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Google Struggles To Give Away $10 Million 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the catch-you-tomorrow dept.
theodp writes "On Google's 10th Birthday in 2008, the search giant promised $10 million to the best five ideas for using technology to improve the world, through Project 10^100. CNN reports that while Google's intentions were good, of course, the company's follow-through leaves much to be desired. Google announced the cash prize contest in September 2008 and closed public voting on 16 finalists chosen from over 150,000 ideas in October 2009. Over eight months later, the company has yet to announce the winners. 'While genocide and other pressing problems relentlessly advance,' remarked contest finalist Daniel Meyerowitz to Wired.com, 'it would seem that Project 10^100 does not.'"
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Google Struggles To Give Away $10 Million

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  • Maybe... (Score:4, Funny)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:20AM (#32839614) Journal

    They can't find the winners?

    • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:34AM (#32839790)
      Maybe they could try Googling their names?
    • They've sent hundreds of cars around the world taking pictures in all directions every 12 feet or so.

      And they STILL can't find em?

    • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Funny)

      by bberens (965711) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:59AM (#32840128)
      Well, the system which counts the votes is still in Beta.
      • They haven't yet resolved the hanging chad ambiguity problem.
      • by billcopc (196330)

        Nah they just licensed Diebold's tech, which resulted in negative fractions, so they instead took 10 million from some unsuspecting Floridian.

    • Re:Maybe... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Cytotoxic (245301) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:05AM (#32840222)

      Asked and answered - from the FAQ:

      Q: Why did this take so long (original deadline was mid-January)?

      A: When we put out our initial call for ideas, we didn't expect so many, over 150,000! Reviewing each idea -- and we really did review each and every idea -- took a long time, and also forced us to revisit how this project would work. Ultimately, we recognized that many of the ideas we'd received were similar and could be strengthened by being combined with other ideas. The result is the top 16 finalist ideas. We know this took a long time and is organized a little differently from what we originally envisioned, but we hope that the solutions we ultimately arrived at will allow the greatest number of our interested users to have a real impact.

      • by dzfoo (772245)

        So Google puts up a contest offering $10M USD and didn't think they'll get everyone and their dog submitting entries? C'mon!

                dZ.

      • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by severoon (536737) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @01:00PM (#32841846) Journal
        Google is a horrible company! Remember the time they offered up $10M to improve the sad lot of humanity and it took them longer than expected to make sure the money was put to best use? They're just like Hitler!
  • Not Good Enough (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BiggoronSword (1135013) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:21AM (#32839628) Homepage Journal
    Maybe Google just didn't think the ideas were good enough to meet the requirement of "using technology to improve the world."
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      With finalists like "making engineering and science 'cool'" I'd love to see what ideas didn't make the cut.
      • by Haffner (1349071)
        "making engineering and science 'cool' to girls" was probably deemed too lofty a goal.
    • Re:Not Good Enough (Score:5, Interesting)

      by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:37AM (#32839848)

      I don't buy that for a second, I think google's problem is underestimating the $ required to actually _do anything_ suggested by the 150,000+ people that makes those things they suggested worthwhile.

    • Sheesh, don't you people know how Google works by now? Obviously the contest is still in beta. The winners will be announced once the project has gone to full release.

  • Where are the 16 finalists listed at? I don't see them mentioned anywhere on the google site for this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by enoyls (729779)
      There are 16 ideas [project10tothe100.com]. I agree it could be clearer but those might be the finalists.
      • by MacWiz (665750)

        So, contrary to the headline, Google isn't struggling to give away the $10 million. They're just struggling with the decision of who the recipients will be.

    • Re:16 finalists? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:29AM (#32839746) Journal

      Nevermind, I found them, under "Ideas". No wonder Google hasn't given out any money, the ideas are really terrible.

      "Create a single world bank or supra-national currency, uniform rules and transparent public accounting"

      Oh yeah, that's a great fucking idea.

