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Readers letters from the August 28, 2006 issue of InformationWeek (issue 1103)
Not-So-Great Worm
I'm one of the people who actually analyzed Mr. Morris' creation back in 1988 ("The Greatest Software Ever Written," Aug. 14, 2006). It was buggy, used extremely inefficient algorithms (simple linear searches of long tables), had blocks of dead code, didn't do what the comments claimed it should, had stolen code integrated into it (Morris didn't write the password cracker--he took it, without authorization, from another Bell Labs project), and above all was used in what was judged to be a federal felony.

Your characterization of that code as one of the 10 greatest pieces of software written is quite a bit off the mark.

Eugene H. Spafford
Professor, Purdue University CERIAS
West Lafayette, Ind.

Mind The Gap
As the article suggests, the majority of offshore providers that recognize the movement to China are working diligently to set up China-based operations ("Indian Outsourcers Acquire A Taste For Chinese Fusion," July 31/Aug. 7, 2006). What the article doesn't emphasize appropriately is the tremendous level of difficulty that Indian firms have setting up operations in China to serve yet another market--North America and Europe.

The oft-quoted No. 1 reason for offshore outsourcing failure is the cultural communication gap between onshore and offshore teams. To insert another link in the cultural communications chain between a Western client and an Indian provider working through China (or other locale) is to fuel the fire of this discontent.

Customers should search out offshoring firms with significant pedigree in the China market and ensure that such firms are armed with a complementary onshore consulting team in their locales to mitigate the cultural communication gap. This is the only business model that can ensure optimal cost benefit, productivity increase, and a positive experience operating offshore from and in China.

Neil FitzGerald
COO, Longtop International
Toronto

Innovate, Don't Bellyache
Another option for companies is to have extra laptop shells at their locations so personnel can carry just their hard drives and put them in the laptops when they arrive ("Banned On Board: The Ripple Effect Of High-Tech Travel Restrictions," Aug. 16, 2006).

There are so many opportunities when we think outside the box and look for innovative ideas instead of gloom when a crisis situation arises.

Barbette Driver
Service Representative, BP Digital & Communications Technology
Smyrna, Ga.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing