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DARPA's Shredder Challenge is solved ahead of schedule

DARPA's Shredder Challenge is ...
A team has claimed the complete prize purse in DARPA's Shredder Challenge, two days before the contest deadline
A team has claimed the complete prize purse in DARPA's Shredder Challenge, two days before the contest deadline
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A team has claimed the complete prize purse in DARPA's Shredder Challenge, two days before the contest deadline
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A team has claimed the complete prize purse in DARPA's Shredder Challenge, two days before the contest deadline

At the end of October, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) launched its Shredder Challenge contest. The objective: create a system for reconstructing shredded papers, then demonstrate it by piecing together five documents, the shredded remains of which were posted on the contest's website. Although the contest had a December 4th deadline, the "All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S." team correctly reassembled all five documents with two days to spare.

The San Francisco-based team, which beat out approximately 9,000 competitors, used "custom-coded, computer-vision algorithms to suggest fragment pairings to human assemblers for verification." Members of the team spent approximately 600 man-hours developing algorithms and otherwise working on the challenge, completing everything within 33 days. Because it was able to reconstruct all five documents posted in the contest, the team was able to claim the complete prize of US$50,000.

DARPA hosted the contest both to develop methods of reading shredded documents left behind by enemies in war zones, and to identify ways in which U.S. shredded documents could be read by other parties, so that countermeasures could be developed.

14 comments
christopher
How embarrasing! They spend upwards of $100 billion a year, and employ more than 100,000 thousand of \"the worlds brightest\" to solve on this stuff, then discover that a bunch of kids calling themselves \"All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.\" answered their hardest myserty in just a month, for free :-) LOL. (hey, what\'s that craclking sound on my internet line?)
BombR76
Congrats to the \"All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S\" team !!! Guess the only alternative would be to confetti the shredding to smaller sizes then either chemically dissolve, flash flame, or blow the confetti into the wind. What will DARPA think of next ?!?
PrometheusGoneWild.com
Really, who does not burn their documents? Oh yes, the American Iranian Embassy in 1979! Instead of a computer algorithm, the Iranians uses students (and a lot of time) to put it all back together..... Still, it is once again inspiring what a bunch of nerds juiced up on stimulants can do with their computers. Our US nerds are better than anyone else\'s nerds! Laugh if you want. Bill Gates could buy everyone reading this with the interest he gets in an hour....
William H Lanteigne
The \"countermeasure\" is obvious: shred, then burn, then scatter the ashes. There, that suggestion is free... had they simply called me, I could have saved them a bunch of money.
Rt1583
So, the U.S. government spent at least $50K to determine, ostensibly, a better way to spy on our enemies while at the same time coming up with information and ideas on how to better conceal our own secrets when printed out. Seems to me burning the documents would cost considerably less and we don\'t spy on our enemies anymore. If they don\'t outright tells us about it, we will never know about it so it is also a waste of money for that purpose.
Oztechi
This just goes to show that when you hold competitions that are open to anyone, you often get better results for less than you would if you had simply chosen a normal contractor to do what you wanted.
rangermonk
I like how the government got it\'s own citizens to figure out away to more easily spy on its own citizens.
JoeB
Dennis, There is no \"American Iranian embassy\" and has never been nor will there ever be an \"American Iranian embassy\"! Many of the alleged document were incorrectly formatted and obviously faked. DTGs and Julian dates did not match. I have a nice bridge to sell you in Death Valley...
Chris7527
...alternatively, what happened to the \'This message will self- destruct\' thing... Chris. ====
Zukey Badtouch
If you don\'t want somebody to read something, don\'t put it on paper.