During my daily tech-blog browsing I came across a compelling post titled “You Won’t Believe How Much the Government Paid to Make a Basic Weather App that Doesn’t Work” on Gizmodo. With my eyebrow raised I clicked the article and began to read
"Today's government waste story isn't about stealth fighters, but the slightly less exotic world of smartphone software. How much would you guess a little app to generate the local heat index, and provide appropriate "tips." Price tag? $200,000. What."
Not only was the price tag $200,000, which could buy you the development of 20 basic apps if done by a private-sector company, it doesn’t even work. The “expert” advice that is paired with the temperature is akin to “Gee, it’s hot out, drink more water.” At least for that kind of money it should look nice, but that also seemed to slip through the cracks.
Fine, it’s kind of ugly and doesn’t really work but it’s $200,000 in the pocket of some developer here in the United States. That's what goes for “stimulus” and job creation these days, right? Wrong. A UK firm coded the app.
I’d like to reflect on a promise that Obama made in 2008: "Ensuring that the US continues to lead the world in science and technology will be a central priority for my administration."
Too bad there’s no app for that!