Astronaut Or Astronot: Amazingly Engineered

The latest round of community voting in The Hackaday Prize asked a simple question: which project is most likely to save the planet? The results will be posted on Monday.

Now it’s time to see if we’re giving away a $1000 gift card to the Hackaday Store, or just some prizes to people who have voted. The rules here are simple: I’m randomly selecting one person on if and only if that person has voted in the latest round of community voting, they get a thousand dollar gift card to the Hackaday store. If the randomly selected person did not vote, I select three people who have voted in the latest round of community voting. For the last few weeks, we’ve been giving out t-shirts. To sweeten the deal, we’re giving away a SmartMatrix, A Simon Says kit, and an Analog Stepper gauge to three people, just because they’ve voted.

Here’s the video:

Drat, the Hacker number randomly selected for the $1000 gift card hadn’t voted! Oh what could have been. Don’t let this happen to you next week, VOTE!

To soften the bitterness of defeat we dole out a few awesome prizes to those who had. [xanatos333] gets the Simon Says kit, [sylph.ds] gets an Analog Stepper Gauge, and [dougmsbbs] gets a Smartmatrix. Thanks to those who voted, and be sure to vote in the next round:


We’ll have to do some math and run a few scripts to figure out which projects the community deemed most likely to save the planet. Until we put that data together, it’s time to start a new round of voting. This week, we’re looking for projects that are Amazingly Engineered.

Next Friday we’ll select a random person on, and if they have voted, they get a $1000 gift card! For the apathetic non-voters… nada.

32 thoughts on “Astronaut Or Astronot: Amazingly Engineered

    1. Hell yes. A skip button would be awesome. But even using the refresh button in my browser I kept seeing the same projects over and over. There was one project that I only saw once after 100 refreshes, but others came up 20 times.

      1. I seriously don’t know what to say. I repeat the same thing, every single week. This is the most fair way of doing things. We’re not changing it. It would be really cool if people voted. You’re not supposed to refresh, you are choosing one project or another. By default, you can judge one project to be more ‘amazingly engineered’ or whatever the theme of the week is. Refreshing breaks the system. I’m trying to give away a gift card or two for the store before we end the community voting in August.

        1. But if I don’t like either of the choices I either waste a vote, or make you guys think I like something that I don’t.

          We are voting for someone to go into space (eventually) correct? Why would we, the intelligent readers of your skillful and informative writings, skew the results of this voting in favor of someone whom does not deserve the honor?

          If it does not matter, then you should just put a button on a page that I can click 50 times.

          1. You’re asked to judge one of two projects to be more /theme/ than the other.

            It is literally impossible for you to waste a vote. By default, you can judge one project to be more /theme/ than the other. That’s what we’re asking you to do.

            I honestly give up. I can’t explain this any more.

          2. Regardless of the system, from UI point if view, it is really bad to force the user to pick the same projects that the user don’t think *either* deserved at all. Multiply this by a few weeks and you wonder why there are less people voting after a while.

            There is only so much prizes can help and the draw are not even from the pool that actually voted.

            So when you don’t listen to the user base and wonder why people don’t like how things are implemented week after week…

          3. The problem is that you don’t (and almost no one does) understand how the voting works, because it works differently than any other way you’ve voted before. But, honestly, it works better and fairer this way.

            Most of you are thinking that this is like other voting platforms, where you see a list of entries and you select that which you think are best. The problem with this methodology is that it is MASSIVELY SKEWED by social aspects. For example, the project which best inspires its supporters to go out and vote. Or, by alphabetic order. Or by who has done the best marketing job for exposure. Or, by many other things. This isn’t about who has the most friends, this is about who has the best project.

            The way this voting works is that Hackaday selects two projects for you, and you tell Hackaday which is better of the two. As an aggregate, across all voters, Hackaday will then discover which projects are best. It does the selection for you so that the results aren’t messed up by factors involving selection.

            So, if you think both projects suck, pick which one sucks less. If you can’t decide, flip a coin. In this case what matters isn’t that you thought one of the projects was good, but that when it eventually goes head-to-head with a better project, it will consistently lose.

            If you had the ability to skip voting, you’d undo the fairness of Hackaday’s random selection unbiasing and turn it back into a social game rather than one based on logic.

            Hackaday probably does a poor job of explaining the unintuitive voting method and why it works, which is why there’s so many complainers every week.

          4. @ Matt Freund- The problem here is some of the projects are not projects at all. They are just ideas with no prototypes, pictures, or data. We have no idea if the people behind these projects are even capable of the engineering required to start or complete the idea.

