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General Chat Thread, MPs to get free iPads at taxpayer's expense in General; Originally Posted by LeMarchand So if the law does not apply there does it mean that someone could walk in, ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    So if the law does not apply there does it mean that someone could walk in, take out the trash and not be considered a murderer?

    To any monitoring agencies: I am not suggesting that anyone should do this, merely wondering what the legal stance would be if it happened.
    I think the key word is most legislation.

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    So what are people angry at? That MPs are getting new tech such as tablets to replace existing tech or that money is being spent on iPads?

    Consider the scenario that MPs might already be using tablets but they are funded personally and purchased via the high street at full price and then claimed back? They use tech as part of their job so why not? Surely the tech should be procured in the most cost effective way if it is going to be purchased anyway?

    And then consider whether these devices are going to have a bit more control over them than some attempt at BYOD by MPs? I would rather see Govt IT having some oversight of the config of these than a half-baked setup with no consideration for data protection.

    Perhaps we might even be able to see the remit behind it all, the processes and how MPs are expected to use the tech and then translate it to how staff can use it in schools?

    I know from chatting with a number of folk in the office (who are not geeks) that tablets make a significant difference to how people work especially compared to using laptops and lots of paper.

    Just a few thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    So what are people angry at? That MPs are getting new tech such as tablets to replace existing tech or that money is being spent on iPads?

    Consider the scenario that MPs might already be using tablets but they are funded personally and purchased via the high street at full price and then claimed back? They use tech as part of their job so why not? Surely the tech should be procured in the most cost effective way if it is going to be purchased anyway?

    And then consider whether these devices are going to have a bit more control over them than some attempt at BYOD by MPs? I would rather see Govt IT having some oversight of the config of these than a half-baked setup with no consideration for data protection.

    Perhaps we might even be able to see the remit behind it all, the processes and how MPs are expected to use the tech and then translate it to how staff can use it in schools?

    I know from chatting with a number of folk in the office (who are not geeks) that tablets make a significant difference to how people work especially compared to using laptops and lots of paper.

    Just a few thoughts.

    What I'm angry about is that MPs can already claim for an IT allowance. Their IT equipment is already supplied and if they somehow urgently need an iPad there's a budget for it. There's already a parliamentary network and there's a parliamentary IT support team (who are no doubt going to be thrilled with this).

    No, this is the same 'Oooh, shiny, make the taxpayer pay for it' that the EU parliament did. It's IT-illiterate twits deciding they want a free shiny and thinking they can pretend it's for 'work purposes'. Yeah right, just like that duck house was.

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    But how do you know the iPads were bought on a whim and not pre-planned? I don't see any mention of them "suddenly" being demanded by MPs, for all we know they could have been procured months in advance.

    And we have to remember, the slate market hasn't been in the public's mind very long. It is a strange product in that consumers view it as a fad and a luxury item whilst businesses have a work purpose for it that you wouldn't know about until you use one.

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    It could even lead to a saving if encouraged them ditching their reliance on traditional apps

    Interior Selects Google Apps for Government for Cloud Email and Collaboration Services

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    Knowing recent government contracts I bet they end up paying £34,000 for each iPad, never take delivery and pay a middle man 20 million for brokering the deal.

    HBJB

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    It is so funny to see the whole "tablets are new and are just a fad", when they are neither new nor a fad. Businesses have been using tablets for years, usually in niche markets where it fits the right processes. They have been used in education around the globe already in Spain, US, Canada and yes ... the UK. Even if you go back to the XO-1 design for OLPC the ideal of using it as a tablet is there. The clever folk are looking at the mistakes and successes in those areas to see where it can be done better this time round. The key thing is to use them where appropriate. If an MP can do what they need to do on a tablet and can swap their existing laptop to move over to it then surely that is a good thing?

    As for iPads ... well, Android tablets are not quite there corporately yet and Windows 8 is not out. Go back to XP Tablet edition? (Actually, not too bad an idea to be honest ... )

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post

    As for iPads ... well, Android tablets are not quite there corporately yet and Windows 8 is not out. Go back to XP Tablet edition? (Actually, not too bad an idea to be honest ... )
    Android seems leaps and bounds ahead from a management perspective from what I've seen, either from apps such as those supplied by Toshiba or by policies enforced by administrators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Android seems leaps and bounds ahead from a management perspective from what I've seen, either from apps such as those supplied by Toshiba or by policies enforced by administrators.
    Most of the MDM providers I have spoken to over the last 3 months are shuddering about Android devices. 2.2 became more management friendly but the main objection which has been pointed out to me is the fragmentation of the OS versions with worries about the length of support and patches on particular hardware (pretty sure there was a thread mentioning that previously too but my EG search-fu is lacking tonight).

