CowboyNeal from the throwing-money-at-a-problem dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel assesses the impact on innovation of the increasing number of prizes, such as the X Prize, that reward solvers of intractable problems. From the column: 'Prizes prompt a lot of effort, far more than any sponsor could devote itself, but they generally pay only for success. That's "an important piece of shifting risk from inside the walls of the company and moving it out to the solver community," says Jill Panetta, InnoCentive's chief scientific officer. Competitors for the $10 million prize for the space vehicle spent 10 times that amount trying to win it. Contests also are a mechanism to tap scientific knowledge that's widely dispersed geographically, and not always in obvious places. Since posting its algorithm bounty in October, Netflix has drawn 15,000 entrants from 126 countries. The leading team is from Budapest University of Technology and Economics.'"
Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without
giant listings; we would find it hard to use them.
-- D.M. Ritchie