Over in rainy Britain, members of parliament (MPs) might have something to smile about. The Commons Administration Committee has recommended that they all be given iPads and cellular data plans. This would cost a relatively small amount, around £260,000 ($415,000) plus data plans.
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It’s rare to see government agencies at the front of the technology curve, but it’s becoming more common with U.S. federal agencies after U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel declared at CES that 2012 the year of mobile for the federal government. While most agencies have pushed to reevaluate their mobile technology option during the past few months, the Environmental Protection Agency seems to leading the government charge to mobile.
The EPA announced earlier this week that the agency has adopted a new “mobile first” policy. Under the policy, it is a setting forward-thinking IT mandate than even the most tech-savvy companies have yet to consider or embrace: develop solutions for mobile devices first and then re-work those solutions to function on the desktop.
Despite RIM’s reassurances to developers at this week’s Mobile World Congress, the mass exodus of its government customers continued as another U.S. federal agency announced that it would ditch BlackBerry in favor of the iPhone. The agency in question is The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which announced that it will be abandoning the BlackBerry and RIM services beginning this month.
As the agency revealed its plans, RIM attempted to cast a softer light on the situation by playing up it’s overall standing with the U.S. government.
Photo of Andrew Lansley looking at apps from Department of Health Flickr feed; used with permission
Doctors in the UK might soon be able to prescribe apps as well as drugs, following a government study that asked the public to nominate their own favorite health-related apps.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that energy giant Haliburton is was going to begin a transition that will replace all corporate BlackBerry devices with iPhones.
RIM got more bad news today in the form of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announcing that the federal agency will also be dropping the BlackBerry platform in favor of the iPhone.
The U.S. government declared the act of jailbreaking legal on July 26, 2010, encouraging hundreds of thousands of iOS users into hacking their devices, safe in the knowledge that their actions would incur no legal repercussions. The ruling certainly had a huge on the jailbreaking community, but the tables could be set to turn once again.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), jailbreaking could become illegal again this year, but you can do your bit to prevent it.
Apple’s carrier partners in Singapore are removing the front- and rear-facing cameras from the Cupertino company’s latest iPhone 4S before selling it, according to a new report. The doctored devices are aimed at members of the military who are prohibited from taking cameras into their bases.
You think your users are hard to please? Try cops, says Travis Taniguchi.
He’s a police criminologist for the Redlands Police Department in California, and one of the driving forces behind an iPhone and iPad app-friendly police department. Cops are not only skeptical, but armed.
“You want to talk hostile customers or end users? You don’t get more hostile than a cop,” Taniguchi joked.”They do that lean back thing, then they put a hand on their gun. It’s not easy.”
As the only “suit” on an Appnation Enterprise Summit panel about upstarts – he was gently ribbed by other panelists about not following the casual jeans-and-blazer mandate – he gave some interesting insights about how police departments can implement mobile apps.
(Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament, under Creative Commons license.)
The UK Parliament spent £17,000 (about $26,000) on a total of 34 iPads for official use this year.
Syrian are no longer allowed to use Apple’s iPhone after authorities banned the popular device this week in a bid to stop activists from documenting government violence. Following the move, Steve Jobs’s biological father, John Jandali, announced his support for the Syrian people on YouTube.