On Nov. 8-9, 54 software developers representing 17 nationalities gathered at the European Parliament in Brussels for the EUHackathon “Hack4Transparency!” event. Teams of developers competed in a 24-hour marathon coding session to create new tools that enable transparency and accountability in the information age. According to the event organizers, this was the first time that a “hackathon” had been hosted by a Parliament—the goal was “to reinforce the symbolic value of uniting the ‘old’ (i.e. the European Institutions and law-makers) with the ‘new’ world (i.e. the Internet and the hackers).”
“Team Artimon,” a team of four including three software development consultants for Development Gateway, took third prize for an application that allows users to check the quality of local Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Alexandru Artimon, Ionut Dobre, and Walter Schneider of Development Gateway, along with Florin Barhala, were selected to compete under the “Internet Quality” track of the competition. The tool they created has a web interface and a mobile application that can be accessed by users to check what ISPs are available in the area (based on the user’s current location). The application initially shows a map with the user’s location and small dots indicating Internet quality tests nearby. It also shows a list of providers available in that area, along with an average download and upload rate and an overall rating for each. The rating is based on a custom algorithm that takes into account basic and advanced network metrics and provides a real indicator of the quality of the services provided in that area.
The first prize winners in the Internet Quality track, a team from Italy, created an application “that allows users to discover the relationships between Internet download speed and other statistical indicators in the European Union: a transparent way to learn about the advantages of a fast and open Internet.”