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DARPA Network Challenge Lasts All of 9 Hours

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-they-can-buy-more-warm-clothes dept.

Social Networks 129

stillnotelf writes "A team based at MIT has won the DARPA Network Challenge. DARPA notes: 'The Challenge has captured the imagination of people around the world, is rich with scientific intrigue, and, we hope, is part of a growing "renaissance of wonder" throughout the nation,' said DARPA's director, Dr. Regina E. Dugan. 'DARPA salutes the MIT team for successfully completing this complex task less than 9 hours after balloon launch.' PDF with (scant) details. Hit the first link above for a map with the locations. How many did your team find?"

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129 comments

That was pretty fast... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342738)

But I bet that team couldn't beat me to first post.

Re:That was pretty fast... (2, Insightful)

bramp (830799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342748)

If you offered them $40,000 I bet they could.

Re:That was pretty fast... (4, Informative)

thefear (1011449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342764)

Team Nerdfighter found 9/10 balloons

http://twitter.com/hankgreen/status/6392128271 [twitter.com]

Re:That was pretty fast... (4, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342830)

How many times has that guy had angioplasty?

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

MR.Mic (937158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343022)

You have made my day, thanks!

99 Red Balloons (2, Funny)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344980)

That was too fast . . .
I think they should use more balloons to make it harder
99 Red Balloons would have been better
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14IRDDnEPR4 [youtube.com]

Yawn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342870)

mit sucks. Go caltech!

Re:That was pretty fast... (1, Insightful)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342796)

9 hours? Is that fast?

The Challenge has captured the imagination of people around the world, is rich with scientific intrigue, and, we hope, is part of a growing "renaissance of wonder" umm.... what challenge again? What's DARPA? (It's not in TFA and what good is a FA when you have to click through three pages to find out?

Re:That was pretty fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342820)

What's DARPA? (It's not in TFA and what good is a FA when you have to click through three pages to find out?

JFGI

Re:That was pretty fast... (5, Funny)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342834)

What's DARPA?

Right. Get off slashdot. Now. Thank you.

Re:That was pretty fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342976)

DARPA is Al Gore's inconvenient company that created the internet.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1, Insightful)

Kenz0r (900338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343018)

This may come as a surprise to you, but slashdot has readers that don't live in the United States.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343124)

So that can't use Google?

It isn't exactly obscure.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343210)

And if you look at the ever lovely Slashdot FAQ you will see that it is a US based company with US based news. Just google any and all acronyms that are unfamiliar.

Re:That was pretty fast... (4, Insightful)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343216)

This may come as a surprise to you, but slashdot has readers that don't live in the United States.

Is this some kind of bizarro version of the ignorance normally attributed to stupid North Americans (USians)? Stereotypically, US citizens are characterized as deeply ignorant of history and current events outside of the US. In this case people outside of the US, on a forum as technologically current as Slashdot, can claim justified ignorance of one of the entities that gave rise to the Internet?

The mind, it has to boggle.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344480)

In this case people outside of the US, on a forum as technologically current as Slashdot, can claim justified ignorance of one of the entities that gave rise to the Internet?

You mean people outside the US don't know about Al Gore?

(and even fewer are aware he actually did invent the internet - at least from one point of view)

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344844)

Please show me the quote where he claims to have invented the internet. Seriously, just one quote form a legitimate news source. One teeny, tiny, little quote. Otherwise, stfu.

Re:That was pretty fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30345236)

lol

Re:That was pretty fast... (2, Funny)

theangryfool (1049608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343242)

And obviously slashdot has readers who don't know about TCP/IP [isoc.org] .

Re:That was pretty fast... (4, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343328)

And obviously slashdot has readers who don't know about TCP/IP [isoc.org] .

So that's how the Internet works! I always thought it was a series of tubes.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343962)

It's DARPA for deity's sake, previously known as ARPA, previously known as DARPA, previously known as ARPA.

You know ARPANET.

Does slashdot have to expand "FTP" and "HTTP" and "SMTP" whever it mentions them too?

Plus of course slashdot is an American based web siute aimed at Americans as the primary audience.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

celle (906675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344726)

"Plus of course slashdot is an American based web siute aimed at Americans as the primary audience."