          5. Actually I do understand how it is supposed to work, *BUT* as the end user, I absolutely HATE that I have no choice in ranking the projects that I do care better.

            I have another suggestion else where that subtract 0.5 point from both the projects when the user thinks that neither are worth anything at all. That solves the issue for both side. The user get to down vote projects, not see them again and yes the projects get to be ranked. Just a simple concept for having negative numbers as votes.

            We are hackers, so we like to have *better* solutions if existing ones *sucks* for real life use. Following the rules or existing methods for voting are so boring. Try something new and *may be* it is actually better?

          6. Brian,

            Voting on a project just because it is a “little bit” better than another is different from voting on a project that “is most likely to be widely used” than another. The point is: just like there are hackers that don’t vote (just like the random-selected $1000 giveaway), there are hackers that just enter the prize hoping to get prizes out of it, not caring about “changing the world” or “being good projects to voters”.

          1. Hackers and engineers don’t blindly follow instructions. We create things, in spite of being told “that can’t be done”, or “do it just like this”.

        1. I had the issue quite a number of times where you were actually forced to vote for one of two projects, as refreshing only caused those two projects to come up. It would sometimes alternate the side they were on, but no matter how many times your refreshed, they still were the only ones to come up. It went away after voting for them.

          Do the votes at the end get scaled to the number of times a project actually displays (pitted against another)? Or it that number just the raw number of votes it gets?

          1. yes blecky based upon your ip or whatever identitiy the algorithm gives you a set block of things to vote on wether they be vote worthy or not. It would help if benchoff actually explained the selection mechanism for who you vote for, as of yet he has explained nothing and that is why everyone is confused.

        2. As I said the other tome, treat the skip button as a negative 1/2 points for both projects. That way, the vote did get counted and the user does get to make a decision. No reason why the points cannot be negative if the user thinks that they are both bad.

  1. You are saying “just XXX vote and don’t ask questions”, but you know, that’s not how it works with engineers. We like to know how stuff works and what are the effects of our actions. And yes, we also like to argue about whether a given design is good or not, *especially* when we suspect that something is broken. But you can’t expect us to just blindly follow the instructions. We void warranties, remember? And it’s only natural reaction to not play if one thinks the game is not fair.

  2. This is a tremendous site but there are multiple problems for me with voting. Use of the word “Amazing” is one. If you ask which system is the better engineered I can answer that provided at least one project has some engineering. If you are going to add the word “Amazing” that sets up expectations. If you then show me projects that are loose concepts, still in the design stage or seem to consist entirely of power LEDs soldered in series I can’t answer. You’ve given me a False Choice. Personally I also have problems with most benificial type questions because somewhere between a night light timer and a world hunger combatting magic picnic basket is a catagory of project that I have no idea about viability or even if I’m supposed to take that into account. Please ask questions we can answer even if it’s “Which do you think would fly the furthest if thrown like a frisbee?”. It would help if when projects were entered and as they progress a series of checkboxes could be used to filter. Is there a concept? Have you set a goal you can work toward and judge success from? Is there a component level design? Working or not does a physical prototype exist and have you provided pictures? Does a working prototype exist and have you provided results?

    A website giving away a half million dollars in sponsorship telling their users not to press the “Refresh” button on their browser because it breaks the system is ridiculous, and to be refusing to fix it out of principle is beyond retarded. If you are going to put your foot down fine, make it so people get the same pair until they have voted for one or the other, store the pair on the voter’s account, but fix it. The system demands I log in to vote and always gives me a new pair after I’ve logged in so I don’t see a problem with caching the result on people’s accounts.

    Also when did this question go from being Amazingly Over Engineered to being Amazingly Engineered? I’m doing double takes.

  3. Perhaps it may also be helpful to draw a name from the active participants who are playing the game and voting. That seems more like a reward system than drawing from most who it seems are not even involving themselves in the process.
    The folks who are accepting the voting system and making an effort and who actually may win then may persuade those who are not to get on board for a chance(envy?).
    Otherwise-It looks like there is little chance any 1000$ gift cards will be actually given……..The odds are bearing this out-three weeks in a row(actually four) and no winners.
    That really kills the incentive to even try.

  4. Oh boy. All this arguing over a couple of t shirts? Here’s a good rule of thumb. In a years time, will the fact you clicked on ‘robotic Klingon moustache’ rather than ‘haptic monkey tickler’ matter? The answer is nope, therefore, you don’t have to worry! Just run with it, enjoy the prize. It’s all just a bit of fun. Your one vote won’t determine if they get a small prize or not, on top of that it has no bearing on the final outcome of the big prizes.

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