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DARPA to pay hackers and hobbyists for help

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Internet grandfather DARPA (US-based Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) is throwing open its doors and wallet in an attempt to solicit unconventional security solutions.

It is reaching out past the usual huge, multinational technology consulting firms and egghead think tanks and trying to engage with small start-ups – and even hackers – to get some new ideas into the mix. Looks like they’re willing to throw some cash at them, too.

So far, so good – and a reasonable strategy to pursue. What brought me up short was a brief mention of their asking ‘hobbyists’ for input … do they have any idea what they’re getting themselves into?

I can see it now: thousands of emails from Mac-tards saying that the whole internet could run on a handful of small clusters running Snow Leopard. They’d talk about how much faster the net would run, and how it would provide impenetrable security.

Spam would be a thing of the past, and the internet would boot much faster in the morning, too. Over time, the average height of users would increase, and they’d develop a propensity for red wine and designer cheese.

Of course, there will be folks pushing other ideas too… I think a meeting would end up much like this video, which has quickly become one of my favorites. The portrayals of Mac, PC, Linux, Google are chillingly true-to-life. Particularly “Unix Guy" ... ®

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