back to article ‘Anonymous’ hacks Oz Uni’s email to protest bulk iPad buy

Email servers at the University of Western Sydney, which last year announced it would hand iPads to all staff and over 10,000 incoming students, have been hacked by someone using the name ‘Anonymous’. The University is known to use Microsoft’s live@edu hosted email service. The attacker has used the University’s servers to …

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  1. JDX Gold badge

    stop abusing and exploiting their student body

    Did they ask the student body if getting free iPads made them feel abused and exploited, or make that decision on their behalf?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: stop abusing and exploiting their student body

      "Oh no - The University has ‘fessed up to the incident on Facebook, where commenters report having received 300 or more unexpected emails."

      Oh fuck - we are doomed...

      300 "unexpected" emails....

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: stop abusing and exploiting their student body

        If Anon had been around in the eighties:

        "It is scandalous that schools have bought overpriced BBCs when everyone knows Spectrums are better!"

        1. Mark .

          Re: stop abusing and exploiting their student body

          Ah yes, the good old BBC - 10 PRINT "HELLO" etc. Oh wait, good luck doing that with an ipad.

          Well they could at least install a BBC emulator. Oh wait.

          I don't think that argument works - the BBC had support in UK schools, but that was it. Compared to the vast amount of free advertising that Apple gets in everything from the media, companies offering services, to schools and universities in many countries. Plus it was at most one class with BBCs, or maybe one BBC per room - not one for every one of 10,000 students, which all have to be paid for either by tax or the students themselves, ultimately.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Android Fanboi

      clearly is very angry.

    3. Mark .

      They're not free

      No they - the University - didn't ask. That's exactly one of the points made, if you RTFA: "the author criticises the ... lack of consultation with students".

      Also see “If only they'd have surveyed how many students own luxury cars,” the author wrote, “they may have decided to gift students a free Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG instead." (The fact that people take ipads for free is not exactly a ringing endorsement anyway - even if people hate it, they can sell it.)

      And they're not free. If Apple paid, then fair enough - about time that Apple paid for its marketing rather than getting it for free. Otherwise, if the University is state-funded, it's coming out of tax. If it's paid for by tuition fees, the students are being lumbered with this cost, whether they want it or not.

      IMO the problem isn't a one-off decision by one university, but that this seems to be a repeating pattern where Apple gets a load of free money and advertising, because Universities decide all their students need one (I've heard about this from people in the US too). If this was MS, people would (rightly) be frothing at the mouth here.

      People make the argument that MS only got their dominance on computer OSs because it was handed to them, yet we're now seeing the same thing for Apple on tablets, despite there being overwhelming evidence that consumers prefer Android devices. Everything from the vast amounts of free media coverage before it was even announced - whilst other devices go ignored - to the absurd number of "Win a free ipad" adverts I see. Now we have god knows how many orders being given to Apple for free. Just sitting here with the TV on, whilst writing this there have been countless free Apple adverts, not actually from Apple (did Sky get bought out by Apple when I wasn't looking? Sorry, like most people I don't have an ipad, preferring to use more popular platforms, and I'm not interested that my money would be used to provide services for the minority of Apple users).

      It's not too much to ask for a bit of competition in the market, is it.

      1. xpusostomos

        Re: They're not free

        I don't know the justification for the purchase, but it may well be as simple as costing paper printed textbooks versus costing ipad, and ipad wins. Just because some crap Android tablet might be cheaper, and may have other features, doesn't mean its actually a viable solution. This hacker is just a fanboi who doesn't understand, probably.

      2. Philip Machanick

        Re: They're not free

        Microsoft has done this in the past. In 1997, I had a sabbatical at University of Michigan, then one of the biggest Mac users in the world. While I was there, Microsoft and Intel clubbed together to pay the cost of replacing most of their Macs with Wintel boxes. It ended costing the university money because they had to hire so many more support staff.

        And no, I don't recall a lot of frothing at the mouth, even though this was a blatantly ant-competitive act.

        While the iPads are being paid for somehow there is nothing in the university's terms and conditions that says you can't sell yours once you've had it past the date when your enrolment for becomes irrevocable for purposes of calculating tuition, so there's nothing to stop you selling it.

        As for the benefits educationally, meh. I've read countless studies of computers in education and can't say I've seen any that make a compelling case.

      3. bygjohn

        Re: They're not free

        The thing that Apple have and that Android doesn't (yet) which is attractive to education is the authoring tool iBooks Author, which allows academics to generate their own multimedia course materials which can then be pre-loaded onto the devices. Similarly Apple have the tools for large institutions to develop custom apps and load them onto the devices. It's more than just the devices themselves, it's the whole package.

