Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Hack Day

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Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Google Developers LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Hackathon

    The Google Developers LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Hackathon returns to SXSW this year with even more epic proportions. Spend the day with a team building Lego race bots controlled by Android leading up to the ultimate rumble that evening.

    - 10am LEGO® kit distribution begins
    - 10am - 8pm Hardcore hacking
    - 7:30pm 30-minute warning, race order is assigned
    - 8pm Let the rumble begin!

    The Rules
    - Each team gets 1 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® kit. There will be additional LEGO® pieces available.
    - Each team must build with the pieces given at the event — thus no outside parts, modifications, or LEGOs will be allowed! No exceptions!
    - You'll need to bring your own laptop for hacking, but we'll have plenty of power and WiFi.
    - You can use any programming environment you prefer.
    - Teams should bring their own Android device.
    - Teams must use an Android device and the MINDdroid control app to remote control the robots throughout the obstacle course.
    - Teams must use the MINDdroid software.
    - The goal is for teams to get their robots from start to finish of the obstacle course in the shortest amount of time.
    - No more than 30 teams can enter.
    - No more than 4 people per team.
    - Bots can not be larger than a shoebox.
    - Bots must stay within the designated course.
    - Robots must be race ready by the scheduled race time.

    At 10:00am to 8:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Rainey St

  • A License to RHoK

    by Nicholas Skytland, Elizabeth Sabet, Patrick Svenburg, Christiaan Adams and Todd Khozien

    Want to change the world? Then get a license to RHoK! Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is a global initiative to create practical open source solutions to humanity's toughest challenges. Organized by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, HP, NASA and the World Bank, RhoK brings together thousands of the best and brightest developers from around the world - like YOU - to participate in fast–paced and competitive marathon coding events resulting in real applications that are making an impact on humanity. The RHoK community has grown rapidly over the past 2 years, with 3000 participants from 43 cities who have worked on 214 distinct solutions. This talk will bring together "RHoKstars" to provide an overview of the initiative, discuss some of the solutions developed, describe how the SxSW community can contribute to the effort and most importantly, brainstorm about what is next. …and if they let us, we'll be playing rock music and lighting off fireworks!

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon E, AT&T Conference Center

Monday 12th March 2012

  • A Tale of Two City Hackathons

    by Mark Headd

    In the fall of 2011 the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore were the sites for civic hackathons organized by a collective of developers and activists. Separated by one month and roughly 100 miles, each city's event focused on a different area of civic activity, used a different format, employed different strategies and attracted different participants. Both sought the same outcomes; meaningful civic change and the long-term viability of hackathon projects. Looking back on these events, which hackathon will be judged to be more successful? Which projects survived and are prospering in 2012? Which strategies work the best when conducting civic hackathons? This session aims to identify some answers to these questions.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Room 6AB, Austin Convention Center

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • Hackathons: Kickstart a Movement from a Weekend

    by Peter Hirshberg and Christine Outram

    It all happened so quickly: you arrived at the hack-a-thon, got excited, met interesting people, came up with a great idea, built a prototype (in less than 12 hours) and presented to an adoring crowd.Then everyone went home. Slept. Ate. And lost momentum...Hackathons are evolving: from a room filled only with developers, to rooms full of social innovators -- developers, designers, planners, journalists, civic leaders and more -- coming together to address pressing urban issues (transportation, community development, energy use etc). This is exciting, and produces potentially groundbreaking ideas. But too often, the hackathon finishes and projects never see the light of day. The good news, is that it is relatively easy to turn these 48-hour geek-chic fests into events with lasting impact. This conversation will allow hacker organizations, government, businesses and citizens to discuss the value of hackathons and how to leverage them to kick-start change-making movements in cities.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center