Business Week -- Our Readers Write

Cool Gestures vs. Communication

Good piece on the bifurcation of tech in the Bay area (''The Valley? Oh, Yuck,'' The Digital Lifestyle, Oct. 23). As a venture capitalist, given the chance to invest in urban cool, with all that implies, or a ''nose-to-the-grindstone'' type of company, I'd pick the latter.

It's interesting to me that some young companies actually think that antique lunchboxes have an effect on their employees. Creating the feeling that employees are part of something big and that their contributions are valued comes from communicating effectively and ultimately executing.

As office spaces go, when you think of Disney you think of great movies, characters, and television shows, but you don't think about what their buildings look like.

Jeff Nolan
SAP Ventures
Palo Alto, Calif.

Does Threshold Deserve a Forum?

I was extremely disappointed with BUSINESS WEEK (''Babes in Broadband,'' Special Report: Hollyweb, Oct. 23). We are living in a time when the quality of our culture is under attack, and Hollywood has played a major part in the decline of moral values in this country. The Federal Trade Commission has recently issued a report condemning the entertainment industry's practices of marketing inappropriate material to teenagers. Yet, here is the most prestigious business magazine in the country giving a national forum to Larry Kasanoff and his company, Threshold Entertainment, as he highlights plans to do exactly what the FTC and Congress are condemning. According to your article, Threshold's goal is to create content ''...aimed at titillating sex-crazed, action-loving teenage boys'' via such shows as Bikini Masterpiece Theater, where women in skimpy bikinis read Shakespeare.

You could have produced an article highlighting a company that is attempting to produce more constructive content. You could have challenged Mr. Kasanoff on the appropriateness of his plans in light of the FTC report.

Instead of being part of the solution, you became part of the problem. Shame on you.

William A. Kirsten
Gaylord, Mich.

PitBull: ''Strong Link in a Weak Chain''

PitBull from Argus Systems Group (''Keep Out: We Mean It,'' Upstarts, Oct. 23) is certainly an effective product. As the article states, PitBull is based on the concept of a trusted operating system.

While numerous other trusted operating systems are available (including a free version, namely SecureBSD), the reality is that Corporate America is simply not ready or willing to roll out trusted operating systems.

Many organizations do not have fundamental information security measures. Given the fact that many systems are secured with ineffective and easily breakable passwords ensures that PitBull will only be a strong link in an overall weak chain.

Ben Rothke
Iselin, N.J.

Navigating Nonsense

A disturbing trend that has yet to be fully checked is the proliferation of Web sites that require Java, cookies, or a software plug-in to function at all (''The Trick to Selling Airline Tickets Online? Minimalism,'' Web Smart 50, Sept. 18).

One step down, but still disturbing, is the trend toward graphics-only sites, with no alternate text or plain text navigation aids.

I view Web pages on a dial-up connection, with images, Java, and plug-ins turned off. It amazes me how many sites I cannot easily navigate.

These companies don't seem to notice or care how many potential customers they turn away by allowing such basic mistakes.

Ryan Edwards
Carmel, Ind.

Talking It Out with

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EBIZ Cover Image, link to ebiz table of contents
EBIZ Contents for issue dated Nov. 20, 2000

Cool Gestures vs. Communication

Does Threshold Deserve a Forum?

PitBull: ''Strong Link in a Weak Chain''

Navigating Nonsense

Talking It Out with

E-Mail to Business Week Online

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