Berkeley University Hack Day Wrap-Up

From our man on the spot, Rasmus Lerdorf:

Photo: Ryan Kennedy

Berkeley Hack Day happened Friday at a frenetic pace. We invaded the Woz in Soda Hall and students were trickling in and out all day with a core group of four hack teams staying for the duration and a couple of teams working remotely. The teams fought Java, Python, C++ and PHP all day long, with Java defeating at least a couple of team members with its multiple layers of input streams required just to pull in a simple text file. We also fought with RSS feeds from Craigslist, news archives and local Berkeley event listings.

In the end it was a very close race between two hacks that rose above the rest: an extremely useful carpool commuter application that matched up peoples' addresses and their daily destinations and tried to organize the most efficient combination of carpools, and a magnificent hack that provided a cell phone interface to the old game of Twenty Questions. The impressive mix of technologies required to answer the call automatically, acquire the data for the twenty questions, do the text-to-speech translation and issue the FFT code to decipher the user responses from the cell phone won over the judges to take the top prize.

Here are the Berkeley entries:

  • Ryan Luecke and Friends - Psychic Skype Hotline
  • Carpool Commuter Hack
  • Suhaas Prasad, Min Xum, Ryan Zheng, Jerry Zhang - International News Map
  • INGAPO (Meet-There)
  • Capture the Flag Pac-Man

Winners: Psychic Skype Hotline, Carpool Commuter Hack, INGAPO, and Capture the Flag Pac-Man. Pictures are up on Flickr; look for the University Hack Day wrap-up shortly after Stanford concludes, November 9th.

Kent Brewster