        Universities in the UK are experimenting with similar projects, though as far as I know only on a small scale/pilot basis so far, particularly for distance learners.

        Marketers can then add the iPad provision in as a recruiting tool as a side effect, but it's the other stuff that currently is giving Apple the edge.

        Naturally nothing is stopping anyone from developing similar tools for Android. For all I know, they may have done it already, but if so they aren't as widely known. Apple's stuff is however, and increasingly is being used.

  2. Silverburn
    Devil

    ..and this is the problem with vigilante groups, or those pretending to be them.

    At first their causes are noble, standing up against injustice and defending basic human rights. But over time, they start to diversify into areas which - frankly - are hardly crimes against humanity.

    Seriously Anon (if that is indeed you) - what the f* has this corporate IT spend decision got to do with you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > At first their causes are noble,

      Their causes are never noble. The anonymous skiddies didn't take up this activity because of some cause.

      They took it up because they feel that having the ability to run some scripts and break in other peoples property empowers their shallow lives.

      The causes they claim to follow are their excuse for what they do not their reason.

      1. DF118
        FAIL

        Their causes are never noble. The anonymous skiddies didn't take up this activity because of some cause.

        Lol @ "The anonymous skiddies" - you don't actually get it do you? It's not a club.

    2. DF118
      Thumb Down

      @Silverburn

      I think the point of "anonymous" is that it can be anyone or any group of people. It's quite likely that in this case the "culprit" has every right to an opinion on the matter as they probably work for or study at the university in question and are (rightly, imho) pissed off at said institution spunking good money on pointless frippery given the apparently poor state of their existing (and non-pointless) IT infrastructure. The method of protest is a bit dim (especially the spam part) but you can't argue with its efficacy.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe he's a taxpayer.

  3. Chris007
    FAIL

    hard to argue with what the anon guy said

    But I'm sure some fanbois will make an attempt.

    icon: for anybody arguing against the anon guy statement

    1. Silverburn
      Facepalm

      Re: hard to argue with what the anon guy said

      icon: for anybody arguing against the anon guy statement

      All hail our benevolent, fault-free and glorious Anonymous Overlords! For they know all, and are wise beyond human comprehension!

      How long before Chris goes the next step and actually registers Anon as a proper religion. He's got the dogma and blind faith right down to a tee.

      1. Chris007
        Trollface

        Re: hard to argue with what the anon guy said @silverburn

        Thank god for your reply - I was beginning to think I'd lost the ability to troll :)

    2. Keith 72

      Re: hard to argue with what the anon guy said

      This anon crusade was a pointless, juvenile and selfish act of a self-righteous, egotistical arsehole.

      I'm not a fan of Apple products and I'm very happy with my Android phone. I don't own a tablet, nor feel any particular desire to. However, if my kids get presented with a "free" iPad when they start university then I'm sure they'd be delighted.

      I can think of many advantages for a university's IT department in having one device to support for so many users. And they are, unarguably, very user friendly devices. These things cut costs considerably, so the initial cost isn't the only factor. The Apple choice may have been simply because of prestige, but it could also have been because they deem them a better fit with their existing equipment or their staffs knowledge.

      I'd agree that tablets are rubbish input devices, but there's plenty of scope at a university for using them from newsletters, timetables, contact information to distributing course notes, presentations, tutorial notes & questions, past papers and endless other material that would normally be shoved around on paper. So another cost saving.

      It sounds quite ideal to me for a student to do their work on paper, a desktop or laptop with the slab being used as a question paper or handbook.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: hard to argue with what the anon guy said

        >I'd agree that tablets are rubbish input devices,

        Before eInk readers were cheap enough for consumers, they were used by pilots who are required to have a large quantity of documentation on board. This documentation was heavy and also subject to frequent updates, so justifying the cost of the device ($1,500 at launch).

        From 2006:

        http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/27/hands-on-with-arincs-iliad-based-eflybook/

  4. Turtle

    Not wrong.

    "[The] 800-word rant ... suggests tablets have no proven impact on the quality of teaching or learning. The author also believes the decision to buy iPads was made by the marketing department after research found plenty of would-be students would like one. 'If only they'd have surveyed how many students own luxury cars,' the author wrote, 'they may have decided to gift students a free Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG instead.'"

    Insofar as the above statements go, they are not wrong. I have always felt that the idea of computers as educational tools is, except under very specific conditions, highly dubious, if not actually fraudulent.

    Of course, if anyone can cite a large body of research suggesting that computers do improve the quality of teaching and learning, (as opposed to some one-off study that looks like the work of shills or Schneiderists) it would be interesting to read.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not wrong.

      Let's turn that the other way, what evidence do you have that they DON'T improve education?

