink.

The finger-pointing and speculation that followed — Were high-speed traders behind it? A rogue computer program? Financial terrorists? — captivated Wall Street. But in the report released on Friday, the authorities said they found no evidence of market manipulation. Instead, the temporary crash resulted from a confluence of forces after a single fund company tried to hedge its stock market investment position legitimately, albeit in an aggressive and abrupt manner.

The mutual fund started a program at about 2:32 p.m. on May 6 to sell $4.1 billion of futures contracts, using a computer sell algorithm that over the next 20 minutes dumped 75,000 contracts onto the market, even automatically accelerating its selling as prices plunged...

The report set out the sequence of events that began with the sale by Waddell & Reed of 75,000 E-Mini Standard & Poor’s 500 futures contracts, using computer sell algorithms. Normally, a sale of this size would take place over as many as five hours, but the large sale was executed in 20 minutes, the regulators said.

The algorithm was programmed to execute the trade “without regard to price or time,” the report said, which meant that it continued to sell even as prices dropped sharply.

The algorithm is one used widely across markets. It was provided to the firm by Barclays Capital, but it was up to Waddell & Reed to set the parameters dictating the way it sold the futures contracts.

There was no explanation from officials why the firm chose to sell so many contracts all at once, except to speculate that it was already late in the trading day when it made the sale. Neither would officials explicitly say whether or not the firm was under investigation, but they pointed out that the firm had made similar trades in the past.

It's amazing how a small stimuli could create so much chaos in such a short amount of time. It's surprising that something like this doesn't happen more often. There are currently no safeguards to prevent it from happening at any time.

Aneristic Illusions / World War I officially over
« on: September 29, 2010, 06:19:35 am »

The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.

Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead.

The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time.

The bill would have been settled much earlier had Adolf Hitler not reneged on reparations during his reign.

Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following armistice, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power.

"On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany," said Bild, the country's biggest selling newspaper.

Techmology and Scientism / Borked computer
« on: September 07, 2010, 08:05:55 am »
Ok, here's a quick run down of what is happening to my home computer:

Computer boots up fine. Runs ok for an indeterminate amount of time (it has varied from 10 minutes to 4 hours). At some random point there is a *click* sound coming from the general vacinity of my hard drive. The computer then locks up and I get a BSOD that has a vague message about "MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION". I am assuming that it is caused by a faulty hard drive but I'd like to see some second opinions about it.

(Yes, I have everything important backed up on external hard drives and I know about temporarily booting from a USB drive or CD. It is still booting just long enough for me to maybe download a couple of helpful files or back up anything else that needs to be saved.)

« on: August 25, 2010, 12:09:52 pm »
I've been really fucking busy, but I thought I'd drop by to tell you that I love and miss all of you.

Also, I brought a present:

Apple Talk / The Myth of Japanese Longevity
« on: August 19, 2010, 06:33:48 am »

TOKYO — Japan  has long boasted of having many of the world’s oldest people — testament, many here say, to a society with a superior diet and a commitment to its elderly that is unrivaled in the West.

That was before the police found the body of a man thought to be one of Japan’s oldest, at 111 years, mummified in his bed, dead for more than three decades. His daughter, now 81, hid his death to continue collecting his monthly pension payments, the police said.

Alarmed, local governments began sending teams to check on other elderly residents. What they found so far has been anything but encouraging.

A woman thought to be Tokyo’s oldest, who would be 113, was last seen in the 1980s. Another woman, who would be the oldest in the world at 125, is also missing, and probably has been for a long time. When city officials tried to visit her at her registered address, they discovered that the site had been turned into a city park, in 1981.

To date, the authorities have been unable to find more than 281 Japanese who had been listed in records as 100 years old or older. Facing a growing public outcry, the country’s health minister, Akira Nagatsuma, said officials would meet with every person listed as 110 or older to verify that they are alive; Tokyo officials made the same promise for the 3,000 or so residents listed as 100 and up.

So the common wisdom about Japanese people living long due isn't due to reverence for the elderly and health diets but to the fact that the Japanese like to abandon their elderly and the government doesn't bother to keep track of people.   :horrormirth:

Apple Talk / Journalism Warning Labels
« on: August 14, 2010, 07:44:21 pm »
Don't know if this should go in OMF or here but whatever.

