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Sun Announces $100k Contest for Grid App Developers 80

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the win-some-megabucks dept.
C-Shalom writes "EWeek reports that Sun announced a contest where developers can compete for $100k in prizes for developing applications that utilize the Grid. This is in addition to 100 free CPU hours on the Grid. From the article: 'Sun is hosting a competition where developers can compete for $50,000 in prize money. The winners of the Sun Grid Compute Utility Cool Apps Prize for Innovation contest will be determined based on the software they develop on the grid, MacRunnels said. Sun is planning additional contests for later in the year, which will bring the total potential winnings to $100,000.' The press release contains more info not included in the article."
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Sun Announces $100k Contest for Grid App Developers

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  • by MarsDude (74832) on Friday May 19, 2006 @07:28AM (#15364407) Homepage
    "the Sun Grid Compute Utility Cool Apps Prize for Innovation contest"
    I think the prize money should go to those few people that can remember the name of that contest.
    • WHAT? (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In Soviet Russia, name remembers YOU.
    • "the Sun Grid Compute Utility Cool Apps Prize for Innovation contest"

      I think the prize money should go to those few people that can remember the name of that contest.

      Is this somehow related to the First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence?

    • Just use a mnemonic for the acronym SGCUCAPI. I propose the following describing the situation of when you get caught "looking" at the men's urinal.

      Some Guy C's U C A PenIs!

      ...Just don't forget to zip up...and wash your dirty, dirty, dirty hands.

  • $100k (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sirinek (41507) on Friday May 19, 2006 @07:31AM (#15364414) Homepage Journal
    That's cheaper than hiring even one developer on full time! Wow, Sun knows how to save some money. ;)
    • That was exactly what I thought when I read the headline. Why pay for a team to dork about for a couple of months, when you can get the whole world to work for you?
      • Re:$100k (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        No, no no. Getting people to work for little or nothing is known as an "open source" project.
    • Actually even better, if you read the contest rules it's not $100k at all. They're giving out a total of $100k. Each contest winner wins $15k [network.com]. Second place gets $5k. For three months of development at maximum, it's not worth your time. In fact, unless you're doing this in about one man-month, you'd probably be losing money compared to what you'd earn in wages. However, most people who do work on this will be doing it on the side, so this is technically extra money in the bank. Still, unless you have
  • by Timo_UK (762705) on Friday May 19, 2006 @07:34AM (#15364424) Homepage
    and no idea what to do with it. Before we all get fired, someone please tell us why we spent all that money, PLEASE!!!
  • Idle Grid (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Friday May 19, 2006 @07:46AM (#15364459)
    If they've got this powerful cpu farm and it's obviously underutilized, why don't they donate un-rented cycles to something that helps us all (like the Folding@Home project)??? Seems like if they chose some sort of charitable recipient, they could even write the cost off on their corporate tax bill.

    • Re:Idle Grid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2006 @07:52AM (#15364477)

      The idea is to spur development of grid applications, not to give stuff away. The more people with experience of grid applications, and the more grid applications that exist, the more business opportunities Sun have.

      Chances are Sun don't need any help with their taxes, they probably already pay as little as possible.

      • Chances are Sun don't need any help with their taxes, they probably already pay as little as possible.

        maybe through ventures like this :)
    • Re:Idle Grid (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xtracto (837672)
      But the objective of this things is to "show companies" what they can do with The Grid, they want to profit selling that service but so far just a small number of persons have used it.

      The problem is the cost of this services, my University was trying to get some grid time from HP for certain project, the problem was that even though they had a "special arrangement" with HP, and because of that they have "cheap prices" the cost is just TOO expensive. And, This project was not short of money (it is a UK unive
      • Cost? At $1/CPU Hour? How many CPU/hrs do you need? The big drawback is that there are not that many applications out there that are "grid aware" and can utilize all the CPUs. Simulations/modeling are great things to do on a grid but if the application/algorithm won't scale to 100's of CPUs then your problem takes longer to solve. Time is money, the sooner you know the answers the quicker you can get them into production and start making your money back. The applications also must be secure, not rely on 3rd
    • Idle is right, it must be bad...donate the time to a university research program or something...I know it is still early, but I can't imagine what I would do on their grid anyway...hmmm, can you play BF:2 on it????
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2006 @07:53AM (#15364481)
    Young, slim - but growing - Computer Grid seeks Applications. Must have own users and be willing to lose them. Prefer long-term commitment, but willing to accept anything. GSOH absolutely essential.

