Real customer service from local gov't

Check out Cities embrace mobile apps, 'Gov 2.0' on CNN:

A host of larger U.S. cities from San Francisco to New York quietly have been releasing treasure troves of public data to Web and mobile application developers.

That may sound dull. But tech geeks transform banal local government spreadsheets about train schedules, complaint systems, potholes, street lamp repairs and city garbage into useful applications for mobile phones and the Web.

The aim is to let citizens report problems to their governments more easily and accurately; and to put public information, which otherwise may be buried in file cabinets and Excel files, at the fingertips of taxpayers.

By some accounts, the trend is turning the government-voter relationship on its head and could usher in a new era of grassroots democracy.