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Iphone Apple Politics

Senator Releases First Senate Mobile App 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the i-the-people dept.
GovTechGuy writes "Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) released an official application for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, making him the first Senator to offer an official mobile application. The Chambliss app allows the public to call Chambliss' offices directly from the app and find in real-time information on the Senator's positions on current political topics."
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Senator Releases First Senate Mobile App

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are his opinions changing so fast you need real-time information on them?

    • Positions on current topics

      not

      Current positions on topics.

      • Most "current" topics have been around for several years. There arent really many new issues, just rehashes of old ones.
        • by vlm (69642)

          I think I've finally figured it out. "current topics" are what I'd consider irrelevant noise, such as "what is the honorable senator's opinion of Sarah Palin's daughter's performance on american idol last night" and "Tell us how you feel about the recent tornadoes, senator"

          • The app uses a 1-900 number for his office.

            You calling him helps keep him informed...and waist deep in hookers and blow!

      • Positions on current topics

        not

        Current positions on topics.

        you sure? this could be a tool for senators to flip-flop in real-time!

        • You know, adapting your position to changing realities is generally viewed as rational. Leave it to american propaganda to make "flip-flopping" an insult. Can't hear it anymore, to be honest.
          • If flip-flopping in American politics were generally a byproduct of "adapting your position to changing realities" and not "voting for government spending towards my constituents to increase my reelection chances, pledges about supporting less government spending or statements of a core belief in the futility of government involvement in anything economic be damned" or "voting for more unsupervised government intrusion, despite my claims that such government supervision is evil", I'd agree. Oddly enough, o

          • by Mikkeles (698461)

            Well, if the reason for changing (as appears to be a common case) is a new payoff ^W campaign contribution or the results of a new poll, then I think it should be an insult.

            In the latter case, it may be acceptable for him to change the way he votes to match his constituents' wishes if he cannot convince them of his position; this should not, however, cause him to change his position.

          • You know, adapting your position to changing realities is generally viewed as rational.

            And if that's what these senators and representatives actually did it would be a good thing. Unfortunately they change their minds on things purely based on who gave them the biggest campaign contribution.

            • Well, in the end, a representative only acts as proxy for those he represents, doesn't he? Should be the voters, not the contributors, I completely agree on that. Then again, can it really work out if politicians only work on the basis of polls? Around here, in Germany, one pundit came up with the quite insightful epithet of "demoskopiebesoffen" - "drunk on demoscopy", drunk on polls. It's probably not healthy for the system in the long run, but i fail to see better alternatives.
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      If he is like most politicians, then yes, sadly.

      That said, if you want to see an app that reflects political reality more precisely, you'll have to wait for v2.0. It will have two (or more) versions of the positioning statement, depending on what it thinks you want to hear.

      Just to be clear, I'm not saying that this particular politician is two-faced, but statistically, the politicians who aren't two-faced are in such a minority that they rarely appear as a non-zero quantity in any random sampling. Just sa

      • by vlm (69642)

        That said, if you want to see an app that reflects political reality more precisely, you'll have to wait for v2.0. It will have two (or more) versions of the positioning statement, depending on what it thinks you want to hear.

        Do you think google and facebook have enough information on "us" that they could automate this process? I shouldn't be saying this out loud, I should be selling this idea to election committees for crazy sums of money... I do believe we are nearing the era of automated individualized campaign ads. Next election cycle I expect to get spam about which candidate prefers vim or emacs... We're already only a step away from hearing "Vote for Gnome or KDE, don't throw your vote away on 3rd party candidates like

  • A mandatory app for every elected official.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Really? The ability to call someone by downloading an app instead of dialing the phone should be mandatory?

      This thing is more fluff then substance, there's already apps that look at positions on issues and voting histories for all of Congress.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Rather than "more fluff than substance" I'd say is a misuse of technology by the technologically clueless. There is no reason to need an app to have your phone be able to see a web page, you simply have to write the web page using plain HTML. And an app to call from your PHONE is just retarded.

        • by Vegeta99 (219501)

          Wait, why is it retarded? Does it run slower than other apps usually do?

          I think it's a great idea, people are probably more likely to see an ad of his and download the app than they are to see an ad of his and visit his website.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            It's completely unnecessary. Wasting your phone's limited storage on unneeded apps is just stupid. Why would someone download an app before they'd be willing to visit a web page? That makes no sense whatever.

