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Feb 12

Phone Mashup Contest

You love hacking code together. You love looking clever. Admit it. (Even if it's only for yourself). So do it, mashup something clever and show it off.

Mashups are the coder's equivalent of Lego's and Meccano sets. Nice working modules of functionality that can glue together to make bigger better apps, code gadgets and toys.

One of the hacks I did a long time ago was called Amabuddy (now ringfo) with friend and telecoms hacker Todd Pinkerton. It was simple. I am addicted to buying books so I needed a quick way to get price checks. With the help of Plum Networks Voice XML platform (thanks to Plum Portals CEO Matt Ervin) and also the Pyamazon library we knocked up a simple way to get a price check and review from Amazon from any phone. Enter the ISBN or UPC code and it was read out to you on the phone. Simple in concept, simple to execute. Some Web CGI code and a bit of hacking.

Dave Nielsen of Strikeiron came to ETel last year and was surprised at how many new clients came from the ETel audience. Strikeiron basically sell commercial web API's. API's that tell you the time, the source of a telephone number, exchange rates, you name it they seem to have it.

For this year Dave suggested a mashup hacking competition for Etel and Brady and I readily agreed. They also got Tellme and Sylantro to cough up some prize money. The contest is outside of OReilly but we are hosting the prize ceremony and also supporting it as much as we can. Kudos to Dave, Shirish Andhare from Sylantro and Megan Dyer from Tellme for making this happen.

The competition website is here and we encourage you to enter no matter how silly or brilliant the idea may be. The idea is to spread the word outside of the phone hackers community as to how easy and fun it is to build these hacks. Everything you need to get started you can get from the website. Your phone account (VXML) is free and you have free API's and Toolkits from the sponsors.

If you can write a CGI script then you can hack a commercial style service together in a few hours. Go take a look and investigate. Step outside your daily zone. Let your imagination run riot. Have some fun.

Press Release

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Rick Mason   [02.12.07 03:56 PM]

Why not take it one step further and let me order the book from amazon? I would be registered and by knowing the number calling you'd have all my info. I think you would clean up as an Amazon affiliate.

tomsoft   [02.14.07 11:51 PM]

Is there any reason why this contest is open to US resident only?

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