Today in APIs: Carma Launches API for Carpooling

Carma has launched an API with a carrot: $2.5 million in prizes for developers to create apps. Black Girls Code holds Love is Respect Hackathon. Plus: Nclose offers Layer 7 API management, and the State Department creates a Fishackacton.

Carma in Bid to Jumpstart Carpooling with API and Prize Money

In the shadow of the Uber comes Carma, which has an app to match drivers and riders. What distinguishes it from other ride-share companies is its mission to connect people in real time. Unlike Uber, that connects a driver aiming to earn money from a customer, Carma connects people who want to share the costs of a ride. Uber is catching flak for beating cabbies on price and convenience; Carma has a shot at beating Uber on both.

According to Ryan Lawler at Techcrunch,

While Carma isn’t purely “on demand,” the company is trying to make carpooling happen in “real-time.” That’s what the new open API and prize money are all about — it hopes to seed the growth in carpooling by making the service available to more users across more apps. The API offers access to a number of Carma features, such as the ability to register, update, and search for users through their apps. Developers can also use the API to facilitate user-to-user messaging and the ability for driver to receive compensation for the ride.

The prize money breaks down like this: $1 million for the developer whose app results in more than 10,000 trips in a 90-day period, $1 million for a Carma developer who creates a feature that sparks 1,000 daily trips in a metro area (yes, Carma employees are specifically eligible), with $500,000 in smaller prizes for people joining the Carma accelerator in Cork, Ireland.

Black Girls Code Holds Hackathon, more planned

This past weekend a hackathon hosted by Black Girls Code featured 60 participants under 18, in 17 teams. The idea is to help tip the scales in the STEM fields that are overwhelmingly dominated by white guys, to encourage women of color. Judging from what some of the participants had to say, this was a success. The theme of the hackathon was Love is Respect.

Contessa Gayles at CNNMoney writes that this event, hosted by New York University Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, is one of a series, with future events planned for Oakland and New Orleans. More information is on the Black Girls Code website.

Twelve-year-old Solé Stewart from New Jersey, like many of her peers, is a first-time-hackathoner. Her team created a mobile app game called Relationship Guide that quizzes gamers on different aspects of their relationship and determines how healthy the relationship is. Negative results will send you to a Resource page for help and advice on improving the situation. "I'm going to make more apps at home," said the aspiring engineer.

The group, founded in 2011, works to create a context for their Black girl coders by holding group meetings with the participants' parents, pointing out the powerful career path they can help their children get on.

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