Archive for category Building Snowmobiles

Building Snowmobiles: The Jager Pro MINE Trapping System- Catching Hogs Using A Smart Phone

This is cool and I wanted to do a post about this new evolution in feral hog eradication. Jager Pro is a veteran owned and operated hunting service that specializes in the eradication of feral pigs.

They are also very good at what they do. From using thermal optics on AR 10 type rifles and hunting these animals at night, to using high tech trapping methods like the MINE trapping system. Because it is a private business, they must find ways of making eradication profitable in order to sustain that business. So they do guided hunts and they sell traps like the MINE system.

What is unique about this system is that it gives trappers all over the country a better tool in the game of capturing these pigs. With the MINE system, you can actually observe and control a trap from thousands of miles away, all with a smart phone. The trap sends a text message via a ‘cellular control box’, when the trap detects movement. Then the trapper can turn on their camera and see how many pigs are actually in the trap. That is a crucial element of this system.

Current traps have very crude trigger mechanisms used to close the trap doors.  This results in only capturing a few pigs, which usually are the young and dumb pigs, and this contributes to the avoidance education of the adult hogs. Pigs use point men as well, and the videos below show how they operate in order to survive. lol

Research has shown that inefficient trapping methods, such as small traps that catch only one or two hogs, lead to avoidance education of adult hogs and continued expansion of the unwanted population.

Below I have posted one of these videos that Jager Pro hads put up about what they are doing. Most of all, it goes into the mental process and intense research that Jager Pro goes through when approaching this problem. They are analyzing and synthesizing–or building snowmobiles.

Of course the method works, and it is being spread to other regions of the country because of it’s effectiveness.

A trapping program designed to concentrate, gradually acclimate – and eventually capture and kill – entire “sounder” social groups of hogs has proven successful and is now in use in 11 states, he told farmers and landowners during a presentation at Millhaven Plantation in Screven County.

Think of this angle as well. Meat processing sites demand that the wild pigs they get should be alive, and thus pay more for living animals. If a trapper can capture an entire sounder group alive, that is money in his pocket.  So this little technological advancement on a basic trap, has the potential to dramatically change the business of trapping–making it more profitable.

This is a great example of the power of Offense Industry as it applies to culling animals. Jager Pro is innovating and continuously improving upon what they do, and I believe they have introduced a disruptive technology for use against these animals. –Matt



JAGER PRO M.I.N.E.™ Trapping System
(Manually Initiated Nuisance Elimination)

JAGER PRO conducted three years of research and filmed 500+ hours of video to test multiple trapping methods since traps have emerged in a variety of gate designs, materials, sizes and shapes. Our goals were to document pig behavior and also quantify the capture success of each method tested. Results of our research can be viewed on video. Each month we release a new five-minute trapping video of lessons learned via our newsletter and YouTube Channel. Viewers can understand the most effective trapping methods by watching feral hogs react to various trap gates and enclosures.

Our trapping standard is 100% capture of the entire sounder group. There have been few published studies to determine the most efficient or the most cost effective trap design needed to accomplish this task in order to successfully reduce agricultural and environmental damage of wild hogs. Our definition of efficient is to spend the least amount of time, labor and fuel to accomplish 100% capture. Our definition of cost effective is to spend the least amount of money to accomplish these same results.

The most efficient design in our research was a large corral trap (35’ diameter) using six 16-56™ trap panels, an automatic feeder and an eight feet wide M.I.N.E.™ gate closed by a remote control device. This method of trapping allowed us to capture entire sounder groups with the push of a button while onsite or viewing cellular pictures or live video from another location. Timers were set to broadcast feed every day at the exact same time. Cameras captured live video footage of hogs entering the trap enclosure until the entire sounder was conditioned to use the feeder as a daily food source. A human made an educated decision to close the gate using this method. This approach was our most efficient trapping method and demonstrated whole sounder removal in less than eight days every time. This method was also more expensive to operate because it required the use of a cellular camera for remote “text” pictures or a cell modem for IP streaming live video. These technologies are currently available through JAGER PRO™ sales

