Thursday, March 27, 2008

A set back in mobile technology use

I couldn’t help but to feel sad when I read the news on Engadget this morning, it’s about how the HTC “special” made PDA made for census in the US is reported being too complicated for the census workers themselves.

This “special” made PDA of HTC is ordered by Harris Corp, a Florida based company, and according to Engadget it has: EVDO connection, WiFi, a phone jack and a fingerprint scan. But the device presumably can’t make phone calls like usual mobile phone, there are no official specs since it’s planned to be launch in 2010. The Census Bureau who hired around 60,000 temporary census workers was blamed by Harris Corp. for a poor job spelling out technical requirements to them, Census Director Steven Murdock acknowledged in an interview Tuesday that "communication problems" between census officials and Harris Corp. have resulted in "serious issues."

That’s why census officials have been thinking of going back to use pen & paper to do census again, where there are millions of US citizens who don’t return back those census form that are mailed by them.

But the real culprit behind this set back is the inflated number cost of contract to provide the PDA from originally at $596 million to $647 million, and most likely will be $2 billion; said a report this month from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. Thus resulting for the Census Bureau to scale back the use of this modern mobile technology to the most usual method: a desktop computer for head-to-head input data, what a sad-sad set back.

And the Harris Corp. said they are committed to work with the Census Bureau, but it looks like they’ll only get the technical support contract but not the hardwares. Too bad for those temporary census workers who tested the device and hope to keep on using it, it’s quite envious to held such “special” made device. LOL. Read on the CNN News article for more details infos.

(blogged with my Treo 750v)


Anonymous said...

I have been using one of these machines. It is slow, cumbersome, does not link with the wireless system, poorly designed (your index finger rests on the 'off' button),hard to see in bright sunlight and is in constant need of resetting. It is using a 7 year old chipset and WIN mobile 5.0 - all old technology. We should have gottem more for our $600M. And now the Census is going to scrap them in favor of pencil and paper!! Our government at work again

Andy J. S. said...

That is indeed sad, to had $600M backing the use of old technologies in these modern times...
Sometimes the government is clueless to what they should do with so much amount of money.
That is sad.