Sunday, June 06, 2010

6 JUN 10: The Pursuit of App-iness

Even though this blog is more than seven years old, I'm admittedly a cautious skeptic when it comes to other kinds of technology. For instance, I'm getting close to concluding this satellite TV thing is NOT a passing fad....

Other people are quick to try new tech trends. You may be surprised by the political candidate who's jumping in this weekend. State Senate candidate Josh McKoon announced he now has an "app" for iPhones. I thought Republicans were naturally behind the curve on such things - going back to when Albert Gore allegedly invented the Internet.

A campaign news release declares Josh McKoon "the first Georgia State Senate candidate to release an iPhone app purpose built for transparency and community engagement." I guess this means there won't be any games for writing funny captions over pictures of McKoon's opponents.

(If someone from the G.O.P. has something for an iPhone, does that make him an App-ublican?)

The news release promises Josh McKoon's free app will give users everything from campaign pictures to YouTube videos. That way, you can check his campaign anywhere you go. But considering McKoon is unopposed in the July Republican primary, continual checks right now could be a sign of addiction.

The Josh McKoon app also promises surveys on big issues, with the State Senate candidate responding "on a real-time basis." Should McKoon be elected, hopefully this feature will continue next year. This could bring the ultimate in representative government - instant popular voting on something other than pop singers.

Josh McKoon is quotes as saying about his new app: "Special interests don't have me in their pocket, you do." That sounds good - until you realize the app is free for everyone, including lobbyists from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

Yet for some reason, you have to go through the iTunes area of Apple's web site to download a Josh McKoon iPhone app. I hope that doesn't mean you have to hear him sing patriotic music from Tea Party rallies.

A member of Josh McKoon's campaign staff prepared this big announcement. But if the app catches on, some workers might not be necessary anymore. McKoon could use his iPhone to text his own messages. Well, as long as he's not driving - because Georgia's Governor signed the bill making that illegal.

Others in Columbus seem, well, app-rehensive about offering iPhone apps. WTVM has bragged about its app for months, and Aflac offers a free "Quack App." But the Ledger-Enquirer doesn't seem to have one. Do an iTunes search for "Ledger" and you're more likely to find a copy of the Internal Revenue Code. [True!]

Consider who else could benefit from joining the iPhone trend....

+ Columbus Police - allowing access to the app-rehended.

+ Columbus Airport - informing passengers about airline app-roaches.

+ Attorney Gary Bruce - announcing cases he's taking to app-ellate court.

+ Restaurants such as Bludau's - revealing their app-etizers of the day.

-> A sure win for us at the poker table last week turned into something very different. See how we responded to it at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: We mentioned Friday an old name receiving a new hire. That brought out a skeptic....

As per your blog of today....

WTVM reported the Phenix City Council voted to hire J.W. Brannen as a special economic coordinator.

Wonder if he has already chosen his team of attorneys for when he gets ready to sue the city? Just sayin'.

Now, now -- maybe that's the strategy in all this. Maybe the council wants to avoid lawsuits like the ones by Max Wilkes and Bubba Roberts. If you're already getting a paycheck from the city, you're less likely to go to court and gamble on winning more.

Let's see what else has people busy this weekend:

+ The National Infantry Museum hosted a "welcome home" ceremony for Vietnam veterans. Organizers said it was to make up for the welcome never provided in the 1970s. How Lonnie Jackson failed to do that at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Buena Vista Road for decades is a mystery to me.

+ Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Admiral Mike Mullin visited Fort Benning. You could tell a Navy man was at an Army post - he was asking for a submarine sandwich at the chow line.

+ Soul singer Percy Sledge performed before a large crowd at the Phenix City Amphitheater. I jogged by as Sledge sang, "Sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time" - and noticed dozens of people standing on the edge of the Dillingham Bridge, reducing revenue.

+ The Southwest Georgia Senior Pageant was held in Waverly Hall, for women older than 60. A few of them probably faced a big decision - whether right now is an appropriate time to crack "Golden Girls" jokes.

+ The Columbus Lions finally returned home, and lost to Albany 51-45. The Lions wore special white-and-pink uniforms for Cancer Awareness Night - not because the game was sponsored by some fiberglass insulation company.

+ Clemson clipped Auburn 5-2 in the NCAA baseball regionals. The game attracted an overflow crowd at Plainsman Park - leading me to think the Columbus Woodbats might as well move there in a couple of weeks.

+ Instant Message to the driver of a Yellow Cab I passed on Border Drive: If your goal is to scare criminals away, I think it's working. That hockey mask dangling from your rear-view mirror even scared me for a second.

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