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Google Project 10^100 Reaches Voting Phase 154

An anonymous reader writes "In autumn last year, Google announced Project 10 to the 100, through which it aimed to commit $10 million to implement the best philanthropic idea. The project was suspended indefinitely after receiving more than 150,000 submissions. Google has now announced sixteen finalists — each of which was inspired by many individual submissions — and issued a call for votes. The voting deadline is October 8 and the Project 10^100 advisory board will then select up to five ideas to be implemented."
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Google Project 10^100 Reaches Voting Phase

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  • Plex (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reason58 ( 775044 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:37PM (#29544881)
    Google's googol garnering a gaggle of generous gentlemen.
  • Why not promote Scroogle [] to the world?
    • The problem with Scroogle is, it removes the main reason why I used Google, a clean homepage. With Scroogle I get random comics that looked like they were made with MS Paint in the early 90s. The background similarly looks dated and is different on every visit. And the Scroogle logo looks... well terrible. Yeah, it does most things as well as Google, but I'm not sure if the world is ready for a blast into the past. And not the retro past but the past that reminds you of using Netscape Navigator on dial up b
      • The problem with Scroogle is, it removes the main reason why I used Google, a clean homepage.

        How about using a blank page or your own image. I use a search engine for searches. Scroogle IS google without all the tracking & evil.

        • Completely ignoring the fact that it's through all the tracking that Google became such a great search engine. What the hell do you care that Google happens to know that your looking up recipes/18th century steam engines/donkey porn, it will never get traced back to you unless your a real idiot and don't secure your own computer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      That has nothing to do with philanthropy. If you want to use a anonymity proxy, you're free to do so. And that would give you better protection than Scroogle, which only hides your IP from Google. If you're not bothered by other web servers logging your IP, then why would you be concerned with Google? Of all [] the online megacorporations [] out there [] to fear having your privacy invaded by [], you're worried about Google []?

      If you don't want to be tracked by your credit card purchases, then pay for your purchases with

  • A lot of those images in the idea montage were blatant "green gadgets".
    This sort of thing certainly attracts attention and will probably pull the votes. Unfortunately.

    • ten million is chump change
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @07:04PM (#29545101)
      It's not unfortunate if they're effective. The way we're living now is simply not sustainable, fossil fuel being an obvious example. Some say, "don't worry, technology will increase the carrying capacity without limit," and then whine at every proposed investment in said technology, which doesn't make a lot of sense.
  • by pegasustonans ( 589396 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @06:59PM (#29545061)

    The tax option looks interesting, but a little too in line with typical ideas of the conservative right in the United States to win my vote. Eliminating income tax and taxing consumption directly through sales tax would severely detriment lower income brackets and reward the affluent. The research on sales tax being more detrimental to lower income groups is pretty solid. I was actually surprised Google passed this idea through given its obvious politics.

    The transportation option, on the other hand, while somewhat far-fetched, would revolutionize commerce and local economies if it were widely adopted.

    Since all of the ideas are a bit of a long shot, I voted for what I would like to see in an ideal world. In addition, the idea of riding blimps to work is just too cool to pass up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by evanbd ( 210358 )

      Sales taxes (and other consumption taxes) are regressive taxes. However, not all policies involving sales taxes are regressive. The simplest (perhaps not the best...) example of such is the FairTax [] proposal. It uses a combination of a flat sales tax rate with a constant dollar rebate to each consumer. The combination means that with increasing spending, a larger net fraction of your spending is on taxes. That is, it's a progressive sales tax.

      Of course, the Google proposal also talks about various incen

    • This one is the only one that will have the ability to make a LARGE impact. The reason is that America, Canada, Australia, etc use roughly 1/5 to 1/3 of our energy on transportation, EU uses something like 1/6, and the developing world, such as China, is really starting to move to cars. China is already the worlds largest polluter (emits more pollutions than the entire western world due to inefficiency) and their CO2 emissions (I do not count this as pollution) has already overtaken America and several othe
    • by ixidor ( 996844 )
      couple of thoughts, [], "The FairTax lowers the lifetime tax burden for most Americans" page 2 "The FairTax preserves the overall progressivity of the federal tax burden." page 5 "The FairTax dramatically improves the U.S. economy. " page 7 also considering the prebate that gets added in, the lower end of the incom spectrum looks pretty good.
    • The research on sales tax being more detrimental to lower income groups is pretty solid.