    Our first date will be my first time.

    Are you the risk-taker I'm looking for?

  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) on Friday May 19, 2006 @08:04AM (#15364519) Journal
    "This is a big outreach campaign for developers," said Hailing MacIntels, senior director of futility computing at Sun.

    "We're reaching out and we're saying, 'SAVE US PLEEEEAAASE!'"
  • Finally, something big enough to handle world of warcraft....
  • Heh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gentimjs (930934)
    I got dibs on making the sun grid talk too gentoo/distcc !! ;-)
  • My app (Score:4, Funny)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday May 19, 2006 @08:22AM (#15364587)
    My application emulates a huge amount of monkeys on a Grid terminal, writing the winning application.

    Now that I've started it, it's only a matter of time, *evil grin* muahahaha.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theor em [wikipedia.org] Have the algorithm try to come up with how any app that needs the Grid to power it is only worth $50K?
  • This is as bad as all the design contests.

    If anyone wants a lot of good reasons not to enter Sun's contest, I suggest reading the design site NO!SPEC [no-spec.com]. Just replace "Programming" for "Designing", "Designer" for "Programmer" etc. -- and realize the research, planning, time commitment, and post-project support for this "contest" is even worse than that for a logo or website design.

    What a *#)#*#)@!{#*$)$(#)#&*#&^$&$)$) waste of time.

    Looks like programmers can use to team up with the designer

    • They should find a person or team capable of this project, and get it done right

      You're mildly missing the point. They don't know what to do! They're not trolling the waters for competent development. They're trying to hit upon a Killer App(TM) for their underutilized grid. They're paying for creativity and and 'quantity over quality' approach to the problem. They might get lucky. But that's what it comes down to.

      • I'm not missing any point. $100,000 is peanuts for finding their "Killer app", they're wasting the "losers" time no matter how good the apps they develop are, and they stand to make a lot more for the developer's time than the developer. The developer is going to put hundreds -- if not thousands -- of manhours into the project with about as much chance of winning the lottery.

        What point did I miss?

        If Sun needs a hot new app, they can request proposals. That's as close to a contest as I want to get.

        If I'm
        • I'm not missing any point. $100,000 is peanuts for finding their "Killer app", they're wasting the "losers" time no matter how good the apps they develop are, and they stand to make a lot more for the developer's time than the developer. The developer is going to put hundreds -- if not thousands -- of manhours into the project with about as much chance of winning the lottery.

          What point did I miss?

          The point that this is all very good. You keep posting about it as if it were a bad thing, but you have yet

    • On the NO!SPEC site, there is a blurb about a guy named Jeff who "donated 5 new posters" to their website devoted to telling people not to work for free. Do you see the irony?
      • Absolutely!

        I see no irony.
        1) NO!SPEC didn't dangle a $100 carrot saying "we want 20 people to come up with 5 posters, and we'll reward the winner by posting them"
        2) NO!SPEC is not against volunteerism or pro-bono work. It's about companies who want to try before they buy. "Do the work MAYBE we'll pay you" or "Do the work, MAYBE we'll use it"

        These companies are sucking up time.

        Sun wants brilliant people to come up with ideas they don't want to pay a think tank to come up with. If 20 people submit somethin
  • US only (Score:3, Informative)

    by goldaryn (834427) on Friday May 19, 2006 @08:38AM (#15364649) Homepage
    Not 100% clear from article or TFA: only available to US-based customers.. (TFA says the service itself is US-based with plans to expand)

    I get:

    We are not able to grant you access to the Sun Grid Compute Utility. The service is currently only available to users located in the United States. If you feel this message is in error, or you have questions about service availabliity in your area, contact Sun Grid Customer Care at sungrid-help@sun.com and reference this service code(s): 9024

    Shame.
    • Not US Only (Score:3, Informative)

      by SloppyElvis (450156)
      Coolapps Contest Page [network.com]

      The linked page actually explains the contest. International contestants can use the Compute Server Plugin for NetBeans to compete.

