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Trained scientist; Business consultant; Armchair philosopher; I write on various topics including science, climate change, startups, and business.

Govt-backed crypto or an elaborate scam?

A few weeks ago I wrote about Governments launching their own digital currency backed by their Central Banks. So it was with some interest that I read the news about Dubai Coin — ostensibly launched this week as public crypto to be used for transactions in Dubai. Sounds good? there is more! The crypto’s value went from $0.17 to $1.13 in a day! So what’s the catch in this? Well, now there are reports from the Govt. of Dubai that the whole thing is an elaborate phishing scam and investors should take heed!

What is Dubai Coin?

Dubai Coin (DBIX) was launched by the…

The rise of Government-backed digital currencies

There has been a mad dash for Bitcoin, the so-called future of money. The value of Bitcoin has soared and even institutional investors bought it in hordes. But, what is Bitcoin backed by? nothing really! And its success is quite flimsy — as a single tweet from Elon Musk drove down its value by 17%. While the value of investing in Bitcoin is debatable, there is also some new development on the horizon that may fulfill some of Bitcoin’s promises — fast, seamless, and digital transfer of money (though not anonymous)! All backed by the guarantee of Sovereign Governments!

Or so claim some scientists!

While browsing my usual what’s next in space feed recently, I came across an article which said some scientist are claiming there are mushrooms on Mars based on the pictures taken by the NASA rover. One may be inclined to disregard the whole thing as loony wishful thinking. After all haven't be heard of claims that Mars has pyramids, animals, and even humanoids roaming around based on pictures people scoured on the internet. Yet, this one seems a bit different — the claimants tried a veneer of legitimacy by publishing their claim in an actual peer-reviewed scientific journal (Advances in…

Spoiler Alert — The spiders are a geological formation, not real bugs!

In May of 2018, there was an interesting news item. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter clicked a photo of what looked like a bunch of spiders scurrying around near the south pole of Mars. Except there was no way these were spiders. The Orbiter was in space and the picture was from a huge distance. The so-called spiders measured 1000 km in width and don't match with any geological formation on earth! Impressed by the spider-like appearance of this geological phenomenon, scientists even termed it “araneiform terrain”. But what exactly are these and how are they formed?

The hypothesis of leaked Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

One theory around these…

And what happens if they can!

Do you recall that scene from the Matrix movie where they show how machines use humans as batteries? The scene shows a fetus growing in a sac powered by the remains of dead humans. This baby would then grow up to be a power source for the machines. The Matrix was therefore nothing but software to keep humans tame by hiding the macabre truth!

I often wondered if it is even possible to grow a fetus outside a mother’s womb. Can one recreate all the minutest details of the nutrients delivered by the mother’s blood and the environment of the…

The Skype calls of the future!

Do you recall the hologram tech in Star Wars films? The tech would project a 3D image of the person calling you so it’d seem like the person is sitting and chatting with you right in your room! Skype or other video call tech has come quite close to that. But, still, there is no 3D projection of the person talking. And as the pandemic showed, when stuck at home forever, video calling is nice to have but a 3D projection can be even better. …

The star system next door has its own share of secrets!

A few years ago, I read this article that talked about aliens in the Alpha Centauri system. For the uninitiated, the Alpha Centauri is the nearest star system to our own, a mere 4.4 light years away. It has three stars named Alpha Centauri A, B, and C— the last one is also known as Proxima Centauri and is a red dwarf. The article I read talked about how in the 1950s there were talks of aliens from the system visiting earth telepathically and having chats with scientists. There were also talks of 8 feet tall humanoid aliens from the…

Jeff Bezos’ second inning post-Amazon

I am sure you heard that Bezos is stepping down the tech giant Amazon after being at its helm since its inception. Many have written excellent pieces on the history of Amazon or how Bezos built the company. I guess another interesting speculation can be what Bezos is going to do next. Will he lead a philanthropic effort like Bill Gates or will he start many visionary companies like Elon Musk.

Elon Musk created Paypal before Tesla

Elon Musk, now famous for legendary companies like Tesla and SpaceX, started with which was the precursor of PayPal. Musk’s first company was Zip2 which he started in…

NASA’s Perseverance lands on Mars

Mars has always been a source of fascination for humans. In past, we have fascinated about intelligent forms of life thriving there — and attacking us at will. Movies (and books) like War of the worlds or Mars Attacks! are perfect examples. In real life though, no conclusive sign of life on Mars has been found. But, there is always the tantalizing possibility of Mars holding life at some point in the past. Especially so, since we now know that Mars has water and used to have a lot more liquid water in its history.

Or just a useful scapegoat!

Iran in January was plagued by power shortages and smog. One culprit, as the government claimed was Bitcoin. Large scale industrial mining of bitcoin across the republic was leading to pollution as well as shortages. Bitcoin mining needs a lot of computer processing that is powered by electricity. Also, these computers need to be kept cool and that uses electricity too.

For Iran, anonymous online transactions made in cryptocurrencies allow individuals and companies to bypass banking sanctions that have crippled the economy. Bitcoin offers an alternative to cash printed by sovereign governments and central banks — and in the case…

Salman Hasan

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