      • Re:16 finalists? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:55AM (#32840048) Journal

        Create a single world bank or supra-national currency, uniform rules and transparent public accounting

        Wait, isn't that already in [wikipedia.org] the [imf.org] works [independent.co.uk]? Well, probably not the transparent public accounting, but global currency is definitely on the mind of our global rulers.

      • by stanlyb (1839382)
        Wait a minute, ain't this the reality right now? Congrats man, you won the contest, lol.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        * Encourage positive media depictions of engineers and scientists
        * Enhance science and engineering education
        * Make educational content available online for free
        * Drive innovation in public transport

        and.... *rolls 1d12*

        My cousin asked me what I was studying in school, I decided to be vague in my response: "Engineering"
        Her response?

        "You're going to work on cars!?!"

        Our theory on the thought process is... Hear: "Engine#@$@#$" Think: "Cars have engines!"
        I don't think she's technically related by blood, so I don'

      • by eln (21727)
        To be fair, that's not the actual idea, that's just one of the suggestions that inspired the idea. The actual idea is more reasonable, although it's so vague and contains so many different ideas in one that I don't know how you would go about implementing it even with unlimited funds, much less a measly $10 million. The only part of it that sounds like it could actually be done with $10 million, the banking from mobile devices, is already being done by several banks.

        All of the ideas are vague and at le
      • by Xest (935314) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:21AM (#32840402)

        I wish I'd entered now. My "Free HD porn for everyone" idea would've been in with a chance of first place after all :(

        • by dward90 (1813520)
          HD porn is a terrible idea. There are some things in life which shouldn't be seen in fine detail.
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        As pointed out in other posts, the rules were so vague that it sounds plausible that smart people would refuse to put good ideas there.
      • Re:16 finalists? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Crazy Taco (1083423) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @12:21PM (#32841262)

        Nevermind, I found them, under "Ideas". No wonder Google hasn't given out any money, the ideas are really terrible.

        No kidding. These are some of the WORST ideas I've ever seen, for a couple for reasons.

        1. They are really vague with no specific ideas on how to accomplish any of them. It's unclear how ten million would help any of them to happen, or even what the money would be spent on.
        2. They don't even make sense half the time. Take this one for instance "Help social entrepreneurs drive change". What the heck is that supposed to be? What is a "social entrepreneur"? Anyone who knows what an entrepreneur is knows there isn't any such thing. The google picture representing it was a guy standing around idly blowing flower petals [project10tothe100.com], which is a pretty apt depiction of this supposedly great idea.

        Kudos to google if they keep their money and pay nothing out for any of these. The money will be put to much better use if google uses it to develop more products and services instead.

        Side Note: As a freedom loving individual who believes in limited government and free markets, I'd actually rather see the money burned than used for most of these ideas... "Work towards social conscious tax policies"? I might puke...

        • Re:16 finalists? (Score:5, Informative)

          by CraftyJack (1031736) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @12:52PM (#32841744)
          This one blew my mind:

          Create a minefield-clearing machine that works by simply "rolling" across landmine-suspected areas and detonating mines.

          It [wikipedia.org] exists. [wikipedia.org]

          • Yeah, and they already have simulators installed for these on, like, every computer!

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I can never find the link I want but an even more graceful solution exists in the form of a spider-robot the ends of whose legs are constructed of bamboo. It walks, it plants legs hard, mines go off, bamboo is destroyed, then replaced. Bamboo grows all too fast in many situations so this is a very plausible design. It's also pretty light, so cheap to ship.

            It seems to me like some kind of portable ground-penetrating RADAR would be a nice thing to combine with same... Maybe on taller 'bots whose purpose isn't

        • Take this one for instance "Help social entrepreneurs drive change". What the heck is that supposed to be? What is a "social entrepreneur"? Anyone who knows what an entrepreneur is knows there isn't any such thing.

          All I read when I saw that was "Let self-important blogosphere blowhards blow harder without having to worry about a source of income." Just what the world needs, more bloggers circle jerking...

