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Ex-Goldman Sachs Programmer Found Guilty 244

Posted by kdawson
from the something-about-crime-and-time dept.
Readers twoallbeefpatties and ngrier wrote in essentially simultaneously about the guilty verdict in the trial of former Goldman Sachs computer programmer Sergey Aleynikov. We've discussed the case several times before. The trial itself was sealed from the public to prevent discussion of GS's high-frequency trading system. Reader ngrier summarizes: "After just three hours of deliberation, the jury found Sergey Aleynikov guilty of intentionally stealing proprietary Goldman Sachs code. As he had admitted copying the code as he was preparing to join a startup competitor in 2009, the case hinged on the intent. He faces up to 10 years in prison."
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Ex-Goldman Sachs Programmer Found Guilty

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  • Why not just link to his profile? I’m sure he really wanted all the e-mail anyway...

  • by entotre (1929174) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:03PM (#34518670)
    High frequency trading has no social benefit. If wikileaks could leak all source code of that type I would applaud it.
    • by immakiku (777365) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:14PM (#34518784)
      High frequency trading actually facilitates more accurate pricing of securities because of the liquidity it introduces to the market. The benefit of accurate pricing is hard to explain fully without getting deeper into the economics of markets, but it's definitely there. The animosity you raised is probably due to a perceived lack of contribution (no tangible products produced). But actually, facilitating better pricing will route investment into areas that deserve it (e.g. to the guy who produces 2 potatoes per unit resource instead of 1.5 potatoes). The sum effect of these actions is a raised social utility.
      • by immakiku (777365)
        By the way, whether there's a better way of accomplishing the same thing is questionable, but it's not completely a useless idea.
      • by hedwards (940851) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:39PM (#34519006)
        You've been lied to. It's a bit like saying that the guy with the X-ray specs who wants to play poker is good for the game because it means that you don't have to wait for somebody else to fill out the quartet.

        The problem is that while he does indeed have money, he also has X-ray specs which allow for him to have an unfair advantage over the other players.

        High frequency trading is ultimately a scourge, the mechanic they use is a bit of sleight of hand to take advantage of momentary price fluctuations which leave them in the position where they're able to slam in an order for a guaranteed future profit, where other investors are locked out. It's something that I could do as well, if I were told what the price would be in the future and had the means of slamming in a bid in time to capitalize on it. There's little value to that sort of high finance piracy.

        Even without that behavior, there's plenty of liquidity, the high frequency trading tends to target portions of the market, not the market as a whole, and even smaller trading stocks, there's typically plenty of liquidity for reasonable players.
        • by timeOday (582209) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:45PM (#34519624)

          The problem is that while he does indeed have money, he also has X-ray specs which allow for him to have an unfair advantage over the other players.

          To emphasize this point, here are quotes from an article last year [nytimes.com] on this same story:

          Loopholes in market rules give high-speed investors an early glance at how others are trading... some of those orders were most likely routed to a collection of high-frequency traders for just 30 milliseconds -- 0.03 seconds -- in what are known as flash orders. While markets are supposed to ensure transparency by showing orders to everyone simultaneously, a loophole in regulations allows marketplaces like Nasdaq to show traders some orders ahead of everyone else in exchange for a fee.

          Sounds like plain old insider trading to me. Maybe worse, since it's the market-maker who's taking kickbacks.

          • Thats plain evil. But even without that you can do this type of trading based on the limiting speed of light. If you are geographically well positioned you can beat out the market by a couple miliseconds.
          • by vinn01 (178295) on Friday December 10, 2010 @08:18PM (#34519956)

            No, it's not insider trading. It's called "front running"...

            "The unethical practice of a trading ahead of your client based on knowing how your client is going to trade"

            In plainer English - it means that the trader (high frequency in this case) is using their position (X-Ray specs) to see some orders ahead of everyone else. The trader then puts in their own order ahead of all the others. Since the trader's order was first, and the market moved in that direction - guaranteed profit. Then they dump what they bought immediately and look for the next order that they can front run.

          • ...a loophole in regulations allows marketplaces like Nasdaq to show traders some orders ahead of everyone else in exchange for a fee.

