Hacker Alert- Darpa project 10$ K for summer

If you bleed red,white and blue and know some geo-spatial analysis ,social network analysis and some supervised and unsupervised learning (and unlearning)- here is a chance for you to put your skills for an awesome project


from wired-



For this challenge, Darpa will lodge a selected six to eight teams at George Mason University and provide them with an initial $10,000 for equipment and access to unclassified data sets including “ground-level video of human activity in both urban and rural environments; high-resolution wide-area LiDAR of urban and mountainous terrain, wide-area airborne full motion video; and unstructured amateur photos and videos, such as would be taken from an adversary’s cell phone.” However, participants are encouraged to use any open sourced, legal data sets they want. (In the hackathon spirit, we would encourage the consumption of massive quantities of pizza and Red Bull, too.)


DARPA Innovation House Project

Home | Data Access | Awards | Team Composition | Logisitics | Deliverables | Proposals | Evaluation Criteria | FAQ


Proposals must be one to three pages. Team resumes of any length must be attached and do not count against the page limit. Proposals must have 1-inch margins, use a font size of at least 11, and be delivered in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Proposals must be emailed to InnovationHouse@c4i.gmu.edu by 4:00PM ET on Tuesday, July 31, 2012.

Proposals must have a Title and contain at least the following sections with the following contents.

  1. Team Members

Each team member must be listed with name, email and phone.
The Lead Developer should be indicated.
The statement “All team members are proposed as Key Personnel.” must be included.

  1. Capability Description

The description should clearly explain what capability the software is designed to provide the user, how it is proposed to work, and what data it will process.

In addition, a clear argument should be made as to why it is a novel approach that is not incremental to existing methods in the field.

  1. Proposed Phase 1 Demonstration

This section should clearly explain what will be demonstrated at the end of Session I. The description should be expressive, and as concrete as possible about the nature of the designs and software the team intends to produce in Session I.

  1. Proposed Phase 2 Demonstration

This section should clearly explain how the final software capability will be demonstrated as quantitatively as possible (for example, positing the amount of data that will be processed during the demonstration), how much time that will take, and the nature of the results the processing aims to achieve.

In addition, the following sections are optional.

  1. Technical Approach

The technical approach section amplifies the Capability Description, explaining proposed algorithms, coding practices, architectural designs and/or other technical details.

  1. Team Qualifications

Team qualifications should be included if the team?s experience base does not make it obvious that it has the potential to do this level of software development. In that case, this section should make a credible argument as to why the team should be considered to have a reasonable chance of completing its goals, especially under the tight timelines described.

Other sections may be included at the proposers? discretion, provided the proposal does not exceed three pages.







Book Extract – Movies in a Austin Mall

On the second last in Austin, I had nothing much to do. I headed out for the nearby movie theatre in the GateWay Mall near Austin Arboretum. It was Friday afternoon and the traffic was just about to pick up for the multiplex theater. I bough two tickets , one for Max Payne ( in the afternoon ) and the other for the new Oliver Stone Presidential Movie , W ( based on George W Bush).

The tickets cost some 7 $ and 9 $ , and that seemed a lot compared to the Indian multiplexes that cost around 150 rs or 3 $. Thanks to this I decided to fore go my boss’s advice on eating pop corn or sodas ( mostly Coke). Instead I would just grab a bite in the evening social.

On entering the movie theatre – I was really astounded. I mean the theater was BIG, it had some 20 odd screens. Easily the biggest theater I even went to- but that point would be lost if you see the new upcoming theatres in India. For the first fifteen minutes I actually went up and down the place looking for the screen which I was supposed to be seated in. Finally I found the place.

Max Payne starred the Oscar winning actor Mark Wahlberg ( of the Departed and Marky Mark fame) so I was hoping to watch a decent all male violent action standard Hollywood movie. The theatre hall was a bit deserted , which is understandable for an afternoon flick and there were some couples ( looking like teenagers) giggling and murmuring in the edges of the back rows. That was something that is now universal and so I turned attention to the screen.

The movie was preceded by a song by Kid Rock , which mixed Nascar racing Iraq War glimpses and good old rock into a heady recruitment song called ” The Warrior”. I could see the middle class kids in front of me, especially the male ones, nod their heads to the catchy tune.Heck, I would have signed up for the National Guard , bu the time the song ended.

Fortunately, the movie began, and we settled down to watch Mark Wahlberg, one fine young actor of the male violent genre get into his role of an avenging detective on the run, while paired with a beautiful girl. The plot was as predictable as a Bollywood movie with none of the song and dances unfortunately.

Max Payne lived up to its name. It pained me to the maximum extent. After watching the bizarre tale (it’s based on a video game) the audience and I couldn’t help but rushing out for a breath of fresh air – as if eager to leave the countless explosions behind us. As I brushed against one white teenager, he looked at me and said- ” Man, best movie I ever saw”. That sardonic comment almost made up for the time wasted.

