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back to article Revealed: Government blows thousands on iPhone apps

The government spent thousands of pounds on iPhone applications - including one for jobseekers and another to show people how to change a flat tyre. Despite the recent announcement of a bonfire of vanity websites there are currently six iPhone apps available or in development. There's one to help people who can't count to …

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Coat

iHand

uk.gov clearly needs to develop an app to tell people how to hold their precious iPhones.

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Anonymous Coward

Do fanboys now need instructions on how...

...to shove it up their arse?

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FAIL

@AC

Well if they do they know where to go given that Fandroids already have their heads in their own arses, so know well how to shove things up there.

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Discrimination

What about those of us who are sensible enough to not own an iPhone? We're subsidising the Cult of Jobs. Surely there should also be an Android app, a Blackberry app and a Symbian app as well? (Those using Windows Mobile are a lost cause already.)

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WTF?

Sigh...

"The DVLA is creating something called the Motoring Masterclass, which will show the ignorant how to check spark plugs and change flat tyres, costing £40,000."

Here a fucking idea.

Search for

Car basics for begineers.

1st hit

http://www.carbasics.co.uk/

Add link

£40,000 saved.

Can I have a job for the cash cow, sorry .gov.uk, please.

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Troll

Spark plugs

"how to check spark plugs and change flat tyres"

I still can't find the spark plugs on my engine though. Maybe it's because it's a diesel?

And I thought the government were encouraging the use small eco cars, which are mostly either diesel or electric. The former don't have spark plugs and the latter you hope don't!

That, and the fact that a lot of new cars don't have a spare wheel... they seem to think that a can of 'gunk' + compressed air will do the job.

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WTF?

This is taking the mick now

If your unemployed wtf are you doing with a bloody iphone . And what an unbelievable waste of public money developing apps nobody really needs. Most of the iphone apps make me laugh designed for the terminally lazy who cant be bothered to use google . If you need pictures to change a bleeding tyre should you really be driving a car to start with ? .

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Troll

Dude, don't be, like, racist and shit

I mean, like, Estate Agents and Bankers get unemployed too! Just because someone makes £6M in bonus one year and buys a few iPhones for a laugh doesn't mean they can't be TOTALLY unemployed now. Why should they have to go down the jobcentre with, like, the real povs when they can totally sign on from Starbucks on their phone to get their drinking vouchers?

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Anonymous Coward

not a shock

There was a group of "less well off" people in the shop trying to get an iphone 4 when i was in there. They were kicking off (in the middle of a small, packed shop) because they had tried to get the phone for free, due to an expensive contract (at least £60 a month), and were then asked to put a £150 deposit down before they could have it, which was an extortionate amount that they could in no way afford to pay.

Maybe i'm just being cynical, but £150 shouldn't really be much money if you can afford £60 a month for a phone. I have a suspicion it would have been "stolen" in no time, or the bill gone unpaid.

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Jobs Horns

They might have...

These unemployed Jobs worshippers (great pun) might have brought their iPhones while in work and then subsequently been fired for being evil cult members.

Also did anyone else think fleetingly for a moment after reading the headline of this story but before actually reading the story itself that it was a piece about how civil servants had pissed our money up the wall on fart apps and Bejeweled?

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wtf is with this madatory title bollocks?

except they probably can't sign on because they most likely have higher than the maximum amount of savings permitted in order to do so...

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Well, gee

Since we are told that billions, need to be saved, over the next few years, then (while the 40-odd grand, spent on some crappy widget software, is an almost comically-shocking waste) I would prefer to look towards finding out which ever wasterel commissioned this work to be done in the first place, rather than the work itself, since it's there, that the real savings can be made.

Why obsess over the odd thousand, when we could, instead, locate the desk, behind which, sits the "half-a-million-a-year-plus-bonuses-plus-pension", who signed the cheques?

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Bronze badge

True but...

This is an interesting exercise because it illustrates the mindset. People get a good income selling iPhone apps. They don't cost much, but you sell a lot, you make a lot. Same thing with waste. You may only throw a few pennies away, but if you do it often enough...

Unfortunately, there's a tendency to focus on a few big salaries or obviously wasteful projects, all the the while there's a constant bleed of *our* money out of govt in departmental vanity projects.