      I find it rather doubtful that among the wide array of possible implementations of this idea that all are correlated to a negative impact on the poor, or that anyone has even attempted to offer research which would show this.

      If you exempt food (my state already does), utilities, maybe a few other things (pointing out, too, that second hand goods are already tax free) I don't see how you can get any more "progressive" without explicitly paying people to be below the poverty line. Which, by the way, if yo

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Would you really consider not implementing an idea which would help the poor simply because you don't like who it originated from?

        Yes. NCLB was pushed from the right to help school children. Don't you want to help the school children? Well, it wasn't actually designed to help school children. It was designed to sabotage the public school system with unfunded mandates and lots of interference in local authority (the opposite of what Republicans claim they want, but when it comes to harming our children
    • Eliminating income tax and taxing consumption directly through sales tax would severely detriment lower income brackets and reward the affluent. The research on sales tax being more detrimental to lower income groups is pretty solid.

      The simplest fix for this is to make food-and-drink groceries exempt from sales taxes. Since the proportion of money spent by people (on average) on food as their income increases, this simple action makes the whole system far more progressive. It's also pretty simple (and hence cheap) to implement. Or you could make all food and drink exempt, which is even easier to do and reduces complexities from working out whether food sold for immediate consumption is a grocery but has the cost of reducing overall tax

    • I agree; most most of the ideas are worthy with some clearly appearing to be from existing lobbies. c.f. tax agenda.

      In most cases the worthy causes have existing lobbies promoting them.

      What we don't see is any body promoting a positive depiction and promotion of engineering and science, if anything what we see is a trend for dumbing down across society as a whole.

      If most of the ideas are coming from existing lobbies with their own agenda perhaps the slashdot community should support our own agenda.

  • It's good to see that google actually cares about what they throw their money at. Hey everybody, give us ideas on how to look philanthropic. And hey everybody vote on which idea we should care about. Philanthropists have a passion for what they do, they don't just give money to look good to the world!
  • I made an entry last year when the contest was open. It concerned a neglected problem that is ripe for better research. I am disappointed that the voting will choose among rather bland and general ideas. My original entry is available from my homepage, [] .
    • Hi

      I just had a quick look at your idea.

      Isn't it just to develop full spectrum light blubs ?

      If not could you explain the difference ?

      • The problem is that the whole lighting discussion is in vague terms. Lighting in fact controls the stimulus to vision. The usual discussion (books, research) throws out the direct effects of lighting on the stimulus to vision. They assume that light is a liquid (minimizing any reference to optics). Designers praise daylight, but there is little discussion (except my articles) about how daylight is different from artificial sources. Lighting could be done like other engineering, with a cause-and-effect discu
  • There is not one single idea in that list that could have a significant global impact.

    First of all, all the idea submitters are people that have internet access. Letâ(TM)s not forget that ONLY 24.7% of the WORLD has internet access. []

    This means that the people that really need help isn't heard on this 10^100 Project (75.3%)

    So I wonâ(TM)t vote for this. or maybe I was expecting something else.


    1. Develop an accessible not fossil fuel dependant vehicle

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by pz ( 113803 )

      I submitted an idea to Project 10^100. A damned good one too. One that was worth a $1.5 million grant from the US National Institutes of Health. One that was good enough to be selected as a Saatchi and Saatchi World Changing Ideas finalist. The idea will help millions of people, potentially tens of millions. It will, however, not involve the internet, not involve Googly stuff, and won't be all cool and PC. It won't preferentially help people in Africa, or people who are perceived to be underserved by

      • So, you made the New innovators, eh? And you say that the google ideas are bad. OBVIOUSLY, you did not read it. NONE OF THEM, were truly ideas. They are classes of ideas lumped together. Had you actually read the site, you would have seen the suggestions underneath it.

        Next time, please read the site PRIOR to boosting and critizing. As it is, the google guys HAD a great idea AND HAVE made a MAJOR IMPACT on the world. In addition, they did it in a RELATIVELY SHORT TIME. So, how does their work compare to yo
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid ( 135745 )

        "I was in the company of 9 others at the Saatchi and Saatchi celebration that were better right there. "
        so yin a group of 10 you can get money, but can't get it in a group of 150,000.
        Maybe your idea isn't as good as you think.

        Yes, nothing more embarrassing then bring a source of education to everyone in the world.

        Your machine human interface isn't something that's doable before a lot of other technology comes to place. It's not something trhet CAN be done and have a product available with this much money.