      I'm not saying you're right or wrong, just that you're making just a vague statement as the original quote yet you too have given no evidence to support your argument against.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Not wrong.

        There is also no evidence that gifting all new students a brand new shiny Merc won't help them suddenly become wonder students, but I don't suppose you suggest that is tried out.

        Perhaps before blowing N-Million dollars it would have made sense to do some research, that is after all one of the reason Unis exist.

        In the mean time it seems more like someone fancied a new toy and wanted their boss to pay for it for them. The mega give away to students just seemed the ideal excuse.

      2. DF118
        Facepalm

        @AC Re: Not wrong.

        Asking someone to prove a negative. Slow claps for you sir.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: @AC Not wrong.

          No evidence computers aid education? What?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not wrong.

        > Let's turn that the other way, what evidence do you have that they DON'T improve education?

        So let's get this straight, when you're spending a lot of money you ask yourself the question "is there evidence I shouldn't buy this?" rather than "why do i need this?" .... really? Really!

      4. Alfred
        Happy

        Some of the evidence you asked for.

        "what evidence do you have that they DON'T improve education?"

        WARNING - PDF

        http://economics.mit.edu/files/22

      5. Vic

        Re: Not wrong.

        > what evidence do you have that they DON'T improve education?

        The 1990s?

        Vic.

    2. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Just consider one simple use case

      Textbooks. Rather than carting around 1/2 a hundred weight of dead trees, the contents of which are guaranteed to be outdated in a year or less, the students can carry a single electronic device the size and weight of a single pad of paper that holds all of them and picks up updates almost as soon as they happen.

      There is definite evidence that textbooks benefit students. Providing them in a more compact, more up-to-date form is a usability benefit and also a cost benefit (the electronic versions being typically 1/3rd of the price). Given this why does the iPad need to be any BETTER for teaching? Providing it's no worse than using a text book then this by its self is a win.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just consider one simple use case

        I think its the ipad decision that he has a problem with, and I agree with for a uni it is a DUMB move,

        For any serious educational need, something that can handle a memory card & has full file access abilities & plenty of free apps for the poor student... something with USB OTG available, something that can be

        I would have gone for the Note 10.1 if I was making the decision.. over £100 cheaper each... I paid £270 for mine new including rebate, so I am sure a large order of 10K should be able to negotiate a similar price...

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Re: Just consider one simple use case

          Even a basic 16GB iPad has far more space than you need for textbooks. All this talk about memory cards and file systems is an irrelevance to what it's needed for. Don't forget that Google's Nexus tablets also lack card readers.

          The Note 10.1 is a huge step down compared to the iPad for this kind of work (much lower Rez screen, more than two hours less battery life, but most importantly it hasn't got the text book creation and distribution platform of the iPad). Add to that you're saddling the students with an additional GSM data contract and saving much less money than you're talking about (factoring in just the standard 10% educational discount and looking at the best Galaxy Note 10.1 prices shown by Google your saving is £15, and I expect they're getting a better discount than that).

          Oh, and there is LOTS of free stuff in the Apple App Store for students to download. Google are far from the only provider of this.

          1. Mark .

            Re: Just consider one simple use case

            If resolution is what's important, then the Nexus 10 is higher and cheaper. Just saying. Although, I suppose giving it's immense popularity, there is the problem of getting hold of one - Apple tablets on the other hand are given away free all the time.

          2. Mark .

            Re: Just consider one simple use case

            Also, I'm surprised no one has mentioned e-readers. Actual e-readers (which the ipad is not).

            An ipad to replace a book? Sure, there's nothing like helping studying than staring at an LCD for hours on end! Resolution has nothing to do with it, e-readers have a much better display. They're easer on the eyes, and can be used anywhere, including outdoors, easily. They also have vastly better battery life, on the order of 10s of hours (the idea that you consider a device that needs charging every day to have good battery life is interesting).

            Of course, they don't do videos or Angry Birds, but the claim was about textbooks. The only deficiency is color, but for most subjects and use cases, this isn't an issue - most books aren't even printed in colour, after all. For most purposes, an e-reader would do the job much better, despite no colour (and why not offer a choice?) Yes, a tablet can do some things that an e-reader can't, but then a laptop can do plenty that a tablet can. A laptop and e-reader covers far more uses.

            1. Steve Todd
              Stop

              Re: Just consider one simple use case

              Funny, I and most office workers stare at LCD screens all day long without any serious problems. eInk may be better in full sunlight (most teaching happens indoors in case you hadn't noticed), but the small screens don't match well with the format of textbooks, their resolution isn't great (600x800 typically) and screen response is sluggish for things like links and cross references.

