$40K DARPA “find the balloons” social networking challenge

Computers & Mobile Science
K DARPA “find the balloons” social networking challenge
einluftballoon.jpg

Starting on December 5, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will award $40,000 to the first registered team to correctly report the location of ten eight-foot-diameter red weather balloons distributed randomly across the continental United States. From the challenge website:

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internet, DARPA has announced the DARPA Network Challenge, a competition that will explore the role the Internet and social networking plays in the timely communication, wide area team-building and urgent mobilization required to solve broad scope, time-critical problems.

Personally, I think 99 red balloons would’ve been better, for marketing purposes, than 10. I guess that would take way too long. [via Hack a Day]

12 thoughts on “$40K DARPA “find the balloons” social networking challenge

  1. Frank Adrian says:

    … one of the teams finds a balloon and takes it down (or destroys it, or paints it black), making it impossible for any other team to win?

    1. gehang says:

      I believe the darpa page says the balloons will be guarded.

      I think the more interesting question is what about all the people who will be disseminating fake balloon coordinates to throw off other teams…

  2. Jason says:

    I really hope they hid one near Boston — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Boston_bomb_scare

  3. 2robotguy says:

    BIGGEST SCAVENGER HUNT EVER, SPANNING THE WHOLE UNITED STATES, SPOT THE RED BALLOON! LEARN MORE AT http://www.SpotBigRed.com STARTS DECEMBER 4th! JOIN THE GROUP http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=186798139704 !

  4. ispyaredballoon says:

    We have a strong team (I Spy a Red Balloon) that is giving all of the prize money to charity (Red Cross). If you see a red balloon in the sky on Dec. 5th, let us know at:

    http://www.ispyaredballoon.com/
    or at facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201028633372
    or
    (text messages): (262) I-SPY-SPY (262-477-9779)

  5. ciregh says:

    This team from MIT seems to be the most organized so far:
    http://balloon.media.mit.edu/speigg

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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