Archive for June 2015

A Story for the Hacker In You

Dare to Hack!

Have you ever dreamt to be a Hacker?… At least for a few hours?

Did you ever take part in a Hackathon?

 

I had the chance to be the Host in Bucharest for our internal

1&1 Cloud Server Hackathon

01 welcome to hackathon

 

Is it for me?

So, what’s in it for me? – You would ask.

And you’re perfectly right.

I would say that a hackathon “is for you” if you love to explore new things, if you like to be the first to walk unbeaten paths, and unearth bugs and other beasts hidden in a brand-new software.

That was the case for us on Thursday night.

Preparations started days before – checking video connection between locations, making sure we have everything needed in such events – laptops, projector, cables, pizza, drinks.

 

Kick Off: 17:00 CET in all locations

02 kick offIMG_0813

We kicked off on Thursday, June 18th, 17:00 CET simultaneously in 1&1 offices from Bucharest, Logrono, Karlsruhe, Munchen and Gloucester.

From Bucharest we had 15 participants.

We were connected via Video call and Chat with all the other locations and were in contact with the Platform guys and also with Customer Care.

The rules were clear: we were not allowed to make the platform unstable nor attack customer contracts, but nevertheless we could send in code that was able to do so 🙂

After a short introduction by Javier, our colleague from Arsys Logrono – subsidiary of 1&1 in Spain – everybody was given his/her test account and  was free to start playing around the platform.

The Platform

03 Cloud Server API

 

About the platform I have to say it’s a pretty powerful virtualization API that will soon be launched for all 1&1 Cloud Server customers to play with and contribute.

You can practically do anything you can imagine to manage programmatically your 1&1 Cloud Servers.

 

 

The competition

Starting on Thursday night and before Monday 22nd June end-of-day, any participant in the hackathon could enter the competition.

A jury formed by experts of the Cloud Server Platform will check all submissions and award for:

–          the major vulnerabilities found on the platform or API and for

–          the Best Mobile App and the Best Desktop App.

It’s all About the Thrill

04 font too big

So, how is it like to be part of a hackathon?

This is a good question because you actually can’t tell when the time flies by.

It’s something close to a hive swarming – lots of messages coming by the chat wall, small issues or big issues waiting to be solved right away:

Due to the relative small timebox, the people focused Thursday night on finding bugs and testing all the possible scenarios in the API.

60 people filed 33 bugs in 5 hours.

The good thing is that they found only minor vulnerabilities and some improvements for the platform.

Since the deadline for submissions was extended until Monday 22nd end-of-day, the thrill is still on – we wait to see the Winners.

Try it yourself!

If you want to feel the thrill yourself, I invite you to find a hackathon near you – that’s not so difficult – there was one a few weeks ago in Bucharest:

http://www.meetup.com/HackaTMe-24h-Hackathon-6-7-June-We-Love-Digital/events/222395426/

 

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Category: Events | Inside 1&1
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1&1 COSMO Open Source

I am glad to announce that 1&1 open sourced COSMO, our CalDAV Calendar server to the calendaring community. You will find below some general info on 1&1 open sourcing but also more details about COSMO server.

History

In 2012, in Bucharest Mail and Media division, a new team was created with the goal to develop a new Calendar solution. Soon after start, analyzing the information on calendaring, we decided to base the solution on an open source CalDAV server: Cosmo from Chandler. Chandler, which has his own interesting history behind, (see more details here) was a closed project since 2008 when the community around it stopped developing the product. Considering the implications, we developed the server with the goal to be able to give COSMO back to open source community in the future.

1&1 and OPEN SOURCE

I will not cover here the benefits of open sourcing or when it make sense to open source your code. I will provide some info on how to do it when all the other aspects are clarified.

Even if there are no hard rules to follow in 1&1 if you want to open source the code, it is very important to be fully transparent on your intentions from the beginning. First start discussing this with your Team Lead and make sure you have the full support of your team.

Steps to follow are easy and well described. There is also a dedicated InsideOne Open Source Wall where you can ask questions or read about other the experiences your colleagues had with open sourcing. As a side note, during the process we discovered that most of the 1&1 projects open-sourced are published under 1&1 Github account (hosting now almost 60 projects). However if your project is big enough it can also be published as a standalone one from the start or in two steps.

Getting starting with COSMO

Now coming back to COSMO.

The project contains only CalDAV core of our Calendar application. It provides an API that 1_calendarcontains abstractions over CalDAV and iCal specific objects and a plugin mechanism that allows developers to write custom logic without having to alter Cosmo Core code.

The goal is to keep this architecture simple and easy to understand and extend, separating specific implementations from protocol related ones.

Browse, demo, and learn how to use

The project can be downloaded from here: https://github.com/1and1/cosmo

After downloading it into project root directory you only need to run the mvn tomcat7:run-war and the calendar server will be packaged, tested and run. Then you can use the COSMO API from any calendar client running CalDAV protocol. Below you will find the steps to configure Mozilla Lightening client and use it with the COSMO server.

  1. Install the Lightning Thunderbird add-on and restart Thunderbird.2_calendar
  2. Press Alt + D to open the “File” menu.
  3. In the “New” submenu, select “Calendar”.
  4. Select the “On the Network” option and then “Next” to continue.
  5. Select the “CalDav” format.
  6. In the “Location” field, enter the path “http://localhost:8080/cosmo/dav/.
  7. Click “Next”.

So, in a few steps you will have a basic calendar solution up and running.

Any contribution or feedback is highly appreciated.

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Category: Inside 1&1 | Technology & Development
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Key Internet Players met in Bucharest to discuss the future of calendaring

calconnectlogo

 

CalConnect (The Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium; www.CalConnect.org) held its thirty-third edition conference in Bucharest, Romania, on May 18-22, 2015. The consortium is a partnership among leading technology organizations and universities to promote open standards and the interoperability of calendaring systems to give users more choices when it comes to devices and calendaring applications. A list of its members can be viewed here.

The host of this international event was 1&1 Internet Development, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 1&1 Group, the leading European internet specialist.
The project took place at the 1&1 facilities and featured interoperability testing events, symposia, meetings, and roundtable discussions, the same agenda that already proved its great success, attracting each edition participants from more than 3 continents and the biggest names of the IT industry. This year in Romania, Apple, Google, IBM, 1&1 and many more, have accepted the invitation to meet and discuss the future of calendaring and interoperability.

It was structured as a 3 day interoperability test event, followed by a 2 day conference in order to support the practical hands-on testing/reviewing and the theoretical discussions.
“Hosting such an event for the first time in Romania, was a challenge but when you think of its mission, to offer solutions that allow calendar and scheduling methodologies to interoperate, so that at one point they will enter the mainstream of computing, you see a greater purpose. It’s not just an event, it’s a way to go forward” – said Wolfgang Gunne, General Manager 1&1 Internet Development

Interoperability is a property of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, without any restricted access or implementation. In other words, thanks to these events, the final customers will be able to keep track of the same schedule, disregarding the platform or device they are using. Having a practical example: booking a time frame, from our device, our calendar tool, to any other device (which may be completely different, both software and
hardware), could not be possible without interoperability.

The highlights sessions of this edition included Embedding Calendar Data in Media (QRCODE, Data URI), Changes to the scheduling model, Sending invitations through other means than e-mail, RSCALE: NonGregorian Recurrence Rules in iCalendar and Calendaring Systems in General (solar, luni-solar, etc.) and were available for registration to any organization or software developer that had a clear objective in improving the effectiveness of calendaring and sharing.
Full information about the conference may be found at CalConnect XXXIII website.

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Category: Events
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