Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Federal government puts security policy under review (Aug. 13)

I want to clarify that the Government Security Policy (GSP) was reviewed in 2001 and the renewed policy came into

effect on February 1, 2002. What is currently under review is the detailed standard – the Management of Government Security Standard – that was developed to support the GSP. This standard provides departments with guidance on the implementation of the policy.

John Kavcic
Communications and Public Relations
Chief Information Officer Branch
Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat

Re: Credit union upgrades customer feedback cycle (Aug. 12)

This is a great idea as many times the customer may feel that their needs were not met in a satisfactory manner. Hopefully this will allow senior managers a way to oversee their employees and how the customer feels about the interaction before it creates problems.

Jocelyn W. Cowie

Re: Rise of the machines (Aug. 11)

It has long been my view that the lower down the chain of command one goes, the lower the usage of face-to-face communication. I don’t think this is because of the so-called age gap, where younger workers tend to use newer technologies, but rather, a need for those in subordinate positions to cover their professional assets.

I’ve noticed that the people in command tend to communicate their orders verbally. I’ve also noted that the people that do the work also create e-mail, voice-mail and/or paper trails of their work. These “”logs”” help to establish the fact that most problems for workers seem to stem from mismanagement by their supervisors.

A lot of people have used their carefully created information trails to avoid their boss’s wrath by providing irrefutable evidence that supervisors created problems by changing or not giving deadlines, erring with schedules or double-booking, assigning conflicting tasks or even attempting cover-ups and/or outright disinformation.

People with the capability to influence employment should always expect their subordinates to create a historical record of the work as a safety mechanism against reprimand or even dismissal.

M. Jensen Didulo
Product designer
Imprint Plus – R&D

Re: Away we go (Aug. 8)

It was with great interest that I read this article. While cost savings, dollar opportunities, management challenges and the potential impact on the job market were succinctly discussed, the potential loss of competitive advantage and intellectual property were seemingly overlooked.

While not at all conservative or alarmist in outlook, my work as an intelligence gatherer has sent up several red flags regarding the IT outsourcing trend:

o Indian firms have bought up software rights to defunct Silicon Valley companies

o Indian ISP firms are actively seeking Canadian clients at dramatically reduced rates

o Indian students to North American IT colleges has increased

o Outsourcing to India is increasing (as confirmed by your article)

This being said, would it not be logical to assume that development expertise and innovative solution-providing is necessity passing into Indian hands absolutely free of charge. In other words North Americans are unknowingly/carelessly providing an IT template to an outsourced company.

North American telecommunications and aviation companies to name just two examples fell over themselves to do business with China with the same fervor. Today China is emerging with its own industries – North American companies have been reduced from product to component suppliers. In their haste to do business governments forgot perhaps a key aspect of capitalism, the balance of trade!

Rodger Harding
Harding International & Associates Inc.

Re: Away we go (Aug. 8)

As a business man, I see where outsourcing positions overseas has great potential for reducing operating expenses. Unfortunately, there is a great moral dilemma related to this.

If corporations keep outsourcing work overseas, there will be a related staff reduction here in Canada, except at the executive level. Then Canadian corporations would not have many customers to sell their products/services to since huge numbers of unemployed Canadians will not have the money to pay for them. Effectively, this could create another great depression.

“”Outsourcing overseas”” is very shortsighted and self serving to so-called elite Canadian executives. Canadian executives should focus on re-engineering their internal operations with a goal of keeping their subordinates gainfully employed here in Canada. Then Canadian corporations, all their Canadian staff and Canadian shareholders will all enjoy the benefits of more efficient operations.

We should not follow American methods with blinders on. We should carefully evaluate American and other foreign methods and pick those that maximize the benefits for Canada.

While money is an important element in business, so is the quality of life for Canadian staff.

Hy London

Re: Smart, smarter, smartest (Aug. 7)

Just read your editorial on the use of the word “”smart.””

I’ve always been a cartoon fan. I have one of Sherman’s Lagoon at my desk. It’s probably about two years old. I don’t know if it can be found online or such, but it goes like this.

Hawthorne (crab with beer can on his butt): What’s this newfangled gadget you wanted to show me? (to Sherman, the shark)

Sherman: It’s a “”smart toaster,”” look.

Sherman: It’s connected to the Internet.

Hawthorne: Why?

Sherman: Got me. Everything’s gonna be Internet soon.

Hawthorne: Hmph . . . (frowning)

Sherman: Uh oh! (As the bread pops up out of the toaster)Hawthorne: What’s wrong?

Sherman: It’s rejecting my wonder bread. It recommends whole wheat with raisins.

Hawthorne: Hmph! That IS a smart toaster.

Sherman: Now it’s going to a web site to find a toast recipe.

Hawthorne: A TOAST recipe?

Sherman: Here’s some nutritional information on raisins . . .

Hawthorne: Are we EVER going to have breakfast? (Throwing up his claws)

Sherman: It just ordered me a cooking video.

Hawthorne: I’m getting my stupid toaster (turning away with an angry look)

It cracks me up still, even though I’ve read it a hundred times. I guess I should have just scanned it for you and attached it, but I’m not that “”smart.””

Gerard Stroeder
Applications engineering manager
Can-Eng Furnaces Ltd.

Re: No Comdex Canada in 2003 (Aug. 5)

If Jim Provec is blaming a “”bad Canadian economy”” and chooses to withdraw economic activity from Canada in a time of need, Comdex Canada can go in a corner and just dry up. I will write to Comdex Canada and ask them to withdraw my name from all future mailing lists. Further to that, I promise that I will never attend any of their future events.

And, I don’t believe that Mr. Provec has clearly evaluated the economic data that indicates that Canada is one of the few countries in the world right now that is breaking even. Canada is at a point right now when we are well within the range of a healthy, break-even economy.

Alberta Kwok

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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