It used to be that when his trading screens showed 10,000 shares of Intel offered at $22 a share, it meant that he could buy 10,000 shares of Intel for $22 a share. He had only to push a button. By the spring of 2007, however, when he pushed the button to complete a trade, the offers would vanish. In his seven years as a trader, he had always been able to look at the screens on his desk and see the stock market. Now the market as it appeared on his screens was an illusion.
In an excerpt/adaption of his new book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
, Michael Lewis follows Brad Katsuyama from uncovering evidence of high-speed electronic front-running to the founding of the IEX exchange intended to discourage it. The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street
posted by figurant
on Mar 31, 2014 -
Extra Virgin Suicides
is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
posted by Mad_Carew
on Jan 27, 2014 -
The first time I ate at Villard Michel Richard, the latest restaurant to dance among the frescoes and marble pilasters of the Villard mansion in Midtown, I strongly suspected that I was in an awful hotel restaurant.
This seemed like a connect-the-dots conclusion. It’s a restaurant. It’s in a hotel, the New York Palace. And it was awful.
posted by Chrysostom
on Jan 15, 2014 -
A new piece of investigative reporting by the New York Times
would suggest vindication to some degree of the U.S. government's original explanation of the 2012 Benghazi Attack
, which proposed that the attack developed from a spontaneous protest in anger over the anti-Islamic youtube video, Innocence of Muslims. Despite this being the explanation that the intelligence community found most probable given their quick, initial analysis of the empirical data, the government faced much criticism for it. Susan Rice, who might have otherwise became the new Secretary of State, was one individual who got caught in the crossfire. Senator McCain once remarked that, "she has proven that she either doesn't understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face. There is no doubt five days later what this attack was and for."
But as the NYT indicates, what truly happened there in Benghazi is, "murkier and more complex than initially believed."
posted by SollosQ
on Dec 28, 2013 -
The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000
people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 9, 2013 -
The year was 1992. Grunge had hit the cultural mainstream, and the New York Times, overdue for a trend piece, printed an article
featuring a "Lexicon of Grunge Speak." Their list featured terms such as wack slacks
for old ripped jeans, harsh realm
for bummer, and bloated, big bag of bloatation
for drunk. [more inside]
posted by duffell
on Oct 2, 2013 -
Jason Everman has the unique distinction of being the guy who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden, two rock bands that would sell roughly 100 million records combined. At 26, he wasn’t just Pete Best, the guy the Beatles left behind. He was Pete Best twice.
Then again, he wasn’t remotely. What Everman did afterward put him far outside the category of rock’n’roll footnote. He became an elite member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, one of those bearded guys riding around on horseback in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.
posted by Rangeboy
on Jul 2, 2013 -
Cheetahs’ Secret Weapon: A Tight Turning Radius [New York Times]
"Anyone who has watched a cheetah run down an antelope knows that these cats are impressively fast. But it turns out that speed is not the secret to their prodigious hunting skills: a novel study of how cheetahs chase prey in the wild shows that it is their agility — their skill at leaping sideways, changing directions abruptly and slowing down quickly — that gives those antelope such bad odds."
posted by Fizz
on Jun 13, 2013 -
Some of My Best Friends Are Germs
It is a striking idea that one of the keys to good health may turn out to involve managing our internal fermentation. Having recently learned to manage several external fermentations — of bread and kimchi and beer — I know a little about the vagaries of that process. You depend on the microbes, and you do your best to align their interests with yours, mainly by feeding them the kinds of things they like to eat — good “substrate.” But absolute control of the process is too much to hope for. It’s a lot more like gardening than governing.
The successful gardener has always known you don’t need to master the science of the soil, which is yet another hotbed of microbial fermentation, in order to nourish and nurture it. You just need to know what it likes to eat — basically, organic matter — and how, in a general way, to align your interests with the interests of the microbes and the plants. The gardener also discovers that, when pathogens or pests appear, chemical interventions “work,” that is, solve the immediate problem, but at a cost to the long-term health of the soil and the whole garden. The drive for absolute control leads to unanticipated forms of disorder. [more inside]
posted by ninjew
on Jun 1, 2013 -
Do you have Gephyrophobia
? Are you afraid to cross that scary bridge
? Now there's a service
to help you get across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge instead of going miles out of your way to go around. "Some people go miles out of their way to avoid crossing the George Washington Bridge — for example, driving to Upper Manhattan from Teaneck, N.J., by way of the Lincoln Tunnel, a detour that can stretch a 19-minute jog into a three-quarter-hour ordeal. Other bridge phobics recite baby names or play the radio loudly as they ease onto a nerve-jangling span — anything to focus the mind. Still others take a mild tranquilizer an hour before buckling up to cross a bridge."
posted by Xurando
on May 26, 2013 -
The voyage of the MOBRO
. "It was 1987. A small town businessman had what seemed like a promising idea, to transport New York trash by barge to a landfill in North Carolina, where it would be converted into methane to heat homes."
posted by Xurando
on May 6, 2013 -
There was no way to anticipate that the reliably malfunction-free Beyoncé arriving in New Orleans for her turn at immortality would be a vulnerable one. At the presidential inauguration ceremony last month, she sang the national anthem
over a prerecorded vocal track
, leading to a minor scandal
, putting her on the defensive
. Beyoncé, bionic, isn’t used to having her reputation impugned. Vulnerability is not her bag.
She is, though, up to the challenge — in this case, the conundrum of how to make her Super Bowl XLVII halftime show
, which she had been planning for months, not only a spectacle in its own right, but also a conclusion to the messy affair. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast
on Feb 5, 2013 -
has spent most of his life cultivating spies and diplomats, who seem to enjoy seeing themselves and their secrets transfigured into pop fiction (with their own names carefully disguised), and his books regularly contain information about terror plots, espionage and wars that has never appeared elsewhere. Other pop novelists, like John le Carré and Tom Clancy, may flavor their work with a few real-world scenarios and some spy lingo, but de Villiers’s books are ahead of the news and sometimes even ahead of events themselves." (SLNYT)
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Jan 31, 2013 -
Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be (NYT)
: "When we remember our past selves, they seem quite different. We know how much our personalities and tastes have changed over the years. But when we look ahead, somehow we expect ourselves to stay the same... They called this phenomenon the “end of history illusion,” in which people tend to “underestimate how much they will change in the future.”" (via exp.lore) [more inside]
posted by flex
on Jan 6, 2013 -
"When I visited China in 1998, Mbantu, the cabbie who drove me from the airport, couldn't stop telling me about how he had to take a fourth job because of the high cost of transportation. I caught up with Mbantu in Shanghai last year. Thanks to China's reformed approach toward transportation, Mbantu has enough money in his pocket to finally be able to afford a playground for his kids."--Thomas Friedman column generator
posted by bardic
on Dec 29, 2012 -
The New York Times is previewing their latest technology in the longform journalism piece Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek
(username: avalanche/password: preview). Scroll down slowly to enjoy all the photos, slideshows, and movies that go along with the piece, which looks to be adding new chapters to the story over time.
posted by mathowie
on Dec 19, 2012 -