Hackathon aims to solve traffic problems around region

  • COURTESY OF SAMSUNGSamsung's new Ultra HD-TV that has an 85-inch screen and costs $40,000.

    COURTESY OF SAMSUNGSamsung's new Ultra HD-TV that has an 85-inch screen and costs $40,000.

Updated 5/16/2013 2:09 PM

Typically, when you hear the term "hackathon," you picture computer geeks sitting in a large room, rifling through untold number of passwords or other avenues to break into secret websites or files during a competition.

That's not exactly the case with the first Logistics Hackathon, an all-day technology-driven work session, on Saturday at the Merchandise Mart. About 90 software developers, other technology professionals and students from around the region are expected to develop solutions using technology to improve the commute around the Chicago area.


Since the city and suburbs are home to several transportation and logistical companies that keep the economy rolling, the participants are expected to keep that going despite gridlock, construction and other longtime problems.

"They're going to help us use more technology to be more efficient ways of doing business," said Basil Weaver, senior manager of supply chain solutions for Des Plaines-based DSC Logistics, a sponsor of the event.

The event is led by World Business Chicago along with partners and sponsors from the logistics and tech communities, such as 1871, the Chicago Department of Transportation, and the Value Chain Center of the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University, among others.

The transportation solutions then will be eligible for a $1,000 first prize and other cash prizes, and a chance to present those ideas to executives at Coyote Logistics and Here, a Nokia business unit, he said.

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"We'll be bringing a lot of data and digging right into that data from industry and government," said Weaver.

Some winning solutions actually could be used to help relieve congestion in the area, he said.

"You never know until you try," he said.

Surfing:Abt Electronics in Glenview this week unveiled the Samsung S9 with an 85-inch screen with high-quality hidden speakers. The price tag also is massive at $40,000. It's billed as the largest ever ultra high-definition television, or UHD-TV. Only 250 units are being made worldwide and the TV is voice-controlled or gesture or motion controlled. It's also double the price compared to the LG HDTV with an 84-inch screen that we wrote about when it debuted in January. That one was designed by LG Electronic USA engineers in Lincolnshire.

• The Chicago White Sox will open the #SoxSocial Lounge, a social media lounge for fans at U.S. Cellular Field starting Monday located behind section 154. The lounge will feature multiple televisions, many streaming White Sox social media content, while others display the game telecast. The Lounge will have mobile phone charging stations.

• Palatine-based Lavelle Law Ltd. began its fifth year of providing free weekly podcasts covering a wide range of legal issues. The weekly series, "Chicago's Legal Latte" debuted in May 2009. Each episode can be heard live at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays at www.blogtalkradio.com, and every episode is archived there and on iTunes and at www.lavellelaw.com.


• Mundelein-based Medline Industries Inc., a private company that manufacturers and distributes health care supplies nationwide, launched its improved website, Medline.com. The site offers eight areas of health care to find content customized to their specific business, including hospitals, nursing homes, surgery centers, research labs, and others. On subsequent visits, the website will open to the user's selected market.

Napersoft, a provider of document creation software in Naperville, was recognized as a 2013 Rave Award winner in the Document Creation category for delivering exemplary value to customers. This is Napersoft's second consecutive year receiving this award. The 2013 Rave Awards, presented by Tech Decisions & Novarica, recognizes information technology vendors and service providers that received the highest Novarica Average Customer Experience Rankings.

•Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at akukec@dailyherald.com.

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