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Google I/O 2012 (developers.google.com)
219 points by mikesaraf on Mar 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 91 comments

I wish they'd take a small number of tickets (10? 100?) and auction them off, with the surplus over retail price going to charity.

In general I think all sold out/exclusive events should do this kind of thing; it raises hype, makes the people who get a ticket for normal price feel like they got a deal, and helps the charity. Anyone willing to spend e.g. $10k of their own or a company's money to attend is likely to have some value at the event as well (investor? lawyer?).

You don't want to do this for all the tickets, or even a large number of tickets, because having all 5k people be from Fortune 500 companies willing to spend $5k/ticket makes it a lot less interesting than an event with mostly independent developers, but 100 out of 5000 isn't going to change things much, either.

The best way to make developers go is to lower prices and not give away fancy, unique, unavailable elsewhere hardware.

You can also make passing a small programming test a requirement.

> You can also make passing a small programming test a requirement.

But you also want a few key journalists, and you want designers and other non-programming types: you can't make exceptions for them re: this hypothetical test, because then it calls into question the purpose of this test.

I think they should just sell the tickets, first-come, first-served. Keep the price reasonable, but high enough to discourage people from buying them "just because".

Journalists are almost always special cased to events in general -- it's assumed they're not participating in the same way as everyone else, are generally poor/without budget, but are key to the event. Taking care of journalists (with a press room, a senior enough contact to help them with things, etc.) is key to making your event a success. The hard part is credentialing journalists -- it's a great hack to say "I'm a blogger" or "I have a YouTube channel" and get into a conference for free and be treated as a VIP. I've had great fun at an arms fair doing that :)

Although it's good to give money to charity I don't see the point in this. The tickets would most likely go to non-devs. This is an event to help developers learn about new tools and platforms. As many tickets as possible should be going to them.

What non-industry rich person would actually want to attend? (maybe a few non-devs in law or vc, but you already get non-devs from tech companies)

There are plenty of rich tech people. If I were worth >$100mm, and couldn't get in on the drop, I'd probably be ok donating $10k (well, moving another charitable contribution for the year up to this) for a ticket.

I don't think Jay-Z is likely to want to attend.

That makes sense. But as this is such an important event for developers I don't think anyone should be given preference - especially based on how much money they have to spend. It's great to give money to charity but it's not something anyone should be given preference for.

I suspect sufficiently "important" people can already get a pass, through backdoor requests to Google. This would at least turn it into a positive externality. (although I suppose in the "google gives a pass to Friends of Google, it gives some benefit to Google to be able to confer special access).

This already happens through craigslist and ticket brokers, without the charity piece.

Right -- bring secondary market value to the primary seller. Similar to avoiding underpriced IPOs :)

Looks like no preregistration for past attendees like previous years:


Ruben Orduz - +Google Developers No pre-registration for past attendees? Also confirmation about no test for registration would be much appreciated.

Google Developers - Just to confirm, registration will be first come, first served on March 27th. We spent a lot of time thinking about this and decided that first come, first served is the fastest and fairest way to give everyone interested a chance to attend.

I agree with this policy -- why should past attendees get preferential treatment?

I was just able to pre-register (based on past attendance).

not true, I just got my I/ON pre-registration email

Academic price:

2010 $100

2011 $150

2012 $300

I mean, hey, I'm not complaining but wow. Take a look at that inflation. I only mention it because when I was forced to sign up for Google Wallet they presented me a list of my transaction history. And there it was staring me in the face in all its inflationary glory. Maybe they will mandate that people must wear only Googly colors or use their gmail emails to sign up... Oh, right.

$50 increase, every year, but it was a 2-day conference. So add 50% to account for it being 50% longer, and you get $300. Seems to make sense.

I think your math is a little wonky. From 2010 to 2011 was a 50% increase in price with no corresponding duration increase; From 2011 to 2012 was a 50% duration increase with a 100% price increase.

He was suggesting that if price increased $50 per year, then this year it would be a 2-day event for $200, or $100/day. Then, since this year is a 3-day event, $100/day * 3 days = $300. Or, to look at it another way: the cost per day went up $25 between 2010 and 2011. If we assume the same increase per day this year, then $300 makes sense.

Percentage-wise it doesn't work out, but there is a (possible) method to the madness.

might be nothing but i found traces of "vipcode" on the javascript of the building game here:


code here:


search for "vipcode"

digging through that stuff, if anyone does get to register at least we know he or she will get a shirt

Anyone have a guess as to why they use a jpg sprite instead of an animated gif for the bouncing orb? Is it just a color space thing?

No need to guess. Here's a very complete and detailed article about precisely why and how this particular animation works the way it does:


That only explains why use a sprite sheet. But not why use jpg instead of gif. Neither it talks about the alternative of gif animation. Does the javascript dom method really offers better performance than a simple gif animation? Or were gif animations taken off the equation before that comparison for other reasons?