Journalism Warning Labels

It seems a bit strange to me that the media carefully warn about and label any content that involves sex, violence or strong language — but there's no similar labeling system for, say, sloppy journalism and other questionable content.

I figured it was time to fix that, so I made some stickers. I've been putting them on copies of the free papers that I find on the London Underground. You might want to as well.

More pics on his site.


When a Tennessee man hacked Sarah Palin’s e-mail account and wrote of his exploits on the forum 4chan, federal investigators asked the site’s founder Christopher “Moot” Poole for server logs. Court testimony from April and published yesterday shows that federal prosecutors had other pressing questions for Poole: for example, the meaning of “peeps” and “rickroll.”

Assistant to the U.S. Attorney Mark Krotoski questions Poole:

Q. Certain terms, have a meaning unique to 4chan?
A. Yes.

Q. Like “OP,” what is “OP”?
A. OP means original poster.

Q. Are you familiar these terms, having been the founder and administrator of the 4chan site?
A. Yes.

Q. What would “lurker” mean?
A. Somebody who browses but does not post, does not contribute.

Q. What do the words “caps” mean?
A. Screenshots.

Q. And is there any significance to “new fags”?
A. That is the term used to describe new users to the site.

Q. What about “b tard”?
A. It’s a term that users of the /b/- Random board use for themselves.

Q. What about “troll”?
A. Troublemaker.

Q. “404″?
A. 404 is the status code for not found. It means essentially gone or not found.

Q. Not found on where, the 4chan site?
A. 404 is the http status code for not found, a page not found by the Web server.

Q. In what about “peeps”?
A. People.

Q. “Rickroll”?
A. Rickroll is a mean [sic] or Internet kind of trend that started on 4chan where users — it basically a bait and switch. Users link you to a video of Rick Astley performing Never Gonna Give You Up.

 :lulz: I love this century.

Aneristic Illusions / All Hail Aqua Buddha!
« on: August 10, 2010, 02:13:02 am »

Remember your college years? The test cramming, the questionable decisions when it came to alcohol, the even more questionable decisions when it came to dating? And who can forget that classic college prank -- the one where you kidnap a girl from the swim team, blindfold her, and try to force her to take bong hits before making her kneel in a creek and pray to "Aqua Buddha"?

What's that you say? You never tried that one? Well you must not have attended college with Rand Paul.

From a new profile of Paul's college years published by GQ:

The strangest episode of Paul's time at Baylor occurred one afternoon in 1983 (although memories about all of these events are understandably a bit hazy, so the date might be slightly off), when he and a NoZe brother paid a visit to a female student who was one of Paul's teammates on the Baylor swim team. According to this woman, who requested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, "He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot." After the woman refused to smoke with them, Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman recalls. "They blindfolded me and made me bow down to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.' At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no."

High Weirdness / The Chupacabra is really...
« on: July 22, 2010, 07:41:41 pm »
.... inspired by a crappy 90's Sci-fi movie.

Looking for a missing piece of his puzzle to “solve” the Chupacabras mystery, Ben Radford found what he was looking for.

“Just before Tolentino’s sighting, a new element was added to the island’s social and cultural mix – something that had not existed there before and could have spawned chupacabra sightings. The creature Tolentino described bears no resemblance to any known animal. It does, however, look almost exactly like a fictional creature seen by hundreds of thousands of people in 1995: Sil.

“Sil is the name of the alien creature played by Natasha Henstridge in the science-fiction horror film Species. Species was released in Puerto Rico on July 7, 1995 – less than a month before Tolentino reported her chupacabra sighting. The creatures looked very similar; could the original chupacabra eyewitness have simply described a monster she saw in a movie? It’s certainly possible,” says Radford, (p. 300).

One of the most damning pieces of evidence for Radford was found in investigator Scott Corrales’ 1997 book, Chupacabras and Other Mysteries. In Corrales’ text, it is noted that Tolentino made the connection between Sil and the Chupacabras herself. Tolentino told an interviewer that she had seen a “movie called Species….The movie begins here in Puerto Rico, at the Arecibo observatory.”

