NASA tries to free creativity with Big Data Challenge

NASA and a couple other government agencies have kicked off a series of TopCoder challenges designed to find innovative solutions to the government’s big data problems. The first contest is all about making disparate, incompatible data sets usable and actually valuable across agencies.

Space hackathon: Coders set to compete on NASA/DARPA project

DARPA and NASA are sponsoring a challenge run by the MIT Space Systems Laboratory, TopCoder, and Aurora Flight Sciences that will invite coders to write a computer program that enables a satellite to dock with a space object that is tumbling in geosynchronous orbit.

Truveo: Here’s $100,000 to Help Us Do Our Job

Apparently searching video is really hard, as market leader Truveo today declared a competition to help it find new video search applications. And the prize? $100,000 in cold, hard cash.

The problem with video search is not just difficult technology, but usage habits — or more specifically, the challenge of getting people to use your product. So it makes sense that Truveo would be focusing on “customized applications that use Truveo‚Äôs open API,” as it said in a press release announcing the challenge, which is being put on through TopCoder.

The prize money may not be a huge draw, though, considering it will be divvied to death. Nine winners will get $10,000 and 20 more just $500. The deadline is July 21 and the winners will be announced July 31, after factors such as usage statistics, innovation as determined by judges, and community voting are considered.

Entrants also have to give up some rights to enter, such as preventing TopCoder and Truveo from producing, using and promoting what they make.