Re: Issues not to be touched with a 10-foot cyberpoll (Jan. 29)

Loved your article, but you missed the killer point about cyberpolls. The results are, as the CNN disclaimer (see

below) says, “”…not scientifically valid.”” Why? Because self-selecting respondents are NOT representative of the target population. No matter how well you ask the questions the results must be regarded as junk.

The tool is not the skill. Paint programs won’t make you an artist and cyberpolls won’t make you a research designer.

Ron Pinder

CNN cyberpoll disclaimer:
“”This QuickVote is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole. The QuickVote sponsor is not responsible for content, functionality or the opinions expressed therein.””

Re: <A HREF= deal (Jan. 28)

I’m not sure from your editorial whether you are complaining about the $12 million expenditure or the resulting wise decision to back out of smart cards for now. Given the politics, it’s a good thing that the researchers didn’t get their way, or the amount would have been a lot more than $12 million.

I think we need to see a number of successful implementations before we commit ourselves to something like this, and so far there doesn’t appear to be any. “”Successful”” includes measurable and demonstrated security as well as technical issues. With the state of both today there is no way I would use one.

James Couprie
St. Albert, Alberta

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