            It should please you to know that NASDAQ disabled Flash orders [bloomberg.com] in their markets, and BATS encouraged the SEC to disallow flash orders [batstrading.com] long ago. I don't know whether the SEC has actually done any rules-lawyering on the issue, but both BATS and NASDAQ voluntarily shut this down over a year ago.

        • by Nyder (754090)

          You've been lied to. It's a bit like saying that the guy with the X-ray specs ...

          I don't know what comic book you order the X-ray specs from, but the ones I always get never works.

          • by Cylix (55374) *

            Sadly my X-Ray specs actually did work and a bit too well.

            Now everyone I played poker with has died of radiation exposure.

            Stupid russian catalog.

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        High frequency trading actually facilitates more accurate pricing of securities because of the liquidity it introduces to the market. The benefit of accurate pricing is hard to explain fully without getting deeper into the economics of markets, but it's definitely there. The animosity you raised is probably due to a perceived lack of contribution (no tangible products produced). But actually, facilitating better pricing will route investment into areas that deserve it (e.g. to the guy who produces 2 potato

      • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:03PM (#34519226) Journal
        The value of a company doesn't change in a few milliseconds instantly. Making investment decisions on so short scales is not really investments. There has been many voices to call for a change in the way transactions are processed. Instead of a first-arrived-first-served approach, using a bigger time step, like a second or a minute (personally I don't see why a whole day would be bad) and randomizing the orders would smoothen the values and iron out the speculation.

        It really looks like high-frequency trading doesn't improve the accuracy of prices. It increases its precisions but we don't really have a way to measure if it is meaningful. Converging to a precise number doesn't guarantee that this number isn't arbitrary. To be fair, it is hard to imagine that these small scale variations at very high frequency is anything more than noise.
        • (personally I don't see why a whole day would be bad)

          Many institutional investors agree with you. That's why they use Market-on-Close orders [nasdaqtrader.com]. Trading at the closing cross gives everyone a fair "daily price", and it's quite possible to ignore fluctuations within the day.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:05PM (#34519238)

        High frequency trading actually facilitates more accurate pricing of securities because of the liquidity it introduces to the market.

        Liquidity has value. But HFT algorithms front running trades that would already complete without them aren't providing liquidity.

        The benefit of accurate pricing is hard to explain fully without getting deeper into the economics of markets,

        If market pricing were to consistently deviate from actual pricing by measurable amounts this would be relevant. But HFT algorithms front running trades to arbitrage fractional cents aren't providing any benefit whosoever.

        The animosity you raised is probably due to a perceived lack of contribution (no tangible products produced).

        We perceive a lack of contribution because there is a lack of contribution.

        But actually, facilitating better pricing will route investment into areas that deserve it (e.g. to the guy who produces 2 potatoes per unit resource instead of 1.5 potatoes).

        Sure. If pricing was that far out of whack. But we don't really need to "facilitate routing investment" to the guy that produces 1.50042 potatoes instead of the resource that produces 1.50041. The only person who cares about that difference is trying to profit on that 0.00001 delta.

        The sum effect of these actions is a raised social utility.

        The sum effect of these actions is parasitic to actual investors leading to a diminished "social utility". (whatever that is supposed to mean.)

        • by Cryacin (657549)
          I believe "social utility" is another way to say public restroom. Where his argument would wind up with a more thoughtful person.
    • (puzzled look)
    • by yuhong (1378501)

      High frequency trading has no social benefit. If wikileaks could leak all source code of that type I would applaud it.

      I would not consider that an excuse to leak.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420)

      High frequency trading has no social benefit.

      Seriously people, how can this be modded insightful? No social benefit whatsoever? I don't have much sympathy for Wall Street traders, especially when they lose, but even I can acknowledge that professional traders, high frequency and otherwise, have an important role to play in the marketplace: they provide liquidity. I don't know about the rest of you, but I like being able to tender my shares on the exchanges and know that there will always be a buyer, no questions asked, whenever I am ready to sell. Liq

      • by williamhb (758070)

        High frequency trading has no social benefit.

        Seriously people, how can this be modded insightful? No social benefit whatsoever? I don't have much sympathy for Wall Street traders, especially when they lose, but even I can acknowledge that professional traders, high frequency and otherwise, have an important role to play in the marketplace: they provide liquidity. I don't know about the rest of you, but I like being able to tender my shares on the exchanges and know that there will always be a buyer, no questions asked, whenever I am ready to sell. Liquidity is the oil which lubricates the engine of the marketplace and without liquidity there would be even wilder price swings, greater uncertainty and still higher unemployment. The Wall Street traders may not be saints, but credit should be given where credit is due (pun intended): liquidity is NOT worthless.

