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October 23rd, 2017

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Bright Ideas

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published June 12, 2015

Bright Ideas

Prison breaks in Latin American countries are often staged with cooperative, corrupt guards. However, the escape by 28 inmates in February from the Nova Mutum prison near Cuiaba, Brazil, was engineered by three make-believe "dominatrixes" (in police costumes), who playfully handcuffed the guards, knocked them out with sedatives and unlocked the cells. (The guards were found the next day, still handcuffed and naked.) [Daily Mirror (London), 2-8-2015]

Wall Street Miracle: Two March instances of gleaning insight and using it to buy stock "options" were executed so quickly (1 to 3 seconds each) that experts consulted for a Slate.com analysis said they couldn't possibly have been made by human securities traders. Their conclusion: A robot so intelligent exists that it can "read" a news wire report, "analyze" it for hints whether to place bets on a company's future price, and execute the order -- before human traders even finish reading the news report. Profits on the seconds-long trades: $2.4 million on one and "between $1 million and $2 million" on the other. [Slate.com, 4-26-2015]

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