Technical difficulties; The heart of the Jackson trial; Rx for ID theft
“Taming your tech” [MARCH 14] gave me great relief that I am not a lone techno-klutz but that I am among legions of similarly exasperated people who stumble through the maze of obstacles created by geek-speak. Your article may cause geeks themselves to look up and notice the armies of dissatisfied customers out there.
PHILIP M. RIDEOUT
Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Your issue had great tips for “Taming Your Tech,” but I am bewildered as to why consumers put up with poor tech support, the blame game, and faulty products. I had hoped to read about a trend that companies were finally addressing the frustrations of average consumers and were making their products, tech support, and other customer services easy and welcoming to consumers. I am infuriated that for many technology companies, poor service for their products is still the norm.
In “Taming your tech,” cognitive psychologist Kent Norman suggested using a heavy ax or sledgehammer on an old keyboard to relieve stress. Five years ago I took several sledgehammers, dressed them up a bit, and called them “universal high-tech tools.” I even prepared illustrated safety instructions to save the user from flying glass and other sharp objects. When I showed the tools to my friends, they all thought I was crazy. Now your article makes me feel vindicated. Maybe I was just ahead of the times.
“The skinny on mini” notes that Mac Mini add-ons drive the price up to “$1,100 or more” and that “an iMac is still the best bet.” But for budget-conscious people who want to try Apple, your story might have suggested the lesser-known eMac. It is less expensive and comes with the iLife features, a mouse, a keyboard, and a built-in 17-inch monitor. And eMac is in keeping with the “simplicity” theme of your cover story.
The heart of the Jackson trial
Thank you for the article “Jackson’s Troubling Trial” [March 21]. Parents should tell their children to report any abuse that occurs and that someone will believe them. Thanks for exploring the issue, not the celebrity, at the heart of this trial.
Santa Maria, Calif.
Rx for ID theft
The national ID theft scourge discussed in “Gimme Your Name and SSN” [March 7] will only get worse. It’s time for a federal law that prohibits the sale and distribution of sensitive consumer data until the consumer has given positive permission. How about a “check the box” statement sent to each consumer (along with the monthly statement, perhaps)? Only after checking “Yes” could the institution or company disseminate consumer information.
Klamath Falls, Ore.
The solution to identity theft is simple if you change the rules. Put the burden of proof on creditors, and watch how quickly they tighten their security and stop handing out credit cards like penny candy.
“Gimme your name and SSN” doesn’t name what I think would be the best way to prevent identity theft: a class action lawsuit. The outcome of a lawsuit against the collectors, sellers, and distributors of private information could require them to delete their files and not collect billions of dollars. Let’s hit them in the pocketbook and shut them down. When these companies spend more money defending themselves than they make selling personal information, then they may abandon data collection and sale altogether, even without a law.
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COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group