  • Priorities? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IBBoard (1128019) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:23AM (#32839652) Homepage

    I think the guy gets it right with the priorities in his quote by making a poor comparison:

    'While genocide and other pressing problems relentlessly advance,' remarked contest finalist Daniel Meyerowitz to Wired.com, 'it would seem that Project 10^100 does not.'

    Given that most of the major "pressing problems" (like genocide) can't easily be resolved with technology and need simple discussion and agreement, why not ditch the unimportant and stalled competition in favour of putting the money into the pressing problems?

    • Re:Priorities? (Score:4, Informative)

      by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:30AM (#32839758)

      why not ditch the unimportant and stalled competition in favour of putting the money into the pressing problems?

      The problem isn't that they've given out the money to the wrong people, it's that they haven't given it out at all, and they've stopped answering questions or discussing it. It's like Google has completely forgotten about the project.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Indeed, $10 million isn't really enough to do any of those completely. But it would be a start, and for some of those ideas, that money would go quite some way, to at least some sort of pilot program.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DerekLyons (302214)

        It's like Google has completely forgotten about the project.

        Which really shouldn't surprise anyone. Google has, as far as I can tell, a short attention span and a tendency to easily be distracted by shiny things.

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:16AM (#32840348) Journal
          Be fair. Once I announced that I would be leveraging the social graph and web2.0 crowdsourced collaboration to enable grassroots Ethnic Cleansing Beta, Google acquired me for a juicy pile of stock almost immediately.

          Microsoft responded by announcing the imminent release of an enterprise-grade PurityPoint Ethnicity rights management server, complete with robust AD integration, and a bookburning management console snap-in to allow administrators to easily purge documents from SharePoint, or delegate purging rights to their most depraved henchmen. Unfortunately, their truth_and_reconcilation_ml, an ostensibly open-standard XML-based atrocity documentation markup language turned out to be a ghastly quasi-proprietary mess, rammed through ECMA...
          • That's not only one of the funnier things I've read on Slashdot, it has a significant ring of truth. :)

            • At least for companies that have distinctive "styles" it can be amusing to try to imagine their naming conventions, architectural decisions, preferred partner companies, and so forth applied to completely incongruous areas.

              Were they to enter this particular market, Google really would crow about how their breakthrough "machete-reduce" algorithm allows large genocide tasks to be broken down and distributed across thousands of low-cost commodity actors. And Microsoft actually would respond with something a
        • by oodaloop (1229816)
          Yeah, my guess is that the person who was running this moved on to something else, left the company, etc, and no one took ownership of it after he left. Meanwhile, those higher up are more concerned with making money, not giving away money.
          • Yeah, my guess is that the person who was running this moved on to something else, left the company, etc, and no one took ownership of it after he left Meanwhile, those higher up are more concerned with making money, not giving away money.

            I think you've hit the real problem pretty closely... There's nobody steering the ship. I mean, Google has their infamous "army of PhD's" - but above the "company" level (in that army), there seems to be nobody in charge. Nobody making decisions and making them stick a

    • Of course, Meyerowitz's allegedly-winning idea was to use technology to map genocide events in real time and use the info to "provide early warning" of new genocide locations, assist relief organizations, etc. That's worth putting money into and would be, essentially, "putting money into the pressing problem" as you said.

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        Isn't that "do what international aid is supposed to do"?

        Also, if you can map genocide in real time then a) why not put in more effort and intervene? b) how do you get hold of the data that quickly? and c) (slightly flippantly) if the answer to b) is people on the scene then your genocidal group aren't doing that good a job anyway.

        • I assumed it would be a crowdsourcing approach like Ushahidi [ushahidi.com], where the public sends in reports of violence via mobile phone, usually simple text messaging. Initially developed for the post-election violence in Kenya, Wikipedia notes [wikipedia.org] that it has also been used "to track anti-immigrant violence in South Africa... violence in eastern Congo... pharmacy stockouts in several East African countries... monitor elections in Mexico and India... [and by Al Jazeera] to collect eyewitness reports during the 2008-2009 G

      • Re:Priorities? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ephemeriis (315124) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:04AM (#32840204)

        Of course, Meyerowitz's allegedly-winning idea was to use technology to map genocide events in real time and use the info to "provide early warning" of new genocide locations, assist relief organizations, etc. That's worth putting money into and would be, essentially, "putting money into the pressing problem" as you said.

