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It seems these days hackdays, hackathons, hack this, hack that events are popular across the world. Some of these developer events have created very successful startups and some of the companies have been acquired.
Austin will be holding an API Hackday on Saturday, February 18 at the HubAustin coworking location. The event is free for everyone – just make sure to register for the right category so the organizers can make sure there is enough of each type of attendee (developer, designer, investor, etc.). The event will run from 8am-8pm with free lunch, dinner and post-event beer celebration.
Here’s the event overview, “API Hackday Austin brings developers together for an all-day coding fest focused on building apps and mashups with APIs. Developers of all experience levels can share ideas, collaborate on existing projects, start new ventures, and find out about great tools and new APIs to play with. Hackers will also hear from some of the country’s top API-focused companies on tips, tricks, and tools for building the next big app. At the end of the day, teams and/or individuals get a chance to present their work to a panel of judges and win kickass prizes.”
The event is sponsored by Twilio, Mashery, Paypal and Sendgrid – all four companies are heavy on the API.
I remember back in the late 1990s and early 2000s — we sent millions of emails every week and used an outsourced provider to handle sending the email. Back then there were no API email services and we paid an arm and a leg to the email providers to handle the sending and whitelisting of our customer emails. Today there are a number of companies in the email API space.
Today I received a note from Amazon Web Services that they have launched a new email service called Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES). Amazon notes, “(Amazon SES) is a highly scalable and cost-effective bulk and transactional email-sending service for businesses and developers. Amazon SES eliminates the complexity and expense of building an in-house email solution or licensing, installing, and operating a third-party email service.”
Basically the Amazon Simple Email Service is an API that developers can call to send emails. Pricing for SES is $0.10 per thousand emails sent. It appears there is even a simple whitelisting function which will process the email messages to make sure they will pass the filters on the recipient side. Amazon also provides email stats including bounced message rates, spam complaints, etc.
Amazon SES ties in to other Amazon Web Services including EC2 and the new (jack and the) beanstalk products. The service is in beta and you can signup here.
Last month at the SXSW conference, Twitter executives announced the launch of @Anywhere — their simple service which allows websites to connect with Twitter. Mathew Ingram at GigaOm has a recap of the initial announcement including a video with Twitter CEO Evan Williams.
At the Twitter Chirp developer gathering last week, the @Anywhere functionality went live. Nick O’Neill has an overview of how to integrate Twitter @Anywhere into your blog.
Earlier today I wrote about the new MTA real-time bus API which allows developers to pick up real-time locations for two bus routes in NYC. I noted in the post that I was hoping that someone would create a mashup with Google Maps where you can see the bus locations on a map and the map would be in real-time.
Well, it’s no Twitter app…but the live MTA bus tracker is now running! It’s called NYCT Bus Time and has two options: a display that matches the display at the actual bus stops and the live map where you can watch the M16 and M34 buses move along 34th street in Manhattan.
On the live map (static version shown below), you can see each of the bus stops indicated with red dots along with the buses moving along the street. The bus number is also displayed.
Interestingly I wonder if this new live bus tracker will remove the need for the MTA employees that sit around NYC writing down what time a bus reaches a certain stop point.
SEPTA (that’s Philly’s transit system) is also running a demo of their real-time bus tracker.
As many of you know, I am a bus and subway fan – I love public transit. If I ever sold CN, I would focus my blogging efforts on my transit blog, InsideTransit.
I’ve got to give some credit to the NYC MTA team members who have been participating in the New York City subway and bus developer group. The team is very responsive to all of the questions and requests that hit the group from developers looking to build on top of the APIs and other developer offerings from the transit authority.
Today MTA employee Sarah Kaufman has posted some great news…the first real-time API is now available for testing. The API is based on the real-time bus information on the 34th street bus line (that’s routed M16 and M34). The test will run through August 10th and the data stream will be stopped on that date. If you want to use the API, you must request a key by April 19th.
You can learn more about today’s real-time API announcement on the developer forum.
My hope is that someone creates a mashup with Google Maps similar to the Swiss train mashup where you can watch the trains move in real-time.
NY-based Adaptiveblue has announced the launch of an API for their Glue service yesterday. AdaptiveBlue calls Glue a ”contextual network.” Here’s my overview of Glue from our initial review, “You install the browser plugin and then as you browse the Web normally, a menu shows up on any pages where Glue has information to share. These are typically pages dealing with movies, music, books, music artists, restaurants and wine.”
The company describes the API release as, “tapping into Glue’s databases and semantic recognition engine enabling fun & useful applications about people and things.” You can use the API to get popular lists, lookup user lists, create data streams, send info into Glue and access user profiles.
The goal of the API is to drive usage of Glue and the underlying data. The applications built using Glue should also provide new visibility for the Glue service.
The company is running a contest to find great ideas for the API. You could win an all expenses paid trip to NYC to meet the Glue team and have a hot dog and a knish. When you are in NYC, I recommend a visit to the transit museum.
Ad optimization firm Pubmatic will announce the public launch of their API tomorrow. The API was in closed beta for the past few months with a select group of ad networks. PubMatic notes that the API will allow for instant connections between ad networks and publishers for single or multiple ad campaigns on demand.
PubMatic says that the benefits to publishers include increased reach, targeting and better control over campaigns. On the publisher side, the benefits include increased monetization, increased visibility, and zero integration.
I like what Pubmatic and competitors Rubicon and YieldBuild are offering. They are all trying to help publishers squeeze out every penny from their advertising inventory. My guess is that just like career sites are doing well in the current economic environment, these new ad optimization startups will also do well this year.