The audit commission should be made entirely independent of govt, and given powers to bite, not just to report.

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Silver badge

Huh?

Exactly how useful is this app on car maintainence, given that every engine layout is different? Besides, is it really the DVLA's job to teach you how to look after your car? That's what the owner's manual is for, or a Haynes manual will do at a pinch.

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Badgers

Not sure the reference to DVLA is right

DVLA are really only interested in whether your car is taxed, registered and on or off the road as well as whether you have a driving licence to drive it. On that basis not sure why they would create an app for something that is actually the responsibility of DSA (who have got off the hook before by hiding behind DVLA).

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Android too?

Great, they'll have spent the same on Android apps too then.. right? right?

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Jobs Halo

If you're unemployed...

...how can you afford an iPhone?

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Exactly!

I know iPhones have gotten cheaper, but- honestly- I think they should/could still be reasonably counted as a luxury item... and thus probably not a great channel to engage with the unemployed.

That's who Nokias are for, right? [/joke]

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WTF?

Re: If you're unemployed...

You do know that some of us had a job before we were made redundant?

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WTF?

Counting their drinks?

I bet they know the cost of each pint when they pay for it!!

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Anonymous Coward

change a flat tyre...

...or bolt on the spare wheel? There is a difference after all.

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Paris Hilton

bolt on?

You mean, without removing the wheel with the flat? I'd like a youtube video of that, and the driving afterwards.

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Boffin

plugs?

"show the ignorant how to check spark plugs"

Fantastic..

Does it also show them how to access the plugs an almost any modern car where even replacing a headlight bulb can be a dealer-only job?

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Coat

Re: plugs?

No, but it does tell you how to set your points, how to tune your carburettor(s), and how to correctly apply lubrication to your grease nipples. It also gives some very important safety advice about not mixing cross-ply and radial tyres on the same axle.

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Coat

I know it's extremely childish

But I can't help sniggering at the thought of an instructional video of how to lubricate your grease nipples.

I know, I know, I'm off to grow up a bit.

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WTF?

Jesus wept

this is so unbelievable I can scarcely think of a relevant comment.

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Stop

@Trap springs and catches the unaware

You've just fallen into the trap - selective information written into an article designed to get you to read it for advertising. This isn't the whole story. While it makes for great sensationalism, why not information regarding project objectives, why they have decided that iPhone apps are *one* of their routes to market, other routes to market they use, yada yada yada.

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WTF?

wtf

iPhone apps......

for an expensive phone........

For the jobless...........

no wonder poeple WANT to go on benefits.

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FAIL

Tried the android version of the job centre app ....

It sucked - should not have been surprised.

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Anonymous Coward

don't mind me

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/government-unveils-school-app-201007062879/

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WTF?

Thousands?

Government "blows thousands" developing apps? Not millions, then? Sounds more like the salary of a handful of developers, as you might expect. Overall, they've probably spent less than the MoD's total biscuit budget.

Who was it thought there might be outrage about this?

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LOL

They must have noticed half the people in the iPhone queue were on the dole (who else can stand in an all-day queue on a weekday).

At least they were here, "up north".

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Stop

FFS

In further news, millions of pounds was spent putting tarmac on roads in 2009. Pundits say this is a complete waste, as the roads were clearly passable with the majority of todays vehicles, and cheaper alternatives, such as mud and sand have existed for years.

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Flame

"millions of pounds was spent putting tarmac on roads in 2009"

Did they? I think I bloody well missed that one. The broken front wishbone on my car fucking well didn't miss the umpteenth pot hole around here though.

Around here you have to swerve like a drunk to miss the gaping holes in the roads. I'm sure that's the case elsewhere and not just the Home counties.

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iHole

Maybe we need an app to tell us where the pot holes are?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iHole

That should clearly only be released on Android!

aHole

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Stop

Clearly room for a spending cut

If the unemployed can afford Jesus-phones in the first place there's room for a benefit cut!

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Flame

*rolls eyes*

PLEASE MAKE IT STOP NOW! I should hardly have to say that the govenrment should not be making apps for proprietry platforms when a universal mobile web app can be made. and the cost is, as ever with govenrment projects, rediculously overbudget. there are people out there who could knock together something like this for a few hundered, not THOUSAND.

