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Thread: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

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    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Cool US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    US$100,000 prize for winner who can come up with smart search engine
    By Wong Mun Wai, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 17 January 2008 2156 hrs

    SINGAPORE: If you have an idea for the next YouTube or Facebook, you could win US$100,000.

    That's the top prize in "The Star Challenge" competition to select winning ideas on how to develop technologies for a search engine that is smart enough to find content.

    The task is to create technologies to help users navigate and identify material such as text, audio and video containing any word, even if that word has not been tagged by creators or users.

    The worldwide competition is being run by A*STAR as part of the official opening of the Fusionopolis later this year.

    The top five teams with the best search results will be identified and brought to Singapore for the finals in October.

    To find out more about the competition, you can log on to the website www.thestarchallenge.sg.

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    kinda lame.. handing out money to do something popular.. reminds me of photos competitions.. it kinda reinforces my idea that creativity is dead here and it must be bought.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

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    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Google
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Dumbest thing ever. What does $100k mean to someone who can be cleverer than Google? Don't you think that VC's would be funding such a person with millions or even billions?

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    What is US$100,000? compared to the high salary for feeding a bunch of so called "scientist" at A*...if i can think of something i rather sell that idea to google or yahoo..i would think its gonna worth more than US100K..
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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    official avenue to waste funds.. maybe they had some budget surplus and trying to finish it up before FY ends so they can request for more next year..heheh
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    kinda lame.. handing out money to do something popular.. reminds me of photos competitions.. it kinda reinforces my idea that creativity is dead here and it must be bought.
    Don't judge A*STAR as whole by this. The embarrassing PR stunts are mostly made by Corp Comms and administrative drones. Many/most of them have no clue about how science works. There are many creative people trying to do good science within A*STAR despite (and sometimes against the will) of HQ, but they have very little say.

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    "1.7 Technical Description
    This competition comprises Search-Tasks that must be carried out via automated software with some human intervention. The teams must create suitable algorithms to search different types of media (voice, video) for specific characteristics, objects, events etc. Depending on the task, the team will create and use corresponding software and return the result. "

    never say anything definitive about 'automated software', 'human intervention' and 'efficiency' rite?
    hire 100 people sit in front of a google terminal and search, plus 20 people go thru the search results and debate among themselves which result is more relevant.
    viola! "search engine".
    sigh.

  9. #9

    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    If google can spend millions and not find the answer, i dont think this 100 000 will find anything T_T

    Clown suggestion sounds good. Lols

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Don't judge A*STAR as whole by this. The embarrassing PR stunts are mostly made by Corp Comms and administrative drones. Many/most of them have no clue about how science works. There are many creative people trying to do good science within A*STAR despite (and sometimes against the will) of HQ, but they have very little say.
    that's quite true.. however, I have also heard a couple of stories of failed attempts to hire talents with not much results, the one that left the deepest impression was a western scientist that was engaged by astar for some research, he accquired (i believe with our funds) some equipment but insisted that they be delivered to his lab in his hometown. Subsequently he left Singapore to 'continue' his research there.

    I will blame the management of astar for just failing to recognise real talents. Which I believe is mainly due to the programmed kiasu protocol we have here to win, win and win and to bask in the best limelight and glory.
    Last edited by yanyewkay; 19th January 2008 at 09:03 AM.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    that's quite true.. however, I have also heard a couple of stories of failed attempts to hire talents with not much results, the one that left the deepest impression was a western scientist that was engaged by astar for some research, he accquired (i believe with our funds) some equipment but insisted that they be delivered to his lab in his hometown. Subsequently he left Singapore to 'continue' his research there.
    This is hard to believe, though I frankly don't know. What I do know is that scientists get quickly frustrated by the red tape and ever-shifting priorities and may subsequently leave for an environment more conducive for research. If a minister belches today, A*STAR will funnel research funds to belching research; if the same minister farts a few months later, the freshly hired belching experts will be asked to do research on farting instead. A*STAR HQ will then proudly announce the important achievements made to farting locally, such as farts that glow in the dark, and how it will be the basis for Singapore as a world class farting hub. The policymakers are simply chasing after the latest buzzwords every few months, ignoring the fact that building up credible scientific capability in a field takes years, mainly to develop the local expertise. Since expertise is tied to people, you cannot build that expertise if you have high attrition rates. Never mind that by the time something is a buzzword, you have missed the train already.