The most cost effective design in our research utilized the same large corral trap (35’ diameter) explained above using six 16-56™ trap panels, an automatic feeder and an eight feet wide M.I.N.E.™ gate but was closed by an electronic trip wire. This method of trapping still required us to condition the hogs to trust the enclosure as a food source but used less expensive game cameras to capture video footage of hogs entering the trap area. This required trappers to visit the trap site every few days to observe video on the camera’s SD cards. Electronic trip wires were then set at the back of the trap so hogs would trigger the gate closed while feeding which demonstrated an overall 87% success rate. This method was the most cost effective but required much more time, labor and fuel to operate while producing lesser results.

Video intelligence is preferred over single pictures to receive the most complete feedback. Camera must be positioned opposite the trap gate to properly view hogs still outside the enclosure. Trap gate must be a minimum of eight feet wide with no visible frame to step over. Narrow gate thresholds and frames on the ground will prevent a trap-shy adult from entering a trap. Late winter months (December-March) provides the optimum trapping opportunity when hogs were searching for new food sources after the fall mast crops of acorns and hickory nuts are eaten. Round traps provide the largest trap area for materials used and there are no corners for the animals to pile up and jump out. Trapping is a very effective control method for removing large numbers of feral hogs if the task is performed correctly.

Tags: , , , , ,

Building Snowmobiles: Institutions Vs. Collaboration… And The Strength Of Offense Industry

In this deal I wanted to highlight the Power Law concept and the Pareto principle (80-20 rule) mentioned by Clay Shirky at around 8:30 in the TED video below. To me, this is an important element of Offense Industry, and it also shows how the collaborative nature of Offense Industry is able to compete against enemies that use institutions for warfighting.

Specifically, I wanted to highlight the actions of privateers during the war of 1812 versus the British Royal Navy. One group is a collaborative effort, and the other was an institution. At the end of the day, the collaborative effort of the privateers being focused on merchants and other valuable British prizes, ended up contributing greatly to the overall success of the war effort. And yet, there was no admiral coordinating the privateer attacks, no institution that dictated how each privateer operated other than a license (letter of marque) giving them authority, and there was room in this offense industry for the top performers all the way down to the one hit wonders.

Privateers during that time period also seem to exhibit a power law, 20-80 type effort. There were the privateers that were the top performers (20 percent that captured most of the prizes), and then there were the long tail of privateers who would get a prize here and there (one hit wonders or 80 percent). This entire grouping of privateers ended up accomplishing quite a lot, and at no cost the US government. Actually, the government made money off of these privateers and usually collected about 10 percent from each prize taken, which then went back into the war chest to further fund ‘institutions’ like the navy.

This system also rewards the top 20 percent, but still gives hope to those that are part of the effort. But governments that utilize the privateering system should know that those 20 percent are crucial to your effort, and every effort should be given to identifying and working with this 20 percent so they continue to be successful. A government should also be aware of the 80 percent and understand their place in the effort as well.

It should also be noted that the US Navy only had 23 ships during the war and the total registered amount of privateers was 517. Likewise, privateers were able to capture 1300 prizes and the navy was able to capture 254. Yet privateers funded their own vessels and self organized, whereas the navy was an institution requiring investment by the US. This is expensive and time consuming and obviously the US was not able to raise an adequate Navy in time for this war.

So instead, the US depended upon the ‘collaborative’ strength and cost effectiveness of a privateering system to accomplish the task of attacking British commerce and logistics.  To me, this collaborative nature of offense industry is it’s strength. I also wanted to identify this strength and archive it for future discussions about Offense Industry. You can also see that the more inclusive and massive the privateering system is, the more effective that privateering system will be at gaining prizes. It’s a numbers game, and institutions will have a hard time competing with that.