      • I submitted an idea to Project 10^100. A damned good one too.

        Was your idea "develop self-confidence?" Because I think they may have rejected that one as being done already :-)

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Yes, Google really should use their money to support things that have nothing to do with the things they're interested in.

    • by tixxit ( 1107127 )
      Keep in mind we're talking about $10m here. It took $18m to develop the US gov't new spending web site. 1 and 3 require significantly more then $10m. 5 is not going to happend. 2 seems like a good idea. Not sure what a "technology exchange portal" is.... we already have the internet.
    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      > Create an organization for exchange guns for [insert exchange here]

      You didn't really think this one through. If people can exchange guns for something of value, a thriving black market will develop in getting guns to exchange. This will ultimately lead to more demand and MORE guns being produced.

      It reminds me of a story I heard recently about a journalist who goes undercover to expose human trafficking. Someone asked why he doesn't just BUY some of these kids with the intent to make them free. The answ

    • by jawahar ( 541989 )
      In India alone 85% ie 850 million [] of them do not have Bank Accounts.
    • by khchung ( 462899 )

      I have to say, I never thought the list would be so bad! I have to really look at the list to believe the ideas are really crap.

      As you said, most of the ideas are complete crap. I can just barely find one that is even worth voting for. If not for that single one, I won't bother to vote at all. The rest are either completely stupid, or are so US centric that you can find the solution by just look at how the rest of the world did it.

  • Geek heaven! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dkf ( 304284 ) <> on Friday September 25, 2009 @07:10PM (#29545137) Homepage

    Now we know why there were sixteen finalists. It's 10^100 in binary (a.k.a. 2^4 in decimal).

  • Is "" actually associated with Google? The site looks phony. The "about" page is an off-site link to Google. The code contains links to "", so Google is hosting an application, but that doesn't mean Google is behind it. There's suspicious Javascript that constructs a domain name. There's no SSL cert. The "robots.txt" file blocks everybody.

    The domain is registered to Google, though. And it's registered through MarkMonitor. (MarkMonitor is the "if you hav

  • by BraulioBezerra ( 1321253 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @07:26PM (#29545231)
    All these projects depend on the Make government more transparent. Without this one, the governments will limit all other projects. This is exactly the same reason why Lawrence Lessig is fighting corruption and not copyright problems. He was fighting people that couldn't hear him. So, I vote for it.
    • by sanpitch ( 9206 )

      All these projects depend on the Make government more transparent. Without this one, the governments will limit all other projects. This is exactly the same reason why Lawrence Lessig is fighting corruption and not copyright problems. He was fighting people that couldn't hear him.

      So, I vote for it.

      Amen to that. I think the "community" projects share some ideas and could be combined to some degree. Start with "Transparent Govt" then move on to "Collect and organize the world's urban data," "Work toward socially conscious tax policies," and "Create real-world issue reporting system".

    • That is one of the options ... vote for it?
    • I voted for the more open sourced educational material on the internet project. I felt that more government transparency accomplishes nothing for us if the voting majority is still too ignorant to make use of it. And better education for more people helps us as a world in every way. The more higly educated people are in general the more likely they will be to support and push for reforms in other areas. It's like 1984, if you can't express your desire to enact a change you have little chance of success.
  • by AeiwiMaster ( 20560 ) on Friday September 25, 2009 @07:39PM (#29545291)

    I consider Google a smart company.

    But I don't think they have manage this project very well.

    Instead of going trough 150000 suggestion and let the
    public vote for 16 made-up projects.

    They should have used the wisdom of the crowd to vote for the 150000 suggestions
    and have the advisory board chose between the top 100.

    What I would like to see is a open funding network.

    Where people can post ideas like this, vote on there favorite projects
    and where funds can find and support this projects.

    ps. yes, I did submit this idea to 10^100.

    It would have been better if they

    • Ha ha! You're kidding right? Most reasonable people make up the smallest part of the community. So a simple vote, more likely to be not very reasonable. For this reason Google reserves the last word. Besides, this is not an election for you: here the candidates can not agitate for themselves and prove their case. Then each voter himself must view the entire list and think independently, what of that best. And how do you imagine reading 150000 offers each of the voting? It is not realistic.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by artbrock ( 1644909 )

      Yeah... 154,000 world-changing ideas turned into 16 vague paragraphs of crap.

