Google’s Programming Contest

Google has just announced its first annual programming contest!

The objective is to write a program that will do something “interesting” with the about 900,000 Web pages’ worth data that’s Google provides. In addition to writing the program, contestants also have to convince the judges why their program is interesting (or useful) and why it will scale (that is, handle a constantly increasing load of data that grows as the Web grows). The prize is US$10,000 in cash, a V.I.P. tour of the Google facility in Mountain View, California and possibly a chance to run their program on Google’s complete billion-Web-page store.

Google suggest that the programs be written to fit in one of two categories — Systems or Applications. A Systems program would be concerned about the handling of Google’s data (possibly improving storage compression or indexing) while an Applications program is more concerned about the semantics of the data (say, a program that can detect two pages that are nearly identical or can cluster pages by topic or type).

I think I’ll have my hands full with Peek-A-Booty for the next little while, but I know that a least a few programmers read this blog. Guys, get to work!

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