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A team from MIT has claimed the $40,000 grand prize in DARPA’s recent social networking challenge. The prize went to the first team to successfully report the locations of 99 ten large red balloons positioned at random locations around the continental United States. MIT’s strategy involved the construction of an incentivized social network in which pieces of the reward were distributed along the entire “chain” connecting the network to a person reporting the location of a balloon: the actual reporter was awarded $2000, the person who invited the reporter was awarded $1000, the person who invited that person was awarded $500, and so on up the chain. I wonder if bail bondsmen and/or police could adopt a similar strategy to locate fugitives? [via The Computational Legal Studies Blog]

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