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Social Networks The Military Science

DARPA Network Challenge Lasts All of 9 Hours 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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DARPA Network Challenge Lasts All of 9 Hours

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  • Why this challenge? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sp3d2orbit ( 81173 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:40AM (#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.

  • by deblau ( 68023 ) <> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @12:58PM (#30343894) Journal
    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.
  • Thanks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @01:05PM (#30343948) Homepage Journal

    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.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"