Goods and services

Read this old, unsurprising report in New Scientist. From the article:

Automated trading ...has come to account for more than half of trades in many markets around the globe. ...Because of the finite speed of light, trading speed depends on where you are sitting. ..."The basic insight," says Wissner-Gross, "is that the optimal location lets the trader exploit fluctuations equally on both exchanges." ..."This shows that the technological arms race to extract every penny from high-frequency mechanical arbitrage will soon reach its ultimate limits," says physicist and hedge-fund manager Jean-Philippe Bouchaud

If this is how money and the free markets work now, I'm pretty sure we no longer know what words mean.

MFPS 28

Schedule composition diagram

Here's what I'm doing this week: the 28th annual Mathematical Foundations of Programming Semantics conference.  I am presenting a paper there, "A graphical foundation for schedules", joint work with my PhD supervisors Guy McCusker and John Power.  There's a preliminary version of the paper which will eventually appear in ENTCS.  The talk had slides, though they contained unnecessary illustrative animations which are not there on the pdf.

Michael Meacher's letter

I saw this letter on Twitter this morning:

The annual Sunday Times Rich List yields four very important conclusions for the governance of Britain (Report, Weekend, 28 April). It shows that the richest 1,000 persons, just 0.003% of the adult population, increased their wealth over the last three years by £155bn. That is enough for themselves alone to pay off the entire current UK budget deficit and still leave them with £30bn to spare.

Second, this mega-rich elite, containing many of the bankers and hedge fund and private equity operators who caused the financial crash in the first place, have not been made subject to any tax payback whatever commensurate to their gains. Some 77% of the budget deficit is being recouped by public expenditure cuts and benefit cuts, and only 23% is being repaid by tax increases. More than half of the tax increases is accounted for by the VAT rise which hits the poorest hardest. None of the tax increases is specifically aimed at the super-rich.

Third, despite the biggest slump for nearly a century, these 1,000 richest are now sitting on wealth greater even than at the height of the boom just before the crash. Their wealth now amounts to £414bn, equivalent to more than a third of Britain's entire GDP. They include 77 billionaires and 23 others, each possessing more than £750m.

The increase in wealth of this richest 1,000 has been £315bn over the last 15 years. If they were charged capital gains tax on this at the current 28% rate, it would yield £88bn, enough to pay off 70% of the entire deficit. It seems however that Osborne takes the notorious view of the New York heiress, Leonora Helmsley: "Only the little people pay taxes."
Michael Meacher MP
Labour, Oldham West and Royton

Continue reading "Michael Meacher's letter"

Stalker is dead. Long live Vostok Games.

GSC Game World, the recently closed-then-reformed Ukrainian development team behind the first-class Stalker series, has announced that they won't be continuing development on Stalker 2.

Instead they have announced the spiritual continuation of the series in an upcoming title Survarium.

Continue reading "Stalker is dead. Long live Vostok Games."