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Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the dead-eye-or-snake-eyes dept.

Technology 50

First time accepted submitter machineghost (622031) writes "It's one thing to make predictions about the future of tech; that happens all the time on Slashdot. But it's quite a different thing to put money on the line to back up those predictions, which is exactly what this British bookie has done. Think you know whether Google Glass will beat the iPhone, or whether we'll be ready to go to Mars and back by 2020? Now's your chance to capitalize on those predictions!" Or you could, y'know, invest money in at least some of them, and thereby increase their chances of succeeding.

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The line on no tech? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792451)

The Republicans are doing a great job at trying to return us to the dark ages. Just curious at what the experts think the chances are that they'll succeed. Since their kind hates laptops and tablets, a working one will be worth quite a bit after they're outlawed.

Re:The line on no tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792665)

I bet life in your world is a bundle of joy...

Re:The line on no tech? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792901)

AC, you're a lying fuckwit son of a bitch! I'm the BIGGEST COCKSUCKING REPUBLICAN around, and I love laptops and tablets! My only complaint is that it's hard to type on 'em with my prick, on account a' it's so huge!

ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793613)

here more --> http://looveandmir.blogspot.com/

But do you want it? (5, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46792485)

Just because you are convinced a particular technology is going to succeed doesn't mean that you want it to do so. Betting can, thus, be better than investing.

Re:But do you want it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792999)

Good, i apcept it
qua tang handmade [chohandmade.com]

Re:But do you want it? (3, Informative)

lucm (889690) | about 7 months ago | (#46793067)

You can short the loser side and get an immensely bigger payout if you are right. Options are pennies on the dollar compared to a bet or actual shares.

And in any event, unless you buy in at the IPO, you don't "help" a company or technology by buying their stock since the said stock is owned by some other dude and the sale does not bring a single more dollar to the company; if anything there is administrative overhead for them. The only marginal impact you may have is that by buying or selling you have a tiny influence over the stock price, which may please or displease other shareholders, who can reward or punish executives accordingly.

Re:But do you want it? (3, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#46793213)

you don't "help" a company or technology by buying their stock since the said stock is owned by some other dude and the sale does not bring a single more dollar to the company

This is not quite true. Most companies dilute their stock regularly, to compensate management and founders with stock or option grants.

The collection of buyers of those shares set the price for the stock -- which is ultimately being used to provide the company's equity financing.

Now it's true if you bought a share of stock for $1000.... well it's not $1000 that goes directly or indirectly to the company.

But you are trading places with someone who ultimately up the chain bought into their offering.

In the event the buying volume ran out... the stock price could easily fall by a few %. Even a $0.01 price decrease is significant.

So it's not that you aren' "giving" to the company --- it's just that the relative proportions of what you are giving are probably very very small, for a multi-billion$$ company.

Re:But do you want it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793879)

You can short the loser side and get an immensely bigger payout if you are right. Options are pennies on the dollar compared to a bet or actual shares.

Don't confuse options with shorting. Both are financial instruments but they are not the same. One is much more dangerous than the other.

Re:But do you want it? (1)

lucm (889690) | about 7 months ago | (#46796077)

Before "clarifying" something, make sure you understand it. "Shorting" is not a financial instrument. It simply means selling shares that you do not own. A financial instrument is something one can trade.

Options are a financial instrument because once you buy the right to buy or sell a share at a specific price (i.e an option) you can trade that right depending on how the share price fluctuates.

I'm not sure which operation is more "dangerous" (short selling a stock or buying put options). Options provide a bigger leverage but have no value past the strike time; the loss is however limited to whatever premium was paid to buy the option is one chooses not to exercise it. The risk in short selling is that you may end up having to buy the stock at a price that is much higher than you anticipated, so the worst case scenario is that you may have to keep that stock for a long time hoping that the price will go up again, or sell at a loss. In either case you need to have a good bankroll because most trading companies will require additional funds (or credit) to secure the position when the price of the underlying asset fluctuates wildly in a direction that does not favor you (otherwise they will liquidate).

Re:But do you want it? (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 7 months ago | (#46794019)

And in any event, unless you buy in at the IPO, you don't "help" a company or technology by buying their stock since the said stock is owned by some other dude and the sale does not bring a single more dollar to the company

This is like claiming there is no point voting because some other dude also voted. Companies live and die by how many people are willing to invest in them, so, in my opinion, buying stock is a company is definitely helping them.

