More Fun Than Your Everyday Hackathon – GameHackDay NYC

This past weekend Tokbox was at Game Hack Day in NYC and we must say it was more fun than we expected. The organizers had a great set of API presentations which included Foursquare, Twilio, OMGPOP, Aviary, and of course OpenTok. We also had the pleasure of learning more about some pretty cool libraries and hardware to hack with. They really went all out, even procuring Parot AR Drones and Microsoft Kinect devices to entice the participants and spark some creativity.

AR Drone (photo cred johndbritton via flickr)

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Lessons Learned from Startup Weekend Las Vegas

Las Vegas Startup Weekend was this past weekend with a star-studded panel of judges, including Kevin Rose (tea enthusiast and Packer fan), Tom Anderson (everybody’s MySpace friend), Tony Hsieh (deliverer of happiness), Ryan Carson (ThinkVitamin founder), and Josh Reich (banking disrupter).

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Creating chatroulette with node.js, socket.io & OpenTok

This tutorial will create a simple chat roulette app using node.js, socket.io and OpenTok. Socket.io allows us to pass data between clients in real-time using only javascript and eliminate the need for a database. OpenTok allows us to quickly publish and subscribe to webcam streams without having to worry about server requirements and bandwidth usage — all we have to do is implement a simple and free javascript API.

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Hack For Change – A Weekend about Doing Good

One thing is for sure: the developer and hacker community cares about sparking positive change. After spending a weekend as a hacker at the Hack for Change event (superbly hosted by Change.org), I saw over a dozen great ideas to hear about problems, find solutions and get people involved in those solutions. I wanted to highlight some of my favorites:

  • GoodNeighbor: Help get small tasks done like changing a lightbulb or taking out the trash for an elderly or disabled person in your neighborhood.
  • FindMeAPet.org: Save an animal from being put down by subscribing to data on incoming animals from local shelters.
  • IGotUGot: Backyard gardening exchange that helps you connect with the community and barter using whatever you grow at home (or have extra laying around).
  • PDB: Personal Daily Breifing the way Obama gets on his desk every morning, stay in touch with issues that you care about.
  • PicketLine.us: Voice your protest against a corporation and the practices you dislike. Profile the company and what people think about their choices.
  • SafeHood: Take your neighborhood watch digital via SMS notifications, simple and anonymous.
  • AnonyMouse: Connecting LBGT youth with mentors that can safely and anonymously answer difficult questions for someone who needs a conversation to help them get through a challenge.
  • AnonyMissing: Report lost friends without compromising yourself by keeping it anonymous
  • ShoppingAdvisor: Using data from GoodGuide to give you an aggregate view of your Amazon shopping history based on impact on the environment, carbon footprint, and other social awareness metrics.
  • What’s About My City: Spread the word about problems in your town and vote on those you agree should be fixed.
  • GreatDebate: Embed widgets on your own sites to connect with a cause and get decision maker feedback on that cause right away.
  • Alerter: Better emergency response is one tap away. Uses your medical profile, your select contacts (incl. Facebook), and your selected messages to get the word out when you need help.
  • GoChip.in: Event management for volunteer coordinators
  • Corrupt: report acts of corruption around you and hold those people accountable publicly (I worked on this one)
  • GovContrib: a bookmarklet that gives you a quick reference on how much certain companies have contributed to certain parties (uses Sunlight API)
  • Piece of Mind: An online and offline way for veterans to connect and voice stories through art. Kickstarter donation funded mosaic to be built.

Congratulations to GoodNeighbor (first prize), AnonyMouse (runner up), FindMeAPet (second runner up), Alerter (honorable mention) and all the teams that hacked though the wee hours on their projects. These ideas weren’t about building the next Fortune 500 company and retiring early, they were about making a difference in people’s lives. Seeing people staying up all night for that, truly is admirable.

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TokBox wins Audience Award at Founder Showcase

We’re happy to announce that TokBox won the Demo Table Competition at the 7th Founder Showcase in San Francisco this week. Woo hoo! Our trusty TokBox crew members toiled away for hours (five to be exact) showing off OpenTok. They demo’ed everything from PokerView, to Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and eBuddy. See their smiley faces below.

Thanks to the Founder Showcase audience for helping us bring home the win!

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OpenTok jQuery plugin available

We have designed the OpenTok JavaScript library to be easy for all JavaScript developers to use. But the jQuery OpenTok plugin, created by jQuery developer Jose Torres, could make it even easier to use OpenTok audio-video sessions in your web-based apps.

The plugin is hosted at github.com:

https://github.com/jmtorres/jquery-opentok

Using the jQuery plugin, you can fully integrate OpenTok into your jQuery-based apps.

To use the plug-in, include the OpenTok, jQuery, and jquery.opentok scripts in your HTML page:

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OpenTok JS Plugins – Widget

I have began to create a set of OpenTok JavaScript plugins to provide boilerplate solutions for some common use cases.

The first plugin is the _OT.widget, which makes it simple to create a videochat widget similar to the HTML embed widget seen here.

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HAPI Hack Weekend

We will be co-hosting HAPI Hack Weekend at our San Francisco office June 10 – June 12.

HAPI Hack Weekend is a hackathon focused on leveraging APIs to create cool new software. The event brings together designers and developers for a chance to win prizes, create products and meet talented people.

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ReadWriteWeb 2-Way Summit

Our CEO, Ian Small, will be participating on a panel at the RWW 2-Way Summit on Tuesday, June 14th in NYC.

The 2WAY Summit NYC is a tech conference about the future of the web that takes place, June 13-14 at Columbia University in New York City. The event will feature two energizing and interactive components that will bring our influential audience together for two days of electrifying content.

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Startup Poker Night

We will be hosting Startup Poker Night at TokBox’s San Francisco office on Tuesday, June 14th.

Ante up for Startup Poker Night hosted by TokBox. If you’re interested in startups, work for one, or are in town for Founder’s Showcase, stop by to play cards and meet like-minded people. In celebration of the launch of Poker View’s new webcam poker tables, powered by the OpenTok API, the munchies and booze are on us. Just show up and be ready to play.

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