Behind The Scenes You quote a study that shows that 70% of participants receive only "a little" spam ("E-Mail Myth Debunked," Dec. 16, p. 12). What the study doesn't say is why these users only see a little spam: Somewhere in a back room is a system administrator who spends hours every week updating spam and virus filters to reject incoming spam before it can be delivered to the user.
I maintain a number of mail servers, and when I review the daily logs, I typically see that between 25% and 40% of incoming mail is rejected by the spam filters, and another 1% to 5% is rejected because of viruses. None of those messages would have been included in that study, since the users never saw them. Larry C. Hansford
President, Creative Data Solutions, New Carlisle, Ohio
Not So Rosy
William Schaff's assessment of the IBM-Rational union was overly rosy ("IBM Picks A Rose With Latest Buy," Dec. 16, p. 68). Rational's tools require a formal, rigorous process in companies using them. The Rational tools also require that a company read and use the requirements and design documents produced in the tools. Those conditions exist in very few places. Rational isn't strong in the markets IBM serves because those markets are dominated by the "code-only" process.
IBM doesn't use Rational tools to any great extent internally for the same reason its clients don't: Programmers don't like documents that aren't code. Doug Bennett
Manager, D.W. Bennett, Brevard, N.C.
The arrogance of Rep. Tom Davis and IT czar Mark Forman in recommending that American jobs go to foreigners is amazing ("The Politics Of Offshore Outsourcing," Dec. 16, p. 70).
The proper cure for both is the very medicine they recommend so callously: replace them by going offshore or giving their jobs to H-1B visa holders. Tim Aaronson
El Cerrito, Calif.
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