Letters: SMS, e-terror, recruitment

Readers have their say

Readers have their say





4One person, one vote won't work with SMS

Nicole Gruslin (Letters, 10 May) steams in to the same mistake that everyone makes when proposing SMS voting to combat decreasing electoral turnout, in that she casually equates the result of a game show with the result of a general election.

Multiple voting is encouraged for shows such as Big Brother, whereas a political election needs to be strictly limited to one vote per eligible and registered person.

Any move away from the paper ballot, where checks and recounts can be performed through the paper trail, needs to be very carefully considered.

The 2000 presidential election in the US and the 2004 UK general election showed that even electronic voting in person is riddled with problems. I dread to think what would happen were people able to vote without even showing their faces.

SMS is a perfect mechanism for the public to select someone on a TV show, but the central tenet of our democratic process - universal suffrage - is far too important to abandon in this way.

Dougald Tidswell


But IT skills from young entrepreneurs

I read with interest "Young want to run own businesses" (Computer Weekly, 3 May), and I am frustrated by the suggestion that the findings of the City & Guilds study should "fuel concerns that employers will find greater difficulty recruiting young people for IT positions in the future".

At the age of 27, I have finally established my own company - something I have been intending to do since I was 21 (having worked since 18).

It has taken me this long to ignore the scaremongers and see what I can achieve.

Why should companies be concerned that they will have difficulties recruiting young people when they can still purchase their services? At an increased cost, granted, but reduced administration costs should correct the balance.

The 10% who intend to start businesses within a year represent the ambitious, who believe they can deliver more than is asked of them by their permanent employers.

If you support these people, they will reward you greatly.

If you chain them into long-term permanent jobs you will kill off the best potential this country has to offer.

Peter Cameron, Mesosys


Major attack on the internet is inevitable

"Don't fear e-terror hype" (Computer Weekly, 26 April) ignores the basic fact that we are building a vast economic structure based on internet technologies, many of which are either open source or supplied by a single software supplier.

I agree that a "cyber attack" is more likely to involve pick-axing through fibre optic cables than hacking into Norad, but the fact remains that it is only a matter of time before the internet is brought to its knees, either by a particularly virulent worm or a concerted attack on the core Domain Name System servers.

What would that do to Amazon's share price? Or what would its effects be on the eve of a 2010 cyber-election?

Noel Hannan, West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory


Non-technical skills are underrated in IT firms

Heather Moore is right (Letters, 10 May). I am an interim manager specialising in helping organisations to bring about cultural change. Although I have a broad technical understanding, I do not have that all-important technology degree or hands-on experience, and often find it difficult to secure assignments.

There is a distinct lack of understanding on the part of employers, who do not yet recognise the value that non-technical staff can bring to enable change, and also on the part of recruitment agencies, which often only match by "buzzwords" on the CV.

If organisations are to realise the true benefits of IT, the buzzwords we should be matched against must include "approachable, clear communicator, personal, good listening skills", to name a few.

Sally Edwarde, interim manager, LBW Enterprises


Chip and Pin security OK but biometric is better

There are a few variables missing in Keith Appleyard's understanding of the current security rules on chip and Pin (Letters, 3 May).

Chip and Pin is still in an implementation phase and it is not a mandatory requirement to be able to enter one's Pin number. Therefore there is no breach of security, as yet, if a customer signs a receipt.

OK, failing to remember one's Pin is not a good sign, but that person will now have to go to their bank to have it sorted out as they cannot use the chip and Pin card until they have done so. I find chip and Pin useful and quick, although I am not too keen on the security screening of the keypads - they seem a little too vulnerable. I look forward to biometric ID cards and retinal scans for that added protection. I will just have to trust Big Brother not to abuse the information.

Andrew Jordan


E-learning offers a positive experience

I read with interest Robert Chapman's opinion piece on e-learning versus classroom courses by. I acknowledge that opinion pieces are by their nature controversial, but I feel that his argument was more than a little one-sided.

Of course one of the negatives of e-learning is the lack of face-to-face contact, but what of the positives? To give an example, how many classrooms has he ever sat in where people from five different companies, located on three different continents, collaborated on creating a definition of a technical term over the course of four hours, as happened on our e-learning course yesterday? And they were performing their day jobs at the same time!

Couple that with the fact thatÊthree months' access to our e-learning course costs less than the expenses incurred on the average two-day classroom course and you see that it is possible to describe a rather more positive scenario

John Hobson, director, The Planning Factory

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