Then why does it carry so many UK stories?

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344786)

Then why does it carry so many UK stories?

Because the UK is the 51st state /Ducks

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30345262)

Plus of course slashdot is an American based web siute aimed at Americans as the primary audience.

What's an American?

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

stuuf (587464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344296)

Worldwide notability of US government acronyms seems to be limited to 4 letters. When there's a story about the FBI or FCC or NASA nobody complains that it wasn't explained, but DARPA? how dare you assume people around the world using the internet know what that means!

Re:That was pretty fast... (5, Informative)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342844)

I sure do hope there's some irony in your post I'm not caching.

DARPA is an acronym standing for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
It is an agency of the US Department of Defense it develops tech for the army.
It's predecessor ARPA gave us the internet amongst other things(too condensed a statement).
They like to issue challenges and geeks of all trades either like to participate in them for the sport and/or are picked from the crowd and given jobs at DARPA to develop new cutting edge technologies.

Re:That was pretty fast... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342982)

I sure do hope there's some irony in your post I'm not caching.

Irony typically has a short TTL; you're better off not caching it.

Re:That was pretty fast... (0, Offtopic)

smithberry (714364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343070)

I sure do hope there's some irony in your post I'm not caching.

Irony typically has a short TTL; you're better off not caching it.

Mod the parent up!

If I had mod points I'd mod you up - can't believe folk have modded this down. Perhaps they didn't see the typo introducing the idea if caching irony.

Re:That was pretty fast... (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343156)

At the moment, the grandparent post is showing 1 positive moderation and no negative moderation...

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

smithberry (714364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343190)

Do you think I can claim any credit for getting it modded up from zero (which was what it was at when I posted)? I guess we'll never know - it might have happened anyway.
Mod the great-grandparent up some more!

Re:That was pretty fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30343498)

I sure do hope there's some irony in your post I'm not caching.

Irony typically has a short TTL; you're better off not caching it.

You Sir, are a genus. ;)

Re:That was pretty fast... (5, Funny)

passion (84900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344018)

sarchasm - the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30345332)

whooosh - the sound made by someone rushing like the wind along a sarchasm.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344534)

Irony posters (humans) have a slow response time. Better to cache than not receive.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342944)

MIT is a school in the US btw. Err and the US is the United States of America... it's a country.

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343030)

What's DARPA?? What was your previous question 'what's that big round thing between me and the couch?'

Re:That was pretty fast... (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343132)

Well, the title of the article has all of 9 hours, and the title of the post you responded to is That was pretty fast...

So, to summarize:

That was pretty fast...it took all of nine hours.

how (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342768)

how did they do this?

Re:how (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342786)

They asked Fark for help.

Re:how (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343680)

They asked Fark for help.

TeamFark got 8/10.

Re:how (4, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342858)

Well reading the previous article [slashdot.org] about MITs solution to this challenge would be a good start.

Re:how (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342938)

So... they instituted an upside down Ponzi scheme?

Re:how (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343218)

MIT used the pyramid scheme. You don't have to find a balloon, just get 5 people under you to find 5 people and so on.

It's not MIT tactics... It's AMWAY tactics...

Re:how (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30345396)

Hopefully without the really dull brainwashing sessions.

How many did your team find? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342802)

We found them all within fifteen minutes but we sold the information about this secret DARPA project to China for $400,000. I'm posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

Actually they'd spend only 5 hrs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342812)

But one of the balloons was a real b*tch to locate... and, in the end, it was very frustrating and lost time -- it was not a balloon... just an UFO.

Great, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342852)

How? That's really the only thing everybody cares about.

Re:Great, but (1)

who knows my name (1247824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342898)

hacked into DARPA's communications?

Re:Great, but (5, Informative)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342942)

Here's the answer [cnet.com] . I was wondering the same thing myself. It appears that the solution was very low tech: just get a bunch of people, and when they see a balloon, send a message to the group. Instead of splitting the 40k among the group, they donated it to charity. Reward for MIT? Bragging rights.

UPS (3, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343054)

I was surprised that UPS didn't have a team and won. Seems they would have had the most people out and about and probably seeing the balloons.

