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Because iPads are cool man! Borked IT buys from the ACT Government continued.

By johnboy - 12 July 2011 35

ipad

The Canberra Times has the woeful news that the ACT Cabinet has been issued with ipads to read their cabinet papers on.

But not just any ipads. No, they’ve been specially crippled!

The iPads have had all of their capabilities, except the e-reader feature, disabled, making them impossible to hack and preventing bored frontbenchers from surfing the web while their colleagues address the room.

And no-one in this process had the nous to suggest a dedicated e-reader might be a better option?

Remember, we let these plonkers make our laws.

[Photo by yto CC BY]

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35 Responses to
Because iPads are cool man! Borked IT buys from the ACT Government continued.
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shadow boxer 8:45 am 14 Jul 11

How does it make it more useful, there are far more apps on iTunes and they have at least been through a degree of rigour to ensure they do what they say they will do ? I’d rather not have an android app that looks like a chess game but is actually “blow up the exchange servers” on my system.

iPads work beautifully with Activesync and any one with a shred of credibility in IT knows there is no black and white and it’s “horses for courses” depending on the business requirement, not blinkered zealotry for one particular solution.

Kiron2222 11:44 pm 13 Jul 11

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

Gerry-Built said :

I have been keen to get some iPod Touch devices in my high school Media classes, but I was told that IntACT still class the iPad (and other iOS devices) as “hostile” and will not provide support for iOS devices. I imagine if iOS devices are not supported, then the chances of other e-readers being supported is much, much lower…

I think you’ll find that its a contractual issue with IntACT.

I think it’s more a case of iOS being a piece of ultra-locked down crap that forces you to pay apple if you want to do anything on them. Anyone that has a sense of credibility with IT does not like Apple.

Only reason they got Ipads is because some boss wanted an Ipad but didn’t want to pay for it, just like how I was saying before all my friends got Iphone 4’s, despite several of them telling the boss that Android phones would be far more useful due to the openness of the platform.

Oh and lets face it, these “featureless ipads” probably can be circumvented by a 4 year old by mashing the screen, wouldn’t be surprised if “Turn full features on” isn’t a blatant option in the setup screen.

Rawhide Kid Part3 12:52 pm 13 Jul 11

Gerry-Built said :

I have been keen to get some iPod Touch devices in my high school Media classes, but I was told that IntACT still class the iPad (and other iOS devices) as “hostile” and will not provide support for iOS devices. I imagine if iOS devices are not supported, then the chances of other e-readers being supported is much, much lower…

I think you’ll find that its a contractual issue with IntACT.

arescarti42 11:10 am 13 Jul 11

OpenYourMind said :

arescarti42, the media never report technology stuff that accurately. If they are only glorified e-readers, then an iPad may be overkill, however I’ll bet their use will expand to more than just cabinet papers. Maybe custom apps, maybe media video releases, maybe financial summaries. Who knows. That’s the beauty of a tablet over an e-reader. For not a lot more $$$, you get a bunch more versatility.

Fair call, it was the Canberra Times reporting it after all.

OpenYourMind 7:43 am 13 Jul 11

arescarti42, the media never report technology stuff that accurately. If they are only glorified e-readers, then an iPad may be overkill, however I’ll bet their use will expand to more than just cabinet papers. Maybe custom apps, maybe media video releases, maybe financial summaries. Who knows. That’s the beauty of a tablet over an e-reader. For not a lot more $$$, you get a bunch more versatility.

taninaus 6:49 am 13 Jul 11

harvyk1 said :

I’m not sure how many iPad’s they’ve brought, but lets assume it’s 20, at the average price of $599 for a base model you’d be looking at $11,980 for the hardware…

4 cabinet ministers Harvyk – maybe 8 ipads – one to use and one to load. – and a mainly genX cabinet at that. unfortunatley the IT crew are very conservative and nervous about security. Not as bad as some defence areas I believe but not far off it at times.

Kironn – I want to work there! even 1/10th of that would be great. It’s nice our parliamentary overlords are getting something this swish, even with limited functionality – now if only I could get a phone and system that allows me to manage my calendar on the run – unfortunatley too much to ask if you aren’t an executive in local gov.

arescarti42 10:08 pm 12 Jul 11

OpenYourMind said :

I wonder how many people that dismiss the iPad have actually used one seriously. If they weren’t ‘that’ good or that important, then every other IT company wouldn’t be scrambling to copy them. Android is playing catch up in the tablet arena, but they are essentially copying what is already a successful concept. If they weren’t that good, airlines wouldn’t be looking to rent them out as media players for passengers, schools wouldn’t be starting to issue them to students and companies wouldn’t be using them in a myriad of previously unthought of ways.

