Obviously, it's illegal to host your images externally and have your program load them over the internet. But would it be okay to load random resources (using Google image search or the like)?
There is (was) quite a nice server application which allowed you to destroy (nuke, wandering monsters etc) a specified web page. Another thought is to do a screen grab, detect the various window edges and play around with it. However these are all external resources so not within the game rules as they stand.
"Must be self-contained- no external resources (e.g. loading an image from a website)"
Also you'd need to sign the applet.
I wonder whether using the microphone as an input device would be allowable. Again there is a security permission problem when you attempt to access it (assuming there is one of course). I think this might result in an automatic dialog requesting permission (Edit: No - needs signing), rather than an outright refusal, but haven't tried it. Thinking about singing games, or rhythmic clapping, or maybe voice controlled. I think allowing user input this way would be within the spirit of the rules. Using the microphone (or line input) to input prerecorded sound (e.g. music) would probably count as an external resource and should not be allowed. What do people think?
(I'm going to do a quick tech demo to see what security dialogs come up)
EDIT: Looks like I'd need to sign the applet.
EDIT2: Done Tech Demo and the app either needs signing (or the user policy editing). However my demo is loads of fun already, so I'm proposing to submit a self-signed applet with user microphone input, dependent on whether this is considered Ok. A more important question is "can the judges whistle" as it looks likely to be a key skill - I'm considering a sheep dog trials game.