Bots Soon to High-Card Humans
FeedJournal Sample Issue
The Modern Emigrant
Why FeedJournal? (or why the information age matters)
Made In Express Contest
Product: Swedish Keyboard
Product: Window Control
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Microsoft Resolves Controversy (WTG!)
Shortly after I published my previous blog post regarding the Made In Express Contest controversy, Microsoft contacted me. They said that they had conducted a review of the final results and had decided to award the amount of the Grand Prize to both of the First Place winners!
So what swayed Microsoft into changing their attitude? I am not saying that my blog post did it, but I like to think that it played a part in their decision. Another huge contributor to this decision was Channel9 user Minh (thank you!), who called up Mark Jewett at Microsoft to get some answers. The phone conversation was recorded and you can download the mp3 from here.
Way to go, Mark Jewett and Microsoft! I know that you took a a lot of abuse in the C9 forums but the way that you resolved the situation impresses me. Thank you!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The Big Controversy Regarding the Winner(s)
C9 posters demand that the winning team in Made In Express Contest will be disqualified from the competition and their $10,000 prize revoked. They point at evidence that the winner, professor Ernie Hall, did not abide by the rules by using already developed code and working in a team.
I have been lurking in the C9 forums for the last few days, following the heated debate. Three forum threads    totaling over 200 posts to date, cover it all. The posters include Mark Jewett, the MS guy behind the contest, as well as two out of the three judges, Chris Pirillo and Robert Scoble.
I assume the rest of the finalists have been following the C9 discussion as well, but so far all of them have kept mum. As the runner-ups, I and Ali Khalid, are identified as the big losers in all of this (a mere $9,000), I decided to make my opinion heard.
First of all I must admit that Ernie's robot AI entry was my favorite as well. I think that it really showcases Express Edition's versatility when it comes to product ideas. That's probably why Microsoft liked it too. However, when I look at all the hard facts about the rules and compare them with Ernie's submission it is quite obvious that something is wrong here. It becomes clear by just reading any of his blog entries where he is posting C# source code. In the file header it is clearly written that someone else wrote the code in 2005. Many of the header files in his submitted source code have timestamps from 2005 and are signed by other developers.
If you download the source code you will also see that the code was not
initially written in Express Edition, but rather converted to this
format at a later stage. The presence of the
I am glad that the C9 forum opened up my eyes to this as I was too busy
coding FeedJournal than to check if my competitors were adhering to the
rules during the contest. Anyway, according to Microsoft's forum answers
it seems unlikely that they will do anything about this. Instead their
official response is rather dry:
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
FeedJournal is Awarded First Place in Microsoft Contest
Yesterday, Microsoft announced that my newspaper project FeedJournal had been awarded First Place in their Made In Express Contest. As regular readers of my blog know, my brainchild FeedJournal is the .NET application I am writing to revolutionize the way you read newspapers.
The judges (Chris Pirillo, LockerGnome; Phillip Torrone, MAKE Magazine; Robert Scoble, Scobleizer) motivation read:
Jonas helped us all take a step closer to publishing our own newspaper based on the news we care about. FeedJournal is actually a little glimpse of the future…it will likely be a common way for readers to ‘roll their own’ magazines in the near future.
This is probably my finest moment ever in my long software development career and I want to thank Microsoft for arranging the contest and everyone who has supported the project by dropping emails or blog comments. And I want to send a special thank you to my wife and baby daughter for having patience with my late evening development sessions during this time.