Re:But do you want it? (1)

someoneOtherThanMe (1387847) | about 7 months ago | (#46814203)

But those that did buy at the IPO only did so because they believed there would be blokes like you that will buy later. If the after-IPO market wouldn't exist, IPO wouldn't either.

Re:But do you want it? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#46793193)

What is very disappointing is the heavyhanded regulators have blocked this kind of market in the US, the supposed "land of the free"? What happened to our economic freedom??

Indeed. If you stand to lose financially -- in case the technology DOES succeed, then you could make a Bet that it will succeed, in order to offset your losses.

If the technology succeeds, you win your bet, AND your winnings offset the financial harm. If the technology doesn't succeed, then you lose your bet, BUT you are not financially harmed.

Investing would help finance its success, which you definitely don't want.

Instead... in the US you are banned from placing the bet. So you can't protect yourself --- except from a narrow band of risks by purchasing insurance :-(

Re:But do you want it? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46793609)

You have a stock exchange. It's almost like placing a bet.

The cynic in me would say that's also the reason why real betting is disallowed. I mean, would you allow a competitor to exist if you controlled the law?

Re:But do you want it? (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 7 months ago | (#46793909)

Also, how do I actually invest in SpaceX? Or just in Google Glass, which is a tiny fragment of GOOGL?

Re:But do you want it? (1)

antdude (79039) | about 7 months ago | (#46796365)

I want smart watches (no mobile phone required) and driverless cars (ready to be used and I am disabled -- it should be safe as KITT!) only.

It's not Gambling If You: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792525)

1) Invent one or more of the predictions.

2) Place your bets before making it public.

3) ????

4) Profit!

At the least, you'll be able to make money from it before the corporations copy a variation that puts yours out of business.

The smart bookie (1)

rk (6314) | about 7 months ago | (#46792591)

Hedges and sets odds on the bets such that no matter the outcome, there is profit.

Re:The smart bookie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793009)

No, every bookie does that. At least if they want to be a bookie for very long.

Re:The smart bookie (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46796537)

Indeed. With a traditional bookie such as this, you can only bet one way. The true probability of any of these things happening is significantly less than the supplied odds suggest.

we already have that and do it every day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792597)

it's called the stock market, you fucking fucktard.

Re:we already have that and do it every day (3, Insightful)

Adriax (746043) | about 7 months ago | (#46792781)

This is less rigged and better regulated.

Re:we already have that and do it every day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793059)

Citation needed.

Re:we already have that and do it every day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793079)

You suck McBain!

Re:we already have that and do it every day (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 7 months ago | (#46793799)

Re AC Citation needed. about the "This is less rigged and better regulated."
"The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet" (Feb 12, 2014)
http://www.rollingstone.com/po... [rollingstone.com]
Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever (April 25, 2013)
http://www.rollingstone.com/po... [rollingstone.com]
an easy understand insight into the aspect of the average person having a equal go.

Invest? Don't be silly (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#46792621)

Bookies make their money on the transaction, just like any other brokerage working the stock market.

Re:Invest? Don't be silly (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46796555)

No. Betting exchanges such as Betfair charge money on the transaction. Traditional bookies such as this make individual bets against punters, at odds that they themselves set. They can and do make a loss on individual bets. But they make more than enough on the winning bets to cover that.

Negative Predictions Are Virtually Useless (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 7 months ago | (#46792627)

All the predictions in the article are with overwhelming "won't happen" odds.

There is no almost value in predictions that are negative predictions (i.e. "We predict this won't happen".

Most people can see a number of things that won't happen, the value of predictions is identifying things that WILL happen.

Not the future of tech (2)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 7 months ago | (#46792695)

This isn't the future of tech so much as the odds of specific companies doing specific things. It may be a useful platform for hedging stock purchases but to say it's about the future of technology is silly. Look at the beginning of the era of personal computers, 1980... These bets are like saying "IBM will sell over 200,000 PC's in the year 2000". How many PC's IBM sold had a very small effect on total PC sales. Whether or not Google has 75% global land coverage in 6 years the important question is whether any company will. Whether Amazon is delivering mongoloads of stuff by drone the question is how much stuff will be delivered by anyone. The questions posed on the linked site are trivial except to the extent you're betting on stocks.

Singularity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792793)

Are they making odds on the singularity occurring before, say, 2035?

