Dominic Basulto

Facebook and the Vegas-ization of the Internet

What happens in Vegas, no longer stays in Vegas - soon it will be all over the Internet. The 24/7 casino mentality that you only used to find along the Vegas Strip is coming to a social network near you. Within the UK, Facebook is already hard at work, making sure that online gambling will become a staple of your online social networking experience, alongside other virtual time sinks like FarmVille. Instead of spending your virtual cash on FarmVille farm animals, why not drop some real cash on Bingo Friendzy and meet some new friends within Facebook's new online Bingo Hall?

Continue Reading

Do We Need an Army of Hackers to Fight a Cyber War?

Despite all signs that America is facing an imminent cyber threat from state-sponsored global hackers – maybe something even on the scale of a cyber Pearl Harbor - we continue to plod along in rather nonchalant fashion. Those hackers might break into our Internet accounts, steal a few passwords and take down a few websites now and then, but they couldn’t possibly take down the nation’s power grids or financial markets, right?

Continue Reading

Can Kenya Make a Run for Economic Gold?

Did you notice Kenya’s surprising performance at the 2012 London Olympics? Take a look at this New York Times infographic of the final medal standings in London – there’s Kenya standing tall as the leading medal-winner on the African continent and even ahead of other nations – like Mexico or Turkey or India or Argentina – that we typically consider to be among the world's next great emerging markets. Including Beijing, Kenya's top athletes have now taken home 25 medals from the past two Olympic Games - and that might just foreshadow the rise of Kenya as a new economic innovator on the world stage.

Continue Reading

Is it Ethical to Eat Faux Meat?

Would you eat a thick, juicy steak? What if it were grown in a lab and printed using new 3D printing techniques originally developed to grow regenerative tissue for medical purposes? Thanks to new technologies already on the horizon, it will soon be able to produce protein-rich steak in miniature cubes, each of them half-a-millimeter thick, using a 3D bio-printer.

Continue Reading

Could Anonymous Hack the Presidential Election?

The freewheeling, rabble-rousing Internet hacktivist collective known as Anonymous thus far has played little or no role in determining the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election. With the exception of partnering with the Occupy Movement in an attempt to mobilize voters and hold politicians accountable, Anonymous has been strangely absent from the political scene for the past six months. (For now, campaign managers have relied on, ahem, elected officials rather than Anonymous to supply the schoolboy dirty tricks.)

Continue Reading

Will Robot Traders and Rogue Algorithms Take Down Wall Street?

We already know that supercomputers, sophisticated algorithms and mathematical models are at the very heart of the modern financial markets. Now, with l'affaire Knight Capital we've just seen how robot traders and rogue algorithms could potentially take down Wall Street. In a span of less than an hour, a rogue algorithm programmed to exploit market efficiencies by buying and selling stocks repeatedly for profit actually inverted the logic of Wall Street: instead of buying low, selling low, the algorithm began to buy high, sell low. All told, the rogue algorithm resulted in a $440 million loss for Knight Capital, causing many to question the state of our modern financial markets.

Continue Reading

Your Brain Looks Like a Mondrian Grid Painting

We tend to think of the brain as a giant lump of gray matter, as a marvelously complex structure that controls consciousness and intelligence. But what if the human brain is just a giant 3D grid, with neurons hooked together in an orderly structure of repeating parallel and perpendicular lines?

Continue Reading

Incognito Supercomputers and the Singularity

Thanks to rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and computer processing ability, machines are now evolving faster than humans. At some point within the next decade, according to proponents of the Singularity, machines will become so intelligent that they will start making decisions for us in ways that we could never imagine or understand.

Continue Reading

The Social Media Revolution Betrayed

After years of hearing about the Social Media Revolution, many of the rebellious, counter-culture figures are starting to disappear to the sidelines as the big money Wall Street investors and traditional media guys take over. The companies that we thought were going to completely topple traditional media are starting to look a lot like the companies they once scorned as they embrace new strategies that emphasize the value of the almighty advertising dollar.

Continue Reading

Hey Internet Providers: Data Wants to Be Free, Too!

Last summer, the fastest way to spend $50 in America was to fill up at the pump. This summer, the fastest way to blow through $50 might be streaming videos and music from the Web to your smart phone. From cable companies to wireless providers, the companies that provide the tubes of the Internet are waking up to the sheer amount of data that’s coursing through their networks and cooking up new pricing plans that are based on data usage.

Continue Reading
Subscribe to RSS - Dominic Basulto