Re:UPS (3, Informative)

Nipok Nek (87328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343346)

Corporations were specifically forbidden from entering.

Thanks (3, Interesting)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343948)

Thanks, didn't know that. But that rule negates true crowd sourcing datamining for a project, because in a real non test situation it wouldn't matter, an org and corp, an ad hoc group, whatever, would be disseminating and collating information. As this is a defense department test, I wonder what the rationale was for the exclusions?

Going further, a google run group of volunteer balloon spotters might have done even better. Or an iPhone app, see balloon, mash button that uploads "I have seen it, here is the x-y" deal.

Re:Thanks (2, Informative)

Nipok Nek (87328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344682)

I think what they wanted to see was a pick-up group, not the functioning of a previously well-oiled organization.

Re:Thanks (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344706)

And suddenly 10 real world balloons results in 1000s of iPhone balloon spotting locations.

Re:Thanks (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30345248)

The iPhone thing probably would have worked. But Google probably would have had to spend more than $40,000 USD to pay people to go out and look for balloons. UPS already has people going out everywhere.

Re:Great, but (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344582)

It just so happened those "bunch" of people were the ones that launched the balloons and just all happened to be eating at Olive Garden afterwards.... :)

We just found one really big one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342902)

Does the Good Year Blimp count?

99 Luftballoons (3, Funny)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342904)

Come on, couldn't they have a least made it 99 red balloons? Was DARPA afraid they might accidently start a nuclear war?

Re:99 Luftballoons (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30343066)

nah, the RIAA would have sued them

Re:99 Luftballoons (1)

finity (535067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343212)

Red balloons really piss SkyNET off. You don't want to make SkyNET angry.

How many did your team find? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30342914)

All of them, and we had just about closed the deal to sell the information on this secret DARPA project to China when those bastards at MIT went public and ruined everything. I'm posting anonynously for obvious reasons.

Interesting results (2, Insightful)

Thad Zurich (1376269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30342968)

Funny that it doesn't seem to work on Bin Laden.

Re:Interesting results (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30343026)

Have you tried hiding a big, red, floating Bin Laden somewhere in the US and let some geeks loose to find it ?

Re:Interesting results (1)

benchbri (764527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343052)

You're implying that the United States wants Bin Laden to be found. If you'll excuse me, I'm off to my Two Minute Hate over 9/11.

Re:Interesting results (2, Insightful)

Fzz (153115) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343160)

Are you implying that Bin Laden is eight feet high, red, and visible from the nearest road? Interesting intel, that. Perhaps you should call the CIA?

Re:Interesting results (1)

7213 (122294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343358)

You jest, but that makes perfect sense!

How else could the man evade us for 9 years spending all of our resources to find him? Who's looking for an eight foot red balloon connected to a dialysis machine in the middle of northern Pakistan when there's a "terr'st" to be hunted who's obviously in a "hidy hole".

(please god note the sarcasm there)

Re:Interesting results (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343362)

And that the person who turned him in wouldn't get a very special price involving 40,000 ounces of plastique, hand delivered?

And apparently, hiding in the US of A (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343432)

Daring fellow.

Re:Interesting results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30343494)

I think the CIA already knows where its agents are.

Re:Interesting results (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343886)

Bin Laden is estimated to be between 6'4" and 6'6" -- in other words, he'll stand out from any crowd. He's also allegedly on dialysis, which considerably restricts the number of places he could stay for any length of time in a 3rd-world country.

(Of course, Bin Laden's harmless now. His money's gone, and he's no longer the demagogue he once was. If we manage to quell the insurgency and set up stable governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the terrorism problem can be dealt with using a great deal of perseverance and patience -- very much like the way the UK successfully dealt with the IRA.)

Re:Interesting results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30345430)

Last time I checked the UK ran the top positions in the IRA.

Re:Interesting results (0, Offtopic)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30345478)

Interesting that you have everything backwards. Your own politicians are the demagogues and by "set up stable governments" you presumably mean set up puppet governments. Also the source of most of the world's terrorism is the US, even when enacted by Israel - as it's been for the last few decades.

Yah yah, I know, it's not that everyone hates a hypocritical warmongering terrorist state but that everyone is 'jealous' of amerikkka.