        Boy have you been drinking the snake oil. Do you need eBay to close every individual auction within 100ms before you'll be confident anything will sell?

        • As a small value investor, I don't really care if some high frequency trader runs in front of the steam roller to snatch pennies because I don't try and beat them at their own trading games. I typically buy and sell stocks with time horizons of years, not microseconds. I value the liquidity provided more than I care about the fraction of a cent better price that I may or may not have received. In my investment career thus far I am ahead substantially (I began investing when I was 25) and I have always taken
    • says you.

      I can think of one -- Free Market. As in free to invest, free to lose your house. Fascists need not apply.

      --

      • by ultranova (717540)

        I can think of one -- Free Market. As in free to invest, free to lose your house.

        And since high-frequency trading is neither, but rather a tax-like cost extracted from every trade between third parties, what's your point?

        Fascists need not apply.

        Fascism: the merger of state and corporate power. It's what Free Market inevitably leads to, since it facilitates the concentration of wealth into a few hands, who can then bribe the politicians and buy out media.

    • If those DDOS guys hit the high frequency traders' computers, I would applaud it.
    • by drolli (522659)

      It is funny how we look for social benefits in the works of others, and not in our own. I know few programmers who consider before taking a job if it will propel mankind or not.

  • Again, like the lady in a previous "story" today, this guy clearly committed a crime, was busted, got convicted.

    News? Not really.

    Neither of these are nearly as "tasty" as the ass-hat who worked for SF...
  • by spagthorpe (111133) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:05PM (#34518696)

    Steal from a few hundred million, get fat bonuses....

  • Smooth Criminals (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoldySpore (1280634) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:07PM (#34518728)
    Goldman Sachs are the criminals. Why aren't they all on trial too? All this guy did was steal a little code. They've been robbing their customers for years.
    • by pyite (140350) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:42PM (#34519038)

      They've been robbing their customers for years.

      Their customers, who are by and large not idiots, would obviously leave them if this were the case. Yet, they do not leave. They realize the simple truth that Goldman is extremely good at what they do and that includes helping customers make money.

      Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it bad.

      • by laird (2705)

        MoldySpore: "They've been robbing their customers for years."

        Pyite: "Their customers, who are by and large not idiots, would obviously leave them if this were the case. Yet, they do not leave. They realize the simple truth that Goldman is extremely good at what they do and that includes helping customers make money."

        Pyite is right, GS hasn't been robbing their customers. They have been robbing from everyone ELSE, making money for themselves and (sometimes) their customers. So yes, GS is good at making money

      • Umm you even read the news? Does everyone forget about what they did or is it just lack of caring to read up and educate yourselves? There is plenty more where this came from [sec.gov]

        "...[the SEC] charged Goldman, Sachs & Co. and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S. housing market was beginning to falter"...that sounds like robbing and defrauding their customers...

    • by hedwards (940851)
      That's my thought. There's an awful lot of insider trading and trading on future prices that goes on at hedge funds. There may or may not be any that do it via legitimate smarts, but there's a lot of them that do things which intentionally distort the market.

      I'd personally feel very differently if Wall Street was anything other than a bunch of speculators that are fine losing all of your money even as they give themselves bonuses for handling the money.

      It's going to get a lot worse before it gets bett
    • by bartwol (117819)

      Goldman Sachs are the criminals. Why aren't they all on trial too? All this guy did was steal a little code. They've been robbing their customers for years.

      Well...if laws were built on hyperbole, and the typical juror were as reckless and imprudent as a typical Slashdot poster...well *then* they would be on trial too.

      Greed, deceptiveness, even malice...these are offenses of the spirit but are not, in and of themselves, offenses of law which, when well-constructed, creates a standard that PROTECTS US ALL fr

      • "Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Goldman, Sachs & Co. will pay $550 million and reform its business practices to settle SEC charges that Goldman misled investors in a subprime mortgage product just as the U.S. housing market was starting to collapse."

        This was this year [huffingtonpost.com]. Google is your friend. You don't "settle" out of court unless you have done something wrong. In my mind they should have paid more.

