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Google, to celebrate their 10th birthday, and providing 10 million dollars to fund [ideas to change the world].

[Voting] is now open.

The people on ToothyWiki have lots of ideas.

However, since only some of the ideas will get voted the money, as a group we'd do better to pre-file them here, polish them collectively, then post them, rather than each directly submit their idea without editing/comment.

The deadline is October 20th 2008. --DouglasReay
Since no one else has mentioned submitting any of these yet, I'll try submitting some of them.  I'll marked SUBMITTED by the ones done (if you want to submit one already submitted, using different wording, that is explicitly allowed by google, so go ahead) --DR
Stop resubmitting my ones, I already submitted them this morning. --Rachael

Google's [explanation] lists the following criteria for the projects they select:




4D Elite (SUBMITTED)


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
4D Elite
9. Category
Education
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
A game, similar to Elite by Bell and Braben, set in 4 dimensions, to teach the maths of hypercubes, n-spheres, complex manifolds and higher topology.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
A space ship, showing a 2D projection of a 3D viewfield, but with the ability to rotate on 4 axes and so move out of normal space.  It could be written for the web, or make P2P for the OLPC.  The trading aspect of the game could teach economics by having not just commodities markets, but also insurance, derivatives, loans against capital and futures markets.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
Children rarely encounter the ideas of higher dimensions early enough for them to be come intuitive and mentally visualisable.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
The mathematics required for theoretical physics increasingly needs people skilled at thinking and visualising higher dimensions.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)

15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)





Free basic cookery lessons (SUBMITTED - twice, apparently)


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Free basic cookery lessons
9. Category
Health
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Free classes in basic, healthy, affordable cookery, in local communities, particularly poor areas.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
Offer free classes. Teach people how to prepare healthy, nutritious food on a budget. Teach them about buying more cheaply in season, and using up leftovers creatively - the kind of things people used to learn in Home Economics (but obviously make it clear from the marketing that it's for all ages and both sexes). Perhaps liaise with local shops, encouraging them to stock more fresh fruit/veg/meat and other ingredients, maybe subsidising them at first until people are buying enough to make it profitable.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
Many people have very unhealthy diets, causing medical problems, obesity, and low life expectancy. According to articles like [this one], it's often not because they can't afford good food, but because they don't know how to cook it, or how to shop for it economically, so they live off takeaways.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
People with poor diets and poor health. Also, the health service and the economy.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Acquiring premises, fitting them out with kitchen equipment, hiring or training teachers, advertising the classes in the community.
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
Improvements in diet in the targeted communities, and in the longer term, reduction in obesity and other diet-related health problems.

Could you tie this in with Jamie Oliver's [pyramid cooking] ?  --DR
It was that that the Guardian article was mainly about. Genuinely not sure how Jamie's and Google's budgets for it compare. --Rachael
Do people really think that the availability of cooking lessons is usually the problem here? My experience has always been that people I know who subsist on takeaways, tins and microwave meals do so because they are not interested in cooking or would rather spend the time doing something else, not because there is a lack of opportunity to learn. Certainly whenever I have offered to teach people (I'm talking here about people for whom the Recipe page on its own isn't enough) to cook things I've made for them that they liked, they have never been interested. - MoonShadow
There is definitely something wrong if a 5yo and 2yo have never eaten anything but takeaways out of the styrofoam with their fingers. Either the mother is criminally lazy and guilty of neglect, or the system has failed her and she's never had the opportunity to learn any different. The Guardian article seemed to be arguing the latter (no smartarse comments please n-r). I think this is at least plausible - if her parents and her school never taught her, and she's on a tight budget and can't afford to take paid lessons now, she might be really stuck. Also, my proposal is as much about teaching nutrition and shopping-on-a-budget as teaching actual cooking - if that mother bought affordable in-season fresh fruit and veg, and gave them to the kids alongside their takeaways, that would be a big improvement. I also think there'd need to be a marketing element - if she has no knowledge of nutrition, perhaps she doesn't know she's doing anything wrong in the first place. --Rachael
Nutrition and shopping-on-a-budget being the ones that I found it harder to learn on my own. Upon moving out of the last house in which others would cook for me on a regular basis, I taught myself to cook to an acceptable standard (having previously never done anything more complicated than grilled sausages or pasta) in a couple of weeks; it took quite a lot longer to get an idea of nutrition and especially how expensive a thing is to cook. It's unlikely I'm alone in that. --Requiem

