Letters To The Editor - InformationWeek
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Letters To The Editor

Limited Resources
Bravo on the article "Taking Steps To Prevent Child Porn," and thank you for an interesting perspective on resource/ privilege abuse in the workplace (July 11, p. 8). I work as a one-man IT team at a small company, it bothers me that there's little I can do to prevent certain actions of fellow employees with the limited budget allocated to me.

As more small companies become tech savvy and IT reliant, problems such as abuse of company resources are going to grow and cause problems for system admins everywhere.

Malay Patel
Key Digital Systems, Systems Administrator,
Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Virtual Enlightenment
Kudos on the excellent article on virtualization ("Virtual's New Reality," July 4, p. 28). I'm a business systems analyst, so the insides of the machine aren't my first priority. But your article made the whole subject perfectly clear, including the multiple interested industry participants. Thank you for such a well-written and enlightening piece.

Michael C. Kinsley
San Francisco

Small But Innovative
I appreciated the article on Ajax techniques as they're being used by major corporations, but I'm somewhat surprised not to see a mention of one of the key proponents of this technique: 37signals ("Fuel For The Web," July 4, p. 18).

This small company, through its Web applications Basecamp, Backpack, and Ta-Da List, has been an innovator in the use of Ajax. Through the release of the Ruby on Rails toolkit, it has also spread those techniques out to other individuals and organizations.

Elaine Nelson
Web Manager,
Pierce College District 11, Lakewood, Wash.

Retailers Pay The Price
You've correctly stated that credit-card companies hold their customers responsible for up to $50 in fraudulent transactions ("Attorneys General Seek Answers Over Data Exposure," June 29). There's no comment, though, about what happens if someone uses your card to buy $1,000 worth of goods. The credit-card holder at worst pays $50, the credit-card company is liable for $0, and the merchant who charged the card is liable for 100% of the fraud.

As an E-commerce merchant, I'm targeted daily with fraud. So who out there is ready to protect my business and livelihood?

John May
Port Jervis, N.Y.

The Big Picture
Why isn't the Information Technology Association of America assessing why females are leaving the IT profession ("IT Workforce Becoming More Male," June 22)?

Try understanding the motivations and changes that are taking place in the IT world that affect all employees. The IT workplace is far more accommodating for women than ever, and it's more often women who request some accommodation for family than men.

IT isn't for everyone, and I'm not sure you'd expect to see the same representation as the general population.

Bill Storm
IT Development Manager,
Ryerson Tull, Westmont, Ill.

Hindsight Is 20/20
I'm the first to demand accountability, but I also want to caution against hindsight second-guessing, such as declaring how obvious it would have been to encrypt backup data being taken off-site ("Encrypt Data," June 20, p. 8).

Unencrypted backup is geared toward the ability to recover lost data quickly and has worked successfully for almost 50 years. IT has been under unremitting pressure to spend less, and it would have been hard to justify added costs to fix what appeared not to be broken.

Robin F. Goldsmith
President, Go Pro Management,
Needham, Mass.

Easy Fix For Bad Law
Asinine laws come from asinine lawmakers, elected by asinine voters, or maybe just voters who see little choice between rotten apples ("Asinine Florida Law Undermines Efforts," June 20, p. 80).

From what little I've read about this "homestead protection law," it seems that it could easily have been fixed with an amendment to provide a ceiling on the value of the homestead equal to the median value of homes in that city, or, just in case they live in Palm Beach, all cities within a say a 20-mile radius.

More to the point, why isn't this case (isn't it a criminal case?) exempt from the list of "involuntary liens"?

Mark Tilley
Finance VP, Active Transport,
Brampton, Ontario

Accountability At The Top
Perhaps IT is the same as all other business disciplines and isn't immune to the whims of top management ("Midcareer Crisis," June 13, p. 36). I've experienced the pain of separation once I turned 50, even after receiving kudos and promotions, because of mistakes made over my head. It's the easy way for executive management to survive. The hard way is to acknowledge decisions that turned out wrong, correct them, and execute--rather than executing the staff.

J.R. Gordon
General Manager, DeerCreek Consulting,
Gulf Breeze, Fla.

Too Much Information
I recently purchased a Compaq Presario notebook. This offer included a $100 cash-back voucher. I was amazed at the information it required. The $100 is refunded via electronic funds transfer. It required, among other items, name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, and bank-account details. All the information we try to keep secure, they want from you on a document, by mail.

I find it astonishing that a company this size would do something as stupid as this.

Philip Smith
Director, Merge International,
Gold Coast, Australia

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