Mashed08, day two, Ally Pally

Well after maybe two hours snoozing on a sofa, I’m up and about again and it’s day two of Mashed08.

I’ve learnt a lesson – never try to sleep in roughly the same 100 meters with Rock Band and a few keen players – eventually I started to feel like I was in a Sartresque ‘Rock Band Hell’ ;-P

After being offered some baked beans as the vegan option for breakfast, I commanded the huge, heart-shaped, pink bean bag and settled down, for a few moments before being requested by Robin to help out with a rehearsal for this afternoon’s presentations. This just required me to walk on stage and talk to the camera whilst the crew worked out camera angles, etc. Incase you’re wondering, I recited the ever popular ‘Badger, badger, badger, mushroooooooooom, snaaaaaaake…’ :-D

One highlight of the day was when Ant Miller took us all outside into the sunshine to launch his rocket, we all watched in awe as it shot up into the sky. I ran down the hill to see where it had floated back down to the ground using it’s little fluro yello parachute. Standing around it was a clutch of bemused public, after a few pleasantries and photos, we clambered back up the hill.

It’s soon time for the important presentations of the hacks to begin and there’s a sekrit surprise. We have a super dooper Doctor Who compare, Sylvester McCoy, he arrives out of a haze of blue smoke!

The presentations were fast and furious and a huge concentration of great talent. They include all sorts of entries for the competition using various ideas ans combinations of mash-ups, feeds and APIs. I’d say there were nearly 40 ninety-second presentations of prototypes and they’ve been very interesting.

The jury is out and after two hours we get up and stretch our legs, but it’s a tight schedule and we will be back soon!

Well, I was very pleased that Christian Heilmann won a prize for his cool accessibility apps and a little dissapointed that Emma Persky’s movement recognition software didn’t get a prize.

Next year I hope the judging panel has some female input, I think there were six men (Matt: well done for getting them to do an impro cancan on stage)! The panel was made up of peeps from orgs/companies such as Channel4, Microsoft, O’Reilly, Guardian and Multimap, and their representatives were all great and worthy, but mebbe one of them could find a worthy woman to send along next time eh? ;-P

I was really sad that it was suddenly time to go home, I could have done it all again. The sight of everyone scurrying off with beanbags was fun, especially Ryan who got a collection for his Mrs and had fun trying to fit them all into a people carrier size cab :-D

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