Re:Interesting results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30344924)

Why call the CIA? They let him go at least once already. He's far more useful to the PTB as an "Emmanuel Goldstein" who's always plotting in the shadows...

Go Slashdot! (1)

jesusfr3Ak (1693850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343040)

This is great! Slashdot is reporting on the results, and all the news sites are getting really excited about the kickoff. Way to stay ahead of the curve.

What's DARPA about it ? (4, Insightful)

bytesex (112972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343046)

So how was this a technical challenge, and not just a boyscout fox hunt ?

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (2, Funny)

MonkeyOnATypewriter (1361269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343106)

It required communication between different members of a group, to cover a bigger area.

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (3, Informative)

theangryfool (1049608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343290)

Ummm... Yeah, 'cause I know a lot of boyscouts who can cover 3 million square miles of territory in 9 hours... I'd say the point was to see how people would use technology to build quick awareness of events over a large area. Seeking out insurgents or terrorist cells might be a practical military application of this technology.

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30343352)

Seeking out insurgents or terrorist cells might be a practical military application of this technology.

Damn, who'd have though those groups would invade by balloons!

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344268)

Looking at fused satellite, radar, etc. data in the most likely part of the Indian Ocean, they might find pie rats
by observing the routes of mother ships (not in nine hours though).
With effort it could be made a Zodiac Free Sea (ZFS).

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343508)

you missed the renaissance of wonder?

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343614)

How would you be able to find 10 balloons scattered about the entire country at random in 9 hours with naught but a 35mm camera and faux wood-panelled station wagon?

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (2, Interesting)

deblau (68023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343894)

Missing the point. This was not about the hunt itself, but so DARPA could study the spontaneous social networks that would spring up in response to the challenge. They'll have some really good data on that now, and I'm sure they'll interview the MIT guys carefully.

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30344214)

The Department of Defense is great against big threats: planes, ships, large numbers of troops, etc.

9/11 really hit home the point that small threats are harder to protect against: single members or small groups of opposing forces are easier to get across borders and into places we don't want them to be.

So DARPA says to itself "In the hypothetical situation that a small number of people or bombs or whatever were known to be in the country, but their specific location was a mystery, could we mobilize citizens to find them?"

At least, that's my guess.

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30345502)

So DARPA says to itself "In the hypothetical situation that a small number of people or bombs or whatever were known to be in the country, but their specific location was a mystery, could we mobilize citizens to find them?"

Yah, I can see next week's news: "Be on the lookout for guys who look like terrorists. The first one to find the full set wins a pony."

Re:What's DARPA about it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30345146)

I don't know that it was a challenge so much as an experiment to see how quickly social networks could form or adapt to correlate geographically dispersed real world information. I can see that this would be hugely important if you were trying, for example, to keep a lid on a protest involving the destruction of dispersed corporate or government property. I also think that 9 hours represents brown trouser time for some stakeholders.

Uh... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343082)

I think it's more of a news story that DARPA is apparently terrified of the Dakotas, or perhaps Minnesota.

Re:Uh... (1)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343220)

Yeah, they are terrified of the Northeast too. If they had hid one out in the mountains where I lived it could have gone for several days without being found.

Where's balloon boy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30343206)

He would have made a great mascot for this event.

Why this challenge? (2, Interesting)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343394)

Am I the only one that sees how nefarious this experiment is? Someone in the US military saw the events in Iran a few months back and panicked. The Iranian military was able to censor official news but not social networks. DARPA is conducting this challenge to gather the real world information it needs to effectively censor social networks.

Re:Why this challenge? (1)

Overunderrated (1518503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343574)

That's actually a pretty brilliant analysis...

Re:Why this challenge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30343636)

In that case this was a very clumsy experiment. What they got data on was, at best, how social networks are created for a singular purpose; this will give them almost no insight into how a more organic social network communicates. If they had structured the contest so that existing social networks were encouraged to join, you might have been onto something. The introduction of a cash prize alone spoils any particular insight into people who are into the free exchange of ideas; they targeted a different (though perhaps overlapping) group of people from the ones you think they are spying on.

Re:Why this challenge? (2, Informative)

breadstic (1396173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343706)

Um... WHAT?!