    End of rant.

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    double post deleted.
    Last edited by LittleWolf; 19th January 2008 at 11:29 AM.

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Since expertise is tied to people, you cannot build that expertise if you have high attrition rates. Never mind that by the time something is a buzzword, you have missed the train already.
    True true. I second this.

  14. #14

    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    If I have such a search program, I'd patent it and licence it to search engine giants for millions... who wants 100K.
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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    this whole thing reminds me of the IRAS photography competition sometime ago, with prizes like 100 dollars as top prize or something like that.. LOL

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    This is hard to believe, though I frankly don't know. What I do know is that scientists get quickly frustrated by the red tape and ever-shifting priorities and may subsequently leave for an environment more conducive for research. If a minister belches today, A*STAR will funnel research funds to belching research; if the same minister farts a few months later, the freshly hired belching experts will be asked to do research on farting instead. A*STAR HQ will then proudly announce the important achievements made to farting locally, such as farts that glow in the dark, and how it will be the basis for Singapore as a world class farting hub. The policymakers are simply chasing after the latest buzzwords every few months, ignoring the fact that building up credible scientific capability in a field takes years, mainly to develop the local expertise. Since expertise is tied to people, you cannot build that expertise if you have high attrition rates. Never mind that by the time something is a buzzword, you have missed the train already.

    End of rant.
    no prob. we have some understanding of how A** works from the ground level
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  17. #17

    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    This is a TOTAL JOKE!!!!
    SG govt really undermines creativity as well as undermining its local born Singaporean.
    It is willing to pay Millions of dollars to attract unwanted scientist by their own country to set up 'home' and to do research here which probably leads to nowhere. But only pay USD 100K for a billion dollar idea which might even bring Googles to its knees.
    Any sane person can do this simple maths not to take the offer. 100K has only 5 zeroes, a million has 6 zeroes behind the 1st digit.
    Is the government treating its citizen fairly?

    Referring to Littlewolf, red tape exist in every country. If you think that red tape is serious problem and its undermines research here, perhaps u might wanna look at other country, be a developing country or a developed country, I am very sure their red tape problem is serious there as well.

    Singapore is a small country, any small issues can be easily blown out of proportion. Especially with singapore kind of media, John Hopkins left singapore due to red tapes created by AStar or EDB were kindda blown out of proportion. Do you think it is not common in other countries?
    Look at this way, you have 100K with you, then someone come approach you with a research project proposal for the 100K, do you think you will kindly give him the $$ without any conditions? Then subsequently, that person comes to you again and ask for $$ again, would you just give him more $$ or would you ask him, hey! have you fulfil my conditions?

    You are quite correct to say to build scientific credibility take years, but look at it this way. If the govt keep on saying, hey i wanna become this biomedical hub, and keep on telling countries around it. How would ppl not noticing it, and not asking hmm... err... Singapore said she wanna become biomedical hub 2 yrs ago, but now still not yet a hub leh, how come ah? When such question is asked, the policymakers will panic and things will simply follow the chain.

  18. #18

    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by siaolah View Post
    This is a TOTAL JOKE!!!!
    SG govt really undermines creativity as well as undermining its local born Singaporean.
    It is willing to pay Millions of dollars to attract unwanted scientist by their own country to set up 'home' and to do research here which probably leads to nowhere. But only pay USD 100K for a billion dollar idea which might even bring Googles to its knees.
    Any sane person can do this simple maths not to take the offer. 100K has only 5 zeroes, a million has 6 zeroes behind the 1st digit.
    Is the government treating its citizen fairly?

    Referring to Littlewolf, red tape exist in every country. If you think that red tape is serious problem and its undermines research here, perhaps u might wanna look at other country, be a developing country or a developed country, I am very sure their red tape problem is serious there as well.

    Singapore is a small country, any small issues can be easily blown out of proportion. Especially with singapore kind of media, John Hopkins left singapore due to red tapes created by AStar or EDB were kindda blown out of proportion. Do you think it is not common in other countries?
    Look at this way, you have 100K with you, then someone come approach you with a research project proposal for the 100K, do you think you will kindly give him the $$ without any conditions? Then subsequently, that person comes to you again and ask for $$ again, would you just give him more $$ or would you ask him, hey! have you fulfil my conditions?