I walked back to the Hyatt Austin Arboretum. I bumped into the front desk lady, Paris , who was nice ,pleasant and around 40 sh. ” So how was the movie and which movie did you see ?”.

“Max Payne-dd” I said, stressing the D a bit too loud. ” But that’s a terrible movie, said Paris. My son watched it yesterday and it’s all weird”.

“Great, I thought. There goes 7 dollars.

I am watching “W” next, I told Paris. ” Now that’s an interesting movie, said the front desk lady. ” Best of Luck”.

I was thinking of taking a plateful of turkey ( no religion aggravating beef , no stomach aggravating ham) and a beer glass from the free 5 o clock social, but it turned out to be Friday with no social for that day. The quantity of food served and wasted in America had ceased amazing me a week back.

After a brief rest, I went back for the seven O Clock and the Nine dollar movie.

Now a bit of background about W. The time of watching this movie was October 2008, the atmosphere was charged up with Obama and McCain in a fierce battle to be the inheritor of crisis-es from the current United States President.Texas , Austin is almost all white , with a smattering of Hispanic people ( who mostly do the lower end jobs – it seemed like an agreement to divide labor not unlike our caste system in India).

George W Bush was a popular Texas two time Governor until 1999, and the state of Texas is considered a red state ( it mostly votes Republican – who have a red color). The tendency of the media to paint the country red, blue,purple,white,black,yellow ( but fortunately not brown) led to a feverish charged up atmosphere.

I went in the hall with trepidation- halfexpecting to be lynched if the movie turned bad.

What followed was sheer Hollywood magic as George W Bush’s Yale University classmate delivered a subtle yet powerful movie.

To be continued-

This is anextract from the book ” Flying with the Cougars” . I am publishing extracts as an experiment. All rights and copying rights reserved with Ajay Ohri.

Cougar Airlines – Extract from Book

The first thing that you notice , especially if you are Indian, is the striking difference between US Airlines air hostess and Indian air hostess ( especially from the private sector). While US Air Hostess are more often in their late thirties and early forties, Indian air hostess are in the early twenties to late twenties. This could be explained by the fact that India of course has a median age in the twenties while the US and the west have much higher median ages due to lowered birth rate.

These were some of the amusing lines I heard while flying in the US.

Hostess- Sir, can I get you a drink.

Old Indian Man- I like whisky.

Hostess- Sir, we cant serve you in Indian air space . We can serve you once we are in international borders ( thanks to ancient indian laws)

Old Indian Man ( The chap is 70 plus) – Kicks up huge row . I am preparing to pay ,blah blah.

Hostess finally gets his whisky.


Hostess- Sir, Can I get you a drink.

Me- I would like a Red Bull

Hostess- Red Bull ?

Me- Yeah, its an energy drink.

Hostess- Confused- Well I am sorry we dont have any Red Bull

Me- Guess I will just take water then.


Hostess- Sir, Can I get you anything.

Me- Yes I would like a cougar

Hostess bends down and says- Oh no dear, we all know what that means.

Me- Guess I will take water then.

Another annoying thing are the dumb airlines rules. I might have mentioned if before but I am still mad about it so here it is.

You are allowed to take two bags. Each bag can take 20 pounds. But if one bag has 23 pounds and the other ten pounds you still have to pay the overweight charge. How much is that ? That will be fifty dollars sir. Any attempt to reason and point the sheer mathematical madness was met with a smile. So I end up taking out my bag opening both and transferring stuff from one to another. The rest of the passengers, especially the well clad ladies give me pitying, pathetic look.

Security rergulations is another nightmare. You can be brown, but if a brown male, slightly tall and thin ( 5 ft 10 ‘ and 150 pounds) walks , he gets to do all kinds of strip tease.

I empty my pockets, my wallet ,my belt, and my shoes. Take the laptop off the cover. Put the mobile and the spare change in the trays.

When I walk in , the metal detector goes ” Beep , Beep , Beep”.

And this tiny customs lady in a Hispanic voice shouts loud enoguh for half the airport to hear.

“Sir, Please get back immediately. Please take off your sweater”

I take off the sweater and attempt the metal detecting walk again.

Again, ” Beep , Beep”.


I am now in bare vest and trousers.

Still , ” Beep ,Beep ,Beep’.

The custom lady eyes me. I eyeball her back. She finally notices my thin bracelet ( its copper and less than o.4 cm thick , its called a Kadha , and a religious item’.

” Sir , I think its your bracelet”.

I try and take it off, which I havent done since my wedding three years ago. I am not as thin as I think I am. Much squirming, twisting and bending later I get it off.

Sucess. No beep ,beep. No loud Sir take this off,take that off.

As i gather up my stuff , I think I can see the glimmer of a smile on the Customs lady. Its okay.. she is good looking enough for me not to resent that smile.

“This is an extract from :Flying with the Cougars” an upcoming book on a brown boys trip to Austin, Texas. its semi -fictional so some coincidences would be just a resemblance to a reality.

