Early microcomputers such as the Altair had front-mounted switches and diagnostic lights nicknamed " blinkenlights " to control and indicate internal system status, and were often sold in kit form to hobbyists.
Digitisation meant that trades within, as well as between, stock exchangescould happen faster and faster. As trading passed into the hands of machines, it became possible to react almost instantaneously.
High-Frequency Trading HFT algorithms, designed by former physics PhD students to take advantage of millisecond advantages, entered the market, and traders gave them names such as The Knife.
These algorithms were capable of eking out fractions of a cent on every trade, and they could do it millions of times a day.
Something deeply weird is occurring within these massively accelerated, opaque markets. On 6 Maythe Dow Jones opened lower than the previous day, falling slowly over the next few hours in response to the debt crisis in Greece. In less than five minutes, more than points were wiped off the market.
While traders might have played a longer game, the machines, faced with uncertainty, got out as quickly as possible One report by regulators found that high-frequency traders exacerbated the price swings. Among the various HFT programs, many had hard-coded sell points: As prices started to fall, groups of programs were triggered to sell at the same time.
As each waypoint was passed, the subsequent price fall triggered another set of algorithms to automatically sell their stocks, producing a feedback effect. As a result, prices fell faster than any human trader could react to.
While experienced market players might have been able to stabilise the crash by playing a longer game, the machines, faced with uncertainty, got out as quickly as possible. Other theories blame the algorithms for initiating the crisis. The purpose of such orders is not to actually communicate or make money, but to deliberately cloud the system, so that other, more valuable trades can be executed in the confusion.
Many orders that were never intended to be executed were actually fulfilled, causing wild volatility. Flash crashes are now a recognised feature of augmented markets, but are still poorly understood.
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Knowing which particular headline, or which particular algorithm, caused the crash is next to impossible. AP and other journalists quickly flooded the site with alerts that the message was false. The algorithms following breaking news stories had no such discernment, however.
Before most human viewers had even seen the tweet, the index had fallen points in under two minutes, and bounced back to its earlier value.Sep 25, · From the two men who uncovered the world’s most advanced cyber weapon to the computer expert who worked out how to hack into cash machines and scientists who believe they can store a password in.
Get the latest science news and technology news, read tech reviews and more at ABC News. Rise of the Hacking Machines. AIR-W Chief Technology Officer.
the study of how to make computers do things at which, at the moment, people are better.” – Elaine where teams of hackers: find flaws in . Hackers solve problems and build things, and they believe in freedom and voluntary mutual help. To be accepted as a hacker, you have to behave as though you have this kind of attitude yourself.
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