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Red Hat Software Businesses

Red Hat 'Geek World' Contest 80

Zyber writes "Red Hat is sending 6 geeks to the beach where they will live in a luxury beachhouse. The contest involves locating the Gnome footprint throughout their website. While on vacation you will have to maintain a geekworld website as well as being "videotaped, photographed and documented for the world to see". Hmmm. Female geeks? " Don't we wish.
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Red Hat 'Geek World' Contest

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  • Some PR stunt RedHat is pulling. Have you read the rules? They specifically say that you have to find the Gnome logo 5 times within ten days, and the logo is only available on the site on one page on any particular day.

    Considering the size of RedHat's site, including any page that its search engine may turn up, it's humongous.

    Too bad Altavista isn't quite practical in this situation since the location changes every day. These contests need a search engine that updates as quickly as possible!
  • Put the computer (or at least a terminal) right next to the oven. And develop some REALLY LARGE stuff. Like hacking Mozilla or GNOME. :)
  • Uh, if I'm gonna get a vacation outta this thingy, then I wanna relax, play games on the Linux box they provide, read /. and some usenet, sleep late in the mornings, drink beer at all hours, hang out on the porch - which faces the beach, right? Order Chinese and Thai, mmmmmmm spicy Thai food! I wanna be provided with all the latest distros to install and fsck around with. I also wanna get a haircut. I don't wanna work on no stinking website - shit, that's what I do at work.
  • Remember, you have to click on the footprint to follow the link to register. If that URL doesn't change, all you have to do is go to that URL every day and submit your info. This would be all too easy to script with LWP.

    The web log records will show the referer page and if there is none or if it's not the actual page of the day, they'll know you cheated.

    Besides, you still have to find it the first time.
    Someone's idea of using wget sounds good but you probably do have to visually check every .gif & .jpg then grep for the name to find the magic page.

  • considering less than five years ago Mattel produced a talking Barbie whose comments included, "Math is hard!"
  • I dont know man... after spending thoes days on St Johns, Im looking for an employer that will let me telecommute....

    I like the idea of writing my code while sitting on the beach with crystal blue ocean infront of me and frozen drinks with little unbrellas in them being brought to me by exotic waitresses in skimpy outfits.... I think it would help me focus

    but ya know... thats just me

  • What could be done is gfetching the whole site with wget...
    Then: find -name '*gnome*.gif'
    if not check images then grep for the file name of the image in the .html sources...

    Even if I've seen nothing against that in the rules, I would more or less see this as cheating...

  • Darnit...with now thousands of geeks scouring RedHat, clogging the site with the dreaded /. effect, How the smeg am I going to get the latest updates?


  • Hey, they're looking for geeks. Would it be geek-style to wade through dozens of pages each day or rather write something automating that?

    What's the goal anyway? Multiply the /. effect? Get so many hits that advertisers would have to pay more? ;)
  • jeez - the prize in the contest is maintaining a website? forget that. how about a T1 for a year? Or at least a vacation to someplace that's not so sunny; New Zealand, Antarctica, Scottish moors, the missile silo thing on here recently....

  • I have to admit that the same thought crossed my mind... How will your robot recognise the footprint though?
    /El Niño
  • I'm definitely entering. Living in MI (it's raining outside right now) I could use some sunshine. PLUS there's linux expo, which i was planning on anyway, AND the Starwars opening day. Get some geeks to storm the theatre. :) That would be an amazing week!!! Plus, being a chick, It might improve hits on the site. hehe. :)

    God Bless Redhat!!
  • Ditto-- I'm another RedHat-using geek of the female persuation, and it sorta sounds like fun.

    But frankly, I have to concur w/ a lot of the geek guys-- what's with this beach thing?? I'm surprised that RedHat (or any such techie-oriented company) would offer a dream vacation as a week at the beach. Although some might appreciate the prize, there are a lot of us out there who have no desire to go out (esp. redheads like me) and burn themselves to a crisp.

    If I'm there to geek out, I'd rather have a T1 line, free reign of the most current hardware and software, and access to all the O'Reilly's I can get my hands.
  • You may wish to re-read the rules [redhat.com]

    In a nutshell, you must be 18 to win.

    - Sam

  • excuse the pun!

    Beaches are way cooler than cities, especially if they are surrounded by rolling hills with lush green pastures and crumbling cliffs.

    My idea of a relaxing day is a moderately sunny day on the beach with some cool friends and some weed & chilled wine.

