Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: A Vista full of dollars (Aug. 29)

You got it wrong. I have never paid “off the shelf” prices for XP. There are many dot-com resellers that sell XP USfor under $50 that jive with Microsoft as 100 per cent legal. These are the Linux killers.

Michael Van Horn

Re: A Vista full of dollars (Aug. 29)

I would like to compliment you on writing an amusing and informative article, one which I can relate to being an American Israeli (living in Israel, childhood in the U.S.) who routinely has to fumble around aimlessly for prices that are locally relevant. Kudos to you!

Second, I would like to insult you on a terrible headline! “A Vista full of dollars” doesn’t rhyme with the original movie title (A Fistful of Dollars), nor does the key word have the proper number of syllables! Shame on you! Why couldn’t you have used, say, um . . . hmm. It really is hard to think of amusing headlines.

I retract my second comment.

Naomi Gumpel

Re: The blackboard bungle (Aug. 28)

Your article underplays the potential downside of this suit. Your comment that Blackboard had little choice is somewhat ludicrous given that they have, by some accounts, 80 per cent of the LMS market already. It is marketing, service, and innovation that drives this business, not technology. Once the lawyers get their hands on this, the innovation side can be expected to dry up.

There is prior art – much of it going back to the 1960-70’s – for, as I review it, every single claim made in the patent statement. This is just another case of the U.S. Patent office failing in due diligence, and their failure will cost the e-learning community billions, at a time when it is finally starting to take off. If the patent office were subject to class action suits, THERE would be a lawsuit worth pursuing.

“As e-learning evolves …” should have been “As e-learning has evolved …” With e-learning, a.k.a. “computer-based instruction” having its roots in work done over 60 years ago, there has been a huge evolution, and no single person, entity, or business has any intellectual ownership over even (or especially) the “bare fundamentals” as you call it.

Dr. Bob Abell
Rovell Enterprises Ltd.

Re: Facial recognition project raises privacy fears (Aug. 25)

The question is the taking of the photographs which will have to be at a very set standard in order to know the distance of the eye. By placing the person at set angles and with lighting can change a person just enough to make a new person. This technology – should the government wish to use it – is like very much the gun registry program: full of holes and will in the end cost more than the current system. The iris scanning would be more accurate and less expensive along with fingerprints as a combination of identity.

Terrance Van Gemert

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