Maybe an eReader is more appropriate for this application. Maybe not. I think few people here could make a real judgement on this without seeing how the proposed iPads are going to be used. Perhaps a custom app with delivery of cabinet papers is what was required and has been built.

Whether or not the iPad is good at what it does is beside the point.

Yes, the iPad is fantastic for consuming multimedia, browsing the web, playing games and a host of other things. Yes, there are some high end android tablets which are equally expensive as the iPad.

The issue is that ministers will not be able to take advantage of any of these things because according to the CT article, all functionality except for the e-reader ability will be disabled. You don’t need dual core processing, 2 cameras, powerful graphics, wi-fi and 3g connectivity to read cabinet papers.

If the goal is to reduce printing costs by introducing digital papers, then the iPad as a solution is extremely poor value for money.

justsomeaussie 9:50 pm 12 Jul 11

For all the detractors, you are all using technology right now that not so long ago was bah humbugged by other detractors. Don’t hate something because it’s new and popular. At least appreciate a technology for what it can offer.

shadow boxer 8:28 pm 12 Jul 11

Android will never be used in Govt until it vets applications. The iPad is great at what it does

OpenYourMind 7:47 pm 12 Jul 11

I wonder how many people that dismiss the iPad have actually used one seriously. If they weren’t ‘that’ good or that important, then every other IT company wouldn’t be scrambling to copy them. Android is playing catch up in the tablet arena, but they are essentially copying what is already a successful concept. If they weren’t that good, airlines wouldn’t be looking to rent them out as media players for passengers, schools wouldn’t be starting to issue them to students and companies wouldn’t be using them in a myriad of previously unthought of ways.
You can’t sit there and complain about Apple being gimmicky or elitist or whatever and then turn around and advocate what is essentially a cheaper knock off. Yes there are some cheap android tablets, but a decent tablet with equivalent features is not that differently priced to an iPad and some of the big name company tablets are more expensive than the iPad.

Maybe an eReader is more appropriate for this application. Maybe not. I think few people here could make a real judgement on this without seeing how the proposed iPads are going to be used. Perhaps a custom app with delivery of cabinet papers is what was required and has been built.

Android is great too. I’m glad Android is there to balance out Apple’s potential Monopoly.

Where will Android go next? Just watch Apple to find out 🙂

Kiron2222 5:29 pm 12 Jul 11

Friends in a certain department all got Iphone 4’s recently oh and some others got Laptops.

Seriously, I swear half the public service budget goes into stupid “Oh yeah, we need 50 inch screen TVs for everyone for um.. uhh… people who have bad eyesight so they can’t read emails at small resolution!” scams.

Corruption at it’s best.

Whats worse is that the Government could have easily programed some stuff up for Android devices that could be used across the entire Public Service, now they are stuck with Smartphones that do nothing aside from look good.

arescarti42 4:34 pm 12 Jul 11

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PetqKh7lr8g&feature=related

Seriously, what a monumentally stupid decision.

An iPad is just about the most expensive device you can find to read PDFs on, short of a full fledged computer.

There any number of android devices that do pretty much exactly what an iPad does, but because they don’t have an Apple logo on the back of them, they cost 1/3rd the price.

The other ridiculous thing is that the whole reason an iPad has a backlit, colour LCD display is because it is designed to be used for browsing the internet and watching multimedia. Backlit LCDs aren’t particularly good for reading stuff on, which is why dedicated e-readers have e-ink type displays.

Not to mention the difference in power drawn by each type of screen, which is half the reason an iPad will go 10 hours before you have to recharge it, whist an e-reader will go 2 weeks before you have to recharge it.

Did i mention that dedicated e-readers cost a fraction of what an iPad costs and don’t have the capability to browse the web so you don’t need to disable all the features on it?

The thing that really pisses me off is that money blown on stupid frivolous things like is money that isn’t spent on the government services and programs that provide benefits to the community.

johnboy 4:00 pm 12 Jul 11

I can think of no good reason for the continued existence of paper textbooks.

But I’d go with something like a kindle over and ipad if I was king.

Gerry-Built 3:55 pm 12 Jul 11

johnboy said :

One wonders if this is good for cabinet when they’re going to get rid of text books in our schools?

iPads have a cool factor, to both staff and students, of approximately a bazillion times that of a text book…

Gerry-Built 3:49 pm 12 Jul 11

johnboy said :

One wonders if this is good for cabinet when they’re going to get rid of text books in our schools?

I have heard of a school in Queensland that trialed replacing textbooks with iPads… pretty low-tech use of the device in my opinion, but a start… They are perfect for the educational setting… much better than the small-screened notebook PCs the Rudd computer money purchased last year…

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