Predicting is easy, but not what people expect (0)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#46792819)

I figured there would eventually be competitive gaming people could hold careers in back in 1983.

Once I heard of Quantum Link for C64, I knew there'd be one MMORPG to rule them all eventually. I even tried making one until Ultima Online came out and I quit mine.

I knew Internet multiplayer games were the way of the future on consoles back as soon as I heard of the Internet.

The second I heard of Ebay forming out of Usenet, I knew it'd get huge.

I knew instant messaging would be huge on Windows before anything was out.

I knew there would be online dating sites before there were any.

There's a couple other ones I pegged too, but I forget.

I'm almost always on target when I think something will be a multimillion or multibillion industry in tech. I don't see everything, but when I know something will take off, it will. Right now, I don't know many things that'd be cash cows outside of video games. My video game techs are:

1) Dig up any successful slow paced multiplayer mouse clicky strategy game of the past, but fix it for modern times, make it into a collectable card game, give it ladder, and it'd probably take off. Reason: Old game worked so people will play it again especially if you make it better. Just like selling the same music to kids works because they haven't heard of it, the mobile generation maybe missed some of those games. The collectable card game means it will be a cash cow. And ladder makes people addicted, so they essentially have a money fight like Magic the Gathering.

2) Xwing vs TieFighter the MMORPG. Go on quests to start, but be able to privateer, build up a big fleet and have big fleet combat. Reason: Everyone knows this would be huge.

A betting site on predictable techs taking off does me no good. My ideas are normally ones that aren't out because people just didn't think into them. All it does is give me confidence in my predictions for the future. I make a good conversation when talking about techs, their implications, and how the future would be. I also make a pretty good sci fi game master, a road I might take here in a few months. Professional paid game masters might becoming more and more of a thing. I wrote my own software to play RPGs online with a live game master in hopes it would take off, and I'd have a game master network. The game master network would be a way to find quality GMs to hire, and the owner of the network would take a small cut of their hourly rate. It didn't take off because I couldn't find anyone who wanted to beta test with me, but I don't think I gave it a fair shake. I got real discouraged I got banned from posting in www.reddit.com/r/rpg because I was asking for beta testers. Hey, anyone possibly interested here? :)

Re:Predicting is easy, but not what people expect (2)

lucm (889690) | about 7 months ago | (#46793099)

You should post a screencast of you typing your comment in WordPerfect, with a small Rhodes electric piano music playing in the background. This would be a big hit with people who miss the series "Doogie Howser, MD".

ten million dollars on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792847)

3D printed nano space elevators to colonize Mars for the species! It's the future because computers got better!

YuoP Fa1l It.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792937)

saiD one FreeBSD that comprise

about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792979)

Had I bet on something like this years ago I would have done quite well. Right now though I don't feel I have a good read on the industry. There's way too much of a political agenda and way too much regulation anymore, or at least I wasn't as aware of them 20~ years ago.

Guys, 2020 is just sixe years from now (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 7 months ago | (#46793007)

SpaceX is an awesome company, but the only chance of them beginning to colonize Mars within six years is if aliens land on Earth and hand over the keys to their spacecraft to Elon Musk.

The bet would be much more interesting if the deadline was 2034 (or even 2024, although that would be an incredibly long shot).

Re:Guys, 2020 is just sixe years from now (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46793013)

AKA Putin

Re:Guys, 2020 is just sixe years from now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793051)

You can put it out to 3034, no one's colonizing Mars. Space is a dead end. We're drilling the Earth like Swiss Cheese to get the last gasps of fart gas to keep our ridiculous social model propped up, it will collapse soon enough. It will be a minor miracle to get a car to drive to the next city, never mind building Manhattan on Mars! LOL

Re:Guys, 2020 is just sixe years from now (1)

lucm (889690) | about 7 months ago | (#46793119)

What about people from the future time-traveling to give us exciting new patent-free technology? Is that more likely than aliens landing on Earth and handing over the keys to their spacecraft?

If it was possible to bet on THAT I would be interested. Who cares about drones.

Re:Guys, 2020 is just sixe years from now (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46793623)

Why would people in the future abandon patents? Because they "learned their lesson"? Because they "got more socially intelligent"? Look back in history and show me one example where we learned from our lessons or where we became more socially intelligent.

Man is a greedy asshole. And the greediest assholes are also the ones that have the power to build something big. Something like, say, some time travel device.