              You still haven't answered the central question of the tools for creation and distribution of textbooks (Amazon's ebook format isn't good at complex typography for formula etc).

        2. DavCrav

          Re: Just consider one simple use case

          "I would have gone for the Note 10.1 if I was making the decision.. over £100 cheaper each... I paid £270 for mine new including rebate, so I am sure a large order of 10K should be able to negotiate a similar price..."

          Exactly this. I just bought a Note 10.1 for use at university, and it's very useful, both for being able to take lecture notes, and read lots of articles/books/etc. So much so that my netbook, which I used to take notes on and read articles on, is barely used any more. One of the other lecturers has an iPad, and I showed him what I can do on the Note and he said he will definitely dump it for a Note.

        3. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Just consider one simple use case

          >For any serious educational need, something that can handle a memory card & has full file access abilities & plenty of free apps for the poor student... something with USB OTG available, something that can be

          The device the student uses for text input (i.e a laptop) will handle that sort of thing. You don't need those things on a textbook replacement. WiFi will be sufficient.

          The Note's stylus would be useful in the classroom (I had a play its feature that recognises stylus input of mathematical formulae), but a device with the resolution of a Nexus 10 or iPad would be better for textbooks.

          1. Veldan
            FAIL

            Re: Just consider one simple use case

            If they were just after a textbook replacement why not a Kindle?

            They're MUCH cheaper, are built exactly for that purpose, have close to the widest range of books, can't be misused as easily meaning less security concerns to the uni network and have much better battery life.

            Bonus points for most of these arguments applying to almost any non-apple tablet.

            Extra credit goes to those who recognise that online textbooks aren't quite all encompassing yet either. Having jsut finished my degree over half of the books that I needed did not have digital versions, what use is a tablet there?

            Also in my first degree I worked with exceedingly large files, if it was there as a data storage device as well 16GB would not even begin to cut it...

      2. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Just consider one simple use case

        True, but students usually need to buy their own textbooks. Spunking AU$4-6m on ipads when (in my experience), most university IT rooms are over-crowded and under-equipped with a dearth of basics like working printers seems like an horrific waste of money. You could lay out a series of superb IT rooms for that money.

        Also, the joys of digital distribution means students are now required to buy textbooks "new", depriving them of the time honoured tradition of buying second hand from older students and flogging them on to the next generation (most academic textbooks are not updated on an annual basis and good for a few years).

        Of course I suppose one can argue that with no print costs, and increased revenue from everyone having to buy new, the per-download cost of textbooks will fall, and authors can issue updates on an annual basis (or indeed with whatever regularity they like) without the publisher having to do another print run.

        In other news, kangaroos might fly, probably on the private tropical island now inhabited by academic book authors who have seen digital sales go through the roof...

      3. Vic

        Re: Just consider one simple use case

        > Textbooks

        They're available on the iPad, are they?

        I've just had a look for Horowitz and Hill. I can't find it...

        > Providing it's no worse than using a text book then this by its self is a win

        If you're reading Electronics, the iPad is definitively worse than a textbook by virtue of it entirely failing to contain any of the same material. I've not checked for any other subject - it fell at the very first hurdle.

        Vic.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the alternative?

    Android tablets where google can plagerise all your work, or track you like the case in Texas or maybe students being able to install Malware on the tablets..... or Microsoft Surface RT that is just as expensive as an iPad with poor software / a bad copy of Office that can't be used properly without a keyboard + mouse anyway.

    Apple has a great selection of text books and education apps that no other platform (apart from standard Windows) can match.

    This site is so full of anti-apple people it's just funny.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: What's the alternative?

      Pencil and paper? It's worked at the best universities for the last 800+ years. No Spam either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the alternative?

        > Pencil and paper? It's worked at the best universities for the last 800+ years. No Spam either.

        My text books don't run out of batteries either.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's the alternative?

          > My text books don't run out of batteries either.

          Good point. I have some that have been in standby mode for 30 years, never recharged, but still worked when I used them.

      2. JaitcH
        Thumb Up

        Re: What's the alternative? Aduio rcording and paper/pen

        I have been to OEMs to get 'factory training' for equipment being sold into Canada by my then employer. In return for this 'vacation' I was expected to document the training I received.

        I used both audio recordings and paper notes. Another fellow used a laptop.

        On the way home his laptop got pinched but, seemingly my paper notes and audio recordings had no attraction for the thief(ves).

        I love paper notes, with pencil writing, because not even a good soaking in water will obliterate them.

        1. Dave Fox
          FAIL

          Re: What's the alternative? Aduio rcording and paper/pen

          All that proves is that the fellow who used a laptop has no concept of making a backup.

