back to article David Cameron gets custom prime-ministering iPad app

The crack coders assembled by the Cabinet Office have a new mission: making an iPad app for David Camerons. The app will contain the latest figures on NHS waiting lists, crime, unemployment and other public sector data according to a report by The Times. It will also allow him to read Civil Service documents on the tablet and …

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  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    yeah, right...

    ...and it'll take a hacker 2 minutes to discover that their way of 'removing' the 'start a nuclear war' option was to change it to white text on a white background...

    goodnight Vienna.

    1. Jerome 0

      Ure kidding me?

      Pff, Vienna? That means nothing to me.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How...

    How do they get non-public apps onto their device without it being public in the iTunes store? Do Apple provide special means, or is it - shock! - jaillbroken?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or is it ('shock')

      a question you can answer by typing 'iOS enterprise apps' into Google, and looking at the first non-sponsored hit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thanks

        Once you have the correct search term it's very clear...

    2. auburnman
      Big Brother

      It'll probably be an unsecure webpage pretending to be an app. Which will be found by enterprising hacks or members of the public and extensively discussed long before the PM sees it. Anyone willing to wager a beta version with amusing test functions like "Nuke Canada" also gets found and causes a stir?

    3. Matt Newton

      non store apps?

      Not sure how, but my company does it - we have our own "apple store" and company issued iphones and ipads can download apps specifically made for our company from it v0v

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can sleep in peace now

    However, if instead of having an app to show well spun statistics politicians got on with the job of sorting the mess out I'd probably sleep even more soundly.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know the Cabinet Office like to reinvent wheels

    So, forgive me if this hasn't already occurred to them... but there are actually 3 separate requirements here, all of which can be fulfilled by existing technology.

    'contain the latest figures on NHS waiting lists, crime, unemployment and other public sector data'

    Put those stats into an off-the-shelf business scorecard package, many of which have an associated app

    'read Civil Service documents on the tablet'

    I believe the requirement for reading documents (even double super-secret ones) has been addressed once or twice...

    'pull in "real-time" information from Google and Twitter among other news sources'

    Many off-the-shelf offerings here also

    The only potential requirement not addressed by the above approach is for having one, rather than 3, icons on the home screen, for people who are challnged by complexity.

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Didn't they "set they data free" at some point in the last couple of years in which case they can just suck in freely available ONS datasets?

  5. jai

    anyone feel like a race?

    to see who can produce an app to the same specs before they can?

  6. min

    talk about dumbing down governance.

    it sounds nice, getting everything on a handy, time saving app, but how will he read while he's getting his face moisturised and his hair done? not to mention tap the screen during his manicure?

    does the app come with a 'fuck the people' button?

  7. Leeroy Bronze badge
    WTF?

    An app.....

    Do they really need to make an app to do this ? I could probably throw together a website with the basic functionality in a few hours that will work on almost any device not just imbetterthanyoucrap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      Go on then...

      Prove it :)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apps vs the Internet

    Is an app needed for any of this?

    Surely it is information that is already available over the GSi / xGSI / whateverSI so all they need is to set up his DeviceofChoice to run a secure tunnel into the network (which, I assume is going to be needed anyway....) and then let the magic of the existing internet technologies do the rest.

    While I am all in favour of spending money on tech - is this the best use of limited government resources? Spending money so DC and a few chums can do things they already do?

    Or have I missed something..?

  9. Jonathan Richards 1
    Linux

    Encryption?

    CESG requires that all user computing devices should have encrypted storage. AFAIK, one can't install an encrypted file system on an iPad. I wonder what the risk assessment looks like for "PMs Personal Unique Fondleslab". I can almost feel a FOIA request coming on...

    1. sivart6
      Thumb Up

      Yes you can

      I assume that the gov would utilise some kind of Mobile Device Management system to enforce device encryption

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Assume

        That's a very big word...

        What are the odds on the existing system (if one exists) being Windows-based?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It's 2011

          In this era of webby-API-ey-thin-clienty-goodness, the host platform doesn't matter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who says

      you have to store anything?

      1. fatchap
        Boffin

        So how does this whole computing malarkey work if there is no storage involved? Totallly cashless computing at every step of the way, that may take more than 3 months to bash out!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well, since you asked

          The app is just a thin client. It reads info that is stored on secured systems that are already in existence. There's no need to download docs or data to the app.

          It's a bit like that interweb thing.

  10. Graham Dawson

    "making an iPad app for David Camerons."

    CameronS? One is more than enough, thanks.

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Well, don't forget the mini-me sometimes seen next to him at conferences.

      1. Graham Dawson
        Coat

        That won't last forever. When the inevitable split with the lib dems happens, Cameron won't have Clegg to stand on.

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  12. The Nameless Mist
    Devil

    big red button

    no .. not that one .. that makes the cappuchino

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why bother

    Doesn't Cameron already have an iPad app that helps him set policy? It's called MailOnline.

  14. Arctic fox
    Thumb Up

    "Doesn't Cameron already have an iPad app....................

    ...........................that helps him set policy? It's called MailOnline."

    Many a true word spoken in jest!

  15. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    why bother hack?

    Just let me know what Tube line his personal secretary frequents and we'll have that iPad in no time...

    (For those who are not aware, civil servants have gained quite a reputation for leaving laptops filled with sensitive information on seats within the public transport system, taxis and the like).

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