    Most still seemed to prefer Blackberry and Windows Mobile on the phones, but they are still trying to look at the models by which they traditionally locked things ... whereas the consumer drive (rightly or wrongly) is forcing a rethink to consider what is locked and what is a bit more flexible to give *some* personal use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Most of the MDM providers I have spoken to over the last 3 months are shuddering about Android devices. 2.2 became more management friendly but the main objection which has been pointed out to me is the fragmentation of the OS versions with worries about the length of support and patches on particular hardware
    It is true that Android is designed to be hackable and as usual, with all hackable devices, it is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
    The same was said by the major vendors about Linux servers, which now make up the majority of mainframes and a good 20% of business systems.
    The remote management tools do ensure passwords security, device encryption, block cameras, remote wipe, automatic lock etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    It is so funny to see the whole "tablets are new and are just a fad", when they are neither new nor a fad. Businesses have been using tablets for years, usually in niche markets where it fits the right processes. They have been used in education around the globe already in Spain, US, Canada and yes ... the UK. Even if you go back to the XO-1 design for OLPC the ideal of using it as a tablet is there. The clever folk are looking at the mistakes and successes in those areas to see where it can be done better this time round. The key thing is to use them where appropriate. If an MP can do what they need to do on a tablet and can swap their existing laptop to move over to it then surely that is a good thing?

    As for iPads ... well, Android tablets are not quite there corporately yet and Windows 8 is not out. Go back to XP Tablet edition? (Actually, not too bad an idea to be honest ... )
    That's the whole point. Business users have had them for years but consumers? It's a recent blip on their radar and the papers take advantage of that to generate money wasting headlines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    It is true that Android is designed to be hackable and as usual, with all hackable devices, it is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
    The same was said by the major vendors about Linux servers, which now make up the majority of mainframes and a good 20% of business systems.
    The remote management tools do ensure passwords security, device encryption, block cameras, remote wipe, automatic lock etc.
    Unfortunately, depending on what the devices are used for (e.g. depending on who they are used to access files / emails) then there are some strict rules ... usually for good reasons. This is a bit of a downside to get them into Govt use as the risk assessment can let it down. Some MDM offerings do a really good job and it would be nicer to see some of them doing better deals for education ... but when MDM providers start saying that they are not sure about some things ... and some said they are just waiting for the right device with a good promise (?) from a vendor that it will be kept going for some time and be readily upgradable / patchable for a decent length of time ...

    If this project kickstarts again the wider look by Govt IT on mobile devices then that is a good thing ... whilst iOS devices are getting a name for themselves most folk realise that the concepts behind how they are used are going to be pretty transferable and so the next wave have a better chance of including a wider range of devices. It also depends on the relationship Google have with the public sector, not just the hardware vendors. Hopefully that will improve as other countries make use of Android too.

    If MPs are already using personal iOS devices then this could be viewed as a bit of damage limitation and getting some of the control back to the parliamentary IT group ... which will help in future years when further changes get made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    That's the whole point. Business users have had them for years but consumers? It's a recent blip on their radar and the papers take advantage of that to generate money wasting headlines.
    MPs are just another form of business user ... and yes ... stupid headlines in papers on websites are par for the course. In moments like this I always fall back on ...


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    I totally agree that a tablet could be a great aid. I am, however, extremely sceptical that this is why they are being bought. No proof, just a gut feeling.

    They could get a Playbook for a lot less, which (I am led to believe) may well be a better "corporate" choice. Even if they need 3G and so a Blackberry phone, I bet RIM would love to be the "official supplier of tablets and phones" to the British Government and would cut them a sweet deal. But no, iPads are what everyone wants...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    It is so funny to see the whole "tablets are new and are just a fad", when they are neither new nor a fad. Businesses have been using tablets for years, usually in niche markets where it fits the right processes. They have been used in education around the globe already in Spain, US, Canada and yes ... the UK. Even if you go back to the XO-1 design for OLPC the ideal of using it as a tablet is there. The clever folk are looking at the mistakes and successes in those areas to see where it can be done better this time round. The key thing is to use them where appropriate. If an MP can do what they need to do on a tablet and can swap their existing laptop to move over to it then surely that is a good thing?

    As for iPads ... well, Android tablets are not quite there corporately yet and Windows 8 is not out. Go back to XP Tablet edition? (Actually, not too bad an idea to be honest ... )
    Why would it be good to use a tablet rather than a laptop? Who benefits? Apple does, of course. Does the taxpayer? What's the service life of a tablet? What's the lifecycle failure rate? Which applications have to be rewritten in order to run on a new platform? What security implications are there? How does one secure documents on an iPad and how much retraining is required for the user?

    All these questions are important, most of the answers are completely unknown, and all of the answers have costs.

    MPs write vast numbers of emails to their constituents and other MPs. Is a tablet the best way to write large amounts of text? Not in my experience. IMO it's slower and clunkier than a conventional keyboard. So will this boost productivity, or will it make a bunch of out-of-touch technical illiterates feel like they're living in the 21st century?

    Obviously it's nice to read the views of the handful of people who think that Parliament can deliver a government-managed IT project efficiently and cost-effectively. I remember feeling the same way about a decade ago.

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