Every four years, the Olympic Games inspire a special brand of competition and camaraderie across the globe. But gymnasts, swimmers, runners and table tennis players aren't the only ones worthy of praise for their accomplishments. What about the tech world?
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We scoured the web to find some truly commendable achievements and contests in the fields of digital, mobile, social, programming and more.
1. Fastest Texting
Sure, you can text fast, but are you the fastest texter in the world?
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Only Melissa Thompson of London can claim that title, setting the record on Aug. 22, 2010 with a 26-word message in 25.94 seconds. The text message read, "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human." According to The Guinness Book of World Records, Thompson used a Samsung Galaxy S with SWYPE technology.
Elliot Nicholls of Dunedin, New Zealand, had sent this same message -- blindfolded -- in 45.09 seconds almost three years earlier.
Individuals aren't the only ones interested in seeing who can send an SMS message at lightning speed. LG Electronics, one the largest multinational electronics companies in the world, hosted the LG Mobile World Cup as an international texting competition on Jan. 14, 2010, in New York City. Previously, LG hosted such competitions in individual countries, such as the United States and South Korea, but the 2010 event was the first time countries competed against each other.
Ha Mok-min, 16, and Bae Yeong-ho, 17, of South Korea, made up the winning team of the 2010 Mobile World Cup. They won $100,000.
LG's 2012 U.S. National Texting Championship will take place on Aug 8.
2. Cellphone Call Placed at the Highest Altitude
Climbing Mount Everest wasn't enough of a feat for Rob Baber. When he reached the highest peak of the Himalayas at 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) on May 21, 2007, he took out his Motorola Moto Z8 phone and called a voicemail inbox at the telecommunications company, saying, "It's cold, it's fantastic, the Himalayas are everywhere. I can't feel my toes, everyone is in good spirits -- we got here in record time, it is amazing." He also sent a text message to Motorola, which read, "One small text for man, one giant leap for mobilekind -- thanks Motorola."
The temperature was -30 degrees. Baber couldn't leave a long message, since climbers can usually only stay on the summit for 15 minutes, and using the phone meant that he had to remove his oxygen mask. According to Baber, service was available because China Telecom set up a cell tower in Rongbuk a year prior, about one mile from the base camp.
3. Longest Skype Call
According to the website RecordSetter, which allows anyone to attempt, beat and document world records, Alex Foltyn of Sydney, Australia, set the record for longest Skype call with her friend on Oct. 20, 2011. The clock stopped at 240 hours, 10 minutes and 23 seconds, which amounts to a little over 10 days.
In order to set the record fairly, Foltyn and her friend needed to follow one rule: maintain a continuous conversation throughout the call. This guideline seems a little loose, so we have a feeling that sleeping was done in shifts, while one of the participants carried out half of the "conversation."
However, there's no information that confirms this. Perhaps Foltyn and her friend really did stay awake and conversed for 10 days -- it isn't much compared to one Los Angeles, Calif. man, who claimed to have not slept for 968 hours in 2010.
4. Longest Google+ Hangout
The longest Google+ Hangout is currently clocked at 143 days, and it's still going.
On July 20, 2011, Mark Olsen started a Hangout when the Google+ platform was brand new. Little by little, more people joined, and thousands have participated since.
Olsen hoped for the "Marathon Hangout" to go on perpetually, but because of technical issues, the previous record was set at 77 days and 11 hours, according to the Hangout's website.
The participants are hoping to beat that record, and it can be watched via live stream here.
A hackathon is an event that usually lasts between one day and one week, during which computer programmers work together on projects related to web development and software. It can also be called a hack day, hackfest or codefest.
Hackathons have been around for over 10 years, and the premises for the events can range anywhere from app creation to calls for action and social good. According to Wired, more than 200 hackathons were held last year in the United States, and about the same were held around the world.
BeMyApp World Cup is a hackathon challenging participants to create and present a functioning Android mobile app within 48 hours. Last summer, Foursquare held its Global Hackathon, which took place simultaneously in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Paris, as well as remote participants. Ultimately, 500 developers from 90 countries participated.
Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is a hackathon co-sponsored by Google, Microsoft, NASA, the World Bank and Yahoo that has taken place in various cities across the globe. It brings together developers and designers to create technological solutions and aids in the fields of disaster management and crisis response. A group of Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley researchers won first place at the first RHoK in November 2009, after creating an app called "I'm OK," which people could use to easily notify friends and family of their safety.
Perhaps even more notably, the second place winner that year, "Tweak the Tweet," created by a Colorado University grad student, was used in disaster response during 2010's Haiti earthquake. This edit hack used modifications of hashtags using location, status, needs, damage and other necessary elements of emergency response.
6. Pro Gaming
Gaming can be more than just a hobby -- sometimes, it becomes a lifestyle.
That can be said for many of the participants in Major League Gaming (MLG) competitions, which take place in arenas where players go head-to-head at a certain game, such as StarCraft or League of Legends. MLG was founded in 2002, giving aspiring gamers around the world the opportunity to compete, work on their skills and socialize. There are 750,000 matches each month online and live in-person Pro Circuit tournaments in cities throughout the United States.
A quick search on MLG's results page shows player DongRaeGu in first place for the most recent StarCraft II spring competition, with 16 game wins, seven match wins and an 87.5% win rate.
The summer arena is currently taking place, and the live coverage is reminiscent of an ESPN event.
What digital feats have you come across? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
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