You could also apply this concept to what is happening in the arab spring. You have people who are part of a collaborative effort to overthrow their government and it’s ‘institutions’. These collaborative efforts follow the power law curve as well, and you will have the top performers and the one hit wonders throughout the effort, and the overall results of that effort equate to great accomplishments and the overthrow of dictators. Interesting stuff and the video below is definitely worth your time to watch. –Matt


Tags: , , , , ,

Building Snowmobiles: How A Cabling-Installation Tool Is Being Used To Disable IED’s In Afghanistan

This is a neat little deal that I wanted to put up as a Building Snowmobiles post. Partly because it is an innovation, and partly because it is a cheap solution used to defeat a cheap weapon. I also wanted to give some kudos to the troops who are out there and innovating and creating their own ‘snowmobiles’ to defeat the enemy.

With this tool, they can probe for wires in the ground from 26 ft away with a telescoping rod and a hook attached to the end.  So for those scenarios where an IED emplacement is possible because the area is suspicious, an EOD specialist could probe for wires. When wires are found, he could cut them, and then the squad could follow both ends to the bomb and then to the IED team location. (please consult EOD or ‘those in the field’ first before using this tool, just so you know exactly how things are done!)

Now what would really be cool is for the innovator that thought this thing up, to come forward and claim some credit. Or at least give their invention a catchy name?

I also wanted to point out that innovations like this is something that happens out in the field due to analysis and synthesis, trial and error, and just plain old luck. This was not a solution that came from thousands of miles away, developed in some office by a company paid millions of dollars or by some government think tank. Nor was this innovation ‘ordered’ by some officer or higher command. Nope. Innovations like this come from individuals who are trying to survive and gain an edge on the battlefield. Their lives depend upon ‘finding the better way’, all so they can defeat the enemy and get back home alive. And this solution was cheap, simple, and effective…..perfect.

This is also the kind of thing that should be encouraged and rewarded by command and by today’s military. It should also be something that squad leaders and small unit leadership should encourage and seek out. The problem solvers of a squad should not be shut out, and a leader should do all they can to encourage innovations and discussions about innovations. A solution could come at any time, and from anybody, and leaders should be quick to jump on that gold and give that individual credit.

Ego or whatever you want to call it, has no place in this process (doom on those leaders that shut everyone out and propose that only ‘their’ ideas are the best) Use the creative juices of the entire team, include everyone in the process, and cheer that on as a leader. That is if you want to win, and in some cases, keep everyone alive and in one piece.

This particular innovation is just one example of how important ‘building snowmobiles’ can be to individuals who risk life and limb out there. Find the solution, no matter how crazy, how ridiculous, how radical, how funny, or whatever. Open your mind to the problem, and saturate/incubate/illuminate to find a solution. Get feedback and borrow brilliance. Avoid group think and confirmation bias. Question authority and the status quo. Use mimicry strategy. Stay focused and work on your Kaizen. Seek to destroy dogma and create a better plan/idea. (destruction and creation a la Boyd) Etc….

Pretty cool and bravo to the guy(s) who thought up this battlefield innovation. –Matt



Pikes Defeat Bombs
July 6, 2012: Given the incentives (life or death) it should come as no surprise that combat troops are very innovative in coming up with new battlefield tools.. One recent example was the development of an improvised “spear” for exposing and cutting wires the Taliban would use to set off roadside bombs. Three years ago, some soldier or marine (most likely the latter) figured out that one could take long (up to 8.4 meter/26 foot) fiberglass poles (normally used to help install communications or electrical wires), tape a sharp, curved blade to them and then use it to poke around an area possibly containing a roadside bomb detonating wire, without getting shot by the Taliban team waiting to set off the bomb. Once you found the wire, and cut it, you could find and disable the bomb itself. The Taliban detonation team would, by then either have run away, been captured or killed.
The manufacturer of the fiberglass poles, which come in three sections, became curious after more and more orders for the poles came from army and marine combat units in Afghanistan. These outfits normally did not do a lot of cable installation, and when asked what they were doing, the troops explained their innovative use of the poles.
As a bonus, the captured Taliban expressed great anger at their cleverly concealed bombs having been defeated by some poles with knives taped to one end. They expect more high tech from the American and don’t like being defeated by weapons any Afghan tribesman could build.
Story here.
US troops score win against IEDs in Afghanistan
July 6, 2012
Almost afraid to say it out loud, lest they jinx their record, U.S. troops in Afghanistan achieved one small but important victory over the past year: They found and avoided more homemade bombs meant to kill and maim them than a year ago, thanks to a surge in training, equipment and intelligence.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Building Snowmobiles: The Quadrotor EFP

