NEWS

Geek is the new cool

October is an exciting month for the technology and startup scene in Singapore, especially with Geekcamp kicking off the month at Microsoft’s office. Geekcamp, put together by volunteers Jason Ong, Sneha Menon, Chua Ruiwen, Luther Goh, Justin Lee, Laurence Putra, and Shanmugam, was a sharing session in which participants pitch in knowledge about all things code related.

By Jacky Yap

Being one of the few guys from a non-technical background at Geekcamp, the various talks that were revolving around all the programming languages and geeky stuff obviously put me slightly out of place. However, I was absorbed by the awesome stuff that technology can do, and how we can leverage on technology and build things.

A presentation by Mingfei, Microsoft’s developer evangelist, saw her demonstrated how the Kinect was able to capture image stream, depth stream and audio stream and how various applications can interact with it. For those of you who are not familiar with the Kinect, it is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console. Mingfei presented two Kinect hacks, one of which was to “transform into Ultraman yourself” and also “Kinect with Dragon Ball”. Essentially how it works is to stand in front of the Kinect, allowing it to detect you, and the application transforms you into Ultraman when you do his signature gesture. This wowed the audience, myself included.

I think one point worth mentioning is that, even with a room full of geeky dudes, Mingfei still managed to wow everyone. This shows that geeks do not necessarily be guys, and that more and more girls are empowering themselves by learning how to be programmers too.

Self-confessed geek and passionate coder @hongster presented a session on Andriod security. Hongster shared that android are actually susceptible to possible hacks if a normal user are not vigilant enough. Hacks such as theft of personal info, bank account info, as well as service and system abuse through code modification and network packets tampering are various examples that were provided by Hongster. He subsequently demonstrated a simple hack on PayPal.

I believe that most of the participants enjoyed themselves. Most of the topics were really geeky such as Functional Programming, Hypershell, Parellel Processing with Python, TDD/BDD on iOS, or even HTML5 semantics where most of them are topics that I was clueless about. At the end of the day, I was really amazed by how technology can change the world and make things work, and that geek is the new cool.