  • Good God (Score:5, Insightful)

    by genfail (777943) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:17PM (#34518816)
    Ten years for just stealing a little code. Damn you would think he gambled with investor funds on risky phantom products that sent the whole economy into a tail spin. But I guess that's what they call their business model.
  • To steal, one must take something from another's possession, and deprive them of its use. What he did was illegal, as the jury found. However, if all he did was copy the code, as opposed to destroying the originals and all versioned/archived/backed-up copies, then he didn't steal anything. The MAFIAA (Music and Film Industry Associations of America) would like you to think that what this man did was steal, because it's a short hop to apply the same logic from code to music and film. They'd be wrong.

    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Look up conversion. More specifically, theft by conversion.

      Once you think you understand it, read about it again, then come back and talk to us.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Which part of this is theft by conversion? Just for kicks I walked across the hall and cracked a legal book to refresh my memory. I don't see how this applies.

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          No you didn't. Theft by Conversion is the unlawful use of another's property for personal gain whether it deprives someone of property or decreases any value or not.

          • by bmo (77928)

            Theft by conversion *does* deprive the owner of his own property.

            Because for the conversion to take place *someone else* must have possession of that property.

            For example:

            SCO sells licenses for SCO Unix. They do this on behalf of Novell.
            They are to remit 100 percent of the fee to Novell, and Novell is to give them 5 percent as the seller's fee.
            SCO proceeds to hold on to every fucking license fee, including the ridiculous ones they sold to Microsoft and Sun.
            SCO holds on to these through bankruptcy. Using t

            • by sumdumass (711423)

              Change "does" to "can" and I'm with you.

              You see, I can wait until your at work and barrow your lawn mower and other things, take a loan out using them as collateral, then give them back without you ever knowing it or me starting them or anything. That would be the same ordeal.

              Another theft by conversion might be where you give me money to invest in a certain way, I in turn invest it differently making more then you expected and keep the differences. On the surface, You got what you expected and your money b

              • by bmo (77928)

                No, you _stole_ the lawnmower. Taking without permission is theft, whether I am there to see it or not.

                If you're my buddy and you take my car out for a ride, without telling me, and you get stopped, and the cops call me up to ask if you had permission (since you know me) I would well be within my rights to tell them "no, he stole it" and away you go. I may be an asshole, but you stole the car.

                But in your example, not only do you steal my fucking lawnmower, you use it to commit fraud upon the fucking bank.

        • by bartwol (117819)
          From here [lectlaw.com]:

          When a party takes away or wrongfully assumes the right to goods which belong to another, it will in general be sufficient evidence of a conversion

          He wrongfully assumed a right to use computer code (and sought to derive value from it), in violation of the terms of his employment.

          And I didn't even have to walk across the hall and [blah...blah...blah...]

  • high frequency trading demands you have the screamiest servers the shortest fibre optic hop away from wall street. meaning it turns what should be an egalitarian marketplace of equals into one where those with the most power and resources are able to extract a tax of sorts on regular traders by engaging in high speed tricks

    just put a "heartbeat" into the market: all trades operate on a FIFO queue that is released on a regular interval: every 3 seconds, every second, every 10 seconds, every 500 milliseconds, whatever: the point simply being that no trades can operate faster than this "heartbeat", thereby putting all trades on an equal footing

    otherwise, the stock market will be abused by its richest players. when that happens, small time and mom and pop stock market traders will feel abused, and opt out, and the market will ossify into corruption

    the point of a well-regulated marketplace is to keep the marketplace fair and healthy and a place of equals. so deny the powerful this unfair leverage and unfair ability to siphon off a tax on all other traders just by doing little fast tricky trades that have no real value whatsoever other than to take money from the slower smaller players

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      so basically you're saying trading should be more like a turn-based RPG and less like a twitchy FPS?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        LOL

        i'm showing my age, but there was a mod some maniac made over ten years ago of id's original doom fps. you were let loose in a level full of monsters, and each monster correlated with a process running on your computer. when you shot a monster (with a shotgun, preferably), the process associated with that sprite was terminated as well. brilliant, and insane

        now i want to see someone write a mod where you execute trades instead of processes. that would brilliant and insane x10

        i think on the original mod th

    • by xquark (649804)

      The Taiwan and Korea markets are like that, the only thing such delays achieve is to decrease the total amount of shares traded in a day, hence reduces the overall market value and shifts wealth to other markets that do allow continuous unfettered trading.