Tolentino’s comparison between the Chupacabras creature she had seen and the one in the movie is mentioned in Corrales’ book, when she notes the movie monster “was a creature that looked like the chupacabra, with spines on its back and all….The resemblance to the chupacabra was really impressive….I watched the movie and wondered, ‘My God! How can they make a movie like that, when these things are happening in Puerto Rico?”

An interviewer asked Tolentino in Puerto Rico, in 1996, Corrales noted: “In other words, does [Species] make you think there might have been an experiment in which a being escaped and is now at large?”

Tolentino answered: “Yes.”

Radford then writes (p. 302): “Thus it seem [sic] that Tolentino believed that the creature and the events she saw in Species were actually happening in reality in Puerto Rico at the time.”

« on: July 09, 2010, 03:18:57 am »
Ok, get it out of your system spags. Tell us how much you currently hate Lebron.

Apple Talk / Name Iason's First Born Son
« on: July 01, 2010, 05:58:19 am »
As I've mentioned before my wife is pregnant and will deliver our son sometime during the month of August. We are completely at a loss for a name for this bouncing baby boy though. We need something epic to go along with his sister's name of Eris Olive. I know, Ares would be the obvious choice but the names sound too similar and would make yelling at/for them too difficult. I need something that stands out and makes people say, "Wow, that is an incredibly awesome name!"

So far at the top of our list is Andrew (yawn) and Archer (not awesome enough). I need suggestions. NOW!

Apple Talk / Tazing Granny
« on: June 28, 2010, 07:28:35 pm »

Police Tasered an 86-year-old disabled grandma in her bed and stepped on her oxygen hose until she couldn't breathe, after her grandson called 911 seeking medical assistance, the woman and her grandson claim in Oklahoma City Federal Court. Though the grandson said, "Don't Taze my granny!" an El Reno police officer told another cop to "Taser her!" and wrote in his police report that he did so because the old woman "took a more aggressive posture in her bed," according to the complaint.

     Lonnie Tinsley claims that he called 911 after he went to check on his grandmother, whom he found in her bed, "connected to a portable oxygen concentrator with a long hose." She is "in marginal health, [and] takes several prescribed medications daily," and "was unable to tell him exactly when she had taken her meds," so, Tinsley says, he called 911 "to ask for an emergency medical technician to come to her apartment to evaluate her."

     In response, "as many as ten El Reno police" officers "pushed their way through the door," according to the complaint.

     The grandma, Lona Varner, "told them to get out of her apartment."

     The remarkable complaint continues: "Instead, the apparent leader of the police [defendant Thomas Duran] instructed another policeman to 'Taser her!' He stated in his report that the 86 year-old plaintiff 'took a more aggressive posture in her bed,' and that he was fearful for his safety and the safety of others.

     "Lonnie Tinsley told them, 'Don't taze my Granny!' to which they responded that they would Taser him; instead, they pulled him out of her apartment, took him down to the floor, handcuffed him and placed him in the back of a police car.

     "The police then proceeded to approach Ms. Varner in her bed and stepped on her oxygen hose until she began to suffer oxygen deprivation.

     "The police then fired a Taser at her and only one wire struck her, in the left arm; the police then fired a second Taser, striking her to the right and left of the midline of her upper chest and applied high voltage, causing burns to her chest, extreme pain and to pass out.

     "The police then grabbed Ms. Varner by her forearms and jerked hands together, causing her soft flesh to tear and bleed on her bed; they then handcuffed her.

     "The police freed Lonnie Tinsley from his incarceration in the back of the police car and permitted him to accompany the ambulance with his grandmother."

     Tinsley says the cops capped it all off by having his grandmother "placed in the psychiatric ward at the direction of the El Reno police; she was held there for six days and released."

Apple Talk / Blog from Heaven
« on: June 17, 2010, 06:25:16 am »
Carla Zilber-Smith died May 21st, 2010 of ALS, but at her funeral, she had one final surprise: a video that she had kept secret for over a year, even from her own family, that brought the audience (because of course her funeral had an audience) to laughter, tears, etc.

Funniest/most touching video I've ever seen. I really really want to do a video like this before I die.

