by Mel Martin
Well, it was sort of accidental. Labour MP Kerry McCarthy wanted to deliver a speech in the House of Commons, and there were so many last minute changes to the text she just decided to read it from her iPad.
The Mirror reports the use of the iPad was the first after a rule change that allowed iPads in the chamber. Devices no bigger than a sheet of A4 paper are allowed, so smartphones and tablets are OK but laptops are still not allowed.
Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that Tony Blair’s former IT chief has criticized the government for overly ambitious and badly managed technology procurement. Ian Watmore, who is now leading a charge for better government efficiency thinks costly IT projects should be stopped to save money. Then he added that Apple products, which he said he used at home, should be used more in government.
All this struck a chord with me, because in the late 90s I led a massive IT project for the BBC, which is kinda, sorta, quasi governmental. The BBC is funded by UK taxpayers through a license fee. To get my project done, I had to struggle with byzantine rules and an army of often overpaid consultants who were simply driving the costs up. Almost all were very Windows-centric even though, at the time, Macs were heavily used in the creative departments for editing and graphics.