LeanInvestments Summer Challenge

Lean Investments

If you have a great idea for a web or mobile app and you and your team is able to implement this idea and you come from a European university, then maybe you’ll want to enter the Lean Investments Summer 2012 App Challenge.

In the contest, you build an application or service – for iPhone, the web or Android (by yourself or with a team we connect you with). The winner gets £10,000 (€12,500) of investment, three months of office space, six mentoring sessions with our founder, and introductions to three seed and venture-capital investors.

This isn’t a business-plan or pitch competition, where the winner is the person with the best slides or the most persuasive presentation. It’s about building something – a simple and quick prototype – that actually works and is useful. Real users are a bonus, but not required.

If you plan to return to full-time education after the summer, don’t worry – you can still enter. If you win, you can work on your killer app part-time while we assemble a team of people to help you take it forward.

The final deadline for app submission is at the end of the summer, but to enter you will have to have registered by 15 July 2012.

Lean Investments LP is a seed fund which invests in early-stage Internet and other technology startups based in Europe. The fund is the private vehicle of Tim Jackson, a leading figure in the European technology scene as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, angel investor, commentator and technology journalist.

Finally AdMob and AdWords come together

Google announced that AdWords advertisers will be able to run campaigns in the AdMob network, a development that was expected since Google acquired AdMob for $750 million two years ago. In the last two years there was a big gap between AdWords, which offered traditional Web based adverts and AdMob which offered mobile ads on smartphone applications. Since more and more HTML5 based cross platform apps appear on the market, it was necessary to offer mobile ads also for these apps.

I also experienced that the value of AdWords ad clicks decreased dramatically, while the mobile ads boomed and brought more money per click, but that was just my impression.

Now both, mobile ads and Web based ads are coming together again and i am sure within the next years the revenu of mobile ads will also drop a lot.

Microsoft publishes on{X} Android App

A little surprise was Microsoft’s publication of a new Android App on{X} (yes its no typo, Microsoft published an Android exclusive App) App for automating context-sensitive tasks with the use of simple user defined scripts (called recipes). on{X} (pronounced like ‘on-ex’) lets you control and extend the capabilities of your Android phone using a JavaScript API to remotely program it. These recipes are much the same approach i published within my PhD thesis, except the fact that in my work they were called rules (ECA = Event Condition Action Rules). Its good to see that finally this idea of letting users customize their smart devices to react context-aware on user defined situations, got general acceptance by big players like Microsoft.

In order to push user defined rules to your Android phone you just have to install the on{X} application on your Android phone, log in to the website and app, and push rules to your phone. Rules you create using the on{X} website are immediately sent to your phone using the on{X} application. The rules you create run on your phone, using the phone’s abilities such as GPS, text messages, phone calls, and more. The phone’s abilities are exposed in the on{X} API as Triggers and Actions (as i already mentioned before within the global community this concept was published as Event, Condition Action rules).

on{X} can be used to set specific triggers based on the phone’s sensors and abilities, which typically define the context in which the user and his/her phone are in the moment. A wide variety of triggers are described in our documentation. Some basic triggers are location, weather, time, news, battery and wifi (what about activity, acceleration, movement, sound, light, direction, photo, companions and friends, …?)

Finally, i have to admit that on{X} is a nice tool for every user of a smartphone and that Microsoft published a work that very much goes along with my own implementations in my PhD work (which was published in 2004).

If you would like to try on{X} for yourself, scan the QR code and go on testing…

download the app

scan the QR code or enter
http://aka.ms/onxapp on your Android phone.
source: www.onx.ms

Search for open source code snipplets: koders

source: www.koders.com

koders.com is a really useful open source code search engine, which is able to find code snipplets within all the major open source code repositories on the Web. So if you are searching for e.g. Fibonacci, you are getting a list of code snipplets that are related to this word. You can aditionally filter for programming languages and available licences, which is quite helpful. The database that underlies Koders contains 3.3 billion lines of code and reflects the contents of the majority of world’s major open source repositories, with syntax-highlighting for over 30 programming languages. The search database is further enhanced with additional code and metadata from the Black Duck KnowledgeBase, the industry’s most complete database of open source and third-party code.

Estimate the cost for your coding projects

You need a new customized software solutions and want to know the implementation effort?

ReqPOOL Pocket Estimator offers a nice online and mobile tool for estimating the overall effort for the coding of your planned software project. You just have to fill in some stats of your planned software product and the tool calculates an estimated effort in person or programming hours.

Even if you think you know the effort for your coding project much better, this tool could give you another hint to replan 😉

CodeNow! Build, share & discover source code online

Today i read about a new startup company, called CodeNow, which offers an online platform for coding and compiling for different platforms.

As i expected it long time ago, the Web is also the future platform for coding, compiling and running source code! In my job i have to code for many different platforms and it got even worse with the increase of different mobile platforms, such as Android, Windows Phone 7, iOS, Symbian, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, …

So i already thought about, why not setting up a central Web platform/server for automatically compiling for all these platforms. As i am a heavy user of Google Docs, i also thought about the possibilities and advantages of using a shared online editor for coding source code with a distributed team of programmers. A central coding server could also include state-of-the-art continuous integration tools, such as build and release management, source code management, unit test management and deployment management for the different marketplaces.

A central platform could also provide a collection of connected virtual machines or real devices (iPhones, different Android devices, …) for integration testing on real devices, as this is quite a problem for freelance programmers who cannot afford to buy a large collection of test devices. I also read about programmers from Africa who are programming and publishing iPhone apps from internet cafes by using a very simple online iPhone simulator.

So for me the Web is the future development machine to code and compile for different platforms without the need to setup different compilers, enviroments and deployment environments.

screenshot taken from CodeNow webpage