      This is totally doable. Rather than propose a wisdom of the crowd project to Google, let's just do it. Maybe we can get many of the original submitters to send resubmit their entries. I still have mine.

      We wouldn't want to use old-fashioned "vote for your favorite" methods because it would produce crap results completely skewed by Pareto Effect, But I think there are some real/viable options for approaching this in a manner which w

      • I am on board, If we can find some funding for this.

        I am a freelance programmer from Denmark.
        Have done a lot of web programing with c/c++,php and sql.

        Also I have made a new type of polls,
        which I call eigenpolls, it might be something we can use. []

        What is your skill set ?

  • My vote was for social entrepreneurship; my filter words were "petty magnates".

    I was disappointed by a number of the options, primarily because they would essentially establish more NGOs that relied, ultimately, on governmental action to make a difference (better tax structure, genocide awareness, etc); the same governments who have shown time and time again that they simply will not react to these problems, no matter how blatant the evidence. I chose social entrepreneurship because it is an outwardly dist

    • I voted for the trouble ticket system. Google would run it, of course, "for free" (thereby knowing what the people want before the governments do) It's one that they have a strong motivation to implement. It can of course be used to hoodwink the public because it lets you know how well your misinformation is working, but it can also be used to point out what problems affect the lives of people daily and assign them simple numerical values by which they can be ranked.

  • Hey (Score:1, Troll)

    by geekoid ( 135745 )

    my idea is there!

  • Originally, Google planned to select 100 finalists to choose from... the people who actually submitted their ideas. Now, with just 16 broad categories, its like the project has lost some of its impact. While Google always said they would ultimately choose the organization best fit to handle the ideas that won, I was looking forward to seeing all of the neat ideas that others put forth, as well as the potential of small-scale/individual projects being launched to a whole new level.

    Of course, my opinion
  • Whatever happened to Google's second Android contest?

  • A collection of inspirational clichés. Made me think of the Miss America interviews.

  • Since the Google 10^100 contest has descended into obvious bullshit and has turned out to be a waste of time (silly us, thinking they were serious about this effort), I hereby propose that we use up Slashdot's storage and bandwidth by posting our rejected ideas here. My idea isn't anything special, but the rules were that it had to be done with a modest grant (I loved the ones about using VTOL aircraft and passenger airships, yeah, that sounds cheap). Anyway here is my idea:

    After a severe or prolonged
    • Someday Google will merge with Barack Obama to form a benevolent world government. Is it too late for me to suggest investing in that?
  • I didn't enter the contest, but I would have liked some entry that would involved altering world culture to promote a higher ethical code. This is such a vague concept but ever meet a kid who's parents constantly teach them what is right or wrong and why? This kinda of concept would encompass a culture change where societies would agree on common ethics and morals that transcend religions and cultures in the interest of advancing the spiritual state of mankind. Sounds goofy? Maybe it is.. but it can lead t
  • The participants had better be careful; if their entries - submitted to google, solicited by google - happen to redistribute trademarked Google property in any way such as names, logos, or interaction with google services, they'll just slap them with a Cease and Desist letter shortly after awarding the prize money.

  • I like the real world bug tracker option.

    What kind of ads could you put on that... We see you're submitting a report about an aggravated robbery, have you ever considered bodyguards from Blackwater? You found some insider trading, maybe you need a new accounting firm!

  • I just realized I'd wasted my vote (see below) and was going to try to change it. The second time I loaded the list, the entries came in a different order. As obvious as that might be to me and other people here, you don't see it very often on the net.

    Anyway. How did I waste my vote? I had voted for "Create real-world issue reporting system". Entirely my fault, I thought they wanted to create a bug tracker / issue tracker for real world issues. Nice idea, but it was all in my head, I hadn't read the details

  • Most of the ideas are worthy, but I don't think any of them are truly inspired, you would think that with 150,000 people to choose from there would be 16 inspired & original ideas, but apparently not, unless the judges deliberately choose the least inspired.

    As it happened I submitted an idea, which I though was cheap and potentially useful, though it never appeared it is at least original, simple and potential useful. When ever there are natural or man-made disasters you get notice boards where people

  • Basically, that sums up half the ideas.
    Too bad people can't realize what Africa needs are better thinkers, philosophers and politicians, or ways to prevent those from fleeing elsewhere.

  • Half the clips in that video dealt with alternative energy sources (wave, wind, etc), yet there is no such category to vote on??

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.