On the show

Mario Armstrong reveals his top tech for the weekend

May 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM ET

Video: TODAY’s digital lifestyle expert has three great tech innovations to show off: Countable, a website for communicating with your congressional representatives; Jelly, an app for posing questions to your social network, and some nifty Bluetooth speakers.

Countable

Despite approval ratings of 21% heading into the 2012 elections, 9 out of 10 members of the U.S. Congress and Senate were re-elected to their positions. Part of the problem is that there is little, if any, dialogue between constituents and their representatives.

A new website called Countable is looking to change that by making your representative ACCOUNTABLE to you. Countable gives regular citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on various bills, by providing tools that make it easy to tell their congressional representatives how they feel.

Unlike the bills themselves, which are often dense documents that are hard for the average citizen to understand, Countable translates each bill before the House or Senate into simple language you can understand. Then you simply can click “Yea”, “Nay” or “Skip” to vote on the bill, and your vote is sent straight to your representative, which gives them a clear pictures as to how their constituents feel about a given bill.

Now we can stop complaining and let our voices truly be heard!

Jelly

Jelly is a great new app from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone designed to help you get answers to any questions you might have. It does this in a new and exciting way, by tapping into your online social network.

When you sign in to Jelly, the app connects with your Twitter and Facebook accounts to create a list of your friends and friends-of-friends who also use Jelly. This gives you an audience who can (hopefully!) answer any questions you might have.

Say you are on a camping trip, and come across a funky looking plant that you worry might be poison ivy. You can launch Jelly, take a photo of the plant in question, and ask your network, “Is this poison ivy?” Immediately, your friends are alerted that you have a question and can then reply to you before you get a nasty rash!

Another way to use Jelly is to get local information by sharing maps. If you’re in a new city and want to grab some dinner, you can post a map of your current location and ask,” Do you know any good restaurants around here?”

There’s no limit to what you can ask on Jelly. I’ve seen questions about identity theft, remodeling and interior design, and even people who are just looking for a little technical support. Whatever your question, it’s likely that someone on Jelly can help, so download the app to your iOS or Android device today!

Bluetooth Speakers

Summer is finally here and everyone wants to get the party started! The first thing you are going to need no matter where you go this summer is a good way to play music. If you’ve already got a smartphone with your music on it then you need to look at getting a good Bluetooth speaker. There are tons of great models to choose from, but here are a couple that might be perfect for you.

The Mini JAMBOX recently received some new software updates and with that come some great new features. Did you know that your Mini JAMBOX is updateable through your computer? You just connect it via Bluetooth and download the updates!

One new feature, called Multi-Play, lets you put two Mini JAMBOXes together to create either a stereo sound (true left and right) or play the two speakers at the same time. The update also adds so-called “Duo-DJing” where you and a friend can take turns controlling the music.

The DECK by Sol Republic is a great speaker has a feature that I love for parties called Heist Mode. Allowing up to 5 people to connect to a DECK at the same time, Heist Mode makes sure everyone gets to hear what they want. You don’t get stuck listening to your one friend’s “oldies” all night, because you can battle for control of what’s playing!

Another cool feature is that you can connect multiple DECKs together for a bigger sound!

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