Monday, November 23, 2009
Google's free Mobile App for the Apple iPhone G3 is a must-have for reporters and citizen journalists.
To see why, watch this short video by one of the engineers on the Mobile App development team:
And here is the scoop on how it works.
Now, let's say you're at a talk given by a congressman. In response to a question, he says "the rumors are false. I have always paid my taxes".
With your Google Mobile App, you quietly speak the congressman's name and the phrase "paid taxes" into your iPhone, and you pull up numerous articles showing that he failed to pay taxes, and you catch him in his misstatement.
Or he misrepresents claims that he has consistently voted for tougher Wall Street regulations. You quietly speak a couple search words into the iPhone (such as the Congressman's name and the phrases "Wall Street" and regulations), and instantly pull up articles showing that he voted for key deregulation bills.
You can also pull up facts instantly. For example, if the chairman of the Federal Reserve misstates the amount of the deficit, you can pull up the correct figure and then say, "actually, the Congressional Budget Office says it is ..."
In other words, you can instantly fact-check any statement and do on-the-fly research anywhere you can get wireless access. This is a must-have for any reporter or citizen journalist.
There are probably similar applications which work on similar hand-held devices.
If you can't afford to buy a hand-held smart device such as the iPhone G3, see if you can borrow one for important events.