Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: SCO’s war on Linux: Should you be scared? (Aug. 24)

The article by Shane Schick about SCO’s licensing program has several inaccuracies. GNU/Linux wasn’t “”partially developed from

Unix.”” It is claimed to be a separate code base entirely, though certainly inspired by Unix APIs. SCO claims otherwise but have offered no proof that anyone competent can verify. As for the contentious code comprising “”only a small part”” of the kernel, who knows? Their story changes from day to day and sometimes they seem to be claiming that they own every operating system since MS-DOS. Copyright registration of ancient Unix code has little to do with modern Unixware and even less to do with validating their claims against IBM or Linux users.

Bob Tennent
Queen’s University

Re: Fear of a white hat (Aug. 20)

I’m an IT professional and recently encountered the Blaster Worm (although I have another name for it) on my computer at home. This is basically a letter to let off a little steam to all those “”virus creators”” (and yes, I have another name for them as well). Thanks for letting me vent.

To all “”Virus Creators””:

Setting aside the huge amount of time and expense companies have to put out to deal with these viruses (which must be just a bloody laugh to you, or why would you bother), this is how you affected the life of a regular, everyday, hard-working person. I’m an IT professional, and require a computer at home on the occasion I need to sign into work.

I’m also a single mother of an almost two-year-old son. When I get home, after working my professional butt off, I like to spend as much quality time with my son as possible. Have some play time, teach him some new words, play peek-a-boo, have tickle-fests, read to him, snuggle. Just regular everyday stuff, that maybe your mom and dad did with you. You have just robbed me of two evenings out of my son’s life that I’ll never be able to get back.

Try as I might, I just can’t come up with a dollar figure that could cover that loss. Maybe in your spare time (and you’ve gotta have a bit of that or you wouldn’t have time to create these viruses) you could tell me what kind of price tag I can put on that.

Jan Underwood

P.S. I’m writing this letter at 4:30 in the morning while my son sleeps so I don’t lose anymore time with him.

Re: Vancouver Airport security force speeds up with Segway (Aug. 13)

Segways are available in Vancouver for public rental for about $40.00 and hour. They have been available for several months.

Pat Dornan

Re: Artificial intelligence experts eye enterprise market (Aug. 12)

It is often assumed that the database and its content is the objective within an IT organization. It’s not. The original purpose in collecting data is to identify what happened after a period of time.

What can be done with the data after its been reviewed opens up wonderful opportunities from the simplistic to the exotic.

In the simplistic use of data I would include the graphing of trends or the development of mathematical models.

In the intermediate category I include drilling through the data to obtain clues to interesting differences. In many companies this is identified as business intelligence but is really only applying intelligent human questions through the process of vectoring to identify statistical details.

The really innovative application is the use of true data mining techniques. This provides clues to unsuspected information hidden within the data without guidance or participation of human biased opinion. The use of true AI techniques provides a much greater value to the database.

Raw data is nice to have but the real value added is when new and creative insights into the running of the business enable practitioners of AI techniques to positively change the business practice.

Les Horn
Quadrillion Corp.

Re: Artificial intelligence experts eye enterprise market (Aug. 12)

The problem with AI is that it requires both compute power and storage space. On the enterprise level, IBM has a system but Unisys’ ES7000 is much larger and has been certified for Windows 2003. The ES7000 contains 32 processors and will shortly go to 64 processors that can be partitioned in four or more processor chunks allowing an image of currently up to eight independent servers on one box. Additionally, it has the communications, backup, and recovery features of a mainframe.

You might do an article on this system at some point since applications seem to be appearing for enterprise systems.

Robert Hunger
Technical support specialist
Unisys Canada, Inc.

Re: ISPs: Feds should pay for Internet surveillance (Aug. 11)

I believe that Internet traffic should be handled the same way that phone traffic is handled. If law enforcement feels that a specific individual may be engaged in illegal activity then a request can be made to the courts for access to that individual’s Internet activity. I believe that monitoring all Internet activity is a gross misuse of legal authority. It is the same as monitoring everyone’s phone calls, which is not allowed.

The government and legal community are taking advantage of the fact that the internet is new to the law makers and are attempting to implement an Internet spying procedure before there is an outcry of “”Big Brother is watching you.”” Imagine if the government requested a recording of every Canadian’s phone calls be submitted in case someone, anyone, is engaged in illegal activity.

For those of us who use the Internet for banking, tax returns, education and work, this is totally wrong. I am aware that the Internet is a public place but it is wrong for the government to use my tax dollars to spy on me while I do my banking. Honestly, I can’t believe that the people we elect to represent us would even consider spying on all Canadians as a justifiable means of controlling criminal activity. There must be a valid suspicion prior to allowing surveillance of an Internet account.

Bob Ghantous

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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