        Except that it's a pretty lousy idea.

        I mean... Sure, genocide is bad and all... And stopping or at least reducing it would be good... But how the hell do you think technology is going to assist here?

        Who is going to report the genocide events? Are we going to design a new gun or something that phones home when used for genocide? And what's the genocide threshold? And who's going to maintain the hardware? And what's the penalty for not using one of the new anti-genocide rifles when you commit your atrocities? And then what's going to happen once we've got this data mapped in realtime? We're just going to look at the maps and say wow, that's a lot of genocide? Is somebody supposed to act on that data? Or is it just supposed to provide awareness?

        It seems to me that you can already create custom overlays in things like Google Earth and Google Maps. Seems to me that there are plenty of ways to distribute information. Seems to me that we don't really need $10 million worth of new technology. What we need is willingness to act on all the atrocities that we are currently aware of.

        • It isn't really sexy tech(though visualization of its results might be), which may well be why Google isn't too interested; but there has actually been a lot of social science research on genocide, the conditions under which it occurs, whether it can be predicted based on demographic and economic data, and so forth.

          The "hey, let's draw some pretty pictures of what is already happening" concept is largely vacuous; but there is actually reasonably good reason to suspect that genocides should be substantial
          • there is actually reasonably good reason to suspect that genocides should be substantially predictable

            Genocide is performed by people. If we killed all of the people, there would be no genocides.

            • Actually, there's an easier way. I'm liable to commit genocide in the near future. If Google gives me $10 million, I'll make sure I don't.

              Laugh all you want, but that $10 million would do more good for the world in my hands than where it is now...
          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            But would the real-time visualization really help? Most human problems seem to come from need, or the fear of need. This group is taking what is mine so we must stop them or this group has what I need so we must kill them and get it because our need is so great.

            Remove the need and or the need and you will stop a lot of the problems.
            You have other causes like racial hate but I doubt that money will fix that.

        • I'm going to quote a post of my own:

          I assumed it would be a crowdsourcing approach like Ushahidi [ushahidi.com], where the public sends in reports of violence via mobile phone, usually simple text messaging. Initially developed for the post-election violence in Kenya, Wikipedia notes [wikipedia.org] that it has also been used "to track anti-immigrant violence in South Africa... violence in eastern Congo... pharmacy stockouts in several East African countries... monitor elections in Mexico and India... [and by Al Jazeera] to collect eyew

        • by Jedi Alec (258881)

          I mean... Sure, genocide is bad and all... And stopping or at least reducing it would be good... But how the hell do you think technology is going to assist here?

          These days everyone and their dog in the western world has a mobile phone with a camera function...and as an inevitable result pretty much every incident of police/military crossing the line(or being perceived as doing so) makes it straight from the phone to youtube where everyone can see it.

          So think about it...how do we empower people in those par

        • by epp_b (944299)
          C'mon, that's not fair. I mean, do you really expect the general public to think critically and actually consider the implications? That's just nonsense!
    • by BobZee1 (1065450)
      Pressing problems like my drive of 90 miles one-way to work each day. If I only had about $75,000 in cash "money-money", I could pay off my current house and have a decent down payment for a house within walking distance. I don't ask for much. I am a simple man. I wonder if I could just raffle my current house...
    • by tnk1 (899206)

      We each make contributions based on what we are best at. There are always going to be people who are better at going out to various places and working with impoverished people directly, or standing in front of tanks, or getting pictures of people in front of tanks. That shouldn't preclude us from turning our attention to various issues in the industry that we are in.

      I find it amusing when some people appear to have the idea that the Internet will cure poverty if can only just get everyone on it. Having s

    • by lymond01 (314120)

      can't easily be resolved with technology and need simple discussion and agreement

      See, now here's where Adobe Connect really shines!