I mean seriously, in a recession, who thought THIS was the best use of taxpayers money? (and if you have an iPhone why are you on job seekers?)

In an ideal world all government spending would be detailed on a website in advance so members of the public could write in to complain about it.

I just hope spending improves under the new government...

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Bronze badge
Stop

iPhone = latest fashion = government wants in

It's no more complicated than that - governments are always desperate to look "relevant" and since the iPhone is the current technological fashion de jour it's the one that gets the attention.

Maybe with the new government's move towards looking at open source solutions this may also include a shift towards looking at government technology with at least some semblance of an integrated, agnostic, technological perspective.

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Stop

@skellious

"In an ideal world all government spending would be detailed on a website in advance so members of the public could write in to complain about it." There is a lot to be said for this, but I cannot get rid of the horrible feeling that it would end up like the Advertising Standards Agency, which would listen to the deranged ramblings of a few terminally over-sensitive people.* Road repairs - "oooh, no - think of the hedgehogs"; fibre-optic to every area - "oooh no, it'll mean digging the roads up and delaying my journey"; new hospital - "ooooh no, it'll encourage people to be sick on my tax money", etc, etc, etc. However, if the aim is to save government money then it will be a total success - nothing will ever get spent.

* I'm still in a state of wtf from their decision earlier this year that adverts for some cheap hotel chain could only be shown after the watershed because one person's child got frightened by a rip-off of "The Shining"!!!!

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Thumb Down

Seriously?

Just fuck off, government. Really, fuck off. The more I read about this sort of thing the more I think the libertarians have a point.

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Anonymous Coward

And what makes you think...

...for a MINUTE that these apps were developed in the UK?

The very cost of those apps suggests one of the usual suspects was involved in their creation, rather than someone in their shed, so the work was probably done a non-British company employing a non-British contractor who used staff in their base country....British involvement was probably minimal.

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Silver badge

Apple hardware? Cheap?

"- the iPhone will fall in price, like all tech does. Eventually, when they're dirt cheap, won't it be wise for the general public to have access to apps. Apps aren't free to develop!"

I'm sure you can buy PowerPC Macs from ebay these days. Problem is, they are next to useless and still come with an Apple price tag, compared with a PC from the same era.

The iToys will be exactly the same. You may be able to get a first-gen iToy for reasonably cheap.. when the 10th gen iToys are out and none of the apps will work on the old stuff. Apple is the Bang and Olufsen of computing, and you shall expect to have a similarly fat wallet to afford one.

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Alert

Do you have a link...

To where it states that UK national's were paid to develop these iPhone 'apps'?

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FAIL

10 k is a lot, is it ?

10k will buy you somewhere around 33 days of software consultancy at ~£300/day, which is the low end of the scale. So to get a whole app delivered tested and ready for distribution at that cost represents quite good value.

These are minimal amounts of money being spent by government departments who, just for once in their miserable existence are trying to determine if their processes can benefit from using current mobile tech. But of course there was mention of the iPhone, and so the haters excoriate them, rather than making the leap to understand that innovations such as these, which have cost us fuck all, are aimed at driving cost savings.

Turns out ignorance isn't so much bliss as continual whining.

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@The Other Steve

Well put, thanks for that. And as usual I see the Fandroid sheep are out already downvoting your great post.

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Joke

how to call AA

soon there will be one on how to call the AA, and one on how to pee for these moron

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Insensitive

To be honest I resent the author using the term 'dole bludger'. There's going to be a massive amount of unemployment in this country in the years to come and it's totally insensitive to those who are desperately looking for work (as most unemployed people are). The fact is our economic system NEEDS the unemployed in times of crisis so they can force worsening terms and conditions on the ones who ARE working. Yes the iphone app is a stupid idea, but so is punishing ordinary people for a financial crisis caused by the wealthy elite. We've never been short of stupid ideas from our politicians have we?

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Badgers

Legacy

I trust this is the legacy of the profligate do-everything government we've just got rid of, and that the current government is busy plugging money leaks like this even as you discover them ...

It's just occurred to me, the analogy between the government's task with public money and BP's with its oil! Each will be happy if it can reduce a colossal flood to a manageable flow of waste ...

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