The folks over at IT Pro had their IT Pro Awards 2011 recently. They awarded a few different honours. Some innovative, others pretty predictable. I struggle to care that Microsoft won "Vendor of the Year"? What does that even mean? And if it's a category that Microsoft won, who else even had a chance of winning it? Oracle? IBM? HP? And those are 4 of the biggest anyways, so it's not like this award will create some new recognition or awareness of a vendor.
The only thing I think awards are useful for is if you understand why they are awarded. What did candidate A have that candidate B did not? The IT Pro awards appear to be a simple popularity contest. That is, random web site visitors had a set of candidates to choose from, and they chose for whatever reason. If the candidates were judged on criteria (e.g., originality, fitness for purpose, reliability, value for money) I would love to see how the winners (and losers) scored. But these awards are meaningless. There's no judging. Just popularity of clicks.
The restrictions feature of iOS 5 are pretty weak. Here's what's wrong and what someone needs to do to fix it.
I noticed the RSS Reader feature on my iPad after I upgraded to iOS 5. When Im reading a web page, the word Reader shows up in the URL bar. When I tap it, the iPad looks a lot more like a kindle. The coloured backgrounds drop off, fonts are ignored, ads go away, and I get a basic black text on white background. Much more readable.
Obviously the RSS feed doesnt include YouTube videos, and a bunch of other parts of the page. But it also doesn't include the ads! Some sites don't have an RSS version, so you don't get it. But where they do have it, it's so much nicer.
Like many people, I upgraded to iOS 5 on my iDevices very soon after it came out. I noticed that Location Services has a lot more options than previously. What is interesting is that they have made the icon for Location Services in the status bar off by default, and they buried the option to enable it. Once you enable it, you'll discover lots and lots of services looking at your current location. I find this a bit too much of an invasion of privacy. Here's how to tone it down some.
I've got a few iDevices (iPad, iPhone) and I realise that this is the "post-PC" era, and the devices are just being invented. We don't know what to do with them just yet or how to work with them best. Here's a feature I need. I write it on my blog rather than send it to Apple, because they get mad if you do.
I need a "guest mode" on my device. If I want to hand it to a friend to browse the web, or give it to my kids to play games, I don't want it running in the same mode as when I use it. That is, I don't want my kids to be able to to make phone calls, read my emails, send text messages or any of that. They can play Angry Birds and browse the web, but I don't want them to mess with any of the open browser windows I have. They need to open new ones.
There are some firms where the executives have iPads and they're able to read their very confidential emails from that device. Maybe it's through Outlook Web Access and the device's web browser, maybe it's the actual mail application. We in the security industry worry about the device getting stolen and we're slowly seeing the necessary features being introduced to handle that situation. There's a long way to go, though.
What we're not covering is what happens when the owner intentionally hands it over to someone who shouldn't have access to some of the stuff on it. Like her kids, his wife, or a friend at a bar who wants to see that funny youtube video. They're only a few (innocent or not innocent) taps away from seeing confidential information.
Now, I don't have all that much proprietary information, but I have lots of different circles of colleagues, friends, and family. Some of them should not see certain things on my iDevices, but it's a risk I take every time I hand it over.