    When it gets dark or cool then head back to a nice cottage an hack the night away with vodka and more weed.

    Hmmm.... Chillin' Cornish style.
  • Possible, given that Spring Comdex starts the 19th, but I'd be more likely to put my money closer to Linux Expo. I haven't paid any attention to the 5.9 situation, but if that hasn't locked down pretty tight that would be another strong indication that it will be sometime in May rather than April.


  • There will be T1 access at the house, and a few workstations of various description.


    (who happens to be sitting in Wilmington)

  • There will be T1 access at the house, and a few workstations of various description.


    (who happens to be sitting in Wilmington)

  • Didn't anyone else connect the dots? There's a contest kicking off April 26. They're expecting to get a lot of entries, and thus a lot of marketing leads from entries. That means they expect to get a big traffic spike starting on that day.

    This means 6.0 ships April 26. You'll see.
  • The referrer is really easy to spoof. I even worked on a little bot that walked the NY Times site which checks both cookies and referrer's. It's not that hard with the some perl and LWP at your side. As for the image, I know I'm not the only one to ran out and got O'Reilly's "Web Graphics Programming With Perl & GNU Software." I think on the whole that trying to compare the image is a waste of time.

    According to the rules it's the image is a link so that actually narrows down the search space a lot. You can run a regex for all images with links, then request the page that is on the other end of the link. If it's got a form then it's a possibility.

    Regardless it's pretty much a trivial problem to walk the site looking for the image. A more intersting problem might be seeing who could write the shortest perl script to do it. I bet it could be done in less than 5 lines.
  • From the rules section...
    How do I get to North Carolina?

    Red Hat is footing the bill for all travel for the 6 winners. If you're from Richmond, VA or Istanbul, Turkey - we're flying you in to Raleigh, NC on May 21 or 22 (or before if you're able to attend the Linux Expo '99).

    I suspect that you're being in Belgium isn't much of a problem. They got to burn the VC money somehow. ;)
  • Doesn't it? Maybe that would an interesting little tv project. The videotaped lives of 6 geeks as they do their geek stuff. I think there would have to be girls though, otherwise the ratings wouldn't be so hot.

    Watch geeks consume 3 day old pizza and Jolt while looking over their perl scripts. Marvel as they compete in the Who Can Arrange All the PCI Cards in Alphabetical Order. Cry tears of joy as they build the latest Linux kernel. Experience catharsis as they format their hard drives and install FreeBSD. ;)

    Anyway. Might be amusing.
  • Give them a T3 and one of the Penguin 8 processor boxes and a few broken drivers (to work on) and you could have the house in any backwoods location that Domino's delivers to.
  • Spicy food and take-out containers don't mix. If the container can hold it, it isn't hot enough 8^)

    Personally, the commercial food preparations aren't anywhere near what you can do on your own but with a fast connection and high performance devo system, there wouldn't be enough wait time to cook 8^)
  • ... of being like one of the characters in
    The Spot [thespot.com] or, more likely, it's parody, The Squat [thesquat.com].

  • Yeah, I thought of writing a Perl script to do it, plus automatically enter me. You could get in on all ten days without any effort that way.

    However, there is nothing to stop them from changing the name of the image, or the link that it points to each day. In fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't.

    Remember, you have to click on the footprint to follow the link to register. If that URL doesn't change, all you have to do is go to that URL every day and submit your info. This would be all too easy to script with LWP.

    I read the rules, but didn't read the FAQ, so I may be missing some info., but that's my take on it.

    Yeah, it seems like cheating to me, too.
  • An amazing thing happend to me this easter, a cute girl came up to me and asked about some stuff I did in php3, this was fairly suprising, but when I found out that she actually knew c++ I was blown away...

    Yet, still we need more girls like that, maybe we should "co-opt their media"(tm) :)

    Hmm, maybe we could get mattel to lauch "Hacker Barbie" and "Coder Ken" :)
  • If you watch closely, RedHat Software seems to have two very clear policies that controll everything they do.

    1: Increase the recognition of the RedHat brand

    2: Decrease the work load on the support team

    This is a publicity stunt that is definately supposed to increase their brand recognition, which will also appeal almost entirely to wannabees, who are, paridoxically, a lower support liability than the semi-experienced user, who is more likely than the wannabe to have a real problem.

    Anybody who's worked in upper level technical support knows exactly what i mean about users who know just enough to get themselves into trouble.

