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Imagine Cup teams get ready to prototype

Microsoft has announced the 20 finalists of the Imagine Cup 2010 programming

competition which this time around challenges students to "imagine a world where technology solves the toughest problems".

The finalists, who will now transform their ideas into working prototypes, have been selected from over 100 entries, Microsoft says. the eventual winner will represent New Zealand in the worldwide finals in Poland next year.

Three of the most innovative ideas received the Dreamspark Award, a $1,000 prize split among team members. Winning ideas included a method for delivering data via FM radio to support the One Laptop Per Child initiative, a portable, solar-powered desalination plant, and a weather index reporting and insurance scheme for farmers in impoverished countries.

Microsoft's Imagine Cup programme manager Paul Lo says the Dreamspark winners, Team Apple Boys – Yeh right, Team Fleur de Sel Systems and Team Travelling Salesman, were not constrained by available resources and existing technology.

Read more at Computerworld.