Another high-frequency trading software theft allegation

Paul Raven @ 21-04-2010

Remember the story about the guy who’d allegedly “stolen” (more accurately, downloaded a copy of) the Goldman-Sachs automated trading algorithm software? Well, now a young banker formerly employed by Societe Generale is accused of a very similar crime.

There’ll probably be plenty more incidents like this as time goes by: copying code is a pretty easy thing to do (even if avoiding detection isn’t) and the temptation of an investment-bank-level income is surely enough to justify the attempt to someone with a big enough greed-on (which is presumably a given in the industry in question). If only some egalitarian copyleftist hacker type would pilfer those algos and post ’em to Wikileaks… the anger and frustration of investment bankers would be reward enough for me, had I the pertinent skills. Hell, I think I could probably even ride out the entire jail term with a shit-eating grin on my face.

Interesting side-note: stealing this sort of software is illegal, even though the software itself may be considered to provide an illegal advantage to its owners.

Dude, where’s my island?

Paul Raven @ 29-03-2010

Since around 2005, at least 24 small islands have effectively vanished from the Indonesian archipelago. While sea levels are rising quickly enough to make some islands vanish (and solving long-running turf disputes in the process), these particular islands are not victims of climate change, but of ‘sand pirates’ digging them up and shipping them away to be used as building aggregates on the mainland [via Technovelgy].

Given the vast amount of stuff we put into landfills around the world, maybe we could build some new islands from McMansion rubble and consumer electronics junk?

RFID wardrivers can ping your passport

Paul Raven @ 05-02-2009

Just in case you’ve not clocked this already, it’s time to break out the tinfoil: using equipment sourced from eBay, a bunch of hacker types have built a proof-of-concept system that can be used to scan the unique RFID number from the biometric passports of pedestrians… as they drive past them.

Come on kids, repeat after me: everything can – and will – be hacked. [story via, among others]