Joke's on us: JForex DEMO 2.13.6 is out of whack

I hope this is a April Fool's joke but it isn't. As shown, the Dukascopy JForex DEMO platform version 2.13.6 released this week is causing havoc to my strategy. I tested my contest strategy, which has been running fine for almost a year, but is now failing left and right. Even though this is only happening with the DEMO platform (the LIVE platform is a stable release and is running fine at the moment), the fact that they published a buggy version for us developers as guinea pigs is upsetting. JForex developers are clients too, after all. [caption id="attachment_4974" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Dukascopy JForex DEMO 2.13.6"][/caption]

Posted 01 April 2011 in journal.

Network latency on Amazon EC2 t1.micro to Dukascopy

While the processing power of a EC2 t1.micro server sucks (benchmarks have shown it is slower than a Nokia N900 phone), network performance is well-known to be exceptional for EC2 servers throughout the spectrum of their offerings. Here's a ping test from my home computer with a ADSL connection in Ottawa, Canada to 194.8.15.1, one of the Dukascopy web servers.

PING 194.8.15.1 (194.8.15.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=1 ttl=242 time=149 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=2 ttl=242 time=134 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=3 ttl=242 time=135 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=4 ttl=242 time=148 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=5 ttl=242 time=135 ms
--- 194.8.15.1 ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss,
time 4003ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 134.364/140.579/149.726/7.053 ms

Then the same test from a EC2 t1.micro instance located in Dublin, Ireland (closest Amazon EC2 server location to Geneva).

PING 194.8.15.1 (194.8.15.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=1 ttl=243 time=40.9 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=2 ttl=243 time=41.2 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=3 ttl=243 time=49.0 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=4 ttl=243 time=41.2 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=5 ttl=243 time=41.2 ms
--- 194.8.15.1 ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss,
time 4005ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 40.961/42.728/49.013/3.154 ms

Exceptional, indeed. With the monthly pricing of a t1.micro going for around \$12/month, there are few reasons not to get a remote server to run your trading system rather than pray for your home internet connection to remain reliable 24/7.

Update with ping test from Berlin courtesy of commenter Holger:

Ping wird ausger 194.8.15.1 mit 32 Bytes Daten:
Antwort von 194.8.15.1: Bytes=32 Zeit=43ms TTL=244
Antwort von 194.8.15.1: Bytes=32 Zeit=43ms TTL=244
Antwort von 194.8.15.1: Bytes=32 Zeit=43ms TTL=244
Antwort von 194.8.15.1: Bytes=32 Zeit=43ms TTL=244
Ping-Statistik  194.8.15.1:
Pakete: Gesendet = 4, Empfangen = 4, Verloren = 0 (0% Verlust),
Ca. Zeitangaben in Millisek.: Minimum = 43ms, Maximum = 43ms, Mittelwert = 43ms

Update April 12, 2011: I've been using Rackspace Cloud (#2 cloud server provider, after Amazon). Here's the ping result from their London, UK server.

PING 194.8.15.1 (194.8.15.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=246 time=69.2 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=246 time=69.6 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=246 time=68.8 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=4 ttl=246 time=66.6 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=5 ttl=246 time=68.5 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=6 ttl=246 time=64.6 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=7 ttl=246 time=68.5 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=8 ttl=246 time=69.1 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=9 ttl=246 time=66.6 ms
--- 194.8.15.1 ping statistics ---
9 packets transmitted, 9 received, 0% packet loss,
time 8012ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 64.677/67.986/69.617/1.573 ms

Update April 26, 2011: I'm testing Quickweb Germany's VPS.

PING 194.8.15.1 (194.8.15.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=247 time=15.4 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=247 time=15.3 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=247 time=15.2 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=4 ttl=247 time=15.3 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=5 ttl=247 time=15.1 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=6 ttl=247 time=15.2 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_seq=7 ttl=247 time=15.4 ms
--- 194.8.15.1 ping statistics ---
7 packets transmitted, 7 received, 0% packet loss,
time 6000ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 15.152/15.306/15.463/0.116 ms

Update September 2013: DigitalOcean offers $5/month 512MB server plan with 20GB SSD. I've used them exclusively for other work. Here's a ping test from one of their Amsterdam servers.

PING 194.8.15.1 (194.8.15.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=2 ttl=245 time=21.5 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=3 ttl=245 time=22.4 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=4 ttl=245 time=22.6 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=5 ttl=245 time=21.5 ms
64 bytes from 194.8.15.1: icmp_req=6 ttl=245 time=22.4 ms

--- 194.8.15.1 ping statistics ---
6 packets transmitted, 5 received, 16% packet loss, time 5013ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 21.540/22.142/22.686/0.484 ms

Another trading contest from Dukascopy

Dukascopy started a new contest this month. This contest is manual trading only on a demo account with no cash commitment by contestants. The twist is that the ranking is determined not only by your demo account balance, but also the total pips gained, popularity, and scoring by Dukascopy's judges. Each trade in the contest needs to be commented by the contestant through the JForex trading platform (when you submit an order the platform asks you for a comment). See my contest page for comment examples (shameless plug). About half of your score is based on these trade comments as they are the basis for generating popularity points and the Dukascopy judges' final evaluation. I can see the potential in this contest as it offers transparency and encourages interactions rather than let everyone just gamble away. However, most of the trade comments now are meaningless as it's clear that you can generate buzz simply by making ridiculous gains. Perhaps this might change after this month's final ranking is released as it is not clear how Dukascopy will allocate each contestant's 25% of points. The judging by Dukascopy can effectively bump or dump you a few ranking. The incentive to do this is the USD \$15,000 'cash' prizes to be won every month just like the Dukascopy Strategy Contest. And similarly, these 'cash' prizes are deposited into the winner's Dukascopy trading account with a withholding period. So they're forcing you to open an account with them if you win, which is understandable as this is a marketing effort. For information or registration in the contest, visit the Dukascopy website and navigate to the Trader Contest page.

Posted 06 December 2010 in forex.

My interview at Dukascopy in Geneva

The complete script for my August 2010 winning strategy is available for free via Dropbox. And for those not familiar with Java programming, I have explained the logic, the setup, and the risk management behind the strategy.

Furthermore, here is an important disclaimer about my winning, Number one with 40+ percent return in a month! So am I rich yet? Not really. If that isn't enough, here's an illustration on Why winning automated contest strategies don't work in real trading.

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