    You are quite correct to say to build scientific credibility take years, but look at it this way. If the govt keep on saying, hey i wanna become this biomedical hub, and keep on telling countries around it. How would ppl not noticing it, and not asking hmm... err... Singapore said she wanna become biomedical hub 2 yrs ago, but now still not yet a hub leh, how come ah? When such question is asked, the policymakers will panic and things will simply follow the chain.
    talking about the biomedical hub thingy, it was white hot topic when i was in secondary school. then many many boys and girls went to take this subject in poly.

    now look what had happened: those who have above average grades made it into some biomedical course in poly. but upon their 2nd or 3rd year, they realized this whole thing is a joke.

    what can a diploma in biomedical related field do? to be honest; nothing more then a lab technician.

    then what about those doing biomed in unis? 1/2 of them ended up doing things totally unrelated to the field, simply because this industry isn't something as common as engineering. it's a very niche field, anything less then phds wont get you anywhere glamorious.

    i'm kinda sick of the singaporean approach when it comes to "developing" new stuff. anything's successful are usually bought over from somewhere, ripped off, or simply licensed from someone else..

  19. #19

    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Aiyah... I am actually belonging to that batch u mentioned. After I did my degree and came out to work. Hoola... the future is not that bright as what they have mentioned, it is more like bleak. And now, i have to do another course which is totally unrelated to what i have studied in uni, hoping to jump field.
    Btw, even if you have gotten the Perm Head Damage, dun think u can do anything glamorous. I have seen ppl with PhD doing sales, ppl staying home to look after their child ( her choice though). To make matter worse, even ITE also offering courses in biomedical. I am really wondering are there so MANY LAB TECHNICIANS required?

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    Default Re: US$100,000 prize for winner!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by siaolah View Post
    This is a TOTAL JOKE!!!!
    SG govt really undermines creativity as well as undermining its local born Singaporean.
    It is willing to pay Millions of dollars to attract unwanted scientist by their own country to set up 'home' ...
    Probably the government remembers all the rejects of their respective home countries who came and immigrated to a remote Malay fishing village off the southern tip of the Malayan peninsula.

    ... and to do research here which probably leads to nowhere. But only pay USD 100K for a billion dollar idea which might even bring Googles to its knees.
    Wait and see. My feeling is the research done will lead to more lasting results than a USD100K competition. Given that A*STAR has over a thousand researchers, a few millions in salaries per year is not excessive.

    Any sane person can do this simple maths not to take the offer. 100K has only 5 zeroes, a million has 6 zeroes behind the 1st digit.
    Maybe the government should award you a 5 zeros cash prize for this groundbreaking mathematical insight.

    Is the government treating its citizen fairly?
    No, definitely not. If they would, the pay levels would be higher and it would not be so difficult to find Singaporeans willing to take up jobs at the research institutes instead of pursuing careers in law, medicine, accounting, or banking.

    Referring to Littlewolf, red tape exist in every country.
    True. But to give an example, only in Singapore administration insists I have to submit an application for travel funds to a meeting that is two flights of stairs down from my office (total travel cost: S$ 0.00). The application goes all the way up to the executive director for approval. (Hint: the administrative overhead is slightly more than S$0.00.)

    Singapore is a small country, any small issues can be easily blown out of proportion. Especially with singapore kind of media, John Hopkins left singapore due to red tapes created by AStar or EDB were kindda blown out of proportion. Do you think it is not common in other countries?
    I'm not talking about the kind of celebrity researchers/institutions in whose glamor Singapore loves to bask so extensively. I'm talking about junior scientific talents who come in with passion for science and the drive to move things forward, and leave frustrated after a year of two. You certainly won't read/hear about them in Singapore's media.

    You are quite correct to say to build scientific credibility take years, but look at it this way. If the govt keep on saying, hey i wanna become this biomedical hub, and keep on telling countries around it. How would ppl not noticing it, and not asking hmm... err... Singapore said she wanna become biomedical hub 2 yrs ago, but now still not yet a hub leh, how come ah? When such question is asked, the policymakers will panic and things will simply follow the chain.
    See, that's exactly the problem. If the people at the top wouldn't create all these silly hypes, they wouldn't have to come up with other hypes to distract from earlier ones. Who is going to take them serious after they've done this a few times?

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