Blog Posts by Havi Hoffman

  • The Yahoo! lineup at Velocity

    The 4th annual O'Reilly Velocity Conference, focused on web performance and operations, runs from Tuesday, June 14 - Thursday, June 16, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The conference is now officially sold-out but exhibit hall and online access passes are still available. And the entire conference will be livestreamed here, for free!

    If you're at the show, come find us on the exhibit floor at Booth #420; we'll be showing YSlow as well as YSlow for Chrome, plus there will be opportunities to meet up with some of the Yahoo! speakers after their talks. (Hint #1: Look for the purple. Hint #2: We're hiring!)

    Topics and themes to be covered at Velocity include: Automation strategies, mobile performance optimization, cloud computing: the good bits, JavaScript speedups, storing and managing big data (NoSQL, Hadoop), metrics and monitoring,
    and more.

    Here's a quick look at the Yahoos who will be speaking:

    - Douglas Crockford, JavaScript architect, will deliver a

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  • Bragging in Bucharest: Hackers Rule at Open Hack EU 2011

    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 Algorithmics Peform a Sorting Algo Dance at Open Hack EU, BucharestThe Algorithmics Peform at Open Hack EU, Bucharest

    On Sunday afternoon, after a sleepless night of coding for hundreds of participants, over 60 hacks were presented to a packed, purple-lit hall of hackers, technologists and judges. The illustrious panel of judges included Yahoo! leaders and esteemed members of the Romanian tech community: Raymie Stata, Yahoo! CTO; Ebbe Altberg, Senior Vice President of Media; Todd Hay, head of YDN; Douglas Crockford, JavaScript architect; Varujan Pambuccian, Member of Parliament and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Bucharest; and Alex Lapusan, CEO of Zitec, Bucharest-based custom web development and software solutions company.

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  • Look who’s coming to Bucharest for Open Hack Europe

    Here at YDN, we're not counting down to the Royal Wedding, instead we're counting the days till Open Hack EU 2011, taking place in Bucharest, Romania, on May 14-15. This will be the 14th Open Hack event hosted by Yahoo! Developer Network since we started in 2006, and we're just as excited now as we were then.

    We're expecting hundreds of developers from across Europe to join us at the Crystal Palace ballrooms for what promises to be an event of memorable awesomeness and innovative outcomes. Hack events build relationships and create serendipity for entrepreneurs, developers, and everyone involved. Over the years, we've seen hack prototypes evolve into products and apps, partnerships, funded startups, even acquisitions. Later this year, the winners of Open Hack Europe will have the chance to participate in an Open Hack All Stars event in the U.S. where they will compete with hack winners from around the world. Stay tuned, as we'll be sharing more details soon.

    Yahoo!'s premier digital

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  • YQL + Kynetx power AmaCraigBay, a winning comparison shopping app

    Just before the holidays, some folks from YDN had a conversation with some folks from Kynetx about how developers were using YQL to manipulate web data from various sources atop the rapidly evolving Kynetx platform. We decided to collaborate on a fast-paced online contest for the best submitted app using YQL + Kynetx. All of us were thrilled by the caliber of the submissions -- a testament to the power of useful and well-built tools.

    YDN and Kynetx technical evangelists jointly reviewed the apps. Chris Slade, a computer science professor based in Hawaii, turned in the winning app: AmaCraigBay. It's a "comparison shopping" app that pulls product search results from Amazon, Craigslist, and Ebay onto one page, to help you find the best deal--and it's available as a bookmarklet or as a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Chris wins a 16GB iPad provided jointly by Yahoo! Developer Network + Kynetx.

    Over on the Kynetx blog, Brad Hintze talks to Chris:


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  • Cloudstock Recap: YQL, hackathon, and winter showers

    On Monday, Yahoo! Developer Network participated in Salesforce's inaugural Cloudstock event, a developer-centric prelude to Dreamforce,'s annual customer gathering. The one-day conference brought thousands of developers to San Francisco's Moscone Center to learn from Adobe, Amazon, Box, eBay,, Google, Heroku, Joyent, Kynetx, LinkedIn, PayPal, Simple Geo, and many other cloud tool and technology providers.

    YDN evangelists staffed a partner pod and answered questions about YQL, the SQL-like query language that lets you query, filter and join data from a variety of sources. Tom Hughes-Croucher gave a talk called "Select * From Internet – How to Make the Most of the Web of Data Using YQL." Much as Salesforce simplifies and enhances the tasks associated with CRM, YQL piques developer interest because it simplifies the task of calling multiple APIs to manipulate and present data.