Animated GIFs max out at 8 bits of color (per frame, but still). The animation cycle of GIFs starts when the image is loaded and can't be controlled via JS. Yes, if you just wanted an 8-bit orb bouncing, it's a fine choice. For a game sprite, it's less so.

Thanks for that article. Makes sense now. They were able to achieve higher frame rates and take advantage of hardware acceleration by using CSS animations with the individual sprite slices serving as key frames.

That's an interestingly huge sprite sheet indeed.


I would guess it's because of the color palette maybe? GIF was only 256 colors last I used it (over a decade ago). SO maybe they tried a gif animation, noticed some weird looking graphical artifacts because of the color difference from background to foreground. Then decided use a JPG sprite sheet instead for more colors?

OT: what tools allow automatic sprite generation based on object movement such as this?

You can export sprite sheets from animations created in the Adobe Flash authoring tool. There are a number of free third party tools that enable this:

SWFSheet http://www.bit-101.com/blog/?p=2939

Zoe http://gskinner.com/blog/archives/2011/02/zoe-export-swf-ani...

This feature is also being built into the next version of Flash Professional (the authoring tool), with support for export to various JavaScript libraries (such as Easel.JS) for controlling the animation.

Or possibly they get better compression with a JPG.

You are correct. Our source files were originally a PNG sequence. JPG provided the best quality-to-filesize ratio.

Think about this... Google charges you $900 to attend a conference that they will "teach you" how to build apps that work on their systems which benefit them way more than you.

I know Apple charges a developer fee as well.

Amazing how this hacker/developer world works - pay for access to their app stores, pay for conferences to learn how to make apps for their app stores, etc.

Bear in mind that all of the I/O developer session videos get posted at no cost after the conference.

It's not zero-sum. The devs get a lot out of it, too. All the devs that buy tickets to IO think that IO benefits them more than the $900 they're parting with.

this amount includes the gadgets that they give to people. last year there were three if i remember correctly. one was for game devs only.

There were bunches of gadgets given out @ every IO, some to everyone, some to attendees of specific talks.

Also, said developers are planning to make money with these new skills, in addition to networking, I think most people find it well worth it or they wouldn't attend.

Good to know I can fax them if I have any questions. https://developers.google.com/events/io/register

That's as techy as Sacramento gets.

PS: if you are complaining about the price, it's time to show your entreprenerial spirit and organize a free unconference at the same time and nearby. Don't complain, do something!

Thats the thing that sucks about such events; $900 is very expensive.

If anyone wants to sponsor a fellow HNer, I'll give you a bunch of digital Karma :)

Doesn't the free phones pay for it? I'd suppose those early limited edition devices are worth more than the ticket.

The freebies last year (Galaxy Tab 10.1, Chromebook, verizon hotspot) more than outweighed the ticket price and airfare. Depending on which session you went to (which meant more freebies - arduino kits, more phones, etc), you could make a solid profit off a trip to I/O.

I'm curious at $900 of just how much they plan to give out this time.

Yeah, you figure at that price they're going to give out heads-up display glasses or something ridiculously cool like that. That was my first thought, anyway.

I'm hoping for a self-driving car giveaway myself

2011 aprox. $1100 and 2010 like $800

They might be worth the price of admission squared. It simply doesn't matter if the cost of that admission is out of reach. I worry that an ever increasing ticket price will put this event, if it hasn't already, squarely in the realm of corporate-sponsored attendance.

Cheaper than WWDC and it's likely you'll get a bunch of free hardware.

what kind of hardware?

Which means any healthcare related company isn't likely to attend, since this "free hardware" is against gift restrictions relating to healthcare related businesses.

I don't see why it would be -- couldn't you characterize it as development kit? I assume it belongs to the employer not to the attendee, but that's just a company rule. I thought the rule was you couldn't pay "kickbacks", not that you couldn't receive them, and a phone is hardly a healthcare service itself anyway.


They didn't get rich by giving stuff away.

The parent talked about Apple, not Google. But that post is now deleted.

Actually, I was making a play on words (typos really) where SteveJabs said one thing and I called him out for being the founder of Appel, asking him to be my benefactor.

It was poorly received as I dont think people saw that SteveJabs and Appel were both in parody...

No, I understood (also the Appel misspelling).

Double the price of last year.

there is a bright side to it - the 'sold out in a hour' situation last year was ridiculous. While i would have preferred a coding challenge to eliminate that problem, a price increase is another method of fixing it.

Yes, but it's a poor way to fix it. A high price just means that corporate people looking to get some free goodies will be more likely to attend than hackers who have to pay the $900 out of their own pockets.

This will be the first time I won't even bother to register. Too much money.

Another way would have been to announce that they won't be giving away any hardware, that would have kept away the "it pays for it self and I get some cool goodies" crowd away so real developers could go.