          For any important document that I create, I make sure that I have it backed up or synced - often in a variety of places.

          The USB drive that I carry with my keys is one such place, as is my phone, but I'm also not averse to using Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote.

          Your paper notes and audio recordings are far more at risk from loss than a properly backed up electronic version.

          Now I'm just waiting "Tin Foil Hat" brigade to chime up about how unsafe it is to keep my data in the cloud...... ;)

      3. JDX Gold badge

        @Phil

        >>Pencil and paper? It's worked at the best universities for the last 800+ years#

        I do love it when people post this stupid argument, thinking it proves a point. Before pencil and paper, slate and chalk worked just fine too.

        The reason we used pen[cil] and paper for so long is ONLY because it was the economical, easy approach. NOT because it was the best. Phil has also missed the point that the top universities no longer use pencil and paper. Or even pen and paper... when did anyone last use pencils... other than a few subjects like maths, computers are the norm for writing essays and projects.

      4. Jedit Silver badge
        Angel

        "Pencil and paper? No Spam either."

        Sir, I submit that you have never had someone else doodle in your margins.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: "Pencil and paper? No Spam either."

          > Sir, I submit that you have never had someone else doodle in your margins.

          What I keep in my margins is my own affair, Sir.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Jimboom

      Re: What's the alternative?

      How about putting a computer in every dorm room? Or a laptop? Something they could actually use to write some school work with? Perhaps spend the money on improving the IT structure in the school (and no, fondleslabs do not count)

      The problem with any technology is that it is prone to misuse. Yes, there may be all these great apps for learning and textbooks to read, but that is like saying that there are great educational shows for kids to watch on tv... but it doesn't mean they are going to watch them.

      I have worked in IT in education before and unless it is done in some sort of structured way (ie. Today class we are going to sit in front of the computers and do this task, then we are going to watch this video and then you are going to watch me do something and repeat it. A very boring example I know, but you get the idea), then it is very prone to noneducational uses.

      A perfect example I can offer was that we used to service the laptops in schools, this would from time to time include laptops that were on loan to pupils to take home for them to do their schoolwork. The amount of smut/games and other stuff I dare not mention was phenomenal. Even the teachers laptops were nowhere near as bad.

      And the same will be in this case. When you take that structure away and say, oh, you have a fondleslab in your hand while I am trying to hold a lecture... you must be taking notes or learning in some other way, so that's ok, then it is counterproductive to learning.

      I would be interested to see the average test scores of the pupils there pre and post the iFlood.

      1. Thorne

        Re: What's the alternative?

        "I would be interested to see the average test scores of the pupils there pre and post the iFlood."

        The tests have show that their angry birds scores were significantly higher after...

      2. MrZoolook
        Trollface

        Re: What's the alternative?

        Quote: I would be interested to see the average test scores of the pupils there pre and post the iFlood.

        Oh please, we all know their results will be better this time round. That's an inevitable consequence of lowering the test standards.

    4. Richard 116

      Re: What's the alternative?

      @AC 08.53 GMT

      I'll take your statements a face value. I really don't know how valuable these devices would be to a student. And I don't just mean iPads but any tablet. Personally I can't see how much use one would be.

      Rather than the usual ranting does anyone know? Have tablets added to student learning anywhere?

    5. James 51

      Re: What's the alternative?

      Playbook. It's cheaper, has flash and offers lots of functionality both the students and university would find useful and it would be less likely sold on to buy beans and beer.

    6. Stuart 22
      FAIL

      Re: What's the alternative?

      I am a fondleslab lover. I probably spend more time on a fondleslab then any other device when I'm not working.

      I never use a fondleslab (or its mini smartphone equivelent) for work except in emergency when a conventional desktop/laptop or even netbook is not available. You really can't be seriously creative without a keyboard and (if you are artistic) at least a mouse. One wonders if this particular University thinks education is the consumption of information rather than the production (or at least value added reprodoction) of information.

      If I was an Ozy this would move this University way down my wish list.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the alternative? @ Stuart

        get a Galaxy Note 10.1, while the pen is not quite as good as a Wacom tablet on its own, it IS good....

    7. Lallabalalla
      Thumb Up

      Re: What's the alternative?

      And has anyone yet mentioned the extraordinary iTunesU content stream produced by the world's leading universities? An unparallelled resource directly available on an iPad. I don't think there is any Android resource anywhere that even comes within a billion lightyears of it.

      Honestly, you apple-haters should really just .... oh go away :)

      1. Mark .

        Re: What's the alternative?

        So the Universities support Apple by spending god-knows-how-much on ipads, because they support Apple by only creating content for the minority of Apple users? That's a circular argument.

