Everyone is polished for the final run-through at Osmosoft. Kush and Josh, recovered, have perfected a two-handed introduction trading silly food puns. Issy and Joe have built a partial prototype map of fibre rollout based on data from the BT site, To Infinity and Beyond!.
Moodmap is impressively complete and up on the web. For time reasons, Priyesh and Daniel wound up using training data – Tweets – collected by a researcher at the University of Florida. That's all fine, but I worry a bit – because these are my teams now – that trimming their presentation to the allotted two minutes has cost them Wednesday's wow factor. What they've done has stopped looking hard, and I wonder if the judges will in fact intuitively understand or whether their reaction will be like my original one.
We troop down Victoria Street to Microsoft for four hours of demonstrations. All the practice helps the Osmosoft group engage the audience exceptionally well. Josh and Kush get a big laugh with this Snackonomics statistic: the UK's debt equals enough premium coffee to kill every elephant on the planet four times.
Other standouts. Guildford's Urbani sends a pedestrian heat map to a pocket device to help people avoid crowds. Joel Murphy from Cardiff, whose Food For Thought web app lets users check the Food Standards Agency's official hygiene ratings of nearby restaurants and school canteens, with phone numbers scraped off the BT site. Two things are impressive about this. First, Joel was working on his own. Second, a judge noted that the FSA gave up on a similar project after eight months. Ouch.
And then there's Bletchley's David Hearnden. He learned CSS and HTML tables in two days and he's only 11, but forget programming: this kid's a natural comedian. "I run it on Ubuntu," he says clutching his hand mic like a veteran, and then casually tosses over his shoulder with perfect timing, "Sorry, Microsoft." His program, SearchSchoolsMK, displays data on Milton Keynes schools in a convenient format.
Solar wins "Most likely to annoy a government CIO". Snackonomics gets a special mention. Guildford ties for "Most likely to be bought". On the way to the station, I ask Priyesh and Daniel what they're going to do next. They're not sure.
"Send me a link to your piece." Priyesh says, before they disappear into the crowd.
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