Technology Brief for December 14, 2005

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

These are short blurbs about current events in the technology world.

Risks Digest points out “quite a coincidence”

You have probably heard about the recent Mizuho Securities stock-trading snafu. Mizuho mistakenly tried to sell 610,000 shares of J-Com Co., a company traded on the Tokyo stock market, for just 1 yen each. In fact, it was trying to sell 1 share for 610,000 yen.

Various newspapers, as well as Jeremy Epstein writing in Monday’s Risks Digest, pointed out there was a similar snafu on the Tokyo stock market four years ago. Epstein quoted an earlier Digest from 2001 which described the story of a UBS Warburg trader, instead of entering an order to sell 16 Dentsu shares at 610,000 yen each, accidentally put in an order to sell 610,000 Dentsu shares for 16 yen each.

Epstein commented:

“That was also on the day of a “public debut” (aka IPO). However, it was a bargain – [the earlier snafu] cost UBS Warburg about $100M vs. about $235M [this year] for Mizuho Securities.

“I assume it’s just coincidence that these two failures were both on the Tokyo Stock market.”

Peter G. Neumann, the Risks Digest moderator, added in a footnote:

“I knew the new case sounded familiar! Perhaps the 610,000 is a default number for an erroneous field? That’s quite a coincidence.”

Neumann noticed quite a coincidence indeed. But could the recurrence of the number 610,000 in both stories possibly be more than a coincidence?

Source

Ruby on Rails hits the big 1.0

Ruby on Rails, a open-source Web development framework, finally reached version 1.0.0 yesterday. The Rails movie page has been updated for the occasion. This represents a significant milestone for the Rails Core Team.

Source

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