    In addition to the day's array of sessions, Cloudstock featured a Hackathon, where

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  • Contest: Mixing it up with Kynetx and YQL

    Our friends over at Kynetx, a platform for context-aware, cross-platform app development, invited us to participate in their last online app development contest of 2010. Here's a chance to show off the capabilities of YQL and Kynetx working together.

    For this contest, build any application that uses both Kynetx and YQL. That's the only requirement: You can add any other web service into the mix. The app can be deployed as a browser extension, bookmarklet, site tags, or you can skip the browser altogether (using Twilio, for example). The winning application will receive a 16GB wifi iPad! Contest ends on Thursday December 16th, at Midnight Pacific Time.

    Over on the Kynetx blog, look for Brad Hintze to post a YQL Kynetx app example in the coming days. (Follow @ydn for a pointer to his demo app). You can find the YQL console and YQL documentation at

    If you've never checked out Kynetx, sign up for a free developer account here. Once your app is built and ready to

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  • Hack me with science: a look back at Science Hack Day SF

    "The natural state of ideas is flow and spillover and connection."

    Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
    Steven Johnson (@stevenbjohnson)

    A fortnight ago, I had the good fortune to travel to the Institute for the Future, a well-appointed workspace at the top of University Ave. in Palo Alto. The occasion: Science Hack Day. Orchestrated by Ariel Waldman, cybernetic interaction designer, spacehacker, and cupcake camper and an illustrious multinational organizing committee, the mission of Science Hack day was to bring together scientists, software geeks, and other creative folk to "get excited and make things with science." And that's precisely what happened.

    Over the weekend, about 100 people gathered to learn from each other, tinker, form collaborative teams, and build projects that combined ideas from particle physics, molecular biology and bioinformatics, data science, astronomy and space science, robotics, geography, microscopy, software hacking, and web

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  • Hat-Tip to TipTheWeb, TweetDonate, and all the PayPal X Winners

    PayPal X Innovate 2010, PayPal's developer conference, took place last week in San Francisco, and winners of the Developer Challenge were announced on Wednesday afternoon, just as the World Series was getting started at nearby AT&T Park.

    The winners of the Grand Prize,, had a real crowd-pleaser with their mobile app that lets you shop and pay for products at live events &emdash; hotdogs and beer at a baseball game or sporting event, or merch at a concert. With this clever iPhone app, you may never need to miss an inning or a play while waiting in line. Congratulations to co-founders Humberto Roa and Kenji Kato, and special props for building an app with real-time contextual relevance. The iConcessionStand duo walked off with a trophy just as Game 1 of a beautiful series was unfolding a few blocks away.

    Now that the World Series and even the elections are over, we wanted to give a closing shout-out to all the PayPal X Innovate winners, and a big congratulations

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  • Why Hacking Matters – A Primer

    A recap of my panel at Web 2.0 Expo NY, which took place last week in midtown Manhattan.

    In years past, I've participated in Web 2.0 Expo on behalf of YDN, as a sponsor, exhibitor, and attendee. This year I moderated a panel about the value of hack days for companies and organizations. In this post, I'd like to share some of the principles we discussed, and how I met the panelists — Akiva Bamberger, Chad Dickerson, Meghan Gill, and Tarikh Korula — because I think it's a great illustration of the organic power of hack days.

    I've been at Yahoo! since it was a cathedral-like web directory powered by a village of web surfers. I worked on content and editorial for many years, before moving into a marketing role. I'm currently part of a small team that talks to developers. We tweet, post, and blog. We plan events. And we produces hack days, both internal — for Yahoo employees only, and external — for the global developer community.

    If you read this blog, you already know what a hack

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  • Manfred Clynes, Cyborgology, and the Real-Real Time of our Lives

    Space travel challenges mankind not only technologically but also spiritually, in that it invites man to take an active part in his own biological evolution. (Cyborgs in Space)

    A couple weeks ago, when I read about Tim Maly's month-long 50 Posts About Cyborgs project celebrating the 50th birthday of the word cyborg, I knew I wanted to be part of it. In a way, the cyborg and I have grown up together, children of the space race, digital immigrants who've crossed into the 21st century. I'd been following Tim (@doingitwrong) and his blog for a while, after a serendipitous retweet crossed my stream.

    Quiet Babylon is a stylish, thoughty website about "cyborgs, architects, and our weird broken future." gathers together the creative imaginations and varied perspectives of many contributors: futurists, filmmakers, builders, designers, writers, and scholars. The project makes a elegant use case for Tumblr as a cross-web platform for content curation, and I hope it inspires

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