Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: The Wi-Fi threats to watch for (May 24)

There are two glaring inaccuracies conveyed in this story. Both based on comments by Richard Van Dyk, who may be a great IT Directory, but

is clearly not a security specialist.

VPN software, which by his admission makes the client machine part of his corporate network, does nothing to ensure the security of the incoming client machine and does nothing to ensure an intruder on that home WiFi network isn’t along for the ride.

Lotus Notes is not more secure than Microsoft Outlook or Exchange. And certainly not more secure just because he has it configured to prompt the user for their password a second time. Users typically re-use the same passwords, or click the “”save my password”” button making the second password a pointless exercise. Besides, if the machine has been compromised, it is likely a keyboard logger has also been loaded. If he wants more security, he will need to move to multi-factor authentication.

Brian Bourne
CMS Consulting Inc.

Re: Canadians build ‘Mammouth’ supercomputer cluster (May 18)

It’s hard to believe that you could have written an article on a supercomputer cluster without ever mentioning the operating system on which it runs, but you did. Are we suppose to believe that the chosen OS was not an integral part of the decision by Sherbrooke or unimportant to the system itself? I would think not.

It is also inconceivable that you would have accidentally forgotten to mention the OS, especially since not just any OS would be capable of achieving supercomputer status.

John Moniz

Re: Canadians build ‘Mammouth’ supercomputer cluster (May 18)

I find it odd that the article on the “”Mammouth”” supercomputer doesn’t mention what OS is used to construct the beast. Has the supercomputer cluster market gotten to the point where Linux is assumed?

James Broen

Editor’s Note: The OS in question is Red Hat’s distribution of Linux

Re: Canadians build ‘Mammouth’ supercomputer cluster (May 18)

Did the university do any open-minded, unbiased research before buying?

“”The supercomputing market has traditionally been dominated by IBM and HP, but Dell won the Mammouth RFP because it demonstrated the most financially competitive hardware, said Alain Veilleux, Manager of Centre de Calcul Scientifique at the University of Sherbrooke.””

No mention or research of Apple?

It would appear the University of Sherbrooke didn’t do it’s homework and isn’t getting the biggest bang for the buck and one only has to ask, “Laziness? Dell sales pitch? Typical IT anti-Apple bias?”

The numbers seem to speak for themselves.

Joe Scozzaro
Multimedia/Web Developer
Hamilton, Ont.

Re: Sun, Microsoft cozy up on Web services standards (May 13)

Reading between the lines this could be another “standard” that is so broad that interoperability doesn’t actually happen because there are no commonly agreed “profiles” in actual products. (Please see anything from the PKI standards on which Web services appear to rely, all the way back to the V.24 D plug standard.)

One interesting point about Web “standards” is that it is not clear if they actually protect the identity of the user (privacy) or if they actually work by compulsory disclosure of the identity of the user. Identity theft is one of the most serious problems being faced by Internet users today and it would be a significant error if new standards failed to take all possible steps to ensure that identities cannot be readily picked up just by observing information transferring around the Internet.

Steve Mathews

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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