Worldwide Information Sharing

Build an open source, universal nut sheller (for peanuts)

This is the type of thing that would have been mostly impossible not too long ago. These guys are building a cheap, durable machine to help people in developing countries shell peanuts and make money. Before we were able to share information and help each other out across the world, these types of programs took enormous amounts of time and/or money to get working. But now, these guys can do an interview with Redhat Magazine and get the word out to potentially millions of interested people in no time. And this is a real project too, not just some company coming in and getting a photo op that will never be practical or amount to anything.

I've been very interested in the micro-lending programs where you can loan somebody say a few hundred dollars to buy what they need to get a small business going. As soon as Kim and I get some more of our bad debt paid off, I'm planning on helping out with micro-loans and real-world projects like this one. There's no reason we can't use the net to help out people around the world in a small way and end up making a big difference. You don't need a huge World Bank style operation to help, a bunch of people making small contributions can really do some good. I'll be posting more about this as time goes on.

MORE: The Full Belly Project, PopSci award given for the machine

[tags]redhat,money,peanuts,open+source,full+belly+project[/tags]