Fridaygram: EU Hackathon, electron Pong, sounds from space

SEP 23, 2011

By Scott Knaster, Google Code Blog Editor

Hackathons are a blast. There are few experiences better than writing code all night with dozens or hundreds of others, consuming free food, and converting that sweet sleep deprivation into creativity as you hack. As hackathons go, this one is spectacular: Hack4Transparency takes place in Brussels at the European Parliament. The goal of this event is to make data more accessible and intelligible to consumers and to government.

You expect food and WiFi at a hackathon. But this is really cool: if you’re selected to attend, the hackathon pays your travel and accommodation expenses, and a couple of the best hacks will win a prize of €3.000. If that got your attention, read the full story on our Open Source Blog, and then apply to attend.

When I was a wee hacker, I would sometimes break up my coding sessions with a primitive videogame called Pong. Physicists at Cambridge University are still playing this game, sort of, except now they’re knocking a single electron back and forth. As if that Pong ball wasn’t small and easy to miss enough already.

Finally, if you have some time this weekend and you’re not coding or playing video games, you can check out this excellent collection of sounds from spaceflights posted by NASA. You can even make them into ringtones, so if you want to hear a 50-year-old Sputnik beep when your friends call, go for it.