Tag Archives | Politics

Obama Campaign Launches iPhone App

While the Obama campaign has been pretty innovative in its uses of technology, this latest move takes the cake in my opinion. The official iPhone application debuted on Thursday, which is yet another method for the campaign to stay closely connected to its supporters.

The primary feature here seems to be the call a friend functionality. Contacts, taken from the iPhone address book, are sorted by state with the most competitive listed first. For example, my contacts from Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Indiana, and Pennsylvania were listed at the top, while those in Delaware, Hawaii, and New York were listed at the bottom.

No personal data is shared with the campaign — only anonymous call data — and the application will also allow users to keep track of whom they called and their intentions.

The iPhone’s GPS functionality is put to use: users would be able to find a local campaign office in relation to their current location, as well as events in the area. Links to news, video and photos from the trail are also included, as well as talking points on Obama’s positions when talking about the candidate to friends.

An official webpage is available on the Obama website, and it is available through the App Store. Those who don’t have an iPhone should not fret — the WAP page for the campaign offers some of the same features.

I think this application is a great idea. Obama supporters have shown that they are (generally) a more technically sophisticated bunch, using the Internet a great deal to organize, raise money, and disseminate information on the candidate.

What of course remains to be seen is how responsive supporters are to this latest attempt at keeping its supporters involved. The application has apparently only been live on the iTunes App Store since this morning, so its a little early yet to judge.


Ballmer: Microsoft Not Immune to Financial Crisis

These probably were not the type of questions Steve Ballmer was expecting to answer. At a stop in Oslo to talk about Microsoft’s acquisition of Norwegian-based Fast Search, reporters seemed more interested in any possible ramifications for the world’s largest software company due to the ongoing financial crisis.

Ballmer warned that as the financial crisis deepens, businesses and consumers alike will further cut spending. Obviously, the worst effects would be across the financial services industry, hit the hardest by the current crisis.

“We have a lot of business with the corporate sector as well as with the consumer sector and whatever happens economically will certainly effect itself on Microsoft,” he told Reuters in an interview. “I think one has to anticipate that no company is immune to these issues.”

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Sarah Palin’s Personal Yahoo E-mail Hacked

The McCain campaign may soon find itself defending against criticisms from a entirely new angle, thanks to some hackers who have apparently broke into two personal e-mail accounts of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. While details of what exactly was included in those inboxes are still in the process of being disclosed, it could possibly add fuel to speculation that Palin had been using personal e-mail accounts for state business.

McClatchy reporter Lisa Demer reported on this practice on Tuesday, writing that the Governor is not the only one to use personal e-mail for official work, but several others in Palin’s administration do so. Some see this as a potential method for Palin and others to get around archiving laws.

Activists have been pressing the government for more disclosure on exactly what Palin has been doing in these e-mails, which may have been the impetus for the hackers known as “anonymous” to attempt the hack. According to Wikileaks, the group gained access to Palin’s account sometime Tuesday.

While in fairness to the governor, many of the e-mails appear harmless and of a personal nature, a few are addressed to state officials. One is to Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, another to Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse member Amy McCorkell. There also appear to be quite a few e-mails to Ivy Frye, an aide of Palin’s (see here and here). The contents of the Frye e-mails are not known.

Wikileaks says the Guardian has looked at the data and found that some of the e-mails include a draft of an email to Governor Schwarzenegger, discussions on state appeals court nominees, and e-mails from a “DPS,” likely the Alaska Department of Safety.

The e-mail accounts in question have since been deleted, which could be a potential problem in the ongoing investigation of the so-called “Troopergate” mess (Critics argue that Palin may have used this accounts in connection with those events). Either way, the McCain campaign has wasted no time in quickly denouncing the hack.

“This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them. We will have no further comment,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said.

I doubt however that the campaign will be able to stay quiet, especially if it is discovered that Palin was misusing the accounts as has been suspected.