Archive for June, 2013

E-government taking shape

June 14, 2013

The Guardian’s video on e-government has a slight touch of the infomercial about it, but still it does cover some useful issues about the development process, and if you can mediate your viewing of it through the rather uncritical presentation, then it is worth reviewing as a case study of e-government.  Significantly, when I viewed it on the Guardian website, I was served with a banner advert for some perfumed inspired by James Bond, perhaps the UK government’s most famous fictional employee.

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Return of the dumb-phone

June 14, 2013

Browsing the BBC website for stories around mobile technology, it was good to see one which covers both the continuing use of more traditional mobile phones (feature phones to use the currently favoured term) and the role of technology in the developing world.  When I first read about the bus-tracking service, I wondered whether part of the concept was to ‘crowdsource’ the determination of where each bus was, by asking users to report on the position of buses.  But it turns out that GPS receivers are cheap enough, and presumably GPS coverage is good enough in Indian cities, that a simple GPS box in the bus can be used to provide data.

Skew-what?

June 14, 2013

Apple’s latest update to its operation system has brought the word skeuomorphism into the public eye.  Some of the choices of image used in the interfaces for smartphones do look quaint, most notably the microphone used to denote when a phone is operating as a recording device, which appears more like something from the 1930s than anything more recent.  My Android phone has a simple voice recorder behind an icon of a tape-recorder with giant open reels, which is perhaps more of an artefact of the 1970s that some of Android’s developers might remember.

The move away from this approach towards a simpler, blockier, set of icons caught my eye because, in Apple’s implementation, it does seem to copy some of the look and feel of Windows phone.  Which, given that over the years, and going right back to the inception of Windows 95, I’ve heard grumbles that Windows tends to copy ideas which had been used in earlier products from Apple, is a significant reversal or roles