So if anyone ever came up with something like that, what he would bring along is the blueprints of everything that had been invented between now and then and they'd make a beeline for the patent office.

Re:Guys, 2020 is just sixe years from now (1)

Monty845 (739787) | about 7 months ago | (#46793203)

You could flip that on its head, and say that despite the challenges of a mars colonization mission, and the exponential increase in difficulty that trying to do it in 6 years would add, they wont give worse odds than 1 in 250 that it could happen... given the launch windows, 6 years is too short, even if you really believe in Musk, and think we can colonize Mars... but it does highlight the short windows of these predictions. Just pushing them all out to 2030, and I'd be really interested to see what they start making the odds.

Re:Guys, 2020 is just sixe years from now (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about 7 months ago | (#46799351)

Typical stingy bookies odds. SpaceX don't even have plans to go to Mars by 2020. It's so ludicrously short a timescale that you could quite comfortably offer 2000 or 5000-1 and be completely confident about coming out ahead. (as the bookie)

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793167)

I don't feel like getting my fucking legs broke with a bat for winning.

The odds on finding a bankrupt bookie? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793353)

..pretty long indeed.

A hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793507)

As a first time anonymous coward, I find it exacting to point out that those "bookies" are playing hard, hard on the idea that our technology will put out what it presents, and that the idea of living up to the expectations of our "media" has left us with little other than bets to make.

We are at a standstill. Technology will increase incriementally, indefinitely. The idea that people would bet on it isn't an idea that is left to the scraps of society. Not everyone is enlightened to the inner workings of technology like the lot of you, or hopefully me. In fact I think it is a sign of our times that things have become so dull that we spend time accusing people of avarice when the real crime is sloth. Why isn't this already a reality? If humanity had any sense it would be putting every effort to our propagation beyond our terran prospects, no matter how temporarly lucrative they may be. If we are to live 100 years with fossil fuels, would it not be better to figure out how to fuel us for 1000 years and to lubricate us with the materials to get there? I have only heard points to suggest that we use what we have and then... well... then... fuck all I guess. Most proponents of fossil fuels suggest us to "take other country's oil, then find another country to consume" and that couldn't work forever. If it could we would be ruled by Ghengis Khan or Julius Ceaser or some other "emperor".

I agree with the orignial poster. If money is as cheap as they claim, then by all means, bet for or against the standing of technology. May we achieve greatness and put the dredges that bet against it to the side. We shouldn't be betting against weather or not we succeed against the forces of the universe, it should be more specifically to bet against when. If you believe we are to achieve mars by 2020, by all means, be a betting man. If you can't find a public bet to make, make a private one, more than a single rich individual has been willing to make smaller bets than you would wager.

Politics aside, I truly hope that the bookies are wrong. I hope we get to mars and back. If anyone can support a wager for it, I would heartily commend the patriot to humanity and its efforts to dessolate the idea that we could not achieve such. Mars certainly isn't one to judge, and neither am I. If you make it to our wayward red planet and back, I think you deserve more than the prize of knowing that several "bookies" lost some money. Why aren't our centers of government willing to take the plank and prove them wrong? Is it social order? As if you couldn't find a couple million dollars to throw at your space program to dazzle the fucking world (as if the world wasn't enough to impress). I hope that the bookies lose a great deal of money to the people. I hope that we prove the doubters wrong and that we get to Mars, back, and there again, proposing to man that there is a place to prosper across the great vacuum of space.

I hope more than most.

sexi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793611)

here----> http://looveandmir.blogspot.com/

Intrade (2)

witherstaff (713820) | about 7 months ago | (#46794055)

Nothing new, Intrade would allow you to bet on anything. I know there are a few places doing similar things.

Bitcoin (1)

Martin Spamer (244245) | about 7 months ago | (#46798425)

For "BitCoin to account for more of world GDP than the £/$ by 2015" would be a growth rate of many orders of magnitude.

So if any body believed this to be true (I don't), they would invest in Bitcoin not bet on it.

I want the odds that the Bitcoin ponzi will have completely collapsed by 2015.

Re:Bitcoin (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about 7 months ago | (#46799367)

I wouldn't put money into Bitcoin but it's not a ponzi scheme and calling it that simply suggests that you don't know what a ponzi scheme is.

Shockwave Rider once again ahead of its time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46803109)

Anyone reading Shockwave Rider? Wasn't this type of betting specifically institutionalized in that book?

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