Ok, this could tie in with something else that came up with Susan's Sushi Soiree.  Android phones can read barcodes via their camera.  Google could do an application that let's a shopper, as they put things in their trolley going around the shop, scan the bar codes and keep a running tally not just of the calories, but also of the nutrition.  In fact, if they got Tescos to cooperate, they could probably make it keep track of price as well.  Tescos would have an incentive, both because it could be made to link to the 'scan it for yourself' checkouts, and because the user could store their list between shops, and even use it for tescos online orders.  Google could do searches based on the ingredients to come up with recipes (links to youtube for step by step instruction from celebrity cooks).  Or could generate shopping lists, given geographic location, recipes, number to cook for, price limitation, etc.  --DR

Ties in with the [Copenhagen Consensus] --DR


The following idea was crowdsourced by Susan's Sushi Soiree:


Artificial Empathy (SUBMITTED)


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Artificial Empathy
9. Category
Everything Else
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Develop a head wearable hands-free set compatible with android phones that doubles as a portable EEG
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
Combined with audio, and a correctly flashing image on the handset, could be used for brainwave synchronisation for either alertness or relaxation.  Could use mood to control music playlist selection on the phone or to set mood icons on messages.  More importantly, use the phone's networked capabilities and GPS, when two people thus enhanced communicate it could use unobtrusive cues to give an 'instinctive' grasp of the mood of the room or how the other person is feeling - "artificial empathy", if you will.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
Many social, and even political, problems are caused, at root, by not understanding, by dehumanising the other, the different.  Do I need to be scared of that angry looking man sitting across from me in a railway carriage?  In a conference room?  Other problems are caused when families weaken or break up - many couples find it difficult to breach the topic of how they are feeling, or to ask for help when worried or depressed, until it is too late.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
Initially, young urban professionals who are early adopters of technology, who would buy them for themselves.  But also medical professionals, relationship councilors and peace negotiators who would make them available in their professional capacity, thus making the world a safer and more loving place.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
License an existing make of portable EEG (there are several), add on a hands-free set, start developing APIs and software for Android.  Get games manafacturers and artists involved for initial publicity and funding.  Update the OpenSocial? API to make use of it.
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
Success could be measured by uptake of the product.  If the network effect kicks in, and lots of people start using it when out and about, or at home when talking to their partner, everything else will flow from that.  As a bonus, this setup can also be used to help with ADHD in children, thus improving education too.

Additional Reading: [EEG], [Neurofeedback]


Penfield Mood Organ


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Penfield Mood Organ (thanks to Philip K. Dick for original inspiration)
9. Category
Everything Else
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
A electronic device that can alter the user's mood to whatever they desire.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
If reading the electrical fields around someone's brain with EEGs can detect their mood, then surely by using induction coils we can alter those fields and create moods?
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
Many people nowadays have a stunted ability to relate emotionally to the world or each other. At the same time there is a growing sense of entitlement -- that everyone ought to be happy all the time, and that if we don't live in a state of permanent ecstasy with everything we want in our lives there must be something very wrong that requires fixing at all costs: medication, surgery, whatever. The solution to this is, of course, not learning to relate to other people and to accept that sometimes life just isn't the way you wish it would be -- it's more technology!
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
Anyone who's spent so much time using the internet or video games that they can relate more easily to a bunch of wires and a screen than a real person can get the same kind of feelings as they would from real social interaction, simply by dialling the appropriate setting on their mood organ! And anyone whose life is not going the way they wish can blot out the world and experience feelings of euphoric happiness. Of course, it won't be real, but real is such a twentieth-century, pre-Web-1.0 concept, isn't it?
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Research into what kind of induction coils are needed to alter electromagnetic fields in order to alter moods in a controllable way.
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
Success could be measured by the number of people who opt out of real life entirely in order to have fake happy feelings piped into their brains all day long. Ideally, the whole of society could collapse, and the planet could fall into ruin, and nobody would notice (as least until the electricity failed).