      What you don't realise is that a great deal of shares/commodities these days are being traded in dark pools and mini electronic markets, those traditional NYSE or NASDAQ style exchanges are looking to be a thing of the past and only being used as a reporti

      • efficient?

        you are basically advocating for shady marketplaces that are rigged by their most entrenched players. if the markets are not egalitarian, the markets are abusive, and you are cursing the entire concept of trading to the realm of corruption, which will decrease the overall market value a heck of a lot more than what taiwan and korea are suffering, i assure you

        for a market to be truly free, that is, a meeting place of equals, it must be in the full light of day and be highly regulated. truly "free" marketplaces, that is, without any regulation at all, are, as a rule, dominated, abused, and taxed by their largest most powerful players

        a marketplace that is regulated and transparent and well-policed and well-understood, is a marketplace that attracts investors with confidence and trust in what they are getting into. your dark marketplaces meanwhile are more a deal of who you know. the definition of nepotism and all manner of ills that befall fools that get involved in such financial chicanery

        your way is the way of financial doom. you are ignorant of financial history. the fate of such dark marketplaces is well understood and oft repeated throughout history

        • by xquark (649804)

          I think you misunderstood my point, all the examples I gave such as separate mini markets, stealth exchange and clearing pools are all elements that existed in past markets that inevitably all failed.

          The idea is if you allow people the freedom to choose from these options over time such options will fail - that is a certainty. The reason for failure centers around the fact that as they reduce the overall efficiency (true price) of the market, this results in a less profitable market.

          For example dark-pools w

      • Your statement about the Taiwan and Korea markets is nonsensical. Why does using a heart beat type trading decrease the total amount of shares traded in a day? And why would that have anything to do with the overall market value?

        Regarding the dark pools, if you thought about it for a second, you would realize that those dark pools are partially caused by exactly the high frequency trading you support. People do not want to suffer the tax of the HFTs on the big exchanges, so they trade outside of them in dar

      • by martyros (588782)

        I say let the markets be as efficient as they can be.

        We could make the police a lot more efficient too. Remove all the beurocratic requirements and protections; let them do wiretaps without a warrant, don't allow people to have lawyers, allow them to plant evidence, and torture suspects into confessing their crimes. Take away the presumption of innocense too. I guarantee that the police will be much more efficient at prosecuting people and getting them thrown in jail if we do that. Let the police be as

    • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:11PM (#34519308)
      Very true. The concept of value investing has been long lost to the market. If any of you are traders, or if you are looking at getting into trading, I recommend checking out the book Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor [amazon.com] by Seth A. Klarman.

      I read this book, and after was astounded with how true it rings, not because of the money I earned (I don't even invest), but because of the insights it provides into the greediness and irrational nature of the market.

      To summarize the book, buys stocks based on what you think their value is, which actually requires doing a value analysis on the stock and buying when it is undervalued, and selling when it is overvalued, as to just getting sucked into the latest get rich quick stock or bond at the height of its balloon, only to have it pop.

      Good luck finding a copy under $500 dollars. This is a rarity. It was once deemed the most stolen book from libraries in the world by the NYT. [yahoo.com]

      But I may have seen it available on torrents before :)
      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        Good luck finding a copy under $500 dollars.

        Surely an investor, of all people, should see the value in doing another print run!

      • Seeing as you're promoting a book and telling us how valuable it is, and that it's out of print, are you Seth A Klarman? or somebody sitting on a pile of copies of his book?

        The 1 star reviews in amazon (including one by somebody who has read a library copy) make the interesting suggestion that the mythologising of the book gives it its value, rather than the content itself. Sounds like Seth A Klarman is making his money not from his wise investment strategies but from selling books which cost him 10 dollars

      • by Kjella (173770)

        To summarize the book, buys stocks based on what you think their value is, which actually requires doing a value analysis on the stock and buying when it is undervalued, and selling when it is overvalued, as to just getting sucked into the latest get rich quick stock or bond at the height of its balloon, only to have it pop.

