(CNN) - Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and a customer-service guru, was riding on a public train in San Francisco, California, recently when something common but annoying occurred: The railcar filled with people and became uncomfortably hot.
If the inconvenience had happened a few years ago, Newmark said he would have just gone on with his day - maybe complaining about the temperature to a friend.
But this was 2009, the age of mobile technology, so Newmark pulled out his iPhone, snapped a photo of the train car and, using an app called "SeeClickFix," zapped an on-the-go complaint, complete with GPS coordinates, straight to City Hall.
"A week or so later I got an e-mail back saying, 'Hey, we know about the problem and we're going to be taking some measures to address it,' " he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The CNN Political Ticker Thursday was named the best political news blog by Editor & Publisher and Media Week Magazines.
The magazines also named CNN.com the best news Web site with over 1 million unique visitors a month.
The annual "EPpy Awards" were announced this afternoon during a luncheon ceremony during the annual Interactive Newspaper Conference and Trade Show in New Orleans.
"The 2009 EPpy Awards mark the 14th consecutive year of the program, which honors the best Web sites in the media world, including newspapers, TV/cable, radio and magazines," according to Editor & Publisher.
The nearly 400 entries in this year's contest were evaluated by almost 50 judges.
NEW YORK (CNN) - Actor and political activist Ron Silver, who played a recurring role in TV's presidential drama "The West Wing," and who also let his political views play out in real life, died Sunday after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer, according to a colleague.
Robin L. Bronk, executive director of The Creative Coalition, said Silver, a New York native, died in his sleep with his family around him.
"Nothing could hold Ron back, not even a debilitating illness. His contributions as an artist and activist will never be forgotten," said Bronk, who runs an organization founded in 1989 by Silver, actor Christopher Reeve and other prominent figures in the arts as a political advocacy organization for the entertainment industry.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - You know, people will insist that 2008 had 366 days. I don't believe it. I think it had 36,066 days.
It certainly felt much longer than any year that I've ever experienced. Only time will tell what's in store for us in 2009, but first I have a few predictions.
Internationally, I believe there will be a peace agreement between Israel and Syria in the next 18 months. It is something that will be a priority for the incoming Obama administration.
In domestic politics, my first prediction is one that pains me to make, but I'll make it anyway.
The Democratic Party has had a recent run of corruption and sex scandals. Mathematicians say that there are no such things as streaks and that the last event has nothing to do with the next. The only people who disagree are crapshooters and political operatives. Since I am both, I firmly believe that there are streaks and that political scandals happen in clusters.
(CNN) - This past year was full of unexpected twists and turns on the campaign trail.
With a new president taking over and a host of problems awaiting him, there's no telling what will happen in 2009.
CNN's political analysts and contributors offered up some of their predictions for the upcoming year:
(CNN) – Indie rocker Pete Yorn was depressed. He woke up in Hawaii on the Fourth of July and read the paper. There was a short article about an Optimist Club disbanding .
“Even they were going bad, on the economy and the state of union, and everyone was just kind of freaking out, ” he said.
So he did what indie rockers do: He knocked out a song and sent it to a few friends.
He says he wrote the song, "American Blues Vol. 1," in about five minutes.
“It was a beautiful paradise and it hit home even more for me. I was feeling all this negativity in such a beautiful place,” he told CNN by phone from Omaha, Nebraska, where he’s working on his next album.
The song touches on the campaign and the economic crisis with lines like: “You love your house/Now give it back,” and “keep beaming through the pledge of allegiance cos you aint dead yet.”
Yorn is a Gold Record-selling artist signed to Columbia records, but he put this song out on his own.