App of the Week: Countable

Countable makes following Congress easy as long as you use Facebook

By Kelly Hodgkins of Engadget

Countable is a political app that allows you to track important and trending legislation on your iPhone. The app is designed to make government accessible to the average citizen by explaining legislation in understandable terms. There’s also a social side to Countable that provides the ability to voice your support or opposition to a bill as well as track your representatives to see how close their votes match yours. .

Countable has two main objectives. First and foremost, it allows people to follow bills as they make their way through the legislative process. You can quickly view trending bills that are up for vote or making headline news because they are controversial. You also can explore less popular bills that are organized by topic. All this information is available without a login and is accessible by clicking on “Login Later” link at the bottom right of the launch screen.

Besides tracking bills, Countable also allows you to participate in the legislative process by providing the ability to virtually vote on legislation. You can track your representatives, view their voting records and send them emails that voice your opinion on bills. Unfortunately, this portion of the app requires a login. The login option is understandable as it is used to save your voting history, but the only login option available is Facebook. Many users, myself included, are hesitant to share my Facebook credentials with any app, especially one of a political nature.

Overall, Countable is a wonderful tool for anyone who wants to follow important legislation without having to wade through the legalese wording of the bill itself. The voting side is crippled by a Facebook login, but hopefully a future version of the app will open that up to alternative login methods, such as email. Despite this limitation, Countable is worth the space on my device if only for the concise summaries of the legislation that is making headlines.

Countable is available for free from the iOS App Store. It is available for the iPhone and requires at least iOS 7.

Update: Countable reached out to me with the following information about the Facebook login requirement: “Countable is already working on an email login, so users will not have to use Facebook. It was something a bunch of users mentioned, and the team behind Countable listened.”

How do you stay in touch with your representative(s)? Sound off in the Comments below!

Tales from the Orchard: Apple’s Cook to Meet With Trump Amid U.S.-China Trade Tensions




By Mark Gurman of

-Cook attended Tuesday’s state dinner for France’s Macron
-Apple CEO has urged China and U.S. to settle trade differences

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday as the company looks to head off a brewing trade war between the U.S. and China.

The sit-down between Cook and Trump will take place in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon and be closed to the press, according to the president’s official schedule released by the White House.

The Trump administration’s decision to pursue tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese goods has stoked trade tensions with Beijing that could affect Apple’s business in Asia. The company’s sprawling production chain is also centered in China.

Last month, Cook told attendees at a conference in Beijing that he hoped that China and the U.S. could resolve their differences on trade.

“The countries that embrace openness do exceptional and the countries that don’t, don’t,” he said. “It’s not a matter of carving things up between sides. I’m going to encourage that calm heads prevail.”

A trade war could place Apple in the Chinese government’s cross-hairs. A Communist Party newspaper last month listed the iPhone maker among the American companies that would be “most damaged” if a trade war erupted.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after regular business hours.

Cook was among the guests on Tuesday evening at the first state dinner of Trump’s presidency, a formal fete for French President Emmanuel Macron. The Apple chief was accompanied by Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment and government affairs and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama.

What do think of Tim Cook’s extracurricular activities? Sound off in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 4/20/18


To echo yesterday’s article, Apple should start it’s own school…
The Classroom of Tomorrow Takes its Cues From Tech Startups

To be honest, AR freaks me out. I had to stop watching WestWorld for just that reason.
Tribeca Film Festival has everything a geek could wish for


I’m starting to sense a theme with these festivals…

How 3 Brands Brought Tech to Life at Coachella


And Apple’s gonna spend the next 5 years playing catch up…
Tech’s Hollywood Takeover: Amazon Reboots ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘E.T.’ Studio

Finally, some good news about tech this week…
What’s tech got to do with political activism? Everything.


Can’t wait to see what Comey’s Memos say about this…
Facebook, Microsoft, and other tech companies pledge to never help governments launch cyberattacks


Can they not go one day without being in effin’ the news?!
Facebook Really Wants to Bring Back Its Face-Scanning Tech in Europe. Problem Is, It Might Be Illegal.


I did!
How To Get A Career In Tech Without A Technical Degree

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