Thursday, November 5, 2009

Submit one at a time; or all at once; Notification or no Notification?

The Darpa site actually says:

"Starting December 5, submit locations to the web site immediately after you find them."

 This implies that you may actually submit them one at a time. If so, they will need to limit the number of submissions you make. According to my previous calculations, there are only 2.5M or so points.  Presuming that they limit the number of submissions that you do, but not down to 10; it may also be valuable for people to collect together locations where they are sure there are no balloons. One could imagine some kind of statistical algorithm that could collate the data and come up with likely candidates based on both positive and negative reports. It would also help identify areas that have been under-explored.

Actually, if DARPA actually confirms your submissions (i.e. yes, you got one right!), then one attack is simply to have many users (or have a captcha-killer script) create accounts and exhaustively submit all possible locations to the site; compiling a list of which ones are accepted. It would probably not be wise for DARPA to do so.


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  2. I wonder if there will be a detectable difference in response time between a submission that's correct and one that's false. Even if they don't verify, you might still be able to tell.

    Perhaps once you have a few known correct locations, you could test.