Note: This feature length story by Chris McMahon originally appeared in the November 2008 issue of Futures Magazine. Link to original @ Futures Magazine Back in the old days, runners, the people who grabbed orders and ran them into the pits where trades were executed, were called the "wheels on the bus," and speed was of paramount importance. Today that responsibility falls to the software, hardware and network infrastructure that connects traders around the world with the exchanges. And as electronic trading matures, trade execution times are measured not in seconds, but in milliseconds. In this new electronic trading environment, the need for speed is still there, but it is increasingly a given as independent software vendors (ISV), brokers, futures commission merchants and other technology providers battle to create and market superior technology and traders search for new ways to establish or keep their edge. In the new world of electronic trading, traders operate
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