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Monday
Feb212011

Seven-Day Hackathon Leads to New Popular App

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The idea of typing out a bibliography is something that still sends shivers up college students' spines. That long list of sources, authors, and book titles is something that everyone remembers dreading, long after they have left the world of term papers behind.

A new application for iPhones and Androids, however, is making that horror a thing of the past. This 99-cent app automates the bibliography process by using the camera on a smartphone to scan the barcode on the back of a book. The user then gets an e-mail which includes a citation formatted to fit one of the four common styles used for bibliographies. A little cutting, pasting and proofreading later and the work is done -- a lot faster than the old-fashioned way.

The application was the brainchild of seven students from the University of Waterloo in Canada, who came up with the idea in their group "7 Cubed." The project began during a late-night conversation where the group of friends decided to tackle their boredom with school by holding a seven-day "hackathon."

"Quick Cite" was one of the final applications created that week that involved a whole lot of coffee and very little sleep. While all the members of the group were excited with their final products, they had no expectations that the applications would become hits.

"It became popular because a single blog picked it up, and then other people picked up that blog post until it made its way to PC Magazine and Business Insider," said Gareth MacLeod, one of the members of the group, adding that the team feels very lucky about its newfound popularity.

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