All rights reserved for publication and reprint.-Ajay

Book Extract – Beer is good for the Economy

Previously- An introduction to Sixth Street

On Wednesday, the younger members of the project team decided to head out on their own. We wanted to stay out on Sixth street , Austin longer than the previous outing which had been cut short to eight thirty pm.The younger members of the project team were a diverse mixture.This included Tom, a white guy from rural Michigan, Lee , a Vietnamese -American and actual boat people refugee , Asok, a bearded guy from South India, another collegue from India – Sanjay , who was actually from Nepal and me the thin tall Punjabi Indian. Together we consitutued a mini United Nations commitee exploring weightier problems of the Austin beer economy.

The news all the week had been about of Wall Street crashes , so it was a comic relief to see a sign called ” Beer is Good for the Economy”. Literally and figuratively this was true. Beer is one of the last products manufactured in the United States. A visit to any local shopping mall to search for American products could be very frustrating as I would find out later. You might as well have landed in China , such is the overwhelming dominance of China made goods. Anyways, as we were about to pull in the parking lot – Tom decided to call his wife. Just as he called up, I shouted -“Hey Tom, Where are the lap dances”. Tom gave me his all American -glare ,muttered “Tick”, only to be interrupted from some loud noise from his cell phone.” What was that about ,Toooom!” , said a plainly irritaed voice from the cell phone. Tom turned from man to dutiful husband . “Nothing sweety n, just one of the Indians -Nepalese chaps, they are quite randy” he said in a cajoling voice. Another global phenomenon , I thought to myself. The sheepish husband controlled by remote control on the cell phone. I had more things in common with America than I thought.

Anyways we entered the restraunt ,only to find it was Thai food served with Thai-American waitress, not the usual college All American in short skirts (an undeclared and important fact finding mission of our United Nations commitee). The guys collectively gave a quizzical look to our team’s Chinaman ,Lee, who turned sheepish, shrugged and loudly said ” Welcome to Thai food, guys !”.

Next – Thai food .

Note-This is from the upcoming Book tentaively titled “Flying with the Cougars”, . It is completely fictionalized and exaggerated from any reality. Cougars refers to older women in America who prey on younger men, and is a funny term as referred in the Ocean 13 movie.Most air hostess in the US are thirty plus. The book talks of a two week visit to Austin, Texas by a brown guy from India.All rights reserved.Please contact me for publishing or movie rights.

Flying with the Cougars- Extract from Upcoming Book

Previously-An American Software Guy in an Austin plane

I couldn’t make it to New York. Cougar Airlines wanted $250 for that.Even though the airlines’ staff in Austin told me they were willing to delaymy flight for free provided I delay the Austin leg as well (thanks to the overbooking phenomenon).When I pressed my point, the chief customer service lady kind of threw my passport back and waved her hand.I then tried to complain about her- but she interrupted the complaint process by stating thatif she wanted to, she could get me taken off the plane as a “suspicious guy.”(I am brown, five feet ten inches, and lean. )

Her supervisor came, smooth-talked me and said he would take care of it.But I’m not thinking he’s going to do anything because he did not take an elaborate complaint from me.
This pissed me off to levels that I haven’t reached in ages.
So I went into the NewArk Airport meditation room and found only Christian and Muslim prayer matsthere.
I used to be a Hindu before I converted to American football as a religion.No football there.
After lying down (in the Christian section) for a while, I remembered that they threw anIndian called “Gandhi” off the train some 120 years ago too. I understood what I needed todo to get back.
So I put up a sign saying ” Silent Protest against Rude Racist behavior of Cougar Airlines”and took my shoes and sat down next to the young travelers’ section on the ground in frontof the Cougar Airlines office. Cougar Airlines then complained to the customs chief thatI was disturbing people and disrupting traffic.
(I was on the edge of the corridor).

So came the blue-clad people of NewArk Airport’s police in gloves and with trench sticks.I refused to say anything but pointed with silence that it was 6:30 pm and I wouldleave at 7:40 pm boarding time on my ticket, which I had kept near my protest site.
I was handcuffed and arrested. My passport was scanned and a background check was run.Finally, they escorted me to my airplane. (I think I was actually being deported).I was disturbing the peace by being totally silent .The cops were superbly professionaland took off my handcuffs after a while, though I didn’t like the threats of being detained for a month.
There was nothing else I could do,but to protest by refusing to eat Cougar airlinesfood for the 16 hour flight. So I didn’t reach New York to show my poetry book around,but I guess that was just my Karma.

Fortunately, in India, I am just an ordinary guy.Like a billion other brownies.
NEXT – Epliogue
Note-“Flying with the Cougars” is a Fictionalized exaggerated book (like Oliver Stone’s historical format)and a prose novel.It is not a poetry book based on my experiences with poetry sales.
It deals with a 2 week travel of a young brown guy to the United States.Cougars refers to older women and sometimes men who prey on younger men in the US.Most US airlines have older (35+) air hostess.
DISCLAIMER-Any resemblance with reality is purely coincidental. All copyrights are reserved.Contact me in case interested for publishing or movie rights.

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