This is a pretty awesome combination of technologies if you ask me. A quadrotor of the size necessary to carry an EFP, programmed with all the necessary system controls to make it precise and maneuverable, and armed with an EFP that can be aimed at an engine block or the driver of a vehicle.

Plus, an EFP can penetrate armor (40 mm from 25 ft for the SLAM), and with the quadrotor EFP, you could target from multiple angles depending on the amount of munitions you have, the terrain, the weather, the targets and the mission. This is another Drone Archer weapon to look at, and it’s possible uses are many.

So here are some pieces to combine, just to fire up the imagination. These are not the final solutions or pieces to this ‘snowmobile’, but at least you can get the idea of what we are going for here. Please list better devices and pieces if you are interested.

First is the Control Systems or brains of the thing. If you have been watching those incredible quadrotor videos I have posted lately, then this TED describes the ‘how’ for these things. Very impressive.



Next would be the quadrotor itself. The Draganflyer x8 can carry 2.2 pounds and has a gyro stabilized, servo controlled mount for a camera. (or EFP in this case)



And finally, the munitions. I like the SLAM munitions. (which is 2.2 pounds–oh how convenient? lol)



Put them all together and you have the Quadrotor EFP.

As to the ideas of how to use such a device, I will leave that up to the minds and imaginations of the reader. From ambushes on armored columns and motorcades, to anti-material missions, to taking out individuals-there are many uses for such a thing. And because the Quadrotor EFP can be precise, pre-programmed, and remain hidden behind a wall or blocks away on top of some building, it would be very difficult to defend against. Especially if this system was used in a swarm type attack, where the device is used to attack from multiple angles and at erratic moments of the attack. Imagine bees or wasps and how they attack a target.

Or you could use the Quadrotor EFP for very surgical attacks. You could also just park the Quadrotor EFP behind a trash can, and use it like a traditional EFP for an ambush. Maybe it can drop off it’s lethal payload and set the munition. Maybe you want to use for ISR only, and call off your ambush because of whatever reason. Imagine the thing being used at night? Or a swarm at night? Lots of frightening and lethal uses for this weapon….

Now of course with every weapon, there is someone out there thinking of ways to defeat it.  Perhaps a jammer or some device could be used to defeat the Quadrotor EFP. Even counter Quadrotors or some kind of counter-battery system could zap them out of the sky.  Who knows, but these things are a reality and the pieces are all there, so it behooves us to start thinking about this new reality. So with that said, let me know what you think. Do you have a better Quadrotor EFP idea, or do you have ideas on how to defeat this weapon? Maybe you have a radical idea on how to use them for maximum effect? –Matt

Tags: , , , , , ,

Blogs: To Be Or To Do, By J. Scott Shipman

Thanks to zenpundit for posting this. Scott has put together a great little blog and website related to all things Boyd. And you gotta love the title!  So definitely put this on your RSS reader if you are interested in following this stuff and I will put the site on my blog roll. –Matt


