I don't mind paying for in house services that work, instead of outsourced ones that don't.
84 posts • joined 16 Jan 2012
I certainly hope they lose the contract. I can't see how anyone thought that having a 3rd party handle recruitment and information for the armed forces is a good idea. (Well, other than the people being passed the brown envelopes). It will be a good kick to Capita to show they're not invincible, or even better, accelerate their death spiral.
Personally one of the main requirements for me is a stock OS on a phone. My previous phone was a Nexus 4 with stock Android and I recently upgraded to a Nokia 6 a few months ago, which is also running stock Android. (It's part of Google's Android One scheme). I find that when you're using the OS in its stock form without other manufacturer's apps and bundled bloatware running over the top, it runs really well. I've also got a Nexus 7 2013 tablet too, also running stock Android. Obviously this doesn't really address your comment of getting away from Google's and Samsung's software, but certainly if you leave Android as is without modifying it and installing unnecessary extras, it runs pretty well without issues
I can understand keeping your armed forces up to date with new technology, but the new technology always seems to be a replacement for something else that didn't work properly to start with or is worse than what it's meant to be replacing. Not to mention that by the time the tender processes and contracts have all been agreed, the technology is either obsolete or no longer fit for the environment it's being used in because it's taken so long to procure. In comparison, I remember being told (whether this is true or not) that in WWII there was a requirement for a new radio, and in three weeks a team of electronics engineers had designed and built a prototype of the Wireless set 19 ready for mass production.
I never understand why military projects always seem go massively over budget and still produce a product which doesn't work. Perhaps I'm being naive, but what does this thing actually do? It's a small aircraft that can fly itself and has a camera on it. That's pretty much it in simple terms. Considering you can go into a shop and buy a drone that can do this (without crashing) I never understand why these large defence companies can't produce something that works for a reasonable price. I can only assume that the companies drag the development out and charge tons of money as it allows them to fill their pockets while the government is still happy to pay. Either that or they don't get the requirements right to start with, then charge even more money to get things changed later.
It must be endlessly frustrating to be the boots on the ground that has this sort of crap equipment dumped on them and told they have to use it.
I think that the price of phones now is partially to blame. With the average decent handset now costing £500+ and more if you want anything from Apple, people are no longer changing their phones every year, rather running them until they're worn out. That and a combination of online shopping. Once you know what you want, you can easily go and find the cheapest price for the product online.
I think he means that the battery can be quickly swapped out when it's depleted so that the phone can continue to be used without having to leave it on charge, therefore leaving emergency staff without a communication device. I'm sure one of the standard features on a police radio is a battery that can be quickly swapped out for a fresh one while the dead one is put on charge.
I'm not sure exactly what model Samsung phones they will be provided with, but I would think being connected to a 4G network all day using all the new services they can now offer may deplete the battery rather quickly.
We gambled paying the absolute minimum amount running and maintaining this system, despite our IT staff telling us that it was a bad idea. We've now lost the gamble and the outage and subsequent repair work has now cost us more than it would have cost to invest the required money to maintain it at a decent standard to start with so it didn't fail.
If Google can make the software and the hardware, it should cut down on all the arguments when problems arise with the phones etc.
There seem to be a few cases of:
Google: We've investigated the phone and there's a problem with the hardware causing the issue
(Insert hardware company name): We've investigated the phone and there's a problem with the software causing the issue
Then stalemate/back and forth for months trying to get a resolution. Look at the Nexus 6P/5X battery issues for example.
If Google can design and control the manufacture of both, they should be able to respond to problems and get a resolution faster.
It's not surprising that things like this happen when people who don't know what they're doing are employed for important jobs. Seems said Chief Security Officer's only qualifications are in Music, and nothing relating to any technology. Combined with her 'retirement' and subsequent attempt to expunge her information from the internet suggests she's trying to cover it up. Of course, she may have learned security herself, or picked the skills up on the job with no formal qualifications, but I doubt that someone who knows what they're doing, even with no official qualifications would then try to hide all their information.
Brexit/political uncertainty seems to be the excuse for everything at the moment. I would like to see what these sales are relating to, either business or personal sales. I would expect the business sales are probably staying reasonably constant, while the personal sales are declining as people buy phones/tablets instead. (Of course, there may be some companies moving overseas, but it's not like companies are leaving in droves).
Another thing which may contribute is SSDs. Where I used to work, the company used Lenovo equipment. Over the last couple of years, SSDs have become standard in the laptops we had from them, and we upgraded the older slow machines with SSDs in place of their conventional hard drives, and they became as fast of the new machines. The SSD machines don't seem to suffer from slow performance over time, so there was no need to replace them as frequently.
As the SSDs make a substantial difference to the device performance, companies may simply be choosing to keep their laptops (and some desktops) longer before they need replacing.
In 1942, a 22 year old was sent to another country to capture enemy equipment under enemy fire knowing he would be shot by his bodyguard if he was captured, managed to work out how the system roughly worked by looking at it and thought outside the box to alter its operation so it could be detected and successfully analysed remotely.
22 year olds today seem to cry and hide in a safe space if you don't identify them with their correct made up gender pronoun. What a world we live in.
I bought a Nokia 6 last week and it's great. I had been holding on to my Nexus 4 for ages as I specifically wanted a new phone with stock android, but without the horrendous price. There are so many phones that are full of bloatware, custom launchers and all sorts of other rubbish which can't be removed and doesn't get updated. Samsung seems to be particularly bad for this with their Touchwiz interface. I was hoping that Google was going to release a new phone that was affordable, but they seem to be going the way of the other manufacturers, making their phones £500+. I was considering a Pixel, but I can't justify that much money for a phone, and it's another phone which looks exactly like an iPhone. If I want a phone which looks like an iPhone, I will buy an iPhone. (But I don't.)
When a friend told me about them and that they were completely stock android, I was slightly sceptical, having worked in an IT support environment and worked with a few Motorola phones and other devices which claimed to be stock, but still had several apps, services and menus that had been tweaked and baked into the OS which couldn't be removed. However, I went into a phone shop and had a play with their display Nokia and it was great. The only additions are a different camera app, and a Nokia support app. Everything else is the same as my experience with the Nexus 4.
For the price, I can't complain. Carphone Warehouse is selling them outright for £200, which is pretty good considering what it is. It doesn't have the latest hardware in it, but as I don't play games or watch HD films etc on it, that doesn't matter for me. The battery is 3000mAh and It lasts all day and into the evening with moderate use. (Compared to the Nexus 4, I was lucky if the battery lasted until mid afternoon, but that's probably just the age of the phone and the deterioration of the battery) It has the latest version of Android (7.1.1) and seems to be getting regular updates. I had five system updates waiting that needed to be done when I got it out of the box. The last one was a 1st of August security patch, so It's good to see that the updates are being deployed promptly.
Overall, I'm really pleased with the phone. It runs smoothly even without the latest processor and hardware, although I would say that's probably because it isn't running a load of additional bloatware on top.
Hopefully they will choose the Android route instead of Apple or Windows Phone. The reason being that there is already Android based rugged equipment designed for law enforcement, construction, military etc, which is designed to survive drops, rain and general abuse. There is also appropriate accessories for those, such as vehicle mounts and other related hardware that already exist, rather than having to be procured later. It is also likely that these would have replaceable batteries, which would prevent the devices having to be left on desks/in the police car to charge, rather than being where it's needed.
The arguments about the competitors are that Apple products are generally fragile, expensive and have no replaceable/repairable parts. Yes, you could put an armoured case on an iPad, but underneath, it's still a fragile device that will likely get damaged at some point. They're also not waterproof, so would likely need a case that would fully enclose it. This would potentially make the touch screen difficult to operate. Also, when the device inevitably gets damaged, it would be an expensive replacement/repair that would have to be returned to Apple, rather than the Police's IT department. Finally, if any accessories were required, they would have to be procured by a likely expensive process to custom build what was required. All of this ancillary equipment would likely then have to be scrapped due to Apple changing the shape/size of the device or the shape/location of the connectors. (And knowing the amount of time it takes to procure this equipment, the design would change half way through the process, causing loads of money to be wasted redesigning and reissuing replacement kit).
The same argument goes for Windows Phone, in that it's still a fragile device in a rugged case, although there are a couple of rugged phones available with this OS. There's also the potential that it will be discontinued if its market share stays low or decreases due to lack of demand or competitors, leaving the police to risk using unsupported equipment or having to pay for another procurement process.
Overall, the Android equipment is probably the most suitable for this sort of work. There is a possibility that this will have the highest cost due to the heavy duty requirements of the devices. However, it will probably outweigh the other devices, as there is a potential that Apple and Windows devices would be expensive to procure and adapt for their intended use, and they may spend more time being returned for repair or replacement due to them not being designed for rugged use. The Android equipment would likely also be supported by the manufacturer, being able to supply new devices, accessories and spare parts for the duration of their use. This would be the be the best option to spend taxpayer's money on.
After working in a school and experiencing RM's Community Connect software managing a network, I'm hardly surprised that they're losing money. At the time, I worked in two schools, both part time around my university. One had a 'vanilla' Windows environment and the other had RM CC4. The RM system was incredibly unreliable and often failed to perform basic tasks. Endless hours were spent on the phone to support, who would spend ages remoting into the servers to fix problems that shouldn't exist in the first place. By the end of my employment there, the school had taken on my recommendation to invest in a fresh vanilla Windows network to replace RM, and were impressed with how much better it was. Not to mention that they saved loads of money, as RM's services are surprisingly expensive.
I'm surprised people still use WhatsApp, especially as you have to pay for it. I remember it being really popular 2-3 years ago, but it seems most people have moved over to the Facebook Messenger app now, and very few people I know still use it. (Especially after the redesign for both the Facebook app and the Messenger app). I personally like the Google Hangouts messenger app. One thing I do like about Facebook messenger is you can make a big snake of your friends faces by dragging the conversation bubbles around the screen.
As a man, I think that the new design has a very feminine colour scheme/look to it. While I don't have an iPhone, I would be unhappy to use a device that looks like this (from any manufacturer). The old design was more of a generic unisex design.
Also, while it is stated that the app logos were not designed by the app team, the Safari logo stands out as looking 'wrong'. It's almost as if someone drew it with Microsoft paint. The compass and stocks designs also look like they don't quite fit in.
This system could be bypassed easily. My friend records gameplay footage of his Xbox games and uses a 'capture box' which plugs between the Xbox and the TV. Xbox -HDMI- capture box -HDMI- TV. All it does is record the sound/video stream to a hard drive as it passes through the box (In full HD). This would get around the chip stopping the software from reading the video straight from the computer. Admittedly it is extra hardware you need, but then again, the Anon who is ripping the videos is probably going to avoid buying or using hardware with the anti piracy chip in. The only way this system would work is to force manufacturers to include this chip in any graphics hardware they make. This is unlikely to happen (Unless the EU catch wind of the chip), but then you still have the problem that Mr Anon can still use his existing computer without the chip in (Unless you make it illegal to use video hardware without an anti piracy chip).
How stupid are some people? I know Apple users aren't usually the brightest bunch, but an iPad to film this woman? The largest recording device known to man? The only way to have made it more obvious that you were recording was to have brought a film crew to do it.
I should also point out that I don't condone what this dunce has done.
I believe this system has already been implemented for cats. There are several systems which you can strap to your cat which have a camera and a GPS module, allowing you to have a cat eye view and track where your cat has been/currently is.
I suppose it's only a matter of time before Apple introduce the iCat tracker (Only works with Black or White cats. Please purchase a £400 compatibility pack if you have any other colour cat).
Something else I just thought of is re-saleability. If you don't have an iPhone, how many of the car's features will you not be able to use?
If this car was to be sold on to another owner, would they have to sell an iPhone with it? Or in several years time would a new owner have to have two phones? An old iPhone to get the car stuff to work, and a new phone to take with them?
Assuming the life span of the average car is about 20 - 30 years before it is no longer roadworthy/scrapped, will people want to have a car that needs a 20 - 30 year old phone to work?
While it seems a good idea on paper, having an SD card NFC system is a problem. Some phones do not have an SD slot, and phones that do often have a small internal memory as they expect you to put your media and apps on removable storage. People would then have to choose between NFC with their bank details or their media. Seeing as lots of phones have SD cards mounted behind batteries etc, swapping between them would be inconvenient and seeing as some credit/debit cards have NFC built into them, a SD card is almost redundant. (Most people will carry their phone and wallet with their cards in).
Ideally, the phone should have two SD card slots, so users don't have to choose.
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