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Obama To Agencies: Optimize Web Content For Mobile 322

Posted by samzenpus
from the phone-of-the-people dept.
CWmike writes "President Barack Obama has ordered all major government agencies to make two key services available on mobile phones within a year, in an effort to embrace a growing trend toward Web surfing on mobile devices. Obama, in a directive issued Wednesday, also ordered federal agencies to create websites to report on their mobile progress. The websites are due within 90 days. Innovators in the private sector and the government have used the Internet and powerful computers to improve customer service, but 'it is time for the federal government to do more,' Obama said in the memo. 'For far too long, the American people have been forced to navigate a labyrinth of information across different government programs in order to find the services they need.'"
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Obama To Agencies: Optimize Web Content For Mobile

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  • That'll go well. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:13AM (#40099337)

    This president sure has some really scatter-shot priorities. It's like he's just shooting at everything and hoping that by the time he's out of office, SOMETHING is going to stick.

    I'm sure this will be entirely reasonable, too. It won't be broken like ready.gov and all the other sites they spent tens of millions on. And I'm sure it'll only cost tens off millions more to make the accessible via mobile.

    Also . . . I can get EVERYTHING via my iPhone, as long as it doesn't use flash. This isn't 2001, when phones required customized web-content to display it properly. This is just a giant hand-out -- to some buddy, no doubt. Bush had Haliburton to hand sweet deals to and Obama has... whoever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:16AM (#40099353)

    The fact that users are forced to navigate a labyrinth means that the government is trying to do to much.

  • I'm all in, but ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by medcalf (68293) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:19AM (#40099401) Homepage
    The government's problem isn't technology. You can't automate well a process you cannot do well on paper. The thicket of laws and regulations is such that any government process becomes bogged down in irrelevancies. You WANT a bureaucracy for things like making passport issuance regular, but is our online passport application going to come with a must-accept click-through with a paperwork reduction act notice?
  • It makes me proud (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rssrss (686344) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:32AM (#40099533)

    to know that Obama can pay attention to the really important stuff while he deals with a trillion dollar budget deficit, a factious Congress, the European Debt crisis, the Iran nuclear crisis, China's disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea, ...

  • Re:That'll go well. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:49AM (#40099711) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure this will be entirely reasonable, too. It won't be broken like ready.gov and all the other sites they spent tens of millions on. And I'm sure it'll only cost tens off millions more to make the accessible via mobile.

    Actually, if there's a silver lining here (which happens to address that very point), it's the 90 day deadline. One thing I've learned is that if something needs to be ready in one year, it is pretty much guaranteed to suck and overrun its deadline (i.e. it won't really be ready in a year) and have its best features neutered and a lot of worthless crap done to it.

    OTOH if someone needs something in two weeks, the techs just say "well, we have to do this, and we're already running out of time" and get it done and there aren't any meetings and expansion and nobody gets to add delays to it.

    90 days is a bit long for this kind of thing, but it might be short enough that the job can get done. (30 days would be better, though.)

    The constants above are obviously an over-generalization; the Apollo Program couldn't be done in 90 days better than in one year, though doing it in one year just might be better than doing it in ten years. But for making websites modern-touch-mobile friendly/formatted (as opposed to merely "working") setting the deadline to a few weeks is .. about right.

  • Re:That'll go well. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:59AM (#40099793)

    Yes every decision the president makes has this huge political meaning...
    He was probably at a meeting, and one of his aids tried to look up the data on his phone and couldn't access it because it was flash... And Obama was like. Why don't we make sure all the government websites work on mobile browsers?

    When asked people they didn't come up with a good argument against the idea so he put it into practice.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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