Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: After spam (June 27)

As a writer and a user of e-mail for 17 years I’d like to comment on your interesting editorial “”After spam.””

The “”thanks”” e-mail: This is the checksum

e-mail that finishes the conversation. Without this email there is the chance that your handling of the issue has not been received by the requestor. This email allows you to know that the full issue cycle is closed off.

The red alert e-mail: I’m sure you are correct on this one, with one exception. I run a service company, so my clients’ priority is, in fact, also mine. One caveat, if a client overuses this feature then I do tend to ignore it, and I never sort by priority.

The deconstructed e-mail: There are great debates about this one. I fall into the camp that says that this method of communication is actually quite efficient. However, I do cede that your side has some valid points — especially when the offender is an academic or open source programmer with an axe to grind.

Brad Einarsen
Haven Knowledge Systems Inc.

Re: After spam (June 27)

If you think reading e-mail with emoticons is bad, you should try reading your own article on The flashing, bouncing, throbbing ads, author’s face, menus, etc., are almost hallucinogenic, requiring concentration and self-control to actually read the article.

Denis Brossard
Supervisor OS & server support
Computing and engineering services
MacDonald Dettwiler

Re: Zero tolerance (June 30)

Lynn Greiner’s article on the new CPCC CD levy is amazingly fair-handed given the heinous nature of the bureaucratic boondoggle it describes. Perhaps this is something that we as Canadians have ingrained in us from an early age– you know, how you might say “”I’m sorry”” as you’re rudely shoved by some thug while standing in a line at the bank or when being audited by those ever-so-friendly folks at Canada Customs & Revenue.

Where Lynn is bang-on is that this whole mess was created by our enlightened despotic government, the same guys who brought you non-repayable grants for hotels in the Prime Minister’s home riding, a billion dollar failed gun registry system, the HRDC scandal, appointed George Radwanski and made Alfonso Gagliano the Ambassador to Denmark.

I bring these issues up to underscore a salient point: it should come as NO surprise that we in IT should feel the wrath of an incompetent and corrupt government. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and, while I didn’t participate in re-electing them to two majority governments, I imagine that many, many readers of this fine paper did. Some responsibility has to be assumed by each and every one of us for this — we’re not just innocent victims in a tax smash-and-grab.

However, maybe all is not lost. If the recording industry could successfully lobby to have the levy collected and distributed to “”musicians”” who are deprived by the use of re-recordable media, perhaps we in IT deserve a slice as well. After all, aren’t we victims of piracy?

Chris R. Chapman

Re: Zero tolerance (June 30)

I saw your opinion piece, “”Zero tolerance,”” on the increased tax on recordable media. I couldn’t agree with you more. We are a small software company and won’t even bother filing for the exemption. I am also involved in making self-published videos on CD and DVD.

I really don’t feel we should be contributing to the coffers of the recording industry and its most successful artists. It’s unbelievable that the government would actually do something like this. I suspect that the tax is a violation of the Charter of Rights since it assumes we are all guilty of stealing, discriminates against software publishers (where piracy is certainly an issue) and independent artists. Is there some way this can be fought on legal grounds and as a Charter issue

If anything in the way of a legal battle does ensue, please keep me informed.

Howard Harawitz

Re: Vancouver uses IT to improve parking ticket enforcement (June 26)

The City of Vancouver should be ashamed for bemoaning that their revenue machine was negatively affected by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Gee, it’s terrible that they weren’t able to hand out parking tickets on Sept. 11. We all know how important it is to ticket parking violators during terrorist attacks! Perhaps they should work on lead shielding too, in case there is a nuclear blast. We wouldn’t want the parking ticket system to be incapacitated during times of extreme panic.

Jeff Edgar

Re: The language firewall (June 24)

Good editorial. Before we get to equal access to English and French language software, maybe Mr. Gates could standardize his keyboard commands across his English software. Take the keyboard commands for “”Save”” or “”Save As.”” When you use Word, Wordpad, Project, Notebook often as not the keyboard command is not the same even for the English software. I will give him credit for “”New Document”” and “”Open Document,”” but most of this was taken from the Mac. Maybe he decided to modify the commands so as not to be chastised for copying. As a bilingual person using all the combinations of English and French on my computers, I can also tell you that this keyboard inconsistency also applies to French software.

With such a small thing seemingly beyond the abilities of Microsoft, do you think that the bilingual, multi-lingual problem has much chance of getting very far?

Bob Steele

Re: The language firewall (June 24)

Bravo for your opinion on this subject, if only more people thought like you do (on both sides).

Keep up the good work.

Fernand Dionne

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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