    • by scumdamn (82357)
      Right, because I'm sure people will waste space on their phone for an app for each of their elected representatives. He wasted the fee to create the app and the fee to get it into the App Store.
      • by prgrmr (568806)
        It's all about marketing. Given the rates for TV, radio, and print advertising, this was undoubtedly a good investment.
        • Just wait for the "Re-elect Saxby Chambliss" ads that show up in his app ... along with links to donate to his re-election campaign.
      • by smelch (1988698)
        Right, because 3 apps is just way too many. Its not like we have gigs of memory. All of our iPhones are so maxed that we just can't spare less space than angry birds for keeping up to date with our representation in washington.
        • by vlm (69642)

          I love the combination of your signature and your post's last line. Took a second to realize that sig was not the last line of your post.

    • by sohmc (595388)

      I agree

      While yes there are other apps, when an elected official makes it easier for his constituents to look at his record, it's a win.

      So far, I'm only familiar with one rep (Wolfe - VA) who offers his votes directly on his web site without going through thomas.loc.gov.

    • How about if you make it mandatory make it work with the majority of smartphones? Talk about behind the times.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      A mandatory app for every elected official.

      How about an app that lets these career criminal politicians know when their two terms are up.
      Or an app that keeps a running total of all graft accepted from corporate gangsters and banksters.
      And/or an app that counts all the lies these bastards tell without blinking their eyes.
      Or how about an app that counts the days remaining until all American soldiers come home so they can kick some political ass and get these crooks out of office. Radical? I think not!

  • LOL (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Oh, how I'd enjoy downloading that app and then asking that jackhole how he feels having demonized a triple-amputee war veteran out of office with his scurrilious anti-american lies.

    I am sure Chambliss will discontinue use of the app almost immediately once he figures out that his constituents have actual criticisms of his asshole positions.

  • Wow! (Score:4, Funny)

    by excelsior_gr (969383) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @01:43PM (#36452962)

    Just what was missing! An app for a cellphone that enables you to... call someone?! Wait, what?

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      That's nothing. A New Jersey senator's recent app automatically raises your property taxes every time you call his office.

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @01:47PM (#36453000) Journal
    Now I wish I had an iPhone so I could give him an earful that way.
  • find in real-time information on the Senator's positions on current political topics

    I don't know anything about the guy, but when you need networked computer automation to track how a politician flip flops on issues, something's wrong.

    • by Dog-Cow (21281)

      Since your reading comprehension is non-existent, I would guess it doesn't really matter.

  • Useless and late by a day or two. The congress app on android just came out and it is insanely more in depth, and does not have its content controlled directly by the politician that you are trying to contact.

  • branded as an app wow how little content it takes to be news worthy
    • When has samzenpus ever posted anything that was truly newsworthy? About only thing he posts is idle shit, idle shit posted outside of idle to get around the fact that almost everyone has blocked idle, and shill reviews for Packt Publishing books.

    • by smelch (1988698)
      Uh, no. See, what's kind of cool about people is they can communicate. And this is one way for Chambliss to communicate with you (and also provides contact info for you to communicate with him, through abstraction).

      The Chambliss app allows the public to call Chambliss's offices directly from the app and find in real-time information on the Senator's positions on current political topics. Users can also access news articles, e-newsletters, videos and photos from their phones and participate in constituent surveys.

      How is any of that bad, how is any of that not nice to do? Yeah, its all from him, but it isn't a "propoganda stream" like others have asserted. It is simply a way for him to express his opinion on things so you know what he thinks about stuff. WTF, this is exactly what has been missing. And yes,

      • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @02:09PM (#36453278)

        WTF, this is exactly what has been missing.

        How has it been missing? Chambliss, like almost every other Senator and Representative, already has a webpage [senate.gov] with all that information already. This app is just some lame repackaging of his webpage and a call feature.

        Why do I get the feeling if Chambliss was a D, people would love his embrace of technology?

        Because you're an idiot?

        • Because far too many "smart" phone users cannot be bothered with politics except on message boards. Far too many would never venture near a Congressman's website but I bet quite a few would download an app just for the sheer chance they could ridicule it or his positions. They would in fact be getting the information he wanted that they normally would never access.

          So make information cool, if that means repackaging it, then by all means. Just because you and I know where to look for information does not mea

  • by istartedi (132515) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @01:54PM (#36453074) Journal

    Sounds like a web site. They stuck "app" on it. Booooring. Wake me up when you have an iCloudApp. Now, that would be truly revolutionary. Bonus points if it has synergy.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      But aren't the vast majority of phone apps merely web sites with the word "app" stuck on them? So this is just following established faux-tech practices.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Exactly! Another example of why most of the App Store "apps" are truly LAME..

      Shit, why didn't he now put in one of those Quick Response bar codes on his website so you can take a picture and download it immediately? Then the senator would be truly high tech.