      Contest B

      * Open to both US and International participants
      * Does not require access to the Sun Grid Compute Utility
      * Contest submission must be developed using the Compute Server Plugin for NetBeans.
      o
  • $100k may seem like a lot to most of us, but that won't even buy a fully populated V890 [sun.com].
  • a beowulf cluster of these
  • by gurutc (613652) on Friday May 19, 2006 @08:56AM (#15364741)
    Is an Idle Grid the Devil's Workshop?
  • We just invented the hydrogen bomb of DDOS tools. Until the world's hackers, crackers, and spammers start using it, we could keep their botnets occupied.
  • by Garabito (720521) on Friday May 19, 2006 @09:23AM (#15364895)
    Windows Vista!
  • So reality TV works for the studios b/c they can hire basically "free" actors. No paying Seinfeld $1m per episode, but they can hire a bunch of nobodies for pennies who actually want to act for the sake of acting and not making millions for this piece of work. So the TV studios rake in huge profits by not having to pay out these salaries...

    Now the computer industry is doing it...

    We've seen 'hack this box for a prize' as its cheaper to pay out awards than to hire QA engineers.

    Google does 'summer of code'..
    • The summer of code pays something (MUCH better than most internships!), and if I remember correctly some of it is paid out along the duration. It's not "Do this work and MAYBE we'll pay you something."

      But I get the gist -- everyone's looking for cheap labor.
  • mmm...about 12 seconds on the grid?

    ok, I'll bite. I would like to see Pi calculated to one bazillion kajillion places.

  • Note that's CPU hours, not hours on the whole cluster. Fire up 500 nodes and the free ride will be over real quick :)
  • Coolapps Contest Description [network.com] referenced by the Sun press release, but not linked (for some reason).

    International Contestents can use the Compute Server Plugin for NetBeans.
  • Develop a distributed app to make the Grid a rendering farm and contract it out to animation film companies.

  • so how long before john's .pot files are seen on the grid?
  • by shodson (179450) on Friday May 19, 2006 @11:32AM (#15365826) Homepage
    Yeah, I have a grid of 6200 volunteers, and growing, but I can't even give away my compute services [ubero.com]. There are only so many embarrasingly parallel problems out there.
  • by Duncan3 (10537)
    There are literally thousands of applications already out there that use a large cluster, which is all the Sun "GRID" is.

    Maybe, just maybe... YOU'RE CHARGING TOO MUCH.

    Oh, and noone is going to trust their data to Sun, or anyone else, ever.

    P.S. just declare bankruptcy already, open source Java, and go away. You're really annoying.
  • How long till Boinc and dnetc are ported to run on the Grid and does anyone know where I can get some cheap credit card numbers to pay for the CPU time? ;-)

    More seriously... With 5000 Opteron processors in this thing, why not use it for something like cracking the current RC5 competition code, or speeding up the climate change/SETI/whatever processing in Boinc?

    With that much horse power, I'd almost be tempted to run Boinc on it till my credit card was maxed out. The climate change stuff my computer is curre
  • Use it to pick up where Blue Security left off . . . use a grid-based app to blast "Pharmamaster" and all of the other spam-douche bags off the fucking planet . . . in a legal way compliant to CAN-SPAM, of course. ;-)
  • It might make a nice render farm. But who supports Sparcs any more?

    ResPower [respower.com] is successfully serving that market, for money, and their prices are good, probably better than Sun's. Supports 3DS, Lightwave, Maya, Blender, etc. 484 frames are rendering right now. "Over 12 million frames rendered".

    ResPower is one of the very few "grid" companies actually selling a service for which people will pay.

  • I am going to win this contest with a Grid Spellchecker. From the official rules:
    https://coolapps.developer.network.com/Rules.html [network.com]
    CoolApps Developer Challange Contest
    The 3rd word is misspelled! My Grid SpellChecker would have caught that in a fraction of the time of a regular old spellchecker...
    Sun should just send me the 15K right now.
  • I haven't been able to figure out what to do with a grid, and it seems the industry can't either.

Your code should be more efficient!

Working...