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Yahoo! Hackday '08

Woot. Another Yahoo! Hackday :)

Same basic structure as the one held 2 years ago at the same location (Y!'s Sunnyvale campus): free concert, free api tutorial sessions, and a 24-hour idea-to-implementation challenge.

The only bad part, which was the only bad part about the last hackday, was the presence of startup companies presenting their product as their 'hack'. This year's overall winner was Xoopit which won simply on not a hack but on Xoopit's product, which has been around for a while. Maybe I was already annoyed at Xoopit for plastering their stickers all over Yahoo's cafeteria.

Big frownyface to all the companies who used hackday submissions as an advertising feature.

Ignoring those silly people, the rest of the hackday festivities were quite good. The concert was a bit strange but still very entertaining - Girl Talk puts on quite a show. My favorite hacks, mostly because of the entertainment value of the presentation and the hacks, were iHeater and Moshpit.

My hack, as listed on

    * hack: SnackUpon
    * url:
    * people: Jordan Sissel
    * comments: Get StumbleUpon-like behavior trained automatically from your
      own tags in delicious. Sources are BOSS news and web search, your
      Delicious network, recent Delicious posts, and your own recent posts.
Slides are here Super huge thanks to Yahoo! for hosting another hackday near me; it was fantastic.

Where can you find tastydrive's code?

Where is

It was originally available through a stored posting in I took the sourcecode off, because I'm not sure what kind of badness would happen should people start using it. The usage pattern it would generate is completely different from the standard usage pattern receives currently. I am going to confer with some Yahoo folk to see if they care.

Why? Call an ethical hacker, call me whatever. I don't feel like having get bombarded with this kind of activity. It's a useful service I don't want to hinder. I'll post more tomorrow when I've had a chance to talk to some Yahoo engineers..

Article featuring myself in WSJ regarding Yahoo Hack Day.

Lee Gomes wrote an article about how I rocked the house at Yahoo! Hack Day. This article is on the front page of the Marketing section (Page B1) of the Wall Street Journal. I'm completely speechless. Lee did me quite an honor in this feature. I am so excited and happy right now. This is awesome.

One of my favorite parts is when he writes:

A number of Hack Day participants used the opportunity to strut their existing Web sites ("flipmeat," in the lexicon of the current Web 2.0 business bubble) in front of potential Yahoo acquirers.
Hackday wasn't about demo'ing your fancy "Web 2.0" startup. It was about building an idea from the ground up in 24 hours using any of the Yahoo! APIs. To those of you who showed up at hackday and showed off your startup company: Shame on you.

There were simple hacks such as Tantek (and a lady from Instructables) 's hack which was a "send this picture as a postcard" greasemonkey extension. Built that night and demoed hours later. Or, there was Mo(sp?)'s Captain Picard mouth-puppet hack, hilarious!

Link to the article:

Special thanks to Kent Brewster giving me the URL.

Keynav 1.0 (presented at Yahoo! Hack Day '06)

I finally took some time after work today to write up a good description of the keyboard screen navigation system I demoed at Hack Day. With the project page is a screencast demo. Hopefully you find it useful.

Go to the keynav project page