Welcome to the To Be or To Do Website and Blog!
January 25, 2012
This website and much of my work was inspired by John Boyd’s professional life-example, his “to be or to do” challenge, and his thoughts on teamwork. However I have included principles that do not apply to Boyd and drawn conclusions that Boyd may well have disagreed with. As I’ve told friends and colleagues, I have taken Boyd’s scaffold, or outline, if you will, and introduced my ideas and experiences. This is the substance of my forthcoming book, To Be or To Do and of my service to clients.
The core of the To Be or To Do material is based on five attributes that exemplified John Boyd’s professional life, plus two. The core Boydian attributes, or principles, are:
No doubt, others could find other laudable attributes, but these principles seemed to define the man for me. The two “extras” are:
By most accounts Boyd was not a particularly humble man, nor optimistic, however I’ve included because I’ve seen the power of these two attributes up close. My late grandfather, Robert F. Shipman, was the most humble man I’ve ever known, and I’m pretty sure he’d be disappointed if I didn’t include humility as an essential principle by which to live. My late mother-in-law, Janet Turney Mulvaney, PhD, succumbed to breast cancer after an eight-year battle. She attributed part of her longevity to “optimism” and impressed upon me that optimism was a key part of a life well lived. On both counts, I agree.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Building Snowmobiles: Recursive Incentive Mechanism For War, Business, And Crime Fighting

It has been awhile since I last did one of these posts. I think this one is a good one and it definitely got my mental juices flowing. In the past, I have talked about Offense Industry and how bounties are a great way to fire up an industry that profits from the destruction of a specific enemy. Well for this deal, the folks at DARPA and MIT came up with a type of bounty system that takes the whole concept to the next level.

Basically what DARPA did was to set up a contest that revolved around time critical social mobilization. The idea here is that they would have these ten red weather balloons located all over the country, and the team that was able to find all ten (or the most) balloons the fastest won. DARPA wanted to see how fast something could be found.

Now why would DARPA be interested in this?  Well if you are a student of warfare and a reader of this blog, you would remember the New Rules of War post. The second rule listed by John Arquilla was ‘finding matters more than flanking’.

Rule 2: Finding Matters More Than Flanking.
Ever since Theban general Epaminondas overloaded his army’s left wing to strike at the Spartan right almost 2,400 years ago at Leuctra, hitting the enemy in the flank has been the most reliable maneuver in warfare. Flank attacks can be seen in Frederick the Great’s famous “oblique order” in his 18th-century battles, in Erwin Rommel’s repeated “right hooks” around the British in North Africa in 1941, and in Norman Schwarzkopf’s famous “left hook” around the Iraqis in 1991. Flanking has quite a pedigree.
Flanking also formed a basis for the march up Mesopotamia by U.S. forces in 2003. But something odd happened this time. In the words of military historian John Keegan, the large Iraqi army of more than 400,000 troops just “melted away.” There were no great battles of encirclement and only a handful of firefights along the way to Baghdad. Instead, Iraqis largely waited until their country was overrun and then mounted an insurgency based on tip-and-run attacks and bombings.
Thus did war cease to be driven by mass-on-mass confrontation, but rather by a hider-finder dynamic. In a world of networked war, armies will have to redesign how they fight, keeping in mind that the enemy of the future will have to be found before it can be fought. To some extent this occurred in the Vietnam War, but that was a conflict during which the enemy obligingly (and quite regularly) massed its forces in major offensives: held off in 1965, defeated in 1968 and 1972, and finally winning in 1975.
In Iraq, there weren’t mass assaults, but a new type of irregular warfare in which a series of small attacks no longer signaled buildup toward a major battle. This is the path being taken by the Taliban in Afghanistan and is clearly the concept of global operations used by al Qaeda.
At the same time, the U.S. military has shown it can adapt to such a fight. Indeed, when it finally improved its position in Iraq, the change was driven by a vastly enhanced ability to find the enemy. The physical network of small outposts was linked to and enlivened by a social network of tribal fighters willing to work with U.S. forces. These elements, taken together, shone a light on al Qaeda in Iraq, and in the glare of this illumination the militants were easy prey for the small percentage of coalition forces actually waging the campaign against them.
Think of this as a new role for the military. Traditionally, they’ve seen themselves largely as a “shooting organization”; in this era, they will also have to become a “sensory organization.”
This approach can surely work in Afghanistan as well as it has in Iraq — and in counterinsurgency campaigns elsewhere — so long as the key emphasis is placed on creating the system needed for “finding.” In some places, friendly tribal elements might be less important than technological means, most notably in cyberspace, al Qaeda’s “virtual safe haven.”
As war shifts from flanking to finding, the hope is that instead of exhausting one’s military in massive expeditions against elusive foes, success can be achieved with a small, networked corps of “finders.” So a conflict like the war on terror is not “led” by some great power; rather, many participate in it, with each adding a piece to the mosaic that forms an accurate picture of enemy strength and dispositions.
This second shift — to finding — has the potential to greatly empower those “many and small” units made necessary by Rule 1. All that is left is to think through the operational concept that will guide them.

