Hard News by Russell Brown


Dial O for Obama

I installed the Obama '08 iPhone app. It's amazing. Obviously, it didn't find any swing-state friends in my contacts book, and the GPS component couldn't find me an Obama campaign office nearby, but I can read daily news updates from the campaign, watch video of each day's stump speeches and call up detailed policy summaries to help me win water-cooler arguments with friends and workmates.

The campaign's use of America's top-selling smart phone and second-biggest-selling phone model of any kind is a study in engagement.

I can't tell whether the iPhone app is the work of Blue State Digital, the consultants who have helped win the internet battle for Obama and -- the New Zealand Labour Party hopes (according to an intriguing story by David Fisher in the current Listener) will do the same here -- but it seems likely that it is.

I even tried the "donate" button on the app, which triggers a phone call to a US number. But the number didn't include the right STD code to dial from New Zealand, so I can't tell whether my call would have been answered by a donation robot or a human. They'll have to get that fixed before we get to voting for President of the New World Order.

Which might not be too long, given the rate at which governments are wading in to buy out the risk in capitalism. Pundit has a roundup of local estimates of how bad the news in yesterday's PREFU really is. Also on Pundit, Nicky Hager responds to Matthew Hooton's raging about the "profoundly incompetent or corrupt" police investigation into the leaking of the Hollow Men emails.

08 Wire does its own take on the PREFU and takes a look at Farrar vs Standard on crime stats, with more argument about the ethics of implying your opponent doesn't care about rape in the comments. I do despair a bit sometimes.

PS: Also, we can still accommodate punters at tonight's recording of Media7, about the long-unreported story of Fonterra farmers' dirty streams, so let me know asap if you'd like to join us at The Classic. And if you're styaing home, you can see Raymond Miller and me talking to Oliver Driver about the media and the election campaign on Alt TV at 8.30 tonight.

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