        It's all part of the same problem - why isn't that available for everyone, whether using a more popular platform like Android or Windows, or just something different like Linux (or indeed OS X!)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me guess - the solution is open source right?

    Let me guess - the rant suggested that the university go with an open source solution right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Let me guess - the solution is open source right?

      itunes U is genius - anybody posting against ipad here tried it? you can even get a lot of free courses from other renowned universities.

      besides offering hosting of the content for itunes U, this content is not locked on Apple, you can view it on Android too with TunesViewer (only view no full interaction like itunes U).

      but hey, if you spend your time kicking down others' sand castles, you probably don't take advantage of superior knowledge (to be found in Universities). bloody anon bullies/terrorists.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Let me guess - the solution is open source right?

        If it can be used on Android, then the argument for using ipads in the first place is void.

        (And I've love to check it out, but oh wait, like most people I have a laptop. Even if it's not DRM-locked, that doesn't make it easy for most people - why cater for the minority first?)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UWS

    Unsafe Windows Setup

    1. dogged

      Re: UWS

      Probably just had the admin credentials on a Post-It like everywhere else that's not worth hacking.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disgruntled student?

    I reckon.

    Perhaps he was hoping for something a bit more Androidy.

  9. Mondo the Magnificent
    Devil

    So as I suspected...

    ..Anonymous are a bunch of "Windows Kiddies"..

    My advice to any University is to supply Windows 8 fondleslabs, that way Windomynous will be at peace...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh...

    I can't agree with the decision to buy iPADs, but seriously: Protecting people's free speech on the internet by selectively taking out the systems of people whose use of free speech you disagree with is not legitimate protest.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    he has a point

    I don't bemoan the fact that they gave out iPad's, I do bemoan the fact that uneducated marketing tools got to call the shots on IT purchases and strategy.

    I ran an InfoSec team within one of the worlds largest banks and had to constantly deal with the fallout from marketing departments doing dumb shit like this.

    Everyone else in the company has to go through an exhaustive justification and requirements process to put anything in place, yet these asshats some how chase the latest shiny shit with no justification whatsoever. Oh and guess who cleans up the mess they leave.

    If people weren't such gullible morons these people would be out of a job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: he has a point

      "I ran an InfoSec team within one of the worlds largest banks and had to constantly deal with the fallout from marketing departments doing dumb shit like this."

      The problem is sometimes IT departments do not always know what the customer (their users) want - they have their own agenda and likes / dislikes.

    2. Steve Todd
      FAIL

      Re: he has a point

      And you know it was only the marketing department who had any input to this, not the academic faculty because?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: he has a point

      Total cost of ownership is an easy sum to arrive at.

      Purchase price + support costs.

      Not to mention the choice of device or computer must run the software you want to use.

      This is where Windows nearly always wins. The purchase price of a Windows computer is more or less the same as one with Linux pre-loaded. But the support costs are cheaper for Windows compared to Linux. Windows runs all the commercial software people want to use. The alternatives just don't cut it.

  12. JaitcH
    Meh

    Most likely an Apple marketing ploy with freebies and discounts

    Many equipment and software builders has 'education' plans whereby they offer discounts to schools and students.

    They should check the Uni's purchasing staff and the Presidents office, as well as their children, to see if they got free handouts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most likely an Apple marketing ploy with freebies and discounts

      Every company does it, Microsoft used to do it when Gates donated licences and computers to education establishments.

      Linux vendors are too small to do the same.

  13. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Anon don't make actually bother making a rational case for which tablet to use instead... for textbooks, only the the Nexus 10 springs to mind, though f you took a hit on screen res, a Galaxy Note could be handy for annotations and presentations.

    A quick web search reveals the existence of the Kuno, an Android tab aimed specifically at the education market (and only sold in bulk to schools, it seems), but with a 9.7”: 1024x768 16:9 screen. Not ideal. However, it is designed to managed centrally.

    http://www.mykuno.com/index.html

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Best alternative is a Chromebook

    Cheaper, great battery life and actually more usable in classes in that you can type much faster than tap.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Best alternative is a Chromebook

      ditto an Apple eMate 300! (Joking!)

      A 1997 Apple Newton PDA with keyboard in a pre-iMac translucent clamshell, for schools only. Only saw one, my Design and Technology teacher had one to play with in an all Mac school - though a room adjoining the workshop in which we used drawing boards is now full of Windows SolidWorks workstations

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best alternative is a Chromebook

      iPads can use any bluetooth keyboard you check at it. So really a void case to start with. However, I do feel that Anon need to stop treating these smaller issues with such brute force. If the said 'anon' person went to the University, wouldn't of it been more effective to voice a petition?

