Tag Archives: iphone app

Apple Gets Political with a West Bank Settlement App

A new free iPhone app called Facts on the Ground allows users to track the construction of Israeli settlements in contested territories. As the app’s makers, Americans for Peace Now explain:

You can use this map to explore the data we have collected about settlement activity in the West Bank. The map is organized in several layers that show different kinds of data.

“Settlement” is the term used to denote Israeli civilian communities built in territory conquered by Israel in the Six Day War (June 1967). This territory is comprised of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. These neighborhoods have been a major issue in the peace process since 1967 and remain highly controversial.

It’s probably Apple’s most politically-charged app, and looking at comments and reviews on the iPhone download page or web posts about the product make one thing pretty clear: Jews love settlements and iPhones. Maybe Muslims are Android-users.

I’d like to suggest a similar app for Jews interested in settling. The iSettled app would track new marriages all over the Upper West Side. Layers would show number of kids, tax bracket and number of blocks to the nearest synagogue. Links directly to your J-Date account!

[Thanks to Michelle for the link. Check out her awesome Sukkot Sizzle party at the Delancey tomorrow night. Will be a good time for sure. And if you show up at work too hung over to function on Wednesday you can cite religious observance and nap at your desk. Booya. (Jew-ya.)]

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Turn on Your TV: These Ads Don’t Suck!

Can you figure out why I love this commercial?

If you guessed it’s because I love candy bars and making fun of iPhone apps, you win.

And so does this commercial. Indeed, it won a video contest to get on the air. I’m into these commercial contests. There’s a lot of lowest-common-denominator stagnation in the advertising world, and it’s refreshing to see some creative average joes getting a shot before they’ve been co-opted by the media machine and brainwashed to deliver formulaic tripe. For another quality product of open mic marketing, peep this freaking gem from the Super Bowl:

While I’m at it, I’mma give a shout out to this AT&T/Motorola campaign. The ads were made by pros, but I’m not aching for a seamless segue here. Basically, they’re just more current commercials that make this Unhappy Mediator momentarily happy. I am digging the meta marketing approach bigtime; make fun of your target consumer, then sell the shit out of him:
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Ah, commercialism in the digital age — there’s a sucker updated every minute.
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AT&T to iPhone Users: Poor Service is All Your Fault

Last week AT&T wireless head Ralph de la Vega revealed that dropped calls and spotty service on AT&T’s 3G network isn’t really the company’s fault: It’s yours. For using your phone in the first place.

Betraying a sinister Obamarxist agenda, de la Vega told the Telegraph that 3% of users account for 40% of the network’s data capacity, and that the only way to relieve the crunch is to dissuade the bandwidth bourgeoisie from using their phones so much:

We’re going to try to focus on making sure we give incentives to those small percentages to either reduce or modify their usage so they don’t crowd out the other customers in those same cell sites….What’s driving usage on the network and driving these high usage situations are things like video, or audio that keeps playing around the clock. And so we’ve got to get to those customers and have them recognise that they need to change their pattern, or there will be other things that they are going to have to do to reduce their usage.

Hear that, paying customers? Quit using all those apps the iPhone is specifically designed to provide you. (Ahem, please continue buying them, just don’t, you know, like use them.) Or else.

Or else what? Well, or else you’ll probably have to pay more — in a structured data plan, say — for service that will inevitably stay the same, or get worse. Or you can switch to Verizon, should they ink a deal to sell iPhones when AT&T’s exclusivity agreement ends. Then you can wait until the current self-proclaimed leader in 3G service nationwide finds itself overwhelmed with app-happy screen-touchers and turns the finger back on you.

1995? There’s an app for that.

Alice in Chains has broken forth from the shackles of where-are-they-now obscurity and reappeared in the likeliest of places. To accompany the Black Gives Way to Blue album release, their first batch of new material in a decade and a half, the band this week launched the Alice in Chains iPhone app. See the video for a riveting walk through.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You can “spin things, flick it, turn it,” among other nifty moves, like pressing things and moving ’em around, holding and pulling them. You can also share the three included tracks with friends via facebook, twitter and email, and buy tour tickets and merch.

The guy doing the hands-on demo says you can “reveal certain things.” If anyone out there discovers that the app can “reveal” the origin of his accent, please let it be known. Aelice in Chaaynes aelbum? What is that, Fargo by way of Raleigh? Course, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms/jar of flies.

Google Game: Best & Worst

The World Wide Web is just brimming with useful information, neatly packaged in quickly digestible bite-sized morsels of information, tagged and labeled for easy finding with the superlatives we crave. In our fast-paced society you don’t just want a way to a trimmer tummy, you want the Fastest Way to Flatter Abs. Strapped for cash? What’s the cheapest way to get to Mexico? (Try deportation.) Sexiest celebrities. Most extreme car chases. Man versus Beast. (OK, I got carried away. I just wanted an excuse to link to this. And this. And this!) Moral of the story, we want the best and we want it now. We also want the worst.

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iSore

A new iPhone app from the great city of Pittsburgh allows concerned citizens to snap geo-tagged shots of potholes and other signs of crumbling infrastructure, and send them directly to the local govs. Next I propose iBurg, which will let you zap insto-complaints of style infractions and ultra (un)hipitude from Bedford Ave in Williamsburg, BK straight to Gracie Mansion.