Tag: Politics »
Super PAC is like Shazam (a music discovery app), only for political ads. Just hold your iPhone up to the ad audio, and you'll get info on funding sources for the ad.
A free, fun, and simple way to find out more about the presidential election ads coming out of your TV. Identify commercials from all political groups, including Super PACs and the official campaigns.
- Hold up the app to a presidential ad, wherever you’re watching it
- Find out who and how much money is behind the ad
- Rate and see how others have rated the ad: Love/Fair/Fishy/Fail
- See the claims of the ad and whether they’re based on any facts
Donkeys and Elephants: Chow Down is a colorful, cartoony iOS game about munching fruit with an ever-growing donkey/elephant (Donkeys and Elephants, get it?). It also uses a database to track player animal choices and scores, then tallies them to create a global score and potentially predict the outcome of the 2012 election. Stiven Deleur and his father have been hard at work with updates and a kickstarter project since the game's release, and have just recently "paired with a starting company" that's taken a big interest and will potentially have a significant impact on their success. I had a few questions for the young developer, naturally.
You'd mentioned that you decided to use Corona for coding over C++ and Xcode. What was it about Corona that drew you in?
Well my first encounter with app developing was when I heard about a young person who made an iOS app, so I decided to try. I briefly looked online but the Objective-C language seemed fairly hard. There also weren't many tutorials or explanations. A couple months later my dad proposed making an app, and he told me about corona. I decided to check it out. On their website there were lots of tutorials, guides, and even explanations to every function etc. After seeing that I thought that I could definitely make a game.
I imagine that, even with how easy it was to get started, there were some stumbling blocks. Were there any aspects to the app development process that gave you more trouble than others? Any that still give you trouble?
Everything seemed new and complicated at that time. But the major stumbling block was that corona has limitations. Not all services are available (e.g. ads, game networks, etc.) I always had to work around it somehow. Even now I can't do everything I want.
The Donkeys vs. Elephants political theme is obviously a focus here, so I have to ask: Donkey or Elephant?
I currently do not have a very strong view, but if I had to choose it would be Elephant.
And while we're on the subject, was it difficult for you to create a game with a political focus that didn't seem to "take sides?"
As I said I don't have strong views so the app is not bias in either way. Still, I tried to make sure everything was equal.
Have there been any items or upgrades that you've wanted to add to the store but just haven't been able to due to balancing/time constraints/whatever?
Well one thing that I have been thinking about are clothes for the characters. It would take about two weeks of work, but currently I am working on other things so I cannot make it happen just yet.
What's your personal favorite upgrade?
My favorite upgrade is coin multiplier! Even though its not cheap, its worth every credit because you gain money faster and can get more and more upgrades.
I also have to know: between you and your father, who's got the highest score?
Of course I have the highest score :) It might be because I spend so much time testing the game, or because I know exactly how it works. Either way I am beating him by a lot!
Tracking player scores across the world and tallying them up must require a fair bit of work. Was it easier or tougher than you'd expected when you first came up with the idea?
Tracking player scores is actually not that hard. Its not like we hand count them (that would be hard-core!) The scores just get sent to an online database, and then they just get added up. To make that system I had to learn how to use mySQL databases, as well as a little bit of PHP.
I was also wondering, were there any plans to separate the data by region? What I mean is, seeing who prefers what on a global scale is definitely cool, but when it comes down to US elections the folks in other parts of the world don't really have a say. So is there a chance that Donkeys and Elephants: Chow Down might give the totals for the US specifically, as well as the global data?
In the next update the data will be also separated by state. Currently the application is targeted for the 2012 US elections, so the data is not displayed about the rest of the world. However, they can still enjoy the game and be a part of the global score. If the game is a success then that feature will definitely be considered.
So how impressed are your classmates? I imagine there aren't a whole lot of iOS developers sharing a homeroom with you.
Most of my classmates couldn't believe it. I had to show them the app, and my name in the credits.
Once you've finished with Donkeys and Elephants: Chow Down, are you planning to dive right back in and work on another game or take a little breather? And if you are planning a new game, would you care to share any details?
I will still work on applications, mainly improving this one, but I wont focus all of my time on it. I am starting my freshmen year in next week, so I will need to do lots of school work. There are no plan for the next app yet, but it will definitely come
Donkeys and Elephants: Chow Down is available now for $0.99.
In an election year in particular, but in truth most of the time, the news and those who watch it are focused on the Executive branch of government. The Judiciary gets big press when it makes a major decision too. But the Legislative branch only seems worth mentioning when it up or down votes something important to the President or a rival, when it impacts the party’s agenda or a member makes a public spectacle of him/herself. That’s not a good thing. The President gets the glory and the Supreme Court judges get the job security, but much of what makes up the day to day running of government happens in the two houses of Congress. And an election year means many sitting members positions are at stake as is their party's power. If the last few years have shown anything, it’s that not much gets accomplished when Congress doesn’t want it to.
