FORTUNE -- After watching Apple's (AAPL) share price get whipsawed for years by market behavior seemingly disconnected from the company's underlying value, you could almost hear the jaws drop on Investor Village AAPL Sanity Board last week when Charlie Gasparino used the New York Post's op-ed page to come to the defense of high-frequency trading.
In a piece titled "Michael Lewis' high-frequency bull," Fox Business News' combative senior correspondent slammed Lewis' new book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt as "utterly disingenuous" and an "easy lefty" take on advances in computer technology that Gasparino maintains have made the markets more efficient and lowered the cost of trading. If there is any "ripoff," he writes, it "is of the rich, by the rich."
"The guy who buys Apple on an online-brokerage account gets the price he sees on his screen; that's how the E*trades of the world fill orders. And if you have a mutual fund, your money manager should be smart enough to figure out (as many have) how not to be gamed by the HFT guys."
"That's like saying one tree isn't affected by a forest fire," wrote a Sanity member who posts under the initials djt.
"Charlie don't trade," wrote another. "If he did, he would notice all sorts of weirdness around bids and asks and executions of trades... The effect may be de minimis on any given 100 share trade where they shave a subpenny, but I can't tell you how many times I tried to hit a bid to sell, or hit an ask to buy, and they turned out to be a mirage. The market isn't broken, it's 'fixed.'"
"Big money is in a full court press defense at the moment trying to diminish the impact of Lewis's expose," wrote still another. "[Gasparino] suggests that the small retail investor is in no way being impacted while the HFTs skim fractions of a cent off per trade. While that may even be true on a per trade level, it ignores the overall impact of a crooked system. It also ignores the potential for manipulation and flash crashes created when 99% of orders are withdrawn milliseconds after placement. And it glosses over the fact that perhaps the 'watchdogs' are as much to blame as the traders because after they put in their time at SEC boot camp, they want a place at the trough working for an HFT."
"Sometimes folks," djt concludes., "things are exactly as they appear to be. In this case, rigged."
A cry of despair from a long-time Apple investor.
FORTUNE -- "No one is a bigger Apple fan than me. So before you read this please remember that I am referring to Apple stock, not Apple the company."
So writes a long-time member of Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board who calls himself "djt."
His cri de coeur, posted earlier this week under the heading "Why Apple is going down now -- my 2 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 26, 2013 12:44 PM ET
Take away the crash of 2008, and you can see Apple's share price go up $100 every year
Terry Gregory, who collects what he calls "useful stats" at AAPLInvestors.net, has created the chart at right that shows the year-over-year percentage increases in Apple's (AAPL) share price every month for the past five and half years, starting with January 2006.
Investors troubled by the stock's lackluster performance in the winter and spring of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 10, 2011 6:19 AM ET
Apple shares briefly fall to $0.00 on Google Finance
Under the heading "OK, I almost just had a heart attack," one of the investors who follow Apple (AAPL) on Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board posted the screenshot at right, in which Google's (GOOG) stock-tracking service reports Apple's shares plummeting $350.96 (100%) in after-hours trading Tuesday.
The stock bounced back in the next clock tick, but the glitch shook investors who rely on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 31, 2011 6:18 AM ET
A week before its release, online orders for the iPad averaged about 7,000 a day
Pre-orders for Apple's (AAPL) tablet computer held steady a week before its April 3 release.
According to an update posted Friday morning -- two weeks to the day after Apple began accepting online orders -- an estimated 240,000 iPads had been pre-ordered for delivery.
Daniel Tello, who has been tracking order numbers submitted by volunteers, notes that this MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 26, 2010 11:25 AM ET
A rough three-day estimate, based on an analysis of order numbers: 152,000 units
After the initial burst of excitement on Friday that saw iPad pre-orders coming in at the rate of 25,000 per hour, there was a dramatic fall-off over the weekend.
According to Daniel Tello, the Venezuelan blogger-analyst who has been tracking order numbers submitted by volunteers at Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board, orders on Saturday and Sunday slowed to an MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 15, 2010 5:17 AM ET
A snapshot of who's buying what based on a sample of first-day pre-orders
The team at Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board have completed their initial analysis of pre-orders for the iPad tablet computer.
Apple (AAPL) began taking orders on Friday for delivery starting April 3.
Based on a sampling of 99 orders (for 110 iPads) over 19.5 hours, and not counting units that were reserved but not ordered, the Sanity team estimates:
Nearly 120,000 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 13, 2010 10:58 AM ET
By one estimate, pre-orders were coming in Friday morning at the rate of 25,000 per hour
The folks who hang out at Investor Village's AAPL Sanity Board are too impatient to wait for Apple (AAPL) to announce sales figures; they much prefer to work them out on their own -- in real time.
Entering the order numbers associated with their own purchases on a Google spreadsheet, they think they've cracked the code. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 12, 2010 12:58 PM ET
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