Have your say at computerweekly.com
On making it safer to surf the internet
Simon Moores bemoaned the government's reluctance to issue guidelines on using broadband internet connections
While I resent the interference of the government (and Brussels) in a number of areas, there are areas such as drink driving and health warnings on smoking where the government must take some of the ownership and accountability for raising awareness. The use of the internet is another such area, specifically in regard to safe surfing, safeguarding your credit card details, protecting children on the internet, and choosing and using secure passwords.
Louis Gamon, Information System Security Association
When our ancient PC finally gave up the ghost, we decided to purchase a new PC. At the same time, we carefully assessed the costs of using a broadband connection and chose BT as a "reputable" firm. After the BT broadband software was loaded onto the PC and the connection was made, pop-ups started appearing almost immediately along the lines of "If you want to meet a girlÉ". I am horrified that pornography is being channelled into our home where our children could see it. If the internet connection is on, the pop-ups continue to appear, regardless of what program is being used.
BT's response was that it was not its responsibility as we had brought a no-frills package - and no, we could not cancel our contract because we had not done so within two weeks of signing it.
What is the government doing to stop porn being sent down the line?
On preparing for the code war
In response to Simon Moores, who warned that the quest to harmonise software patent rules would only benefit predatory big businesses
I strongly agree with Simon Moores. I run a small software company selling a specialised tool to the software industry that is written in good old Cobol and therefore cannot be patented under current EU law. So far, we have been doing very well - and our competitors across the pond know it.
If this legislation comes in, I will probably have to fold the company before any of the US giants can start legal proceedings against us. We have developed the entire product ourselves and have done nothing wrong as far as copyright and patent law is concerned, but that will not stop the big players using patent law to remove us from the market.
On Microsoft .net
It is difficult to explain to someone what .net is, but no more so than explaining what IBM Websphere is.
As a manufacturing company, we have implemented .net and have further development plans for applications based on the .net technologies. We have found that all the facets of the .net technology (clients, framework, development tools, web services and servers) enable us to achieve solutions only dreamed of in a cost-effective manner and timescale unmatched by anything else.
On contractors and public sector contracts
Two themes are dominating the computer industry and the pages of Computer Weekly: the plight of contractors who are unable to find work due to an economic downturn in the sector and firms outsourcing work overseas; and the waste, inefficiency and unaccountability of large consultancies tendering for work from the public sector.
The point that your correspondents appear to have missed is that these two issues are entirely connected, and the solution to the first may be the solution to the second. The process of outsourcing staff to the private sector has invariably led to the outsourcing of work from the UK.
The solution for IT professionals is not protectionism, or even special treatment because they are UK citizens. Rather, the solution is for public sector management to grasp the nettle: to insource the work, hire staff directly in the public sector, motivate and support teams and recognise their rights at work. This way the public sector gets knowledge teams built up over years, and staff get continuity of employment, career development and union rights.
Sean Wallis, Survey of English Usage University College London