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Did You See A Red Balloon Last Sunday?

On Saturday, December 5, at 10 a.m., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the R&D arm of the Department of Defense, floated ten large red balloons in public areas across the U.S. The balloons weren’t just for show; they were part of the DARPA Network Challenge, designed to “explore the roles the Internet and social networking play in the timely communication, wide-area team building, and urgent mobilization required to solve broad-scope, time-critical problems.” More than 4,000 teams of people raced to determine the location of the ten balloons. The winning team, led by M.I.T. researchers, found the ten balloons in less than nine hours and awarded the prize money to team members in an inverse-pyramid model. (Hat tip: Kevin O’Toole.) [%comments]