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Comment: Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (Score 1) 164

>The obvious tangible benefits are that the documents will no longer be locked into some stupid proprietary format

That's not a tangible benefit when the overwhelming majority (arguably all) of the country is already using it and has done for the past thirty years.

>that can never be converted due to ridiculous macros and scripts (quite why a static document needs to have macros and scripts is beyond me).

I think we'll leave it there.

Comment: Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (Score 1) 164

>As a UK tax payer, I welcome the move

You are in the minority, I'm afraid. Any outlay of this size really needs to provide tangible benefits from the outset, of which there aren't any.

>I would imagine that someone at GCHQ could easily convert the documents for a tiny fraction of the budget that they've got.

Nobody can easily convert documents. There are macros, scripts and so on that just don't convert.

>Plenty of money for spying on UK subjects, but no money for protecting their interests in not being tied to a predatory US company.

Apple are more predatory. Be sure to point that out to the schools buying iPads.

Comment: Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (Score 0) 164

Short term it may cost more, long term it should save a lot

Short term it'll cost a great deal - money we don't have that could be spent on more immediate benefits. If it's put to the public as '100 nurses, or a file format for an office suite nobody uses?', you can imagine how that'll play out (and even if it's spun, people will still see the bottom line). Long term...it will also cost a lot, as the rest of the world is not going to stop using MS Office just because you have. Munich didn't exactly start a snowball, despite spending ten years doing it. Macros, scripts and the like that can't migrate/ convert = more cost. It's not something that can be changed on a whim, and if there was actually any real tangible benefit, private corps would have been paying me to do it by now.

>As someone who fully expects to still be paying taxes in 10 years time, i welcome long term savings.

For *you*, yes - but right now, I'd argue that most won't be so keen when there's no immediate return or benefit, as well as the long term costs when the rest of the world carries on using MS Office. I'm also unsure of what the long term savings would be - all your incoming staff will have to be cross-trained. All 3rd-party apps have to be re-written or re-purchased. Support has to be purchased. Even if we ignore those costs, the 'savings' on the license fee for MS Office via a open source app are almost nothing - a combined CAL or license for MS stuff is still a big, big saving on the subsequent costs for going with multiple third-parties (as long as we're talking on-site - Office365 & hosted desktops still work out to be three times the cost of buying machines/ owning the software yourself for businesses of any real size).

>As for interoperability, they are the government... You either want their business (eg suppliers), or you have no choice (eg taxpayers)

Can you give an example of this happening with a UK council or government-run body previously? It's generally the other way round, I'm afraid - they adapt to what the standard is ('standard' being what everyone uses rather than what someone has arbitrarily decided). I've worked for hospitals, the police, councils and the goverment - if you want to go for a different format, the cost of conversion is on *you*. It's not that big a stretch to imagine it reaching the point where someone sues the government for forcing them to spend £££ for making an arbitrary decision to change formats.

Also, looking at the article - 500 comments were taken into consideration? That's not even a linux fan-club in terms of numbers.

Comment: This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (Score 2) 164

We (the UK) are about to embark on another round of austerity, regardless of who wins the next election. I'd like to see what the public thinks about mass conversions of Word/ Excel/ PP docs - because it's not going to be quick or free, and once we reach the stage of 'well, what benefit will this give us right now?', there isn't one - in fact, it's the opposite.

If the cabinet office wanted to do this with purely internal documents, they might have a chance - but if any docs come in or go out of the office, it's MS or bust. The conversion issue won't go away, and local Councils *certainly* don't have the money to implement this sort of thing (it took Munich ten years, and supposedly didn't cost much. Have you ever heard of a council project that took that long but didn't cost anything? Me neither). Then there's third-party apps - again, most of these aren't going to export in the format needed.

TL, DR: Councils don't have the money, the Government doesn't really have the money, and the benefits don't amount to much outside of getting a warm cosy feeling because you're using an open format, meaning questions will then be asked as to why this was given priority/ money when the rest of the world is still using the app/ format you've abandoned.

Souce; I've worked UK government IT for twenty years.

Comment: Re:First (Score 1) 405

Or alternatively, be careful of picking holes instead of examing/ googling how much evidence is against you;

Also from the first page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_v._Lago_Vista
"Texas law provides for police officer discretion in arresting any person caught committing a misdemeanor, such as violating its mandatory seat belt laws."

I was actually trying to help you avoid having to defend why it *wouldn't* be an arrestable offence...but never mind

Comment: Re:First (Score 1) 405

Well, I was giving a rather base idea - it's not very hard to do facial recognition/ heat detection/ etc. - sure, there will be people who try to circumvent it, but then when seatbelts were made law there was always some wag who connected the seatbelt before sitting down because 'nobody tells me what to do'...but after a few arrests, that attitude didn't really last.

Round Numbers are always false. -- Samuel Johnson

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