Get some fake moolah and then make bets on news stories. Sounds kind of fun. A new site called Hubdub (and I’m sure I’m going to spell it “Hubbub” a million times, apologies in advance) is available at http://www.hubdub.com. It allows you to submit prediction-type questions, and bet fake bucks on the outcome of yours and other questions. The site’s free but requires registration.
From the front page you can see the variety of questions that have been asked, including “Will the US Spy Satellite crash into a built up area?” (Current bets are running towards no) and “Will the Writers Guild of America Strike end by February 29, 2008?” (Trending toward yes as a guess.) This summary page provides a bit of information, but far more interesting is the detail page, like the one for Will the MESSENGER probe discover evidence of water on Mercury?.
The detail page includes a graph for the predictions over time, as well as clarification for how exactly the question will be answered, comments on the story or the reasoning behind it, and news stories related to the question. (Hubdub monitors 10,000 news outlets and blogs for the stories; you can suggest sources as well.)
Sometimes the related stories are way off (see “Will Sunderland beat Birmingham in the Premiership League game on 29th of January”) but for the most part the relevancy is pretty good. I wouldn’t use this as my regular news source, but I did find some news stories I hadn’t seen otherwise (mostly the science-related sources and the question about whether Yahoo would make $150 million.)