Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prize Roundup - December 14, 2008

Today's roundup post covers quite a diverse group of prizes:

An X Prize for government - on a budget - FastGov: Where Government is Going - This covers a competition for mash-up types of software applications (which I take to mean software tools that use existing applications and merge their data and processing capabilities in a value-added sort of way). The goal is to develop applications to present Washington, DC government (the city government, not the Federal one) information. It's over, but it wasn't held all that long ago:

Apps for Democracy - An Innovation Contest - From the site: Apps for Democracy will feature 60 cash prizes from $2000 to $100 dollars for a total of $20,000 in prizes. Developers and designers will compete by creating web applications, widgets, Google Maps mash-ups, iPhone apps, Facebook apps, and other digital utilities that visualize OCTO’s Data Catalog, which provides real-time data from multiple agencies to citizens — a catalyst ensuring agencies operate as more responsive, better performing organizations.

The winners included D.C. Historic Tours, Community Gardens, Parking, biking, and many more.

Unreasonable Update - RLV News

The New Methuselah Foundation Website Launches - Methuselah Foundation - This is from the organization that runs the MPrize, a collection of 2 prizes for the longest-living mouse and rejuvenating mice, among a number of other longevity-related activities. Here's their new website including the MPrize part.

Briefs: NASA revitalizing; VASIMR on the ISS; Spacefest 2009 - RLV News - From the post: Ferris Valyn discusses the recommendations for revitalizing NASA made in the recent article by Peter Diamandis : Dr. Diamandis's prescription for NASA - Daily Kos - Dec.13.08

The Huffington Post article mentioned is similar to the one the X PRIZE Foundation sent to the Presidential transition web site.

Guest Post: Exit Telecommuter—Enter Cloudworker - CrowdSourcing - Earlier this week, the not-for-profit site, , launched in beta mode, with a contest that invites participants to submit anything they like—blogs, pictures of workspaces, videos, twitter feeds—that showcases their cloudworker lifestyles. ... The plan for the site is to run monthly contests aimed at discovering, and perhaps inventing, the future of work.

If I Were an Editor and You Were All Reporters ... - CrowdSourcing - Story: The USAID Development 2.0 Challenge Backgrounder: The United States Agency for International Development isn't known for innovation. But it's recently launched an initiative to generate ideas on how mobile applications could be used to "improve development impact and connect people in developing countries to key resources in health, banking, education, agricultural trade, or other pressing development issues." Three winners will be chosen. Grand prize is 10 grand. The runners up get $5,000. All three will be lauded at a ceremony in DC in the new year. The community will vote on the projects and a jury (Full Disclosure: I've agreed to sit on said jury) will pick the three winners from the fifteen most popular projects.

Links: Going Sailing, Mumbai Attacks, Street View, South Africa Award - Google Earth Blog - From the blog: South Africa Award - A marketing company called Quirk eMarketing, which helped South Africa create a tourism layer for Google Earth, has won an award for Search Engine Optimization. The exposure from creating the Google Earth layer (which was released last July) had a very positive effect on the marketing for South Africa tourism. South Africa is one of only four countries with a tourism layer in Google Earth.

Continuing with Google material, here are 2 for the Google Lunar X PRIZE:

Google Lunar X PRIZE to Announce Three New Competitors in San Jose, CA -- Next Week - RLV News - This is another Who/What/When/Where type of press release, like this one which gives more details on the Wednesday part of the upcoming news.

Astrobotic Lays Out Lunar Data Library Licensing, Flight Schedule - Parabolic Arc - This seems like more details on the ambitious business and technical Astrobotic plans revealed at the recent lunar meeting. From the Astrobotic post by David Gump: Astrobotic will create a “Digital Moon” by developing an integrated lunar library of company-collected data combined with information from open sources. Data types will range from radiation and soil characteristics to the performance of various components and materials in the lunar environment. Data products will range from raw collections to highly processed information solutions that meet our customers’ needs. ... Key materials and components for future projects can be delivered to the Moon by Astrobotic to characterize their performance in the actual lunar environment, rather than in simulations. Aerospace suppliers, for example, will be able to use Astrobotic missions to give their equipment “lunar heritage” – a tremendous advantage when competing for major lunar contracts.