HackDay London 2007 & Boxr.org

Attended Hackday London at Alexandra palace last weekend. Interesting panels and presentations, flickr machine tags by Dan Catt was hilarious, and Yahoo’s FireEagle was interesting too. Perhaps the name, “Fire Eagle” was too similar to other flying types of fire, as the venue was struck by lightning. This caused the building to think it was being attacked by fire and open up its windows, letting in the rain, thus soaking us and the electrical equipment. So the last presentation was cancelled.

Then the wifi (for me) was utterly non-functional, with a few computers having the same SSID for their ad hoc networks (BT Openzone). Fun Fun Fun!

My contributions were pretty minuscule compared with the end result, of our team (Frozen Indigo Angels) http://Boxr.org – a locative / location based game. Capture the flag but with static pay phones. Teams run to the payphones, ring up a skype bot, which records the number, which team is ringing and records the score… twitter feed for scores and yahoo map for live updates. Very neat! and probably the only Hackday hack that can still work after the weekend!

where2.0 and wherecamp

Back in the UK now. Attended and wherefaired Geocodr.net and went to wherecamp too. Some highlights and notes:

  • Microsoft jaw dropping lovely (in browser) 3D rendering
  • Googles “hmm, what can we do with that” nothing-new StreetView
  • Poly9’s FreeEarth flash globe.
  • Experiencing Flickr going offline just when it was really needed! Realising how much a mashup can be dependant on a single link in a long chain.
  • Meeting new folk, hanging out with some of the nicest people in the geo.
  • Hearing openstreetmap mentioned loads of times, and Mikel begging for people not to mention GeoRSS any more!
  • Getting perspectives on data availability in the Middle East and comparing it to the USA and UK.
  • Rich Gibson’s “Story” – using technology to aggregate, filter and report back to hold a mirror to oneself “You seem to be playing too much WOW, why dont you pop round your neighbours”
  • Where mobile app development -on my list.
  • Maplets – on my list
  • Yahoo’s FireEagle – on my list
  • Playing WhereWolf at wherecamp and being lynched for no good reason, and waking up to the sound of the yahoo display case crashing mysteriously.
  • Amateur forensics later that morning…
  • Delving into ideas about how to grab softer information about neighbourhoods, gist of a place
  • Good session about locative arts.
  • At wherefaire, the sonar-coat, a coat with proximity sensors sewn in, and heart rate monitor.
  • Doubling the amount of t-shirts I own through schwag.