Follow the Red Balloon…to Fortune and Glory!

balloons_sciencecheerleaderFrom Dr. John: To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internets, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced the DARPA Network Challenge, a competition that will explore the role of social networking in communication, team building, and group mobilization. The challenge is to be the first person to submit the locations of 10 8-foot, red, weather balloons at 10 fixed locations in the continental United States.

Here’s how it works: The red balloons will be deployed on Saturday, December 5, in readily accessible locations and visible from nearby roads. Teams and collaborators will have approximately 9 days, until 12:00 PM (ET) on December 14, to collect the locations of the balloons and submit their entries.  All locations must be submitted in latitude and longitude coordinates. The event is open to individuals of all ages irrespective of nationality or residency (except Federal employees and their spouses and dependents), but first you must register your team on  the DARPA Network Challenge website.

Find the red balloons. Win $40,000. Do you have what it takes to be the next Balloon Boy/Girl?