Recently Google launched a new program called the "Google Highly Open Participation Contest", or GHOPC. This initiative allows younger developers (13 and above) who could not join in the Google Summer of Code to help work on open source projects such as Apache and GNOME. For every 3 tasks that an individual completes, Google will award USD$100, up to a total of $500 (15 tasks). The tasks vary from simple ones such as "Create a short slideshow of distinctive plone websites", to highly advanced tasks such as " Implement WorldKit.org Mapping as a Joomla! v 1.5 Extension". So far there has been a huge amount of work on behalf of the developers, especially in the tasks of well-known projects like Joomla.
At the moment I have temporarily paused my Android development in order to focus on the GHOPC. I believe it is more suited to my abilities at the present time. So far I've completed 2 out of 3 tasks, so I'm looking forward to the completion of the next one! It also means I may not be around much on the blog, as the tasks have fairly strict deadlines.
Here I see yet another example of Google's support of the open source community. Regardless of whether you like Google as a company or not, you have to acclaim them for continuing a good work here. Now, with the Google SoC, and the GHOPC, open source projects have a commercial backing, even if only once a year, which encourages upcoming business leaders to contribute to open source, and reaps huge benefits for the projects involved.