        The problem is that the market can be wrong longer than you can be right. That is to say it doesn't help if you sit on a stock that is constantly undervalued, you never get the "real" value unless you buy it out and go private which is not an option for 99.999% of us. The question is what brings markets to say "Hey, this stock is vastly underpriced, buy buy buy." or "Hey, this stock is vastly overpriced, sell sell sell." because unless you're doing it for the dividends you're sooner or later going to sell i

    • by khallow (566160)

      high frequency trading demands you have the screamiest servers the shortest fibre optic hop away from wall street. meaning it turns what should be an egalitarian marketplace of equals into one where those with the most power and resources are able to extract a tax of sorts on regular traders by engaging in high speed tricks

      Why should a market be egalitarian in your sense? You could, like anyone else, always spend for the faster link.

    • High frequency trading should be a crime. It does not contribute one iota to the original goal of the stock market; however it sucks wealth from it - more precisely, from long-term shareholders. Goldman-Sachs and the like are nothing but leeches. (GS is a leech, in more ways than one, actually)

    • egalitarian marketplace of equals

      Hahahahahaha - LOL - yeah... but really, c'mon now. Seriously, what ever gave you the idea that the market was a place for equals. It never has been and never will be

  • by Scareduck (177470) on Friday December 10, 2010 @06:42PM (#34519036) Homepage Journal
    is the fact that we have apparent non-experts deciding whether what he took was in fact proprietary, and the case is sealed so we cannot judge for ourselves. On the other hand, if what he took was legitimately open source, how comes it he couldn't have downloaded that elsewhere and saved himself a trial?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cdrguru (88047)

      Perhaps because the guy is an arrogant criminal?

      I've met lots (well, maybe not lots but enough) of people who have stolen code from past and present employers for their own gain or for use at their new job. Sometimes the new employer welcomes them in with this gift hoping that if anyone gets caught they can deny they knew what was going on.

      All of these people have been incredibly arrogant to the point of knowing that they were never going to get caught because they were just smarter than anyone else. And,

      • by Cryacin (657549)

        It all comes down to being an arrogant asswhole.

        Actually, I think them getting caught is more due to the job being half assed.

    • The Constitution requires a speedy *and public* trial.

      Even government classified information is not exempt.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:13PM (#34519328)

    "If you're going to commit crimes, son, start with the legal ones."

    This was at Crocker Bank in the 80s, which was subsequently bought by Wells Fargo, who laid off thousands, including me. When that happened, I suddenly saw his point.

  • From the information in the article, I'm not sure I understand what the case is based on? If the code was open-source, doesn't he have license to use it?

    Are they claiming that the "open source" code is actually proprietary and cannot be used by anyone? Or that just their employees cannot use it? Or that the contract between him and the employer somehow prevents licensing the open source code? The article claimed there was no question that he violated the confidentiality agreement. Or did he disclose some pr

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      I don't quite understand much of it either... as far as I can tell nothing about it should stems to more than a civil matter. The only thing I can think of is either criminal copyright infringement, or theft of trade secrets.

      I would definitely enjoy a discussion with someone who understands what happened her better than I do... learning is fun!

      • by dave562 (969951)

        Read the related articles. I believe that the one I submitted a month or so ago has the details. In brief, the programmer developed the code and then took it with him. It seems to be a fairly cut and dried case of theft. He was paid to produce the code by Goldman Sachs. They sealed the court room because they did not want their code and the underlying methodologies that went into the development of the code being exposed to the public.

  • Face it, it had to be said.

  • .. on all these high frequency trading systems. Most of them achieve high speed, low latency trading by submitting batches of trade requests to the electronic exchanges. Somewhere in the transaction, the decision is made to go ahead with a subset of the trades. The rest of them are cancelled. This borders on a DoS attack.

    If I pulled some nonsense like this with my ISP or other service provider, they'd have something in their TOS to throw me off the system for making bogus requests.

    • If I pulled some nonsense like this with my ISP or other service provider, they'd have something in their TOS to throw me off the system for making bogus requests.

      I assume you're referring to "quote stuffing", which the SEC is pursuing aggressively [wsj.com]. Just like your ISP. Also just like your ISP, it's not always clear-cut whether high-volume activity is reasonable (market making with rapid quote changes, or an Ubuntu .torrent) or unreasonable (intentional quote stuffing, or the latest **AA movie .torrent).

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