Test From Pentagon - Find 10 Red Balloons
Darpa, the American Pentagon's research agency is offering a prize of $40,000 to the first person or group that can find the 10 red balloons that they planted in continental U.S.A.
The goal is to learn more about social behavior in computer networks and how large computer-connected teams use their resources and connections to compete.
There is also an invention being celebrated. Peter Lee, a computer scientist and one of the Darpa directors organizing the contest, said Dec. 5 would be the 40th anniversary of the day when the first four nodes of the Arpanet — the experimental military-sponsored computer network that was the forerunner of today’s Internet — were connected.
Darpa has previously sponsored three “grand challenges” in an effort to advance the technology for autonomous vehicles. In the second one, in 2005, a Stanford University team won $2 million when its roboticized Volkswagen Touareg was the quickest to navigate a 131-mile course through California desert.
The ultimate goal of the project is to better understand how groups communicate on the internet to guard the country against a possible technology assisted surprise.
Dr. Lee has predicted some tactics:
- some groups are developing software applications
- some people are creating large teams
- some might disseminate false information
- some might pay for information
Looking to register? visit the Darpa Network Challenge Registration.
A similar internet project that Darpa has done recently is the development of its data-mining technology that was created after September 11th to identify potential terrorists.
The contest will start on December 5th. Darpa is expecting that it will end on the 5th as well.