Counterparties: Revenge of the machines
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We might not have reached Skynet-like levels of disaster, but stories of technology biting back continue to pile up. Reuters’ Jessica Toonkel, Lauren Tara LaCapra and Ashley Lau write that a group of Morgan Stanley advisers, including four who manage a total of $47 billion, may leave the company because “widespread technology problems have made it very difficult for them to do their jobs”.
It’s not just the financial workplace, the machines have taken over the stock market, and when things go wrong, they go horribly wrong – to the tune of $10 million in losses, every minute for 45 minutes. Technology companies themselves aren’t immune: Facebook’s IPO was delayed by faulty Nasdaq software that then caused buy and sell orders to go unfilled, while trade cancellations were ignored.
Even the now-mundane technology of email is a source of existential risk, as tech writer Mat Honan recently experienced. Hackers used shockingly lax password recovery procedures to gain access to Honan’s Gmail and Mac mail accounts and proceeded to wipe his entire digital life completely and irretrievably clean.
Or take the case of Aviva, the UK’s second-largest insurer. It intended to fire a single employee. Instead, it mistakenly fired all 1,300 employees of its asset management unit by email, demanding that they “hand over company property and security passes on their way out of the building, and submit all electronic passwords”.
Things are so bad that for a certain type of technophile, Betabeat thinks relinquishing email is the new titillating fantasy. But don’t try too hard to escape: if you’re not on Facebook, you’re probably a psychopath. – Ben Walsh
On to today’s links:
Panic rooms, gun safes and machine-gun-proof doors are all the rage with London’s wealthy expats – Reuters
World’s richest woman says the poor should stop complaining and work harder – LAT