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Govt. Grant System Excludes Mac Users


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sunrain
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portlandia
 
2006-02-13, 10:30

Washington Post article (Registration required to see the entire article)

In a moronic attempt to streamline US government grant application processes, they've decided to exclude anyone not using a Windows PC. Presumably linux is out of the loop as well, but they didn't say in the article.

My favorite quote: "Critics note that in contrast to the domination of PCs in the business community, Macs constitute about one-third to one-half of the computers scientists and academicians use."

Sheesh.

"What a computer is to me is it's the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with, and it's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."
- Steve Jobs
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rollercoaster375
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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2006-02-13, 10:41

I fail to see why they're using a proprietary form technology... Using a PDF, or an HTML form would be easier, as well as more convenient.
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Wyatt
On twitter: @bwyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Indianapolis
 
2006-02-13, 10:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollercoaster375
I fail to see why they're using a proprietary form technology... Using a PDF, or an HTML form would be easier, as well as more convenient.
It's because a bureaucrat who knows nothing about technology made the decision. They decided that everyone should use the same kind of computer, so he/she picked the OS that he/she uses, rather than actually consulting with people who know what they're talking about.

Twitter: bwyatt | Minecraft: bwyatt_IN
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-02-13, 11:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcgriz
It's because a bureaucrat who knows nothing about technology made the decision. They decided that everyone should use the same kind of computer, so he/she picked the OS that he/she uses, rather than actually consulting with people who know what they're talking about.

Erm, no.

Money talks.

In fact, last time I was in DC, I saw a peddler dragging a carts full of bodies, peddling politicians. He was shouting "Buy your own politician! Senator for a shilling! Representative for a halfpence! Buy your own politicians!"
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pmazer
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2006-02-13, 11:36

Yeah, in my computer science courses, I've personally had 3 professors that use a Mac and 1 that used Windows. This is a bit biased.
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sirnick4
I was knighted
 
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2006-02-13, 11:38

Blah! Windows World!!




phew.. Glad I got that out
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Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, Europe
 
2006-02-13, 12:28

Flood them with emails. This is very poor form.
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sunrain
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portlandia
 
2006-02-13, 12:58

The thing that gets me, is that it'll definitely cost more in the long run to process the paper applications of those who are locked out by this decision.

"What a computer is to me is it's the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with, and it's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."
- Steve Jobs
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-02-13, 13:49

I'm pretty sure this violates some accessibility directive, so you can probably sue them.
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ghoti
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2006-02-13, 14:06

PDF doesn't cut it for this application, because the main point of that software is that you can digitally sign the documents before sending them off. And these signatures are officially recognized and legally binding (not just some public key put on a webpage).

They really need to get their act together, though. It's unbelievably how the US government is owned by Microsoft. Practically everything that's not a supercomputer runs on Windows. It may be more convenient, but it's certainly not cost-effective (MS gets tax breaks in return, haha) and it gives MS way too much power.
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chucker
 
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2006-02-13, 14:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoti
PDF doesn't cut it for this application, because the main point of that software is that you can digitally sign the documents before sending them off. And these signatures are officially recognized and legally binding (not just some public key put on a webpage).
PDF has had digital signatures for years.
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ghoti
owner for sale by house
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2006-02-13, 22:03

Are those digital signatures as well implemented as the blacking-out technology?

This isn't just about two geeks IMing each other ("OMG!! it's 3ncryp73d! 1337!!"), but those signatures are worth millions of dollars. Also, there must be a way to check signatures of thousands of people. Yeah, I know, put the public key in your .plan file. But seriously, some things are a bit more complex than your average geek can appreciate.
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