Enter The Congressional Record recently updated to a universal build. Not only does it give you access to what’s actually going on in the House of Representative and the Senate, but it also provides the information without the editorializing and politicking that has become the norm in regular broadcast and many print news sources. The app isn’t flashy but it lets you browse records going back to 1995, and identifies the latest bills and resolutions before the houses. It has the same records you’d find in the Library of Congress divided into four sections: Senate, House, Extension of Remarks, and Entire Issue. There is also a convenient Daily Digest. You can perform keyword searches for persons and issues of interest, share documents by email and save to most iPad PDF apps for annotation or further sharing.
Like the Congress The Congressional Record app may lack glamor, but it has an important and underrated purpose. It’s also free, so grab it and get yourself informed long before you head to the voting booth.
It's not an organization that many of us would automatically expect an official app from. Regardless, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO to you and me) has recently released its own news app.
It's an iPad-only affair but it offers all the latest news from the organization. That kind of news covers everything from important visits to the NATO Headquarters to statements on major issues in Afghanistan.
Alongside text-based news comes a number of videos from NATOchannel.tv, the official video focused site for the crucial organization.
Combined, NATO News should be the ideal portal for those in need of greater insight on all the things NATO does at the moment and some of the background information about the organization. For news hounds such as myself, it should form a great resource in times of major world news as there's a lot more detail to releases than major news networks would suggest.
NATO News is out now and it's free.
When it comes to news these days, at least here in America, the upcoming presidential election is the big story. Today though, politics can be so crazy that keeping up with it all is next to impossible. That’s why NBC is delivering its powerful political reporting on-the-go with the new NBC Politics app.
With NBC Politics, users can get all sorts of information in all sorts of different ways. Users can read text stories, flip through photo slideshows and view clips from NBC shows like “Meet The Press with David Gregory”, “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and “Morning Joe.” On the more interactive end, users can share stories through Facebook and Twitter using the app and watch election results unfold in real-time. On the iPad, users can even make their own predictions and test them against the experts on the Battleground Map.
Indecision 2012 is just around the corner. Wait, wrong network. NBC Politics is available now for free on the App Store.
It's important to take note of what's going on in politics, especially near an election, but that doesn't mean that we can't mock the process and what's said. Hugely popular cable TV station Comedy Central has clearly taken note of it as it has just released its Indecision Election Companion.
The app provides fans with exclusive jokes, interactive content, photo galleries and more. There's an iOS-optimized version of Comedy Central's "Indecision" blog, along with a 2012 Election Calendar and an exclusive "Peanut Gallery" commentary feature that offers exclusive live commentary from the Indecision bloggers and special guests. It also lets users share their reactions to the debate.
It's all suitably entertaining with a keen satirical edge as it covers the spectacular highs and extreme lows of the election. Even for those not overly interested in politics, it should make the whole thing more accessible and interesting.
Comedy Central's Indecision Election Companion is out now, it's universal and free.
A 3D mini-games collection based around politics might not seem like the most obvious choice for a new game but that didn't stop French game developers Frogames.
Titus is an agoraphobic watchmaker who decides to achieve his dream of becoming the president of Wealland. The player must help Titus achieve that goal by participating in the campaign mode and progressing through five mini arcade games. Each mini game might feel familiar to fans of such titles but it's the backdrop of Titus that looks set to make it stand out from the crowd.
It's a pretty cynical campaign simulator all in all with an Election mode to boot, promising low blows and corruption throughout. The entire atmosphere of the game is sombre and gloomy with some very dark undertones. It all feels a little like something Tim Burton could have conjured up. Even the music feels suitably eerie. Fun is promised too though and an encyclopedia of game tips and character descriptions keeps things interesting.
Titus offers an intriguing mix of game types and it's available now as an universal app and currently on sale at $1.99.
We already knew that Obama liked tech—reportedly he suffered from Blackberry addiction, and besides that his '08 campaign made good use of tools like Twitter and the web and soared to success. The Democratic party apparently paid attention, and now the Democratic National Committee has released a brand-new, universal app titled simply, The Democratic Party. Additionally, Barack's Organizing for America app is back on the scene, again with a universal update to make it iPad-friendly.
Both apps are obviously trying to keep their constituencies involved and up-to-date on the party's latest news; both, therefore, are free. Both Organize for America and The Democratic Party give you access to news, photos, videos, and "talking points" (basically, the President's and the DNC's stances) on key issues. Another option points you towards local events. There's also a handy "Call Congress!" button. (Oh, and a Donate button, too, but you already assumed that, right?)
Neither app is revolutionary. The White House already released its own app months ago; besides, a fancy, updated news feed isn't radically different from, er, the Internet. But it is significant that the Democratic Party is starting to pay more and more attention to current technology. I mean, really, with what other medium can you push out thousands of messages to your constituents on election day? Obama made excellent use of technology in the 2008 election, and it paid off. Now the Dems plan on doing the same for 2010.