Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: The Da Vinci CIO (Sept. 15)

Well said. As a former CIO of some 15 years’ tenure, all I can add is that too many CIOs I’ve seen tend to revel in the mystery, and purposely enhance

that aura of mystery . . . only to cover up the fact that they don’t know the answers. Better, like Langdon, to admit when you’re stumped, and ask your friends for help.

But that means the CIO has to MAKE friends … and that was, for me, the key to a successful career. Actually, it came from something Tom Peters said in Managing for Chaos, somewhere around 15 years ago: “”In the future, success will be determined by the size of your Rolodex.””

There’s a lot of truth in that concept!

Thanks for another good read.

Steve Pozgaj

Re: The Da Vinci CIO (Sept. 15)

This has to be one of the greatest stretches of editorial fiction I’ve read in a long time! Clearly, you are pandering to your audience: oh, if only the users would listen to us, they might understand, etc. etc. Over a career in this industry, it is clear to me that the problem lies more with IT personnel than users: IT typically initiates new projects and systems without talking to users. Oh sure, there is often a “”user representative”” on the project team but the first item of business is to brainwash that person into the ways of the IT group. So, forget The Da Vinci Code (although I have to admit that I did enjoy the book), but remember that users are the customers; the customer comes first and that IT departments exist because of users, not the other way around.

Jim Roche
Datawire Communication Networks Inc.

Re: The Da Vinci CIO (Sept. 15)

Another excellent article. Your analysis of the mechanics of Brown’s technique will be passed on to two of my novelist clients in hope that it might make my task as editor easier.

Bill Atkinson

Re: Security firms struggle with ‘lawful access’ proposal (Sept. 1)

The statement that “”in order for police to intercept many electronic communications, it inevitably needs access to public keys used to encrypt confidential information”” is false.

Public keys won’t give access to any secret information to anybody. In fact I can give you my public key right now and the only thing you will be able to do with it is to encrypt a message sent to me. But it’s my secret key from this keypair that allows me to decrypt the message. And yes, you can pry my secret key from my dead, cold fingers.

Piotr Wierzbicki

Re: Security firms struggle with ‘lawful access’ proposal (Sept. 1)

This problem is even more complicated than your story portrays. Many encryption solutions aren’t based on PKI (Public Key / Private Key Solutions). Instead they are based on a shared secret solution. So there is no key for the police to request to decrypt the data in question. Many commercial networks are based on this approach. Further, new operating systems including Windows and Linux allow users to create their own PKI certificates, without using a central authority. So even if a PKI-based solution is used, there is no central repository to subpoena for the certificate needed for encryption.

The balance between personal privacy, data security, and public protection and law enforcement is a difficult one. Please keep paying attention to this critical legal and technological issue.

David C. Woelfle
Enterprise Architect
EDS Canada Solution Development

Re: Ten per cent of PCs hit by SP2 snag, researcher warns (Aug. 31)

In this article, the writer states that “”AssetMetrix advises its customers to view SP2 as a completely new operating system.””

This has been my opinion since I first read of the many changes in this “”ServicePack”” and how it would impact end users.

I tell my clients to think of this, not as SP2, but as Windows XP2. It is also easier to say than Windows XP-SP2.

Bryan Knight
IT Administrator
MVA Engineering Group

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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