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I didn't like Google Video being closed but it wasn't a biggy (thanks to Youtube and its Google integration).
I used and saw application with Google Wave. I think Wave has the potential to be gradually (or slightly) integrated into Google Docs / Drive.
Here is a chilling thought: what if those proprietary smart phones we use provide a back door to allow others to listen in while they are in our pockets, in a purse, on a desk nearby... (yikes, scary!).
There is no reason why this technology can't be used to enhance our already mouse / touch driven world. I actually see it having more application to be auxiliary to mouse input, largely because of the points you make.
All these kids these politicians and lobbyists that "worry" about kids playing violent video games should realize that these same kids have grown up in the post 9/11 Bush terms fraught with publicized and accepted war in the middle east. Certainly, they are not witnessing REAL violence on the television; it's those pretend video games that teaching them that killing real (and innocent) people is acceptable. Hypocrites!
Recently, I came across a review of the Ubuntu phone initiative. The review author signs off by saying that he / she is uncertain of its ability to make him / her put down their Android phone. It made me laugh, I remember the exact same statement ending in "iPhone".
Pencil and paper.
I think the best kind of remakes are ones that still look like the original but have improvements from modern technology that the original authors would have used in the game to make it better (not just add !@#$).
Always good to be cross-platform, but I think the device version that will shine here is the iPad (and any other tablet). Because Pong is a multiplayer game--I don't think anyone would have given a crap about Pong had it not had the same two player feel of tennis (wall ball
Keep the blocky look. Maybe add effects for each level that apply effects to the blocky look to give it variety (color, glowing, strobe effects, disco. Provide background effects at time, but don't let it distract from the game--make it make sense (like when a score is made). Apply CRT emulation, for sure (trails, fuzzy, bleeding).
Again, 2+ multiplayer is key. I think it would be a cool improvement for 4+ player play to have it to where the paddles bend around the corners of the board. Or maybe not necessary--but have players on the side line, keeping the ball from going outside horizontal bounds. 'Doubles' was a classic upgrade to Pong--that could be done as well with some interface creativity.
Lastly, I wouldn't get too hung up on the iOS only contest criteria. I suspect its a minimum requirement. If you make a version that will also be sellable on the Android market, the judges will see extra $$$. And it appears as though they already see that money enough to drop 100K.
What the developers didn't have what we do today is the Internet and massive online outlets like Android Marketplace and the App Store. Meaning, the real advantage of both platforms are the same--massive publicity.
So, let whatever developer who wants to cater to a single audience do so while the truly passionate and skilled developers reap the benefit of targeting nearly every platform simultaneously. There are good ways of tackling the bear of supporting multiple hardware, but it involves practices that, although proven to be effective, are seemingly undesirable to coders with too much pride.
The truth is voice recognition is cool and it is the future, but it's not the end all be all--not any more than automated doors or toilets. There are plenty of situations where voice recognition can't be used because you either need to be really quiet or silent or there is simply too much sound around you. Not every door or window or light or appliance is automated (although they could be) these days because there are inherent risks and human-error related downsides to having everything automated. Voice recognition is handy, but it won't be used to even do a small majority of our computing.