Wheels of justice and the curious case of Sergey Aleynikov

Finally, there is some justice in the world. Dealbook reports that a judge on Friday tossed out much of the evidence that prosecutors planned to use against Mr. Aleynikov. Hope this is the long awaited breakthrough for him.

 

Quoted from Dealbook: In a 71-page opinion, Justice Ronald A. Zweibel of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled that the F.B.I. “did not have probable cause to arrest defendant, let alone search him or his home.” The arrest was “illegal,” Justice Zweibel wrote, and Mr. Aleynikov’s “Fourth Amendment rights were violated as a result of a mistake of law.”

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The Flash Boys effect aka Virtu IPO

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis which sold over 130k in the first week is a great read. I think Michael Lewis is a great and compelling story teller. The side effect of that seems to be public squabbling between various interested parties. See Katsuyama v O’Brien. Meaningful discourse to be had and I think one that shelved Virtu’s IPO

Strangely enough, Brad’s story in Flash Boys resembles Bodek Haim’s story headlined in WSJ. Scott Patterson, who is an excellent story teller as well, captures Bodek’s story very well. In fact Bodek appeared before the Senate hearing on HFT & market structure. Sen. Levin issued the following statement

In a country where special interests have immense power, is there serious push behind any systemic change? Or is the issue shelved one more time. It is interesting to note that Aleynikov is still serving prison time for what Goldman considers theft of its proprietary code. After reading Flash boys, one wonders who should really be in prison

 

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A Tale of two ex-Goldmanites

The much anticipated trial of “Fabulous” Fab Tourre turns out to be more about the indictment of his former employer and  their practices. Fab did failed to convince the jury that he did not defraud investors in the synthetic CDO Abacus 2007-AC-1. 

Perhaps a lesser know trial took place in Chicago with Sergey Aleynikov taking center stage. The reason I feature these two trials is because unlike Fab, Sergey seems to be a geek. The charges against him seem questionable at best. His former employer seemed to have sic’d FBI after Sergey decided to work for Teza (a HFT firm) and uploading code to a free svn repository. BTW, he has been uploading and emailing source code for a while even before the employment offer from Teza

The number of news articles coming up on Google news for Fabulous Fab is about 4660 (as of 14 Aug). Whereas Sergey scores a measly 78 (as of 14 Aug). Sergey, while highly comped at his former employer is portrayed a problem solver(see Michael Lewis’s article) and not someone who is motivated to steal company secret to profit from it. Teza offered him an opportunity to build a platform ground up whereas at his former employer, he was destined to keep the spaghetti from unraveling. 

Sergey does not deny he uploaded/emailed the source code. However, he did not take the strategies – this is the key to the case.

In the end neither walked away clean. It is absolutely painful to see a committed opensource developer and a very sharp mind convicted. I am not speaking about Fab here.

 

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What was old is new again or the return of the Luddites

On the heels of Oracle’s dismal earnings release, Ellison announces a “mainframe”class computer server, called the M5, yes a  true to life mainframe. You might wonder -is this the correct century to get bragging rights about the fastest mainframe.

To answer that, one has to look no further than the company’s egotistical CEO, Larry Ellison. When one is unsure about what to do with a failed acquisition(and Sun is a very complex acquisition),  Larry takes the only hammer he has and finds a nail.

While IBM for the most part has been sensibly focused on what powers the global workforce – content and data, Oracle seems to be focused on hardware. reminds me of Luddites – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite FrameBreaking-1812

Sun Microsystems was founded on the premise that the “network is the computer”. I am sure Andy Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla, Scott McNealy and Bill Joy are watching a vision gone awry

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Got your “You have one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012!” email from Linkedin?

On the heels of the Linkedin email, I found it interesting to see that there is LinkedIn like professional network being developed by a company called Relationship Science. DealBook has highlighted the company.

“Forget six degrees of Kevin Bacon. This is six degrees of Henry Kravis.”

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/a-database-of-names-and-how-they-connect/

 

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More intelligent search from Google?

Google has progressed considerably in semantic search it appears. They have committed to revamping search to produce a “thinking” search machine. It looks very promising and has the makings of a breakthrough in search. But what would be missed in the search collection?

Here is the link and a quote. But with semantic knowledge, the computer system knows the meaning of ambiguous terms. “It knows that the Redskins is a football team in Washington and knows what businesses are located there,”

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More intelligent search from Google?

Google has progressed considerably in semantic search it appears. They have committed to revamping search to produce a “thinking” search machine. It looks very promising and has the makings of a breakthrough in search. But what would be missed in the search collection?

Here is the link and a quote. But with semantic knowledge, the computer system knows the meaning of ambiguous terms. “It knows that the Redskins is a football team in Washington and knows what businesses are located there,”

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