      At primary and secondary school level, I can see where iPads or such tablets can be effective at engaging learning. University though? Most students made the choice to go and shouldn't need engaging. Ultrabooks or 13" laptops should do the trick to facilitate learning. Even giving each student a voice recorder each to record lessons would be more effective than a tablet.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Best alternative is a Chromebook

        Great idea. 200 students in a single room, all using laptops which require always-on internet. No problems there at all for the WiFi.

        1. Mark .

          Re: Best alternative is a Chromebook

          And an ipad is different because? Laptops and their OSs are typically far better at coping in offline circumstances, than oversized phones that are called tablets, due to their history.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best alternative is a Chromebook

      Why on earth would any establishment give their students a SpyBook? "All your data are belong to us" - Google.

      Just give em a normal laptop.

  15. arrbee
    Meh

    I think the funniest thing is the idea that a university is spending their own money to provide students with something for free.

  16. Lallabalalla
    Happy

    Apple is a locked down NIGHTMARE

    And that's the big reason to use them, right there. No hacking. No viruses. No malware inserted along with your memory card... the iPad is PERFECT for the consumption of content: podcasts, videos, iTunesU, textbooks, magazines, flyers, info sheets, assignments, in short the endless list of required reading in one handly little package, all safe and sound with every wireless sync. And presumably backed up with the perfect warranty: corporate applecare - oh is it broken madam? Here, have a new one. No waiting, no fuss, just here you go, as you were.

    1. James 51

      Re: Apple is a locked down NIGHTMARE

      Unless the ipads are completely locked down it will be possible to download malware floating around in the app store. Plus lets not forget the story about schools in America which give students laptops then randomly took photos of them using the webcam.

      A properly configured playbook would have all the same advantages. ipads are very poor value for money. This is probably to be cool and attract students or it's someone's pet project.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple is a locked down NIGHTMARE

      Not to mention all the textbooks:

      http://www.apple.com/education/ibooks-textbooks/

      Which is obviously a big plus. Where's the same for Google huh?

    3. Mark .

      Re: Apple is a locked down NIGHTMARE

      I don't speak Apple, but I presume by "applecare" you mean the insurance that people pay extra for, which is available for many devices. (What is it with Apple fans thinking that something is special just because it has a trademark? You're like the people who complain other devices don't have "Retina". Most people don't even talk in trademarks all the time.) And no actually, they don't always replace it, as I know from my own experience.

      Meanwhile, repairing something that isn't working is your standard rights under standard warranty, guaranteed by law! No wonder Apple make so much profit, when you hand money over for things like this.

      (And being locked down doesn't imply more secure. It just means Apple get to ban competing products or things like emulators, as well as make it so you can't program using it directly, and even have to buy a special Apple computer to do so.)

  17. 404

    Pretty good deal for Apple

    University purchases IPads for students from Apple. -> students pay increased tuition for the equipment.

    Students buy into iTunes environment -> not going to give up investment in music etc after graduation eh?

    $profit$

    Really nothing different than what Apple was doing in the 90's with schools, just with iPads now. Don't really agree with the mandatory part of it with the Uni, but that's how it goes sometimes.

    That being said, we did it a little differently, my son started college last fall and we set him up with a car (to get there), a bike & bike car rack (for getting around once at school), an HP Win7 gaming-capable laptop (for real work too lol), and a Kindle 3 (some school books that are available, mostly for all the required reading - the kindle is light, battery lasts forever, and is better suited for extensive reading).

    ;)

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Pretty good deal for Apple

      Have you not seen the interactive textbooks for the iPad then?

      There's not really any equivalent for any other tablet.

      Cheapest way to get textbooks too apparently:

      http://www.cultofmac.com/185222/why-your-ipad-is-almost-always-the-cheapest-way-to-get-your-textbooks-back-to-school/

  18. jon 13
    Trollface

    Perhaps the University decided to invest in a closed and locked down ios system after experimenting with a free open and wild email system from Microsoft?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most expensive to maintain? how did they come to that conclusion?

    Surely Android is more expensive given it is a harder platform to lock down. Students would brick them and nothing costs more than an inoperable device.

    Supporting iPads is cheaper too, there's only one interface to learn, there's only a few models out there.

    1. Mark .

      If the University *bought* the devices, then they would be able to choose which devices to buy (and hence support).

      And ipads can be hacked too, and indeed have to be, for basic functionality, that Just Works OOTB on other platforms, hence there is a greater risk of that, if anything.

      Not that I would agree with all this for an Android tablet either, it's just that it would make a pleasant surprise for it to not being Apple getting free money and marketing for a change.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More

    ...ASSnonymous to do the perp walk, soon. Fools never learn, they just go to jail.