  • Towards a more real seeming democracy. We need more technology integration with our legislative process. Seriously, we should be table to track down our money to the dollar.
  • Attack ad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KPU (118762) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @01:55PM (#36453094) Homepage

    Does it come with free Cleland attack ads?

  • I wonder if it will have an archive feature, if so for the various senators out there I imagine it would be like this:

    1-June-2011 - For X
    2-June-2011 - Received donation from group Y
    3-June-2011 - Against X
    4-June-2011 - Received larger donation from group Z
    4-June-2011 - For X

    Again, in general. I know nothing about the senator in question.

    • by stinerman (812158)

      You missed the much more obvious one:

      1-June-2008 - For X
      4-June-2008 - Gives speech on floor of Senate extolling the virtues of X over some heavy-handed big government program Y
      1-June-2011 - President Obama comes out for X
      2-June-2011 - Against X
      4-June-2011 - Gives speech blasting X as a plan to steal money from unborn Christian U.S. Marines and give it to Union-backed Atheist Socialist Muslim Homosexuals

  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @02:01PM (#36453178)
    I hear the corporate version comes with a button to make campaign donations and change his position on issues.
  • Nothing we probably didn't already know sadly.

    It basically shows that the senator and his office are completely technologically inept, and too lazy/stupid to find someone who is qualified to help them out.

    They spent money ... to make an app ... that can be done in HTML ... and work on every device that has a web browser rather than JUST iOS.

    So what you should take from this is that this senator and his office are ignorant, lazy, wasteful, and fad followers who care more about popular opinion than doing the

    • Simmer down, Dude. I hear what you're saying. Come HTML5, more or less here already, there is no compelling, practical reason to write an "app," unless what you really want to do is hack into the phone. These days, apps are little more than an already passing fad.

      This, of course, is only true if the APIs accessible from the web page can get the data you need, such as GPS data, voice, camera functionality, etc. Could be a big if.
  • by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @02:05PM (#36453222)
    Does his position change so frequently it has to be updated in realtime?
  • Needs as "Bribe/Campaign-Contribution" button.

  • Oh yes, yes, of course! Terribly important to know a politician's "position" on "current political topics" or better yet, on the ever so important "issues." Not what lobbyists are paying them to do, nobody gives a crap about that. We care deeply and passionately, and discuss interminably, politicians' "positions" on "issues." Must be why our body politic, society, and economy are so advanced, prosperous, and are examples to the world.
  • The Chambliss app allows the public to call Chambliss' offices directly from the app

    They must have thought that it would be great to be able to have a handheld device usable to make telephonic conversations towards a fixed telephonic device. Then they though: we must make an app for that.

    Also to find real-time information must have been a great idea.

    I am old fashioned. I would have used a standard phone line and a standard web server, thus not excluding many.

    This most likely is not about giving informatio

  • Does it automatically give me his twitter feed too?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    CUPERTINO, California—June 15, 2011—Apple® today announced that they will be removing the mobile web application created by Representative Anthony D. Weiner (D - NY) from the app store. Apple stated, "We do not believe the 'The Weiner app' is appropriate considering the pornographic content.".

  • by blair1q (305137)

    Seriously, I need a smartphone to go on the web to download an app so I can push one button to call a phone-bot to dial up issue text that I could get just by going to a website on the same phone?

    Recall this fucktard. He's unfit to serve.

  • I agree that an app to do what a web page does is pretty stupid.

    However I wonder if it would be possible to make an app that actually did what is promised: "produce the Senator's position on a current political topic". Ideally the user could type in an arbitrary question and it would say what the Senator would think. This must be done without actually asking the Senator or any other human.

    The first version could be an interesting experiment in AI. It has to produce "approve" or "disapprove" or "I did not un

  • I've had an app called "Congress" installed for a while. It allows you to do this for all members of congress, it lists all recent legislation, you can see where and what shape districts are... It's a good step in making our government more accessible. Communication with our representatives should be accessible.
  • by kevkoh (2270488)
    There are already lots of apps for tracking all of Congress. http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2011/06/theres-a-congressional-app-for-that/ [loc.gov]
  • Wow, honesty from a politician - who would have thought it could happen.

    and find in real-time information on the Senator's positions on current political topics

    You see that? That right there is a candid admission that he changes positions with the blowing of the political winds (perhaps more so when they are north-north-west but stays stable when the wind is southerly?) and that an app is required to keep up with these shifting views. Well done!

  • an app that maps the series of tubes that is the internet would be totally awesome...

  • Australian MP Malcom Turnbul did this gaes ago.

    http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/malcolm-turnbull-mp-federal/id374939098?mt=8 [apple.com]

  • ...that blocked any/every politician from my mobile media.

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