    Experienced users are right out. RedHat doesn't gain much of anything by pandering to people who just get their CD's from cheapbytes, or download ISO images over their DSL connections for nothing.

    This is why the RedHat installer actually hinders the use of nonstandard installation hacks by lacking most /dev devices, and by having a linear design that makes it easy to render unusable if you start screwing around with it. Nobody likes to keep starting over from the beginning, but "reboot" is a very simple instruction for the tech support goon to remember.

    Increasingly, RedHat's policies leave experienced users out in the cold. This is why many people don't like them much anymore. Me, I'm using SuSE right now.
  • Your comment is my situation: I live in Orlando, Florida, home of "The Ears!" I and most Central Florida residents are constantly besieged by sales pitches that include vacation days at Disney World and Universal Studios. But: We Live Here! Many of us are within a half-hours drive to WDW and the tourist district, and we even have friends who can get us in for free or at a -big- discount. If not, FL residents get residency discounts and special offers. So WDW vacations in a sales pitch fall on deaf "ears" here...
  • So Red Hat is going to produce Real World next season? We get to hear about their failed relationships, watch them play scavenger hunt games on the Internet and chicken out of jumping out of an airplane??

    What geek wants to take time out of their day to pose for photographs and run Baywatch style on the beach??

    Red Hat lost it. Are they trying to make geekdom glamorous and comparable to a permanent Spring Break?? What's the gimmick?
  • I'm betting (1) the url of the entry page changes daily as well and (2) the filename/url of the gnome footprint changes daily and probably will NOT contain the word "gnome". Heck, just to confuse you, they may change the way the image is rendered (gif/jpeg/png, interlaced/non-interlaced, etc.) just to prevent people from spidering the pages on the site and bdiff'ing the images...

    If you really wanted to get serious about writing a spider, you would have to grab each image as its called from each page and compare it (pixelwise, using an image library like ImageMagick) against a "known-good" copy of the footprint...

    given the amount of processor time spidering and pixelwise-comparing the images will consume, it sounds to me like it is ALMOST less-intensive to actually play :)

    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.
  • I got my geek girl, but I'm not sharing her with any of you, nyah, nyah! :-)
  • Yeah right. There's surf in the fall...when the hurricane season peaks. That's about it. If you are into "sight-seeing" (*wink wink*) you'll be in luck, though.

    A longtime Wilmington resident
  • What about those of us who live in Raleigh, and grew up in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach? Will they take us up in a plane, circle the area for 1/2 hour, then land?
  • Oh, yes, I see now. Stupid me. Only one problem left then : my boss :-)

    Anyhow, I'm probably going to visit the States the first time in June anyway, and that's going to be paid by my employer. So I guess I don't even need to join the competition. But I don't think I'll be getting to see much of the beach then :-)

  • That this is in America. I'd have loved to enter, but flying all the way there from Belgium is just a tad expensive for me. And besides, I don't look good on camera :-)

  • You are almost right, but for paradise you need Pizza, Thai, and chinese food delivered to the door. Some would even argue dominos is not truely pizza . . .
  • I love the beach! Looking at girls in small bathing suits is a passtime nearly any geek likes. Of course, most of them prefer the girls to be 24-bit color on a monitor, but I digress.

    I suppose it's because most geeks I know don't look so good in a bathing suit. I could be wrong tho...

  • neo: the trinity? i thot you were a guy!
    trinity: all guys think that.

    shame on you rob ;P
  • Hey, there are some of us out here who like
    the statistics just as they are... ;)

    Not that more female geeks would be a bad thing
    of course - diversity rarely is.
  • I'm going to try for it too. I've had enough of this weather.
  • I'm probably being a stick in the mud, but I've got to wonder what they'll do about minors who qualify and are even possibly selected. Most kids would jump at the change to get out of school, making that a bit of a motivator for the contest. I can see how that wouldn't be much of a problem with say a 16 or 17 year old guy, because I understand that chances are (or at least logic and statistics dictate) that most if not all of the particapants will be male, but what happens if it's a 16 or 17 year old girl (young girls use linux, trust me). I just see it as being a potentially bad thing in a number of ways. I checked the rules and there was no mention of age restraints. What if some whiz-kid 8 year old gets selected? Do they just assume the parents won't care?
  • How MS. How stupid. RedHat - take the higher ground or see your company overrun by trendy marketing types. AHHHHH!
  • Just a remark about the redhat website: Is Redhat supposed to use slashdot.org material without even providing a link to the real site? Looking at their layout (http://www.redhat.com/news/slashdot/) makes you think Slashdot is a Redhat feature. I would at least expect the upmost slashdot logo to be a link to http://slashdot.org/.
  • Hmm, maybe we could get mattel to lauch "Hacker Barbie" and "Coder Ken"

    Hey! I resemble that remark!