  21. Mayday
    Facepalm

    I'm thinking of going to Uni to do a Masters in XXX

    Uni 1's XXX course has a domestic and also overseas residential components, and costs many $$ more than Uni 2's XXX offering.

    I personally can't see the value in these portions of the offering, so I will likely pursue option 2.

    My point? Simple. I'm not going to hack Uni 1 in "protest" because I dont like their offering. They make it clear from the start where your fees are going, I am going to choose the offering which suits me. It really should not be that difficult. "Anonymous" or those who purport to be associated with them can GGF just because someone offers a product that gets them in a tiff (although I am happy for them to continue their crusades against kiddie porn and the like).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    basic functionality, that Just Works OOTB on other platforms

    Yup. So all those iPad users with no technical knowhow whatsoever are hacking their iPads just to be able to use them?

    Come on, pull the other one.

    There's so much anti-ipad stuff in these comments that i seriously believe that none of the the posters have been anywhere near one for longer than a 10 minute play in PC World.

    At the end of this month The BETT is on at the EXCEL. Apple will be there in the guise of its education suppliers.

    Just sit and watch how Apple have developed classroom. lecture room, interactive workbook and data storage scenarios that answer nearly every point made above. Also the costs are much lower than presumed.

    My other half is a teacher and child psychotherapist. She works in a number of schools and generally carries a laptop and a large amount of paper around with her in a wheelie-case.

    Shortly after the start of the current school year she came home and the first thing she said (to my great suprise) was "I'm going to get an ipad." When asked why, she listed a whole load of issues that were getting her down using the laptop in the various schools, the IT infrastructure in the various school and lots of little niggles to do with working space, time, moving around and a few others I can't remember now.

    Next morning she bought a base model ipad 3, installed Pages, Dropbox (and iPlayer and Skype). I haven't seen the laptop since. She does all her record keeping, note taking, report writing and email on the iPad. All her files are up in the cloud (suitably anonmysed as required by the BACP) and the iPad has never been physically connected to a computer at all. She has had no need for memory cards or any of the other 'add-ons' that are deemed to be so essential in order to do 'real work'.

    The only time she uses her desktop Mac now is when writing letters.

    There's someone with no technical knowhow at all who has not 'had to hack' her iPad to get any functionality at all. To use a rather hackneyed phrase now - it just worked.

  23. Jimboom
    Mushroom

    Privacy nightmare

    I imagine that the Uni would technically be the owners of said iPads. So how long until they start demanding that the students offer up all their relevant passwords (e-mail, dropbox, apple ID) as they will be expected to support the students and their fondleslabs with the software they need on it.

    And then subsequently, how long until the Uni uses picture/video evidence recorded on said Pad showing students taking illegals substances to suspend/expel them?

    Or, if you prefer, how long until a Uni tech person gets done for taking copies of someones naked pictures off their pad or for installing software that lets them remotely view the iPads video (installed only on female students tabs natch).

  24. Dan Watson
    Facepalm

    Irony

    Anyone else see the irony in someone hacking into a Microsoft product to complain that Apple products aren't very good?

    1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Re: Irony

      No.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is it so bad?

    It probably was a marketing decision to select ipads, as it is UWS is not often the first choice for university selection in Sydney so they were looking to get a minor advantage so they can increase their enrolment numbers. Ipads are certainly still popular and it is often the cost factor that has some (not all) people selecting other tablets so it was a prime choice.

    They are very intuitive to use, I often see many non technical users easily start using ipads with no training. Even my mother, who is practically computer illiterate, uses one with no problems. Ipads are relatively easy to support, at worst you can wipe the thing if it plays up, although normally a restart (like with most tech devices) works to fix a large number of problems people encounter.

    No doubt it was an expensive purchase to buy that many units, but given the number of ipads involved, the Uni would hopefully have negotiated the cost down to well below retail. They probably could have saved more if they went with another product but they went with a relatively well known brand which is quite common for people to do.

    Given that UWS caters to a large number of students from a lower socioeconomic background, it would certainly help students to be able to purchase digital textbooks to keep costs down. It also provides them with a device that can be used for further online research (I assume the Uni provides a decent wireless network now) without having to wait on shared computers to become available (often a problem at the end of semesters during exam times). The lack of keyboards is certainly going to make using ipads to write major assignments less appealing, but at the same time, who would want to sit in a lecture where 50+ students are furiously clattering away on keyboards?

    There are certainly many options to choose from when it comes to tablet or even laptop devices, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and the Uni chose one. No doubt if another product was selected there would be fanbois for other products up in arms over the choice. In the end, the Uni is copping flak for giving something to students that they can use in their academic life. Those bastards...

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