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Letters To The Editor

A Good Read

Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the Aug. 1 issue. Your focus on mobile, interactive marketing, and RSS left me feeling as if you wrote the issue for me. Thanks!

Elliott Baretz Senior Sales Executive, Subject, Wills & Co.
Oak Brook, Ill.

Google Interface Overrated

Thanks for an interesting article on Microsoft versus Google ("Microsoft Vs. Google: A Rorschach Test," Aug. 1). But you missed the boat when you gave Google the edge over Microsoft on user interface. It's amazing that people overlook the fact that Microsoft interfaces and apps are so professional and useful and that Google apps look like high-school projects.

People act as if Google has somehow discovered how to do "good" apps from the user perspective, implying that it has an amazingly good interface, too, and that Microsoft's user interface is relatively deficient. It's amazing, considering that Microsoft has possibly the most powerful usability lab in the world (along with Apple), while Google most likely has a couple of guys who've read a book here or there about it, and certainly no actual lab dedicated to good user interface. The fact that it has a clean front page doesn't mean it understands user-interface design.

Mood Rowghani Stanford Graduate School of Business

Proposal Goes Too Far

I don't understand why checking foreign visitors' passports isn't enough ("Homeland Security To Launch RFID Systems At Border Crossings," July 28). These chips are small radio transmitters. This proposal means that those required to use RFID chips in their cars will broadcast everywhere they go all the personal ID information that the U.S. government puts on the chip. Like any technological system, someone will develop a reader to catch the data and use it for identify theft, to harass people of specific nationalities, to stalk someone, etc.

What kind of society are we creating in the name of "safety"? Criminals, terrorists, and drug dealers will find a way to avoid or disable these chips, but the innocent, law-abiding person will suffer all the unintended consequences of another badly thought-out technological "solution."

A. Loikow
Washington, D.C.

Experience Counts

Maybe some kids are hearing comments from their elders (like me) that after 20 to 30 years, or even sooner, their life's work will be worthless ("Gates Puzzled Why Students Shun Computer Science," July 20). At least in many areas of agriculture and the health industry, experience still counts.

Maybe they're hearing that employees in the "cool" computer industry are regarded like spare auto parts, with only the latest version worth anything.

Maybe Bill Gates should address the reality of workers in an industry that actually cares nothing of real substance for the majority of its workers.

There's more to life than cool gadgets.

Alana Flynn Coudersport

Graduate Speaks

Yes, the University of Bombay (now Mumbai) is legitimate ("Culture Clash: Customs Can Impact Processes, Too," July 18). It's legitimate because it's government controlled, and around 300,000 students pass through each year. Why is it that universities from developing countries are looked upon in doubt?

FYI, I, too, passed from the University of Bombay.

Veerendra Jote Project Leader, ObjectWin

Make Companies Pay

I won't shop on the Net at all. I'll browse, then call the company's 800 number ("Customer Data: Ethical Collection Is As Important As Diligent Protection," Aug. 4). But that won't protect me from the company giving away the store.

Maybe we could hold the leaking company/university/data warehouse financially responsible for the amount of the fraud--for say, 20 years from the date of their failure to protect our data.

James R. Earl Solutions in Design
Marshall, Mich.

Matter Of Life And Death

Let's remember that the primary mission of the National Weather Service is to provide sufficient warning lead time to the public to lessen death and injury in the face of severe weather ("Rough Weather," July 18).

Rarely does the National Weather Service receive credit for providing this data to commercial vendors, even though much of it is and has been free.

What commercial weather vendor will step up and be counted when they're responsible for life-and-death warning decisions?

John Montgomery IS Technical Specialist, Huntington National Bank
Columbus, Ohio

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