Human-powered computer games (SUBMITTED)


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Human-powered computer games
9. Category
Health
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Computer games where an exercise bike or treadmill moves the character.
I miss [Prop Cycle]. - MoonShadow
Cool! A lot like that, but you could have it at home and plug it into your PC/console. --Rachael
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
Platform games, or first-person shooters, in which the input device is an exercise bike or treadmill. You have to move to make your character move, and the faster you move, the faster they move. You could incorporate jumping by having the player push down on waist-high bars at the side with a force comparable to their calibrated weight and/or have their weight leave the treadmill surface. You could have multiple such treadmills connected to the same computer or console, for competitive play; this would make it even more fun and spur people to keep going or run faster.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
Exercise is important for health, but most exercise is boring. Computer games are fun, and if people had to run in order to move their character, they'd run and hardly notice and enjoy it.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
People who like games but are too busy or lazy to exercise and/or hate exercising.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Develop the hardware (adapted treadmills/bikes) and software (games that take these as input devices - preferably including ports of popular existing games).
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
Increased levels of exercise and fitness among people who previously didn't exercise but enjoy games. A fun new hobby.


Addresses for getting jobs (SUBMITTED)


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Addresses for getting jobs
9. Category
Housing
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Addresses that homeless people can use when applying for jobs, and collect mail from.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
A network of places across the country or world, which exist as postal addresses which local homeless people can supply when applying for jobs. The places could also supply stationery etc for filling in job applications, and showers etc for getting changed for interviews, and perhaps career advice and access to local job advertisements, like in the job centre. They wouldn't have to supply the things homeless shelters usually do (beds, food) although it would be a bonus if they did. It would be a normal house (or several) in a residential area, and not advertise its nature, so that job applications coming from that address wouldn't get stigmatised. Soon after getting a job the people will hopefully be able to rent a place of their own with their new income.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
People who are trapped in the catch-22 of being unable to get a house without a job, and unable to get a job without an address.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
Homeless people, particularly those who are able to work and are trying to get back on their feet. Local employers.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Buy or rent suitable houses, and publicise them to the homeless, by word of mouth and advertising in shelters.
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
A fall in homelessness, and formerly homeless people getting back into jobs and homes.


Opt-out contraception (SUBMITTED)


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Opt-out contraception
9. Category
Environment
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Everyone is now sterile by default
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
Once implemented, all human beings would become sterile.  This could be temporarily reversed using drugs or some other therapy, but the therapy would only be provided to those who could raise a child and who had not already replaced themselves.
Who decides who "could raise a child"? Google? --Rachael
Whoever manages to implement the idea, so long as they have a strong enough volcano lair to withstand the initial outcry. --SGB
The AuthorityOnEverything. - MoonShadow
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
Overpopulation, and therefore most problems, most notably climate change.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
Future generations.  The earth's limited resources would be sufficient for their needs.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Develop a permanent but temporarily-reversible contraceptive, and a delivery method to administer it to all human beings.
Build volcano lair. Maybe in other order. --no-reverse
Nah, it's worth doing even if the person who does it doesn't survive.  In fact, if they don't, and we end up in a race to rediscover the antidote before humanity dies out, then so much the better. --SGB
The world would panic, but England would [soldier on]. - MoonShadow
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
The global birth rate would drop, initially to zero, and then rise to a figure substantially below the replacement rate.  The implementation is successful if, in 100 years, the human population is below 2 billion.


Google History (SUBMITTED)


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Google History
9. Category
Education
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Expand Google Earth to include time as a 4th dimension.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
The W3C "Linking Open Data" project links a lot of statistical datasets from various open sources.  They need a framework to be best displayed in an educational context.  Google Earth could be expanded to include historic dates, and have linked Knols written in Historic Markup Language showing geopolitical statistical info such as population, religion, wealth, and the various tidal forces of history and geography.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)

13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)

14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)

15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)




Bionic lighting


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)
Bionic lighting
9. Category
Environment
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Engineer the jellyfish glow-in-the-dark gene into as many things as possible.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
Engineer the jellyfish glow-in-the-dark gene into as many things as possible. Start with lawn grass. Then turn off all street lighting everywhere.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
The energy crisis.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
The amount of power consumed in built-up areas would drop.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Engineer the jellyfish glow-in-the-dark gene into as many things as possible.
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
Everything would glow in the dark, so you wouldn't need street lighting to see where you're going and could turn it off.



Your idea here


8. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters)

9. Category

10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)

11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)

12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)

13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)

14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)

15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)



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