The last two years, Google has said "There are no plans for giveaways." And of course, attendees actually got about $1000 worth in stuff in 2010 (Droid phone, EVO, Google TV), and $1200 worth in freebies in 2011 (Galaxy Tab 10.1, Chromebook, Verizon hotspot).

They could say there are no giveaways, but nobody's going to listen to the boy who cried wolf anymore.

I do not remember any such announcements.

They should charge the $900 and not give away any hardware without announcing whether or not they're going to. They'll be able to have $400 tickets next year without selling out as fast.

Great point. A coding challenge would stop the attendees who just plan to get the free hardware and flip it for a quick profit.

It is, but the increased price might be because there is an extra day this year.

Isn't that atypical of incremental pricing? One would expect the marginal cost of the third day to be lower, if anything.

We organise a smaller (a lot smaller!) conference¹ in Helsinki, Finland and I can tell you that a surprising number of things increase in cost linearly as you add more days.

Of course adding one more day to a two day conference doesn't double your costs, but I'd image that Google is taking into account inflation as well as just trying to increase their profit margin (though taking into account the amount of hardware they give out they give out to attendees does indicate that they're also trying to limit the audience to actual developers).

¹ http://2012.frozenrails.eu/

A bit annoying they force you to sign up for both Google+ and Google Wallet to attend.

Why? They'll probably give you a phone integrated with Google Wallet, so it'd make sense to have you using it beforehand.

It’s obvious Google wants people to use Wallet, but I would argue it’s indicative of weakness, not strength, to require its usage (as opposed to letting the strength of the product draw people to use it).

Similarly, shouldn’t they make us excited to try Google Wallet on these phones, as opposed to forcing us to prepare ahead of time? I mean, if they are still going for a non-evil not-just-another-BigCo vibe.

What system does Google have for collecting money other than Wallet? They're not forcing you to use it because they're trying to push a product -- Wallet is simply the UI for typing in your credit card information.

This was going to be my first year at IO until I saw the ticket price. $900!!!

Same here I thought it was going to be free. Wishful, naive...

I'm trying out the demo chrome experiment on the page. It seems there's a bug that the "Keep trying" pop up just won't go away after the tutorial. Or is it just me? I'm using Chrome 17.0.963.65.

Some bugs I noticed (Chrome 17.0.963.79):

- There seems to be several bounding box issues for collision detection. Specifically, the track component affects the surrounding space in odd ways.

- If you move a small component inside the radius of a larger component, there appears to be no way to select the smaller component without moving the larger component back out of the way. I was expecting a "click again to select the next object in the z-order" functionality.

Does not work in Opera... until "masking as Firefox". Then it's just slow. Still don't get why to block it out though...

Ball has to make it through the output on the right to finish! Need to win the tutorial to complete!

$900 is not that much, I'm actually surprised it's so low.

A GDC All Access pass is $1,950, and a GDC Main Conference pass (typical) is $1,350.


And Joel Spolsky's "Business of Software" conference is $1600 for two days, and Microsoft's PDCs were $2200 for 3 days.

This is about 1/2 of the market rate for major multi-day tech conferences.



edit: looks like you might need to open up in incognito to go straight to the machine I built (2 parts)

Nice idea. I built a one part device.

Sadly it looks like there's a bug in Google's saving code, so there's an extra (completely unnecessary) wall.


If you're going to share your output, make sure that what you're sharing is what you saved!

Edit: And on top of that, it depends on your screen size. Hopefully the registration system doesn't have as many problems!

It also appears to have a random? element with regards to ball behaviour. Each run of this https://developers.google.com/events/io/input-output/ahNzfmd... ends up different. Sometimes it hits the wall, sometimes goes over it and sometimes it makes in into the output. (should be two items on your screen - resize until you see a Track and a Wall)

Seems difficult to design and share if ball behaviour changes run to run. Unless that is part of the point - simulating real world user input ;)

Does anyone know if high school students qualify for academic pricing? I'm assuming they don't, as most places that offer a education discount only offer it for university students, but maybe I'll get lucky.

I attended I/O twice in high school and received the academic pricing without incident. I do know that not having been 18 either time, I had to get my parents to sign some sort of a waiver form, but it wasn't a big deal.

Okay, thanks! I might attended I/O in that case. Just have to make sure it doesn't happen at the same time as my exams.

Anybody notice how the io machines are completely resolution based? i.e if you don't run it at the same resolution it was created, it won't work?

Google tax! Hail to our new Google overlords.

So much for a coding challenge to get tickets. "Registration will be first-come, first-served so make sure you're online promptly at 7AM PDT on March 27."

I'm not too sure about that just yet.

Part of your registration may be to checkout a Google Code project in the language of your choice and run the resulting program with a prequalification code they give you.

That would be unfortunate if you're trying to register on your phone, but they could easily just mention in advance on Google+ that you're going to need to be on a desktop computer.

Well, you could code a script that registers for you, before any human.

Right, sight unseen of the registration form...

A master scraper sees with his mind, not with his eyes.

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