      Err, Microsoft Office Communicator with Whiteboard?

      Pidgin?

      Can't say I didn't try...

    • Given that most of the major "pressing problems" (like genocide) can't easily be resolved with technology and need simple discussion and agreement

      I have bad news. Simple discussion and agreement doesn't work, either. :-(

      What might work is about five billion straitjackets, padded rooms and vast amounts of lithium.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I wonder just how much 10 million dollars can do to stop genocide? Is that a problem that money can fix? Honestly folks yes I know all the joke answers like move them but some of the questions I wonder if money can fix.
      My vote would be for the Polywell reactor.
      If that can be made to work then many other problems would be solved very quickly. Fresh water, carbon levels, food production, transportation... All solved for a good long while.
      Of course it will cut the revenue to the middle east and really do a jo

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:29AM (#32839740) Homepage
    After all, almost everything else they do goes through a length beta programme before it's ready; several years in the case of GMail. Why should we expect "Google 10^100 Winner Section Process (Beta)" to be any different?
  • by Banquo (225167) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:31AM (#32839768)

    I looked at the contest and at the time I was considering entering there was just too much of a lack of information. I found it insane that a company that huge running a "contest" with large sums of money involved had a rules/regs sheet that looked like "Dave in shipping" had typed it up. I had several good ideas (vetted by industry professionals) that I finally didn't enter because the "For additional questions send mail here" people never responded to any of my mails asking basic rule/regulation questions (most of the information a serious "inventor" would need was lacking in the 1 page rules sheet they offered. They may have updated by now but I got a bad vibe from this at the start. If you can't even set up the contest right, the followthrough is suspect from the start.

    They had no information at all concerning simple questions such as:

    "Winnings":
    How are the prize winnings distributed (are they administered by google or payed out as services or cash or ? (it never said)

    Intellectual property:
    Is this (they typical)internet VC front where they dole out some prize and in exchange you get all rights to IP and any revenues/future development etc that come from it? The HP "Design our next computer" contest comes to mind. They outsourced years of R&D time to tens of thousands of people on the internet and gave away 1 laptop to 1 person for the privilege of working for them.

    I mean,..at least the Tribecca film "Pitch a movie" contest has the decency to tell you in the rules and regulations that by "winning" you're signing your life away to them.

    • by Monchanger (637670) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:18AM (#32840380) Journal

      The problem with this view is the 10^100 project can not be compared to the standard marketing-based lottery system where a company gives out some large amount of cash in exchange for lots of even-larger revenue.

      "Competing" in 10^100 wasn't about making money by presenting a good idea, cashing out on IP as suggested. Corny as it may sound it was about making the world a better place. You don't get the money just because you proposed the idea, but you could get funded if you had the capacity to follow through on the idea.

      And that's exactly the difficulty I would assume Google ran into. It would a piece of cake to just hand $10M to the Red Cross to help out in Africa. But Google's vision goes beyond this. They were thinking bigger, like coming up with something like the RC and unleashing it as a force of good on the world. That's a hard problem which Google is not built for. It's generally the role of governments and people who have nothing else to do. I doubt Google hired someone specifically to run this project, and maybe that's where the idea fails.

      I'm really glad this is getting publicity because I want Google to go forward with this project. It's a great idea, but unfortunately many people are unable to appreciate the difficulty involved so they'll just complain about Big Bad Google again. It's a damn shame Google hasn't done more to help the world, but to criticize them for only starting? What harm will have Google done by not following through? People gotta remember that most companies don't even care enough to try.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dzfoo (772245)

        >> It's a damn shame Google hasn't done more to help the world, but to criticize them for only starting? What harm will have Google done by not following through? People gotta remember that most companies don't even care enough to try.

        Google is not being criticize for "only starting" to help the world, but for setting this so-called contest for what appears now to be largely a PR stunt, and then brushing it off. In that light, what Google did is perhaps worse than other companies not caring enough.

