Are our betting exchanges’- APIs programmable?
Are our betting exchanges’- APIs programmable?
Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”
His is not a product-design philosophy steered by committee or determined by market research. The Jobs formula, say colleagues, relies heavily on tenacity, patience, belief and instinct. He gets deeply involved in hardware and software design choices, which await his personal nod or veto.
I am filing this post in the “-INDIVIDUAL INTELLIGENCE –- ANTI CONSENSUS”- category (opposing the “-COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE –- WISDOM OF CROWDS”- category) —-following a remark I made privately to David Pennock, Mike Giberson and Mike Linksvayer.
Betfair would like to apologise for the unplanned site outage that occurred earlier this afternoon [Monday, January 25, 2010]. The cause of this problem is currently being investigated by our technical team. A list of affected markets will be posted shortly [here].
Once again please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
As somebody who likes to “-back and lay”- on UK horse racing, I was more than annoyed, when having placed a bet on a UK horse race, Betfair’-s software malfunctioned, meaning that I was unable to lay off my bet as was my intention.
To those of us that engage in backing and laying, the result of the race is irrelevant- we are trading on price movements and price movements alone. It was my belief (mistaken) that the contract that I had entered into with Betfair, would ensure that at all times Betfair would provide me with the means to back and lay, and that where it was unable to do so, the company would rule that as a proper market had not been formed on the race, my bet would be declared void, and my stake monies would be returned.
Alas, this was not so, as the following reply from Betfair makes clear-
“-As the site was not available to any customers between 2 –- 4pm, no bets were placed during this time and as this was due to matters beyond our control, our terms and conditions (11.3) state that:
We are not liable for the failure of any equipment or software howsoever caused, wherever located or administered, or whether under our direct control or not, that may prevent the operation of our betting services, impede the placing of orders for bets or the matching of bets, or prevent you from being able to contact us. In particular you should be aware that if you place a bet with the intention of subsequently placing a separate bet to reduce the liability incurred by the initial bet, there can never be a guarantee that the Exchange will be available at the point you wish to place the subsequent bet.”-
As it happens, the race concerned was the 2.45 at Fontwell, which somewhat contradicts Betfair’-s statement that- “-As the site was not available to any customers between 2 –- 4pm, no bets were placed during this time.”-
That aside it would seem that I have been snared by Betfair’-s all encompassing exclusion clause, to the effect that-
“-In particular you should be aware that if you place a bet with the intention of subsequently placing a separate bet to reduce the liability incurred by the initial bet, there can never be a guarantee that the Exchange will be available at the point you wish to place the subsequent bet.”-
I do not accept that this exclusion clause is fair or equitable, and accordingly I shall seek legal advice as to its efficacy. In the meantime, I will no longer use my Betfair account.
Betfair are rumoured to be lining up for a 1.5bn flotation- it is a disgrace that they do not have back up servers to prevent their site from crashing. When such an occurrence does take place, it is in Betfair’-s interest to return all bets. Betfair, the revolutionary betting company, have much to learn about the concept of goodwill.
– Data Applied –- (neural network algorithm)
My parents thought I’-d lost my mind to drop out of Stanford Business School to go to a company that makes software. My dad said “-what the heck is software?”- and my mother said “-why the heck would a person need a computer?”-.
If you use some great software packages (utilities or applications) missing in this list, let me know. Thanks. Appreciated.
UPDATE: Chris Hibbert lists his favorite software packages for Macintosh in the comment area. (I used his tips to update the listing above.)
– InTrade .NET is a play-money prediction exchange while InTrade .COM is a real-money prediction exchange. Is there an automated market maker linking the InTrade .NET prices (or bids) with the InTrade .COM prices?
– InTrade .NET has a very good charting system. Will the same charting system be implemented at InTrade .COM whose charts are absolutely awful? (See this comparison between the InTrade .COM charts and the InTrade .COM v2 charts.) I insist to say that this should be a priority.
– Will InTrade .NET have chart widgets, just like InTrade .COM and InTrade .COM v2 both have?
– Will InTrade .NET have closed contracts (which are very useful in the accuracy discussions), just like InTrade .COM and InTrade .COM v2 both have?
– Finally, it is stated on the InTrade .COM frontpage (in a text promoting InTrade .NET) that:
When Intrade.net goes out of beta it will become the new default but the current version of Intrade.com will be retained indefinitely.
How should we understand that? Does this mean that you are going to merge your play-money and real-money prediction exchanges? (Might not be a bad idea provided that full information is given on each prediction market.)
UPDATE: Deep Throat tells me that their techies are testing their new user interface on InTrade .NET, which deals with with play money, and then if everything works out well, they may implement the same user interface on InTrade .COM, which deals with real money —-while maintaining the legacy InTrade .COM on a dedicated server, for the nostalgic users.
One word: FANTASTIC.
What remains to be improved:
I hope we will get improvement on these fronts, soon.
Via Daniel Horowitz (Business and Technology Consultant)
Software taps into the zeitgeist to predict the future.
Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse: