In a Mountain View warehouse last weekend, disaster relief experts joined with software engineers from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and NASA Ames to come up with ways to better use technology in a disaster.
The event was held in Mountain View's "Hacker Dojo," a former warehouse at 140 Whisman Ave. turned into a sort of community center for computer programmers.
According to CNET's coverage of the event, several mobile phone applications were presented, and a top prize was given to NASA Ames engineers who came up with a simple mobile phone program that allows people to quickly send an "I'm OK" message to a preset contact when phone lines are jammed in a disaster.
Microsoft, yahoo, Google, NASA and the World Bank are among the founding sponsors of "Random Hacks of Kindness," which will have another event in Washington D.C. early next year. "Our hope is that this software will address some of the serious challenges facing the disaster response community and evolve in response to their needs," the ROHK Web site says.