        • We don't know that 10^100 was strictly done for PR, or even that it was a major component of the decision. Given what we know it was just as likely the altruistic mistake as I mentioned. The "appearance" you mention is your own personal opinion. CNN's story is just as biased, focusing solely on the poor guy who feels entitled to win.

          For some perspective on what bad PR really is...

          PR is Toyota spending millions on TV ads about how safe their cars are during the weeks leading up to the discovery of yet ano

  • here's an idea (Score:1, Interesting)

    by nopainogain (1091795)
    we can use the ancient servers flooding the world's (and my cmompany's)data centers to plug the hole in the gulf of mexico.
  • I have a fix for this along with:

    genocide

    hunger

    crime

    pollution

    war

    greed

    stupidity

    and almost everything else.

    I call it the Dr. Strangelove solution, however I don't think the money will do any good afterwords. Don't worry the cockroaches will survive.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      I have a slightly better one. I'll give you more details, but first I'd like you to invest in my new company, Soylent. We're coming out with a brand new product, it's so hip and modern that we're calling it just "Green".

              -dZ.

  • Significance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by qoncept (599709) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:42AM (#32839906) Homepage

    'While genocide and other pressing problems relentlessly advance,' remarked contest finalist Daniel Meyerowitz to Wired.com, 'it would seem that Project 10^100 does not.'

    Huh? The maggots growing in the disgusting bucket behind my garage are advancing through larval stage. What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Is this guy complaining? Noting? Does he mean "if so-and-so can progress toward the annihilation of a people, why can't Google just pick an entry?" Does he mean that the holdup is making the world a worse place? Does he think mass murder and delaying a contest are comparable?

    • by Svenne (117693)

      I think his point was that the new ideas this contest was supposed to encourage are the things that will combat those kinds of problems.

  • Beta (Score:2, Redundant)

    by whisper_jeff (680366)
    Sorry. The contest is still in beta testing.
  • Maybe they have a tough time finding the winners because all the entries are so lame, they would feel beneath themselves to actually award a winner....??? If you have 1000 morons hand in their projects , do you still award a winner even if that would go below your normal standard of what average contest level should be??? Remember this is the same company that had billboards everywhere of an engineering problem where you had to answer the question in order to even get an interview...

  • Imagine the interest on $10million!

  • Just the FAQs ma'am (Score:5, Informative)

    by webmosher (322834) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <rehsombew>> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:59AM (#32840124) Homepage

    This isn't exactly a "prize". No one who submitted any of the ideas is the intended recipient of any of this money. Google's corporate board (re:advisory committee) will decide what to do with the money, and its going to places where the ideas can be implemented.

    Just a couple of notes from the FAQ:

    How many ideas are you funding?
    We have committed $10 million to fund up to five ideas selected by our advisory board.

    How will Google implement these ideas?
    Once we've announced up to five ideas for funding, we'll begin the process of identifying the organization(s) that are in the best position to help implement the selected ideas.

    How involved will Google be in the implementation of the ideas?
    We didn't focus on ideas that Google would implement alone; instead, we looked for ideas whose implementation will required another organization's expertise or resources. These organizations will be the recipients of the funding grants.

  • Dang, I got an email just the other day saying I won this contest, but I threw it out because it was in all caps!
  • They probably regret offering all that money. Now they realize how stupid everyone's ideas are and are delaying it, hoping SOMEONE will have a good idea that's actually feasible. They should've added "If we decide to use your idea, you will get the money" because now they're kinda stuck giving it to the "least bad" idea hehe.
  • Who is Google supposed to give the money to? They had multiple people submit similar ideas. And what's to stop people from pocketing it, rather than use it to implement the idea?

    Sounds like Google realized that they'd just be handing people a big ole check with no accountability for it.

    Or was Google planning on implementing the ideas themselves?

    • Who is Google supposed to give the money to?

