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CACM Reports: Automated Trading Is the New Marketplace

October 2013 Issue Reports on Implementing the Argument Web, Tips for Successful Startups, and a Blueprint for Building a Quantum Computer

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The world of high-frequency trading (HFT) is rich with problems for computer scientists, writes exchange technology developer Jacob Loveless. In "Barbarians at the Gateway," part of a trio of articles on HFT and exchange technology, he recounts his heady experience at the exchange, where electronic buyers and sellers match up to set the price for assets around the world. He tracks the problems in this world for computer scientists in their furious pursuit of faster and faster trading for their clients.

Other top stories in the CACM October issue:

  • The Web's focus on popularity (reflected by "likes" and "followers") instead of rationality ("agree" or "disagree" buttons) discourages online discourse and leads to fuzzy thinking, say the authors of "Implementing the Argument Web." They advocate for technology that connects opinions across blogs, editorials, and social media to promote a new online critical literacy.
  • Successful startups are rare, and startups that go public and yield strong financials are even more extraordinary, observes MIT's Michael Cusumano. He points to statistics from living MIT alumni as evidence, and provides a checklist of key elements to evaluate startup ventures more systematically based on his many years of experience and reflections.
  • The challenge for quantum computing lies in extending the small-scale devices which were built to create systems that solve problems labeled intractable with classic computing systems. This month's cover story, "A Blueprint for Building a Quantum Computer," assesses the challenges in developing the architecture, which holds the key to commercially viable systems.

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