October 10, 2005
Less than meets the eye
I'm a geek. I admit it. I like websites, and Star Wars, and I watch Tech TV. I have more computers than shoes, and can change the song on my stereo via a webpage.
So you can imagine my anticipation for last weekend's Darpa Grand Challenge. Basically, robotic cars were racing across the desert, competing for $2 million dollars. It's like NASCAR for nerds. And if someone finished, odds are it would never happen again. Imagine if this upcoming World Series was the last ever, and the winning team would be World Series champs for life.
On Saturday, I woke up at 9am -- no small feat for me -- hooked up my laptop to my ethernet cable (wireless speeds just wouldn't cut it), and sat down for what I hoped would be an impressive webcast of the event. In-car cameras, cool animations, etc. Last time they did it, there was a semi-working video feed, so I was sure it would have improved since then. This was an event run for nerds, by nerds, so they were bound to have a great website, right?
Wrong. There was no video coverage. Not even audio coverage. I checked my local TV listings, in desperate hope that maybe ESPN 8 ("The Ocho") would possibly have it. No dice. In the end, I had to settle for semi-hourly audio updates, and DARPA's terrible "status board", which just showed a progress bar for each team. It was like watching 23 pieces of software being installed, except it took ten hours.
So here's a big thanks to DARPA, which gave 2 million of my tax dollars -- I pay a lot of taxes -- to a winner, and wouldn't even let me watch it. Thanks, DARPA. P.S. Your logo sucks.Posted by Kevin at October 10, 2005 06:10 PM