The use of social media is beginning to seriously influence politics. The recent victory of Uber, a company that makes a taxi-summoning app, is a recent example. WhenWashington,D.C., council members tried to shut it down, the president of Uber fought back on Twitter.
“Citizen Cosponsor” is a new Facebook app that lets you “cosponsor” one of six Congressional bills. It’s in the testing phase, so expect more bills later. Republican House Leader Eric Cantor designed it, and is the sponsor for five of the bills. Find it at MajorityLeader.gov/citizens
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the federal government throws out around 10,000 computers a week. While the government has made improvements in their throw-away habits, the report said, it noted that federal agencies often provide little assurance that their old computers are disposed of in any useful or environmentally friendly way.
“Bases” is a new 99-cent iPhone app that connects you to 160 military bases throughout the U.S. Tap to phone a base, get its address, link to its website or find out what facilities it has like a recreational-vehicle campsite, gym, commissary, and so on. (The RV campsites are handy for military retirees on long drives. Any former Armed Forces personnel can use them.) The iPhone app also works with the iPad or iPod Touch. More info at BasesApp.com.
Maplight.com follows the money in politics. Recent example: Oil and gas interest groups gave 7.7 times as much money ($6,097 each), to House members who voted “yes” on speeding up construction of a new oil and gas pipeline as they gave to House members who voted “no.” The measure passed the House on July 27.
Chile is trying to become the next Silicon Valley. The government is offering $40,000 to each potential entrepreneur plus a visa, free office space, assistance with networking, mentoring, and fundraising. The program, called Start-Up Chile, is still in the pilot stage. It will officially launch in mid-January. You can read about some of the teams here. Some of them are tackling water problems, others have tracking systems for solar panels, another is a travel planner. Vivek Wadhwa, who helped conceive the program, says this will work where government-run technology centers tend not to.