Thank you Bucharest! Thank you Romania! Mul?umesc!
Over 350 developers, designers, and technology influencers from all corners of Romania and across Europe came out to Bucharest this past weekend for Yahoo!'s Open Hack event. Saturday morning tech talks included presentations on YUI, YQL, node.js, JSON, BOSS, the Yahoo! Messenger API, and the art of hacking.
The judges had the challenging task of selecting a handful of hacks for special recognition. The winning hacks needed to use at least one Yahoo! API or technology - they were evaluated for creativity, usefulness, engaging or unexpected user experience, and technology prowess. There was also a Hacker's Choice award based on a write-in vote by all the event participants.
Throughout the weekend, attendees heard talks by Yahoo! developers as well as technology leaders and activists from the Romanian technology community. There were specialists and enthusiasts who self-organized to work on subject-specific such as: history, astronomy, hardware-hacking, and civil society hacks, which leveraged open government data from a variety of public sources.
Hackers consumed the usual vast quantities of food and caffeinated beverages, with the primary food groups like pizza, red bull, and cola generously featured, especially overnight. The break room featured foosball, ping pong, a Wii, and a Kinect box. Purple beanbags were everywhere.
Here is a list of the winning hacks and hackers:
## Yahoo! Social Programming: Best Messenger Hack
An Eclipse plug-in based on the Yahoo! Messenger API that enables programmers around the world to share their code in real time.
Corabia Nebunilor Team: Cristi Staicu, Liana Lupsa, Sandra Serbanescu, Horia Radu
## TheBatMail: Best Yahoo! product enhancement
TheBatMail is a web app (Yahoo Mail App) that integrates directly into Yahoo! Mail. Our app has 3 main featurers or hacks if you want: threaded discussions, social discovery and email editing.
The BatMen Team: Lucian Todea, Constantin Tovisi, Mircea Soaica, Stefan Rusu
## Map of Deforested Areas of Romania: Best Hack for Social Good
An app that works with satellite images to identify forest cuts and illegal clearing. This application will be usable by the general public, so that anyone can submit data. Information will be verified by the organizers, a Romanian environmental NGO, in order to build the first public inventory of deforested areas in the country.
We plant good deeds in Romania! Team: Emilian Losneanu, Dragos Barbu, Liana Buzea, Florin Buga
## Ymotions: Best Mashup
Ymotions.in helps you gauge the real mood of the audience at a presentation, event, performance or other venue by leveraging sentiment analysis, face detection and gestural recognition techniques.
The Guys Team: Andrei Blaj, Lucian Hutanu, Alexandru Rada, Catalin Morosan
## Tourist Guide: Best Local Hack
This Tourist Guide helps a visitor discover the most popular destinations and points of interest in a new location. Popularity is determined by the number of pictures from Flickr and Panoramio, as well as by check-ins on Foursquare and Gowalla near the visitor's location. The application also finds and displays the best route between the points of interest.
## Take a Hike: Best Yahoo! Search BOSS Hack
Plan 9 Team: Alexandru Badiu
A tool to help people in Romania learn more about their elected officials. This app tracks current Romanian politicians and their party changes, shows stats about their voting records, and other useful information.
## The Yahoo! Farm - Cloud Data in Your Bedroom: People's Choice
RoboFun Team: Viorel Spinu, Constantin Craciun, Ionut Cotoi, Alexandru Stefanica
This crafty hardware hack gathers data about your local weather, incoming Yahoo! Mail, and Messenger buddies via Yahoo! APIs and presents it as a scale model diorama of a country farm, complete with yodeling sheep and a working windmill. The windmill and backdrop depend on the weather, the sheep are the number of online friends, and the lighted tree represents the number of new emails. Watch the video!
## Alexandru Badiu: Best in Show with 3 hacks presented
1. Take a Hike: BOSS/YQL hack described above
2. Quick info: Quick info uses Yahoo BOSS and YQL to quickly pull information about a particular subject from various sources.
3. Playlist-O-Matic: Generates a personal music playlist based on various inputs and a collection of open music APIs.
Stay tuned for more about Alexandru Badiu, a passionate developer, open source advocate, university teacher, founding member of the Romanian Drupal Association, and all-around hacker extraordinaire.
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## Presentations: YUI, YQL, BOSS, Yahoo! Messenger API, Accessibility
- Hack Day EU 2011 YQL by Jonathan LeBlanc
- Hack With YUI by Luke Smith
- Achieving Greatness with Node.js by Reid Burke
- Introduction to Yahoo! Messenger APIs by Vivek Aggarwal
- Accessibility Challenges and Innovations for Open Hack EU 2011 by Ted Drake for Yahoo! Accessibility
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We were blown away by the warm welcome, generous spirit of fun, and the commitment to coding and creativity we discovered in Bucharest.