[LINK] University of Adelaide and iPad

Rachel Polanskis grove at zeta.org.au
Sat Sep 11 20:55:11 EST 2010

I have been using this ipad now for a few months.  I have come to the conclusion that it 
is a very good 1.0 effort of a tablet. I think I have used this more than my desktop while at home since I got it.   In the domestic area, I think it has done an excellent 
job delivering what was promised. But I think there needs to be a rethink of the device for education and enterprise applications.   It's not the user interface or walled garden that everyone talks about as being somehow a reason not to have one,  but the security of the device itself.
Fundamentally, once you let an ipad or similar device onto your network,  it is pretty much the same as allowing a notebook computer there.  It allows various vectors for importing
exploits to behind the DMZ,  for example. It can also host various cracking and hacking tools,
if you have it gaol broken. There are many implications of these devices that I do not yet believe 
have been explored by institutions and corporates that are misjudging the power of these 
devices.  The ipad is indeed a shiny toy and is in fact quite practical, but there is a propensity 
to not consider these devices as capable of doing more than just fart apps, or consumer oriented applications.   In the wrong hands, an ipad behind a DMZ can in fact do alot of harm.

I would like to think that future releases of the OS need to have more enterprise level 
defaults built in, like only being able to bind to network services after a proper login/auth
process, perhaps LDAP or shibbolized controls in place to restrict what the device
can get access to and so on. 

I really love the device, in spite of still not being 100% used to the keypad.  But I believe
these devices are going to cause more of a headache than Win95 if not properly implemented.


rachel polanskis 
<r.polanskis at uws.edu.au> 
<grove at zeta.org.au>

On 11/09/2010, at 8:28 PM, Steven Clark <steven.clark at internode.on.net> wrote:

>  On 11/09/2010 2:08 PM, Brenda Aynsley wrote:
>> On 11/09/10 13:01, Antony Barry wrote:
> http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/ipad-replaces-uni-textbooks-at-university-of-adelaide-science-faculty/story-fn5jhv6y-1225918213032
>> why oh why lock yourself into a proprietary environment? How short
>> sighted is this?
> i haven't looked into this yet (my fiancée is studying at adelaide) but 
> i suspect the decision may have been made before the other tablets were 
> on the media radar. this decision was probably made months ago.
> there may well be a deal with apple to supply the devices at a reduced cost.
> i wonder if it's worth enrolling in a science degree for a few 
> weeks/months to get a free ipad?
> and what about humanities, and other degree programs which are even more 
> text-intensive?
> hmmm ...
> this has been tried with e-readers - e-readers fail for textbooks, 
> [http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/study-e-book-readers-no-digital-newspaper-replacement/11601; 
> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/ivy-league-students-kindle-dx-a-poor-excuse-of-an-academic-tool/7900] 
> but are great for reading.
> students tend to annotate and highlight and scribble on textbooks. it 
> will be interesting to see how this works with something (potentially) 
> more flexible.
> the idea that an e-reader is more economical than paper textbooks is not 
> an adelaide uni innovation 
> [http://www.epapercentral.com/nw-missouri-state-university-replaces-textbooks-with-e-books.htm].
> Also of interest - moving to the ipad means the uni will have to have 
> sorted out electronic versions of textbooks (or more likely, settled for 
> available electronic texts). this may well be the (or a substantial) 
> reason why they're going with the ipad. availability of content.
> i suspect that the locked-downness of the ipad may well be another 
> factor in it's favour for the uni. more control over what is and isn't 
> on the platform. and students are more likely to be convinced to use it, 
> rather than play with it (well, in the minds of some administrators :)
> -- 
> Steven R Clark, BSc(Hons) LLB/LP(Hons) /Flinders/, MACS, Barrister & 
> Solicitor
> PhD Scholar
> School of Commerce, Division of Business
> City West Campus, University of South Australia (UniSA)
> http://people.unisa.edu.au/Steven.Clark
> Deputy Director, Community Engagement Board (CEB)
> Chair, Economic, Legal and Social Issues Committee (ELSIC)
> Australian Computer Society (ACS)
> http://www.acs.org.au/index.cfm?action=show&conID=acscas
> *Disclaimer:* This is email is not legal advice. Comments and statements 
> above are based on my understanding of the issues at hand, and my 
> attempts to understand them. They are intended to add to, and elicit 
> discussion. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, opinions and statements 
> are mine, not those of UniSA or the ACS.
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