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PennApps Winter 2K16: The Hacks And The Hack Jobs

Ah PennApps, a semesterly hackathon reminding us that engineers are willing to brave a record-breaking blizzard for some free food and a Google Chrome frisbee. Aside from all the free stuff given away in the Engineering Quad this weekend, hackers from all over the world also had a chance at over $52K in prizes from big league sponsors. With less than 48 hours to code something from scratch though, there's gonna be Venmos and there's gonna be uh-ohs. Here's our review of this season's harvest:

1st Place: RAMEAR

Lets computers wirelessly transmit data without WiFi, Ethernet, or Bluetooth 

- Unclear what all this has to do with the ear of a male sheep
- Transmits messages one letter at a time
+ Still more dependable than AirPennNet

2nd Place: Lact-o-log

A breast milk tracker and management system

+ Uses a self-measuring collection cup
+ Great for determining which boob is more productive, and by how much
+ Proof that raising a child requires literally everything at all times

3rd Place: PillPal

A Bluetooth enabled pill dispenser for managing prescriptions

+ Made with 3D printed and laser cut plastic
+ Can be repurposed for candy distribution, as shown in  their video
- Might be a little too complicated for grandma

Number Two: FourPly

Lets you find and rate bathrooms...and draw virtual graffiti

+ Finally, Yelp for toilets
+ Lets you chat anonymously with people in the adjacent stall too
- Can't replicate the thrill of actual vandalism

Rave Reviews: RGB Rave Shades

Glasses that light up to the beat of ambient music

+ Perfect for when you wanna be that guy
+ Unparalleled UV protection
- Might run out of battery mid-rave

CleVR: In(VR)terviews

Lets you practice for job interviews in virtual reality

+ If you feel things starting to go south, you can just unplug your interviewer
+ The AI is smart enough to formulate questions based on an uploaded resume
+ Can lead to a respectable virtual job and six-figure virtual salary

Disappointing: Dan-ial

You really did it this time, Dan

+ A webpage that helps communicate disapproval
+ Makes the recipient instantly feel remorse for what they did
-  Dan

Sp00ky Award: Spooker

A website the sends a text-art skeleton to your friends

+ Inaugural recipient of UTB's prestigious Sp00ky Award
+ Generates clickbait URLs to trick people into visiting the site
- Would've been spookier if it sent actual human skeletons, but this'll do

Meant To Fly: Foodship

An app that connects homeless shelters to restaurants willing to donate extra food

+ Has potential to do a lot of good
+ Reduces food waste
- Bound to piss off a lot of dumpster rats that were relying on those meals

Punthetic: Total Punialliation

A pun generator

+ Finally, something that solves the global pun shortage
+ The project page doesn't bore us with how it works
- Not super evident what it is, exactly

Well those are just 10 of the apps that came out of PennApps XIII. View the rest  here.

Cool stuff from previous PennApps: 
Fall 2K15 | Winter 2K15Fall 2K14Winter 2K14Fall 2K13

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