DARPA Balloons and #scoutsforgood

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internet, today DARPA released ten balloons for the DARPA Network Challenge, a competition in online and social network cooperation with a $40,000 prize.

“The Network Challenge winner will be the first individual to submit the locations of 10 8-foot balloons moored at 10 fixed locations in the continental United States. The balloons will be in readily accessible locations and visible from nearby roads.”

The contest end at 12:00 PM EST on December 14, 2009, and one team has another motive for the prize money.

DARPA balloons

Stan Wiechers and Carlos J. Gómez de Llarena’s team, @ballooncharity, wants to give 100% of the prize money to the Aga Khan Foundation to support programs that may help rebuild Afghanistan.

Balloon Charity tweet

From the Balloon Charity site,

DARPA is betting on people’s self-interest to motivate them during this giant crowdsourced guinea pig test. We want to bet on crowdsourced altruism. One of these motivations will emerge as the driving force behind the winning team.”

The team is always using the hashtag #scoutsforgood to mobilize team members.

Want to play? You can find the rules on the DARPA Network Challenge site.

The best way to follow or join the Balloon Charity team is through their @ballooncharity Twitter account.

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