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Came here to say the same thing. Brilliant book. A team of physicists created a computer to track a roulette ball and wheel with sufficient accuracy to gain a whopping 40% advantage over the house. Their hardware was never reliable enough (in terms of not catching on fire, the predictions were good) to make much money. Doyne Farmer, a member of the team basically invented the field of chaos theory, then went on to make a fortune on Wall Street.

I actually interned at Los Alamos Natl Lab at the Center for Nonlinear Studies while Doyne was there (late 80's - dating myself - before The Prediction Company). Cool guy! He had a nifty custom piece of hardware board for cellular automata in his computer that at the time blew me away. Was a cool job... got to write code that ran on things like Cray YMP supercomputers. Had a Thinking Machines CM-1 as well... (like in Jurassic Park with the blinkenlights).

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