Darpa Recruits Puzzle People for Ultimate Dumpster Dive | Danger Room | Wired.com
Very good read, DARPA has used great minds in the past, for many challenges, that is what the US is great at. It is like the enigma code being broken in WWII, people thought up the solution and computers kept it going. DARPA is making use of both ends of the technology spectrum, the brains of people, and power of computers. A young lady figured out a way to track how a corporation's communications tree really functions. She used data available to any corporate IT person to determine how to fine tune the communications in a corporation. Some whiz kid at the CIA saw it and scooped her up, her methodology is a key part of tracking down terrorist cells, by their communications tree. It is now used for tracking white collar crime as well as the drug Cartels in Mexico.
Using the great brain of this young lady, and seeing where it could be used in other situations, has really made a dent in terrorism and crime. More and more Universities are looking at other ways to use this type of link analysis. Flash mob's will probably be a great use, tracking social communications is a breeze for this type of analysis. Once a trend is discovered, you just make a template and look for similar activity. It worked for terrorist cells, and even insider trading, now on to flash mobs.
DARPA finds ways to stay just outside the box enough to use great ideas, even foster them along. Just when I think they have gone too deep into, the we know it all mindset again, they supprise me with great ideas like this.
I was honored to be invited to a number of their conferences over the years. Each time you could see ideas from big firms, little firms and even unknown one person teams, bringing us closer to a safer world. Many of the technology advances the world sees in aviation security like explosive detection came out of the DARPA programs.