Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: The long and short of Longhorn (Oct. 28)

In the article on Longhorn it is stated:

“”By having files dynamically related to each other is ‘ultimately reducing this complexity

crisis (in IT),’ said IDC Canada Ltd. analyst David Senf. Through a Web services model, those connections can be made across organizations, he added. He cited the example of a health-care provider and an insurance company sharing information more easily.””

This is pretty scary. As a private citizen, I don’t think I want my home insurance or life insurance company to “”share”” with OHIP or my doctor all my and my family’s personal medical details. It also begs a lot of questions about records retention and public right to access government records.

Bernie Geiger

Re: RBC banks on digitally-imaged cheques (Oct. 24)

I don’t think that it is fair to say that the Royal Bank has been on the leading edge with the introduction of cheque imaging. The Credit Unions in Alberta have been offering cheque imaging to their members for almost two years. The members have been accessing an image of their cheques over the Internet since the launch of our cheque imaging system. I just wanted to let you know.

Yves Auger

Re: RBC banks on digitally-imaged cheques (Oct. 24)

Credit Unions in Alberta has employed cheque imaging technology since June 2002 and our members have absolutely enjoyed the experience. It has improved the cheque-handling process and improved services to our members.

Just thought I’d share a bit about how credit unions have embraced new innovations.

Ward Niou
Assistant vice-president
Direct banking services
First Calgary Savings

Re: RBC banks on digitally-imaged cheques (Oct. 24)

Just for your information, in regards to your story about RBC, our Credit Union has been doing digital cheque imaging for the last year. Our members have been able to view their cheques online for that length of time, and the process has worked wonderfully.

Trent Andres
Support systems analyst
Border Credit Union

Re: RBC banks on digitally-imaged cheques (Oct. 24)

This may be new for the big banks, but Credit Union Payment Services (Celero — CUPS) based in Calgary is already providing these services. Conexus Credit Union in Saskatchewan has been using this service since October of 2002.

Ed Horst
Senior analyst
CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants

Re: So sue me (Oct. 23)

Saw your story on Internet defamation on You have part of the picture, but only part. Two other reasons for quick deadlines for defamation actions against newspapers and broadcasters (and Ontario’s are half as long as those in the few other provinces with such special rules, and a lot of provinces have no special rules): (i) pressure to publish in a hurry (which is why magazines and books don’t get the short deadlines — they have more time to check their facts) and (ii) short duration of the publication – the broadcast is gone into the ether after it’s out. Yesterday’s newspaper is today’s wrapping for fish, and next week’s recycling (but books can hang around for a long time). So apologies have to be quick, and allegations of misstatement have to be made when they can still be checked by the publisher.

None of this is particularly true of online defamation. The alleged defamation in the Bahlieda case was still online at time of the motion to dismiss the action, many months later. With search engines and Web archives accessible to be searched, it is available to the public forever. Apologies don’t necessarily turn up on the same searches. And the publisher was not under pressure to get out the scoop — he could have checked his facts before going to the Web.

It is a different question with online editions of print publications. The Ontario Court of Appeal held last year that an online edition of a print newspaper could benefit from the same short deadlines as the paper edition, because it was odd to treat them differently.

So there are at least some things to argue about at the trial, if it ever actually comes to trial. The parties could settle, and we won’t have an actual decision in the case.

John Gregory

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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