Hanky-panky distorts Obama iPhone app results

Someone apparently found a way to inflate the recruitment call statistics for Barack Obama's iPhone application. The problem was fixed late Friday, though.

The Obama iPhone call tally as of 4:33 p.m. Oct. 3.
The Obama iPhone call tally as of 4:33 p.m. Oct. 3. CNET News

It looks like either somebody drinks a lot of coffee and talks really fast, or somebody diddled with the results of the phone recruitment feature in the Barack Obama campaign's iPhone application .

When I tried the application before 8 a.m. PDT Thursday, only 12 calls had been made, and the top-ranked caller had made 6 of them. But 30 hours later, the top caller had made 9,648 calls, according to the application.

That works out to more than five calls per minute, which means somebody would have been spending less than 12 seconds per call on average. And it accounted for nearly half of the 22,597 calls made by 4:33 p.m. Friday.

But by 5:41 p.m., the top caller had made a more reasonable 48 calls and the total calls dropped to 13,076, the software reported, so it looks like the application engineers figured out what happened and updated the statistics.

The Democratic presidential candidate's campaign released the iPhone application on Thursday. Its most notable feature lists who on a person's contact list lives in key battleground states at the top and keeps track of who's been called to keep track of recruiting efforts.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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