    Seriously, they're out there. Some of them even look good in a bikini. :)

  • New Zealand is "not so sunny"? Ok, true, this contest will be going on during the southern hemisphere's winter, but I'd hardly describe NZ as not sunny if we're talking about summer. After all, there really isn't much of an ozone layer left in that part of the world.
  • erm, contest description says all travel expenses are covered by redhat...that would include airfare , even from belgium
  • I poured over the faq and the contest
    information already. Anybody see anything
    that says I can't target a robot at the
    site to save my oh so valuable page-viewing time?


  • I love it! I've been in a Java/C++ argument before myself on a mailing list, and we ended up with "real women use C++"... guess we just never took it this far, a large portion of the people on the list work for MS.

    I don't think my dream vacation would be a beach house... it's so useless. This sounds more like a promotional thing than something seriously for geeks.
  • Actually, on their front page, they do link to slashdot.org to the right of the "all slashdot news" stuff. They do the same thing for freshmeat and Linux Week... tho they could be a BIT more clear about where the news is coming from, and how to get there.

  • You'll stay in a luxury beachhouse through Saturday, May 29 and enjoy all the sites of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, NC, as you have fun in the sun.

    I'm not sure if this is or isn't a typo. Do geeks enjoy looking at non-geek females? I've heard that beaches have quite a few of those.

  • Six days at a beach house sounds like an awesome idea. I luv the beach.

    I'd also dislike being watched though :P
    Was never a fan of the Real World (they all seemed so fake sometimes) and well...if you have to manage a website, it'll get pretty dull fast I'd imagine, with guys or girls :)

    "Hey, let's add some javascript to spice it up!"

  • Imagine this....

    Taking a slow long drag of a nice sized bone
    as you look out over the ocean and enjoy
    making a web page for the geek nation.....
  • Yeah! Go geek grrlz! :)

    Honestly, /. needs some testosterone-taming a lot these days. First, Lucy Linux, now 6 guys in a hut? Perhaps they can do a joint session with Promise Keepers (TM) or something.

    - k-ren
  • I think Dell threw the beach house in so the top techies at RedHat would be more willing to compromise *grin*

  • So is RedHat providing a T1 or a T3 to the beachhouse? If neither, then what's so interesting about a beach? If I spend more than an hour in the sun, I get a sunburn. What's the fun in that?
  • Mirror it and grep.
  • I hear from a reliable source that at least
    one female has won the Geekworld contest
    and will be hitting the beach... ;)
  • >I checked the rules and there was no mention of age restraints

    no you didn't

    2. Entry Requirements: By entering the contest, you agree to these rules. The contest is open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age. Persons less than 18 years of age are not eligible to win.

  • LOL... this is too funny... redhat dot com is looking for geeks and you guys are trying to figure out how to code a bot to do the work for you... I love it

    I'm going to do it the real way... and win... and I'll take my bikini... and your bots can snap images of me on the beach sipping my pina coladas... there better be a T3 there
  • So this is what you do with millions of bucks
    big companies throw at you? "Well, we're holding
    off the integrated desktop thing but hey you
    should see this killer beach house we bought!
    We're going to give it away in a contest!"

    Just kidding -- I like Red Hat. Using it right
    now, in fact.
  • How about six full time, paid, telecommuter positions at Red Hat, developing whatever dream Linux application you wish existed but no private company will ever pay anyone to code, with whatever hardware and OS you want, from home. Not many people can afford to take 7 days off in May and Wrightsville Beach NC definitely aint Clearwater beach FL.
  • If the guys want to watch geek girls, maybe they can convince RedHat to give the girls who enter a bit of an edge on winning.

    I'm a geekchick who uses RedHat and could use a couple of days holiday. I'd put up with being leered at by a webs-worth of geekboyz for a couple of days if it meant a free vacation. ;>

    - deb
    • You'll stay in a luxury beachhouse through Saturday, May 29 and enjoy all the sites of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, NC, as you have fun in the sun.

    At the risk of sounding like a stereotypical geek, I personally don't find "fun in the sun" to be much of a motivator. I never have been into doing stuff outside, and haven't set foot on a beach for years.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser