iPads in the Chamber

Lord Lucas

We have been allowed to use iPads in the chamber of the House of Lords, so I have bought one. After a couple of weeks of use it is clear to me that we should not consider issuing them to members.

Not that the iPad is a bad device. I am enjoying using mine. But because it is so bad at organising documents in a way that will be useful in the House, and because of Apple.

I want to use my iPad to make me a more efficient and effective peer. Principally, that involves access to and searching of documents and correspondence. The iPad is so bad at this as to make it useless for all but those as determined and computer literate as I am.

And the manuals! We are back in the bad days of flat pack furniture. How can a company that is supposed to be about communication be so bad?

Which brings me on to Apple. I have been suckered by Apple’s ads into thinking that Apple=freedom. Not the case. To my great surprise I find that Apple is a theocracy, Microsoft a democracy by comparison. No Java allowed – so our intranet is crippled. No Flash – less of a bore but still tiresome if I want information from a site that uses it. Apps only from Apple. And take a look at Wikipedia on IOS Jailbreaking, and on the censorship that Apple imposes. To my mind there is no way that a free parliament should tie itself to Apple’s rules.

So roll on a tablet that is up to scratch on file handling and manuals and is free of Apple’s, or anyone else’s, control.

On a more positive note, perhaps real-time internet TV coverage of the Lords + tablets in the Chamber + Twitter = a way for the general public to participate in House of Lords committee-stage consideration of bills. Worth a try.

8 comments for “iPads in the Chamber

  1. Twm O'r Nant
    14/04/2011 at 8:55 am

    there is no way that a free parliament should tie itself to Apple’s rules.

    That is surely a comment about copyright and patent law, and patent lawyers, which takes some thinking about, or beating!

    • MilesJSD
      14/04/2011 at 11:59 am

      Wake up please,, first-commenter;

      this is obviously a Matter and Big Issue where

      a power other than any of the proper constitutioonal ones can handcuff, gag, and otherwise impair parliamentarians and indeed our common democratic communications networkings.

      It is NOT “surely” concealable behind mere “copyright and patent law, and patent lawyers…”
      and it therefore requires intensively urgent and thorough scrutiny and defensive-action,

      not merely taking “some thinking about, or beating”.

  2. Carl.H
    14/04/2011 at 9:36 am

    Hmmm although this appears a negative review of the Apple ipad, it is just Apple ipad and I feel the competition, of which there is plenty, is being abused.

    Blackberry are just bringing out their tablet and being as it is more company orientated you may find it better. There is a miriad of others to look at too.

    Let’s not fall into the trap as with vacuum cleaners and Hoover where one brand denotes a products identity. It’s a tablet and there is more than one brand on the market.

    One of the rules of this blog is no advertising, I feel the members need to look at what they post more closely in relation to products.

  3. MilesJSD
    14/04/2011 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you for the tail-end positive note, that

    “perhaps…TV coverage of the Lords + tablets in the chamber + Twitter
    a way for the general public to participate in House of Lords committee-stage consideration of bills (and is) Worth a try”.

    Would some altruistic and public-spirited expert, on this “way for the public to participate”, kindly post-up some keyboard-details as to how we (hardly-literate) public could go about succeeding in using and honouring this aforesaid way ?

    (I am using the LOTB way reasonably OK I think;
    but have not yet been able to budget my waning pensioner energy, time, trust and other valuables to succeeding with the “Lords + tablets” and the “Chamber + Twitter” ways).
    And I fervently, passionately, and coolly-intellectually want to.


  4. Twm O'r Nant
    14/04/2011 at 6:35 pm

    Parliament has always been its own gateway.
    ie parliament.uk which is why many people do not succeed in logging in/on to it.

    I was severely reprimanded by one minister of state for not understanding that (which I did, probably a good long time before she did.

    Apple is merely a set of rules then, which might well be amended to allow what the HofL requires, for its varying needs, mentioned by the Lord Knight in his other thread.

    Any one of half a dozen tablet system suppliers might provide the same service competitively.

  5. Twm O'r Nant
    14/04/2011 at 6:43 pm

    I don’t know who is familiar with the European parliament way of doing things, but it is surely not a Wireless system.

    Is Lord Knight suggesting that given more enthusiasm and a younger generation emerging in to the HofL, all in their 70s of course, they would take to all the business of the chamber being scrolled on one of these devices WIRELESSLY??

  6. 18/04/2011 at 2:54 pm

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