Okay smarty-pants, here's your chance to get rich quick. DARPA, the research arm of the US military-industrial complex that invented the Internet along with Al Gore forty years ago, will commemorate that anniversary with the DARPA Network Challenge, giving away $40,000 for going on a wild goose chase looking for red weather balloons.
DARPA will be tying up 10 of the eight-foot balloons somewhere in the continental United States, all in fixed locations and visible from nearby roadways. Your job is to find them. The first person to identify the location of all ten wins $40,000.
The best way to win would be a team effort. DARPA calls it "a competition that will explore the role the Internet and social networking plays in the timely communication, wide area team-building and urgent mobilization required to solve broad scope, time-critical problems." Start getting ready, because the fun starts on December 5, 2009. We predict a winner will emerge on that same day, probably with some help from Twitter.