      Existing organizations capable of implementing the ideas selected by Google (which were inspired by the submissions, not necessarily the submissions themselves), which organizations will be identified by Google's board of directors (if any of the submitters end up getting the money, its because they happen to submitting ideas on behalf of organization that could implement them, and got lucky that Google actually picked their organization to do so.)

      And what's to s

  • ...with an article title of "Google Struggles To Give Away $10 Million"? This would imply that Google is just itching to give away the money, but simply can't find anybody willing to bite on their offer.

    Maybe a better title might be "Google Reconsiders Offer To Give Away $10 Million".

    The pro-Google bias here is just astounding.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      Actually, when I first read the headline, I interpreted it as meaning that Google is scraping pennies in order to collect enough money to pay the prize. I don't see how "struggles to" can be interpreted in any positive way for Google.

              -dZ.

  • TED.com (Score:2, Informative)

    by tusam (1851540)
    There's many well thought out ideas floating around at TED, why not just pick one of those?
    Like this one http://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest.html [ted.com] for example, real lasting results with practical amount of money.
  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:54AM (#32840866) Homepage

    'While genocide and other pressing problems relentlessly advance,' remarked contest finalist Daniel Meyerowitz to Wired.com, 'it would seem that Project 10^100 does not.'

    Wow. I love that quote. While it may be true and relevant, at face value, it's perfectly smug and smartass. I've gotta remember to use quotes like that in day-to-day life...

    "While genocide and other pressing problems relentlessly advance, it would seem that my order at Taco Bob's does not."

    "While the plans and schemes of terrorist organizations relentlessly advance, it would seem that this line at the DMV does not."

    "While the oil spill in the gulf relentlessly advances, it would seem that, due in large part to the ladies nearby, my love life does not."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I am particularly amused at how suddenly Google *OWES* everyone the money. Just reading some of the hilariously *offended* sounding comments here, it's like Google not giving them money has destroyed their lives. Fucking hilarious, the sense of entitlement.

      • Uh, when a company gets huge volumes of good press off a promise to do something, involving tens of thousands of people in that process, then yeah, they have an obligation to actually do the one thing that required their input: pick winners and give out the money.

        That "sense of entitlement" we feel is because we, the public, are in fact completely fucking entitled to expect Google to finish the job.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @12:46PM (#32841626) Journal

      While the rating of your comment is relentlessly advancing, it would seem that your karma does not.

  • Yeah, this whole thing was pretty useless except as advertisement for Google.

    If the guys starting Google had relied on one of these grants, would they have received any money in time to make use of it?

    There are plenty of companies, agencies and non-profits out there who manage to give out similar grants yearly. This isn't *that* hard to do.

  • by jazman_777 (44742) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @12:19PM (#32841240) Homepage
    You don't just input money and people and voila! out comes good Science, automatically. Mostly you get fraud and junk and research jobs programs. At least it shows Google is looking for good Science, not just any Science.
    • Nothing indicates that they are busy vetting anything: emails bouncing does not indicate that they are moving slowly because they are committed to the process.

  • Here I thought we had some of the most brilliant people in the world and couldn't figure out why nobody could come up with an idea to stop the oil lead. If Google can't find someone with a brilliant idea to give $10mil to, maybe there isn't anyone smart enough to stop the leak.
  • Time published a long "To Do" list from one of Edison's journals - things like finding a solution for the problem of the long distance telephone call decades before the invention of the vacuum tube.

    An invention of that sort has a real and immediate impact.

    It is commercially viable - and on paper at least - a realistic and obtainable goal for a late 19th century industrial lab.

  • Hungarian news portal made a parody video (in English) about the contest:
    watch [youtube.com]

  • I see my idea for "eliminating duplicate stories from /. by utilizing the built-in search functionality before publishing" didn't make the grade.
  • What's really taken them so long is registering patents for all the good ideas. In a world where information and ideas are money Google has effectively gotten 150,000 people to come to them and hand over all their "e-value" without any form of return. Ten of them will get finanaced, look for Google to have heavy contractual ties to those companies and eventually a majority share in the ones that are expected to "monetise".

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

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