Now I don't need to know math to know math!
The "Ebola Tracker" app and its sister site, EbolaNear.me, use your computer or phone's location data to tell you the nearest case of Ebola. By putting some stark numbers between the reality of Ebola and what you hear on the news, the developers hope to raise awareness of the fear-based reporting that has covered the disease.
Sexual consent is something that you should always get from your partner before you bang. But is an app really the best way to go about getting it?
For starters, talk about a moodkiller. "Here, before we go any further, let me have you complete this form on my phone. So hawt."
Second, if someone is "pretty wasted," as one of the app's sobriety options reads, are they going to truthfully report said sobriety while they're drunk, knowing full well that marking "pretty wasted" kills the consent process? If you're drunk and ready, you're drunk and ready, and your phone yapping at you saying that you don't give consent is only liable to piss you off, not stop what you're about to do.
Third, if one party does in fact revoke consent mid-sex, what are you doing to do? Pull out your phone again and change your answer from "I'm Good2Go" to "No, Thanks?"
Fourth, tying into the last point, what is the app actually meant to accomplish from a legal perspective? How is someone going to prove that they revoked consent when they originally put "I'm Good2Go" at the start of the encounter?
"You see, Your Honor, I know I said that I was Good2Go, but then I changed my mind and was Bad2Go like five minutes in!" "Too bad! The app says you were Good2Go and that's it! Case closed!"
Last, but perhaps not least, I can barely type my lock screen password in while I'm drunk. Am I really going to be able choose consent, choose my (truthful) sobriety level, put in my phone number and create a password all as quickly as they claim you can? Unlikely.
All in all, sexual consent isn't just a good idea: it's mandatory. End of story. But bringing in a confusing app complete with phone numbers, passwords, and dubious legal authority might not be the best way to get it.
Plus it just ends up reminding me of this:
"'Yo' is a single-tap zero character communication tool. Yo is everything and anything, it all depends on you, the recipient and the time of the Yo," according to the app store description.
Developed by San Francisco-based Life Before Us, LLC, the app's creators describe it as "the simplest & most efficient communication tool in the world."
And it is really as simple as it sounds.
Download it, choose the friends you want to send your "Yo" greeting to, and they get a push notification on their phone and that's it. Seriously.
New York developer Mike Lazer-Walker developed WhatsApplebees (like WhatsApp, get it?) as a snarky commentary on the state of boneheaded social media attempts by big business. Use the app to find and connect with Applebee's fans in your area and around the world, the promise goes, but (un?)fortunately it's only an unofficial pet project. When you think about it though, a corporate-sponsored social media and messaging app doesn't seem that far-fetched, does it?