So as you can see, finding an enemy that hides amongst the population is crucial if you want to kill or capture him. It is also difficult for just one person to find an enemy, or enemy network. But if you can create a network of people to find one person or an enemy network, then that is gold.  It also lends itself to the concept of ‘it takes a network‘, to defeat a network.

I also think bounty systems, if done correctly, can involve a large portion of the population in the fight or whatever task. It stands to reason that a nation that can fully tap into the people power it has, as opposed to only depending upon select agencies or it’s limited law enforcement resources, will have way more capability when it comes to the task of ‘finding’ someone or something.

There are also examples of private industry and government using bounties or similar incentive mechanisms to find solutions to problems.  The X Prize Foundation is just one example of this kind of incentivizing process. They have held contests for all sorts of amazing deals, and definitely read through their wiki I posted to check those out.

But back to the title of this post and what I wanted to get too. This DARPA competition drew in 50 teams from all over the nation, but it was the MIT team that won the contest. My intent with this post is to highlight their winning strategy and explore other possible uses for their strategy. To basically chalk this one up as a new bounty type system that companies and government could use to great advantage.

What the MIT team did was to create a bounty system that not only paid those that found the balloon, but also paid those that helped in the finding process. And that payment system was flexible, based on how many folks were involved, and how much money was available for the process or was desired to spend. MIT used what is called ‘Recursive Incentive Mechanism’ or RIM, and they blew away the competition with this method.

Here is a description of what they did:

Only MIT’s team found all 10 balloons. To get the recruiting ball rolling, the researchers sent a link for the team’s website to a few friends and several bloggers about 36 hours before the contest began.
Portions of the $40,000 winner’s prize were promised to everyone who contributed to the search. A maximum of $4,000 was allocated to finders of each balloon — $2,000 to the first person to send in the correct balloon location, $1,000 to the person who invited the balloon finder onto the team, $500 to whomever recruited the inviter, and so on.
Participants received about $33,000 for their efforts.
The number of Twitter messages mentioning the MIT team rose substantially the day before the contest and remained elevated until the competition ended, a sign that the reward strategy worked, Pentland says.

It kind of looks like a pyramid scheme of sorts? lol But the power that comes with this, is the involvement of social networks in the finding of something or someone, all with the lure of making some money and spreading the wealth amongst your network. And what is cool, is that this bounty system benefits different types of folks.

You might be really good at recruiting ‘finders’, so of course this system will benefit you. You might be extremely active on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, and whatever, and have a massive network in place to tap into for spreading the word (hence why I post the bounty stuff on the blog from time to time). On Facebook, I could totally see stuff like this spreading like wildfire. So you could be the guy that made money from just spreading the news. Or you could be the one that actually found the balloon, and score that way. All of these actions helped to form an efficient ‘finding system’ that won the contest.

It is the speed at which all of this happened, which is amazing to me and something to ponder.

