Last fortnight, when most of Kharagpur was drenched in Holi colours and the warmth of the spring sun, 50 teams sat with their backs hunched, coding away furiously in the chilly interiors of CIC’s terminal Lab.
Yes, Yahoo’s famed university event – HackU was in KGP after a tremendous response at our sister institutes at Madras and Bombay last semester. As with all HackU events around the globe, two nights before the weekend were spent in bringing KGPians up to speed on the latest technology trends. To facilitate this, about 15 Yahoo techies (fondly called Yahoos) had flown down from Bangalore, and were welcomed by an expectant crowd at the opening session in Vikramshila complex. The 300 strong participants were then given an opportunity to individaully interact with the tech crew and finalise what they were going to build in the next 2 days. The 24-hour Hackathon began on Saturday and was very well received by KGPians, who were kept in good stead with some groovy music and timely refreshments. At the end of the hack-off, the organisers were full of praise for KGPians, who showcased 30 creative hacks. Here’s a round up of a few interesting ones.
Rail Mapia: A cool visualisation tool for all your rail journeys, Rail Mapia overlays train routes and timings on a google map. You can search by train number or name and plan your travel intuitively by selecting points on a map. This team, comprising four final year students – Shubham Agrawal, Rishav Agarwal, Ashish Yadav and Naveen Sharma of the CSE department, walked away with the first prize.
Stock Network: While rest of the world is hooked to various social networks, here’s a new one where you can use to actually make money. Here in this secure environment, your followers will be able to see what stocks you trade in and hold discussions regarding the same. An exciting concept and a legitimate reason to squander your time online!
ssh-SMS: This walked away with the third prize thanks to numerous real world use cases. When everyone has a cellphone and when you can interact with a computer through SMS, you open up a lot of possibilities.
Question.me and Question recommendations: While semantic search is yet to take off in a big way, these two simple hacks try to give a taste of what it would be like using our current keyword-based technology. While Question.me gives answerers a reputation rating based on their answers in Quora, Yahoo Answers and the like, the latter brings in ranked similar-query results for the question you want to ask on answer sites.
HackTheTag: This innovative hack uses reverse image search techniques, to tag photos on photo sharing sites. With images being a staple part of our media consumption, HackTheTag would help in better structuring of the web’s pictorial data.
NotifySS: Probably the simplest and the most useful of all the hacks presented at HackU. While notifications form a vital cog of Facebook, its functionality leaves a lot to be desired, especially for administrators of large groups. Notifyss gives you a slideshow of your notifications, all the while letting you take appropriate action on them.
For the complete list of the hacks compiled, click here.