Github is incredible. They are doing everything right...down to the fact that they don't use www in their url. That kind of stuff does impress me. This article summed up their approach (which I found quite inspirational).(Git allows people to collaborate on software projects, to share, merge, follow, revert from, and track peoples ideas/progress/code)It is great for big projects, and gist.github.com is great for one off projects or when you are asking for help with a snippet of code in IRC or something (think code pastie of the future). But what happened tonight was just crazy. I read about a blog program that someone wrote that will listen to your mp3's and identify them by sound. So I downloaded it, and it crashed, but ruby told me the line number causing the trouble, so I looked, and it was trivial to fix. I decided that a more helpful error message would save the next guy from my woes so I forked the source code from github, made the change, pushed it back to github and sent a "pull request" to the author. This all took less than 2 minutes - seriously. Within 10 minutes, the author had merged my changes to his code. As Jeff said - "I can't wait until this is applied to everything".Overall, the thing that makes github so great is how they leverage already existing great ideas:git (easy branching/merging/managing of source code)gravatar (why doesn't everybody use this?)twitter (so many people don't get why twitter is so important - I certainly didn't)lighthouse (bug tracking that doesn't suck)And a bunch of other stuff. I mean - why does everybody always reinvent mediocre crap when they could just hook it up to something somebody else has built and focus on what they are good at. Probably because cross site leveraging used to be hard. It is easy now - as opposed to the days of crappy meaningless Java APIs (with factories and other meaningless metaphors). RESTful APIs are stupid easy and they let you use other people's stuff to make your own stuff better. Very few people and even fewer websites understand this. Github does. Kind of makes me excited to be alive right now.
Check out this article about Opportunity Bank (where Claudia is the head of microfinance banking) in the Wall Street Journal
The promise and problems are clear in Malawi, where the nonprofit group Opportunity International holds $15 million in 150,000 accounts in a banking system for the poor. The organization uses armored trucks equipped with ATMs that travel to rural areas where the bank doesn't have branches or kiosks.
The bank is profitable and growing but is limited by the cost of reaching the rural poor, said Francis Pelekamoyo, board chairman of the group's Malawi bank. The trucks, laden with satellite, computer and security technology, cost $250,000, and the bank runs each of its new clients through an eight-lesson training course on financial products.
"It's very expensive to introduce financial services to someone for the first time," Mr. Pelekamoyo said. With more funding, he said, "I would go deeper into rural areas."