For war, the way I could see this being used is to create a more efficient bounty hunting system. Either to find enemy combatants, or to find recruits for the war effort. And as the rest of the world continues to be inundated with cell phones, and now smart phones, the ability to really reach out to them, and have them communicate back is there. An effective RIM could be the key to getting people sending in tips, or involving their personal networks for ‘finding’ the enemy, or getting new recruits for a military in need of man power.

For business, and especially our industry, I could see this being used for head hunting. Meaning if a company is looking for a specific type of unique individual, with a certain amount of qualifications and experience, then a recruiter using RIM might be able to find that individual and in a very fast and efficient way. They could also use the formula that Alex Pentland and his team created so that they only spend the amount of money they are willing to use for the finding operation.

A company could also use RIM for finding innovations or even new business.  Especially in today’s economy, and especially with how dangerous the world has become. In other words, a company can incentivize social networks to accomplish their goals.

Finally, for crime fighting, I think it would be interesting to see the Rewards For Justice program utilize RIM. The current bounty system is old and only focuses on the individual tipster. Perhaps RIM could help to fire up that program, and get more of the population involved in finding criminals.  Crime Stoppers could turn to such a system as well, because they too use a very simple bounty system that only caters to individuals.

Interesting stuff, and I think it is a concept worth researching. Also, if you look further into Alex Pentland’s research on ‘reality mining‘, you will see why they were able to come up with the winning system. They were leagues ahead of their peers when it came to understanding the human dynamic, and they knew it. Here is the quote that I liked:

“It was trivial for us to slap together the balloon thing,” says the 58-year-old Pentland. That’s because other groups’ tactics were based on guesswork, he argues. His were based on lessons learned through data-mining research. “We won because we understood the science of incentivizing people to cooperate.”
Since 1998 Pentland has been engaged in an unusual blend of sociology and data mining that he calls “reality mining.” His researchers place sensors that he’s dubbed “sociometers” around hundreds of subjects’ necks and install tracking software into their cellphones, capturing the movements of every individual in a group, whom he or she interacts with, even body language and the tone of his or her voice. Then they mine the resulting reams of data to identify facts as elusive as which member of the group is most productive, who is the group’s real manager or who tends to dominate conversations.
“Data mining is about finding patterns in digital stuff. I’m more interested specifically in finding patterns in humans,” says Pentland, who has a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence and psychology from MIT. “I’m taking data mining out into the real world.”

Very cool and I look forward to your thoughts on RIM? Don’t ask me to interpret the math of the thing though. lol Just read through the paper and if you can understand the proofs, then good on you. All I know is that RIM won the contest, and that is what is most important to this discussion. I also think that Pentland could probably come up with a custom tailored system for war, business, or crime fighting, and perhaps some kind of modified RIM is what he would come up with. Either way, this is the go to guy for Offense Industry. –Matt


Alex Pentland, balloon hunter and MIT 'reality miner'.


Digital bounty hunters unleashed
Online pay strategy quickly coordinates cross-country balloon posse
By Bruce Bower
November 19th, 2011
These days, bounty hunters aren’t deputized, they’re digitized: Online crowd-sourcing strategies to induce masses of people to solve a task, such as locating far-flung items or alleviating world hunger, work best when financial incentives impel participants to enlist friends and acquaintances in the effort, a new study concludes.
In a competition to find 10 red weather balloons placed across the United States, a team of MIT researchers used online social media and a simple reward system to recruit balloon-searchers in the 36 hours preceding the contest. Their pay-based strategy garnered them 4,400 volunteers who located all the balloons in a contest-winning eight hours, 52 minutes.
“Our incentive system offers monetary rewards, but perhaps more importantly it builds social capital between you and the people you recruit, who get an opportunity to participate in something interesting,” says MIT computer scientist Alex Pentland. This strategy could boost the effectiveness of humanitarian and marketing campaigns, Pentland and colleagues conclude in the Oct. 28 Science.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,