Apple Talk / Who Needs Acid?
« on: June 13, 2010, 08:22:03 am »
I present to you the weirdest piece of animation I have seen in a very very long time. I mean, the top of my head was feeling numb by the time I was done watching it. GO! WATCH IT NOW OR ELSE!!!

Aneristic Illusions / Whoomp! There's Obama!
« on: June 10, 2010, 05:24:20 am »

No need to go to Hawaii (or Kenya) to verify this Internet rumor. The evidence is on VH-1 (and now YouTube).

Bumping and bouncing through the blogosphere Tuesday was the claim that President Barack Obama appeared in the 1993 music video for Whoomp! (There It Is), the catchy ode to raucous dancing and sexual promiscuity that became a fixture at sporting events. It includes the refrain "Can you dig it?... We can dig it."

The speculation centers on an Obama doppelganger who appears in the video by the Atlanta rap duo Tag Team. He appears for just a few seconds during a scene where a wad of cash is shown resting next to a game of dominoes. (Not a campaign contribution, we hope, because the FEC frowns on cash.) With a Compton cap on his head, a stud in his earlobe, an array of gold rings on his hand and an antiquated, huge cell phone attached to his ear, the young black man flashes a wide grin that evokes Obama's toothy smile. But much of his face is obscured by a pair of wayfarer sunglasses.

The image stirred impassioned debate on hip-hop and political sites such as Tha Corner, Gawker, The Huffington Post and Something Awful, with commentators overwhelmingly declaring that the unidentified baller must be a young Obama, or, at the very least, a passable look-alike.

"Pay close attention to his ears poking out, the shape of his nose, and skin color," said a posting on Tennessee Sons of Liberty, a Tea Party blog.

The discourse follows years of intense scrutiny and disagreement over Obama's background. Critics have claimed he continues to misrepresent his religion, country of birth and political beliefs despite evidence to the contrary, such as his birth certificate from Hawaii.
The Tag Team postings were mostly good-natured musings. Many noted that Obama is a self-professed hip hop fan who drew wide support from rap artists during his presidential campaign, but some critics accused the bloggers of perpetuating racial stereotypes.

"Are you sure that's not him? Because all black people look the same," deadpanned one Huffington Post commentator.

We wondered: Could it be him? To paraphrase the Tag Team, we decided to go upside-down and inside-out and show you folks what it's all about.

We tracked down half the Tag Team, the rapper DC the Brain Supreme who also goes by the name Cecil Glenn. He first heard of the Obama video rumor on Saturday, and has since received calls from New York magazine and Inside Edition.

"This is like an episode of South Park," Glenn said. "You can't pay for that kind of publicity."

Glenn recounted the taping of the video in Atlanta, saying he gathered extras through word of mouth. A friend also put out an open invitation on a local radio station. The video was filmed at an Atlanta fairground.

Glenn said he doesn't think the man in the video is Obama. "It doesn't add up. It's hard to say he was in Atlanta and said, 'Ooh, I want to be in the Whoomp! (There It Is) video.' "

But, Glenn said, "I can't be for sure because that was a real big video shoot and thousands of people showed up."

Tag Team's label, DM Records in Miami Beach, said no one on staff could recall the name of the extra who showed up for the video shoot nearly two decades ago.

President Mark Watson said he had seen the debated image on YouTube and could confirm its authenticity.

"It doesn't look like it has been tampered with," he said.

We tried to pin down Obama's whereabouts during the June 1993 video shoot. We didn't have a detailed calendar, but the timing didn't mesh with Obama's biography.

In June 1993, Obama, a recent law school graduate, was working at Miner, Barnhill and Galland in Chicago, said Judd Miner, a firm partner. Miner didn't recall Obama, then 31, taking time off to travel to Atlanta that month.

"I've never heard of this before," Miner said.

Miner also couldn't link the earring-clad man in the video to the young lawyer that served for years at his firm. "Barack never had an earring."

Finally, the White House put the issue to rest. Spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield declared the rumors untrue.

"It is not him," she said.

So alas, that's not the leader of the free world with the wayfarers and the three-pound cell phone. But we've got the meter shakin'! So for all you conspiracy theorists -- and you party people! -- Pants on Fire!

Can you dig it?


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