Re: Digital library project could take blind beyond Braille (July 24)

I think there would be a market for those who do not have impaired vision to be able to access Web-based resources

at a modest fee. I for one like talking books. Most of us can remember how we loved to have stories read to us when we were children.

The revenues from Web site access membership would help provide capital to speed up and enhance work on the project. It would also help defray the cost of providing the service to visually-impaired persons. Some of the material could also be marketed to school boards, daycare centres, colleges, universities and old age homes.

Pierre Laframboise
Senior informatics specialist

Re: Feds define Web look and feel standard (July 18)

The comments expressed are truly not new. Let’s remember that the most successful products are those that are easy to use, can be fixed with ease and do not require an engineering degree to get out of the box. Why is that when we introduce some modicum of technology, we fall back and make it complicated?

In the early 1980s, I launched some products for the home computing market. All came ready for use. At first we did not have many applications, but they came quickly as the devices were easy to program. As a user you could not adjust the operating routines. Everything was burned in ROM. Hackers could do little damage. However, when you wanted to play games, you had a great product. The manual was written by two 12-year-olds (one was my son).

When we provide products and services, we have to get down to the level of the user. If you are a sophisticated investor looking for a special tax ruling, you will hire an accountant, not look at a Taxation Department Web site.

It always amazes me how we forget to listen before we act. Did the Web designers ask what people wanted, or simply design what they felt was right?

Robert Lane

Re: What does it all mean? Part deux (July 16)

Some might argue that jargon already defines language that is intended to shut people out, but there is another word that is better suited: argot. My Webster’s Internet Ready Dictionary defines it this way:

  • argot n. 1. a specialized vocabulary peculiar to a particular group ofpeople, devised for private communication and identification: thieves’argot. 2. the special vocabulary and idiom of a particular profession orsocial group. argotic adj

We don’t need to invent new words when we already have jargon, argot, slang,cant, and probably some others that I can’t remember right now.

John Kerr
System Expert
Security CAE Inc.

Re: What does it all mean? Part deux (July 16)

I’ve been in the Internet/IT/telecommunication industry since the early ’80s (Ouch, that actually hurts to admit) and of all the jargon I’ve heard abused over the years, I would have to say the worst is around acronyms. Although I realize your column focused on actual jargon nouns rather than acronyms, I thought I’d share my approach towards acronym-abusive folks. You know the type: A non-techy will come up and say something like “”I booted my PC’s OS from ROM and the RAM’s CRC indicated that my BIOS was DOA.”” To which I always respond, “”Have you checked your TLA?”” After a few moments of silence, they always look at me and say, “”What is a TLA?”” and I reply, “”Three Letter Acronym.”” That usually shuts them up!

Gino A. Doucet
Aliant Telecom

Re: The diplomacy of IT management (July 16)

From my perspective, Jackie Santos and Sandra Milloy are gravely misrepresenting the IT profession. They have placed emphasis on soft skills, which in my view have opened the gate for some unqualified, incompetent people entering the IT profession, and worst of all reaching executive level — the root cause of IT disasters.

Please don’t get me wrong. Soft skills such as communications management, human resource management, risk management and contract/procurement management are necessary, but these skills cannot be effectively applied without clear, complete and consistent understanding of fundamental IT knowledge processes, which normally result from intensive IT training, education and experiences.

The root cause of most IT problems is the inability of some IT executives/managers to apply basic IT concepts to solve specific business problems. Decisions are made based on emotions rather than objectivity because of the lack of knowledge and training.

Ken Bainey
EPCOR Utilities Inc.

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