Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wasting our money on toys

You expect a responsible employer to provide for their workforce the necessary tools to do their trade. Some trades such as engineering occasionally the employer expect an engineer to provide the basics (and replaces them if broken or worn out) but the employer will provide specialist tools to do the job over and above the basics. Same with management, laptop and mobile phone, perhaps a company car, though not always, simply the necessities to do the job. Most -places though do not provide top of the range equipment for those in a roll who simply do not need it, unless of course you are suckling at the public purse...
MPs are to receive taxpayer-funded iPads in an attempt to modernise Parliament.
Politicians will be able to put the tablet computers on expenses if they give up one of their old pieces of computer kit in return.
Around 350 MPs who sit in the House of Commons on select committees will be offered the devices without having to trade.
Buying an iPad for every single MP in the Commons could cost as much as £430,000 – not including monthly subscription charges to access the internet on the move.
But the House of Commons commission, led by Speaker John Bercow, insisted the move would cut costs and save paper.
One of the things most people in industry notice is that any cost saving or paper saving equipment usually costs a lot and generates more paperwork. There's also the problem that iPads are not exactly suitable office style equipment, the big advantage of a laptop is the keyboard, the onscreen keyboard the iPad uses is nowhere near as fast or as useful, so as a research tool it's less than satisfactory. Battery life is limited, doesn't support flash (no kidding) and can’t make phone calls, can’t take pictures, and the most affordable model only has WiFi.
There’s also no multitasking in the iPad because it uses some variant of the iPhone OS. This means you can’t listen to Spotify and browse the web at the same time. No working in Pages while making a VoIP call. And the list goes on…
And because of the closed nature of all things Apple, there’s no simple way to transfer files to and from the iPad. Why is this relevant? Well, it means all the media files will have to be synced through iTunes, which always involves conversions to the mad Apple formats. There’s no way to just drag and drop them over WiFi or using a USB Mass Storage Device.
Not to mention all the documents produced with iWork (which even deserved to be ported to the iPad). Where will those go? And while we’re in this department, how can a device coined as a “great productivity tool” lack the support for non-Apple office software (Microsoft and Openoffice).
The main problem though is that the most affordable model is very, very expensive compared to say a netbook and the money for it is coming out of our pockets, not the House of Commons or the MP's.
Essentially it's a massive waste of money to give MP's a "cool" iPad on the taxpayers expense, it wont improve productivity and it wont save paper as MP's wont be able to use it for the purposes it's supposedly to be used for.
They'd be much better off using their memory and a pad and paper, or if they really need facts quick, then a laptop.

1 annotations:

Captain Haddock said...

"They'd be much better off using their memory and a pad and paper, or if they really need facts quick, then a laptop" ...

They don't even need those, all MP's have advisers, researchers, interns etc crawling out their arseholes .. they all have mobile phones, which are no doubt being paid for by us .. they should be using those for back-channel info & comms ..

The country is in shit-order, small businesses are going to the wall, law & order is getting out of hand, immigration has already got out of hand & these cretins are poncing around with iPads ..

This is nothing more nor less than self-indulgent people, indulging themselves yet again, at our expence, because they can ..

Its been said before but will stand repetition ..

The lunatics really have taken over the asylum ..