If the US want to censor twitter or facebook, they can just shut them down...
People got around this in iran by using anonymous proxies to tunnel requests to websites outside of their government's control... US citizens could do the same thing in such circumstances (using studivz or something more obscure if the conspiracy stretches that far)

And I think if we're talking about DARPA attempting to find some algorithm to silently censor certain posts about US unrest, unless they manage to completely disconnect a region from the outside world with nobody noticing, I think there would be a fairly large outcry. Tibet managed to get word out, I'm sure an american state could do the same...

Re:Why this challenge? (3, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343788)

Can't Stop the Signal.

The problem with your paranoia is that information is a tool that does far far more damage to "bad" type governments (theocracies, dictatorships, oligarchies, etc.) than it does to democracies (or democratic republics or other "good" type governments).

Unlike other weapons systems, information has preferential kill for the stuff you want to kill. Nukes, cluster bombs, bat-bombs, land mines, and AKs don't, they can be used to destroy anybody. Information, even semi-truthful information only hurts the bad guys.

So, this is one of those cases where you are getting your panties in a bunch over WHO is doing it, and not WHAT they are doing. If this were a Facebook project or some sort of flash-mob or other garbage nobody would even bring up "nefarious purposes" because it would just be a weekend diversion for the kiddies. As it turns out, diversions for the kiddies can be used to help topple brutal dictatorships.

No you are not the only one to see "nefarious" plot in it, lots of other moon bat non thinking "liberals" thought the same thing and they are just as wrong as you are.

Re:Why this challenge? (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344334)

Am I the only one that sees how nefarious this experiment is?

No, I'm sure plenty of other people are willing to make highly implausible leaps to support their initial assumption that anything the military does is directed at them.

But as useful as it must be to the coming military junta to prove that people twitter each other, I am going to go out on a limb and hypothesize that instead of thinking they are capable of overcoming the information deluge of internet and cellular communications by targetting a few nexus points in the social networks, that they may actually be interested in using social networks, or at least gauging their value as a strategic asset.

You know that country in the middle east you just mentioned having a problem with social networks? Our enemy. Exacerbating their problems is in fact one of the central aspects of intelligence based warfare. One of the primary reasons for setting up a democracy in Iraq is to try undermine the stability of the fundamentalist governments encircling it, and promoting the flow of information is certainly conducive to that end.

Not to mention things like setting up impromptu intelligence networks (when an ally is invaded, such as with Russia-->Georgia recently), or trying to locate a truck which was known to cross into the USA carrying biological toxins, etc. In that respect DARPA may actually be interested in finding out how they can *augment* the capabilities of our social networks so that they're more effective in the case of such an emergency.

Wait a second... (2, Funny)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343684)

...but wasn't this a joint DARPA/MIT project? And an MIT won the challenge? How does this apparent conflict of interest satisfy the "rich with scientific intrigue" tag? This is a non-starter, and I'm disappointed that DARPA would even have wasted their time with this.

As a teacher, my level of concern continues to rise with what passes for "science" these days, especially from institutions that should know better. This wasn't a science experiment. It was an advertising gimmick. Shame on DARPA, and shame on MIT. (No shame on /., because after 12 years, I've come to expect this type of editorial slackness.)

Re:Wait a second... (0, Offtopic)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343728)

s/an MIT/an MIT team

This is a radio station promotion gimmick (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343716)

This is more like a radio station promotion. It would have worked if one of those blowhards on AM talk radio had announced a similar hunt with a call-in number. It didn't need the Internet.

Re:This is a radio station promotion gimmick (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30343944)

Yeah, but I think the point is that without the Internet, it would have taken a lot longer, unless the AM talk radio blowhard in question limited the range to something less than the continental United States.

NEWSFLASH: Spam pyramid schemes work! (3, Insightful)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30344120)

Today, MIT and the United States Department of Warxxx Defense are proud to report their joint discovery that spam email, when combined with a pyramid sales scheme, is an effective way to get people off their asses. This works best when your name is well-known and has not yet been sufficiently exploited that your email is ignored.

Note to editors: when referring to spam in connection with MIT, correct usage is "social network."

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