Professionals and Academics Network

Arthur Sowers arthures at
Thu Mar 8 11:28:32 EST 2001

my comment is short and only at the bottom...

On Thu, 8 Mar 2001, Richard P. Grant wrote:

> In article <985rgk$ps8$0 at>, Arthur Sowers 
> <arthures at> wrote:
> > On Wed, 7 Mar 2001, Professionals and Academics Network wrote:
> > 
> > > I restrict access to IE5.x users because I built this application using
> > > Visual Basic script and XML/XSL (an acronym for Extensible Markup
> > > Language/Extensible Stylesheet Language), both technologies in my 
> > > opinion
> > > enabled a fast turn-around and an efficient application display without
> > > having you downloading executable files to your PC.
> If you think this is the only way to do it, you should get a 
> professional to help out.  If you can't afford a professional, then 
> why not?  Is it a fly-by-night operation?  If you're going to be serious 
> then you have to act seriously.
> And your last sentence is laughable.  let me cite the relevant portion:
> 'without having you downloading executable files to your PC'
> But on your website you instruct me to 
> 'download Explorer 5.x and above.'
> . . .
> > So, does that mean its _always_ going to be IE 5.x only? I think you at
> > least should do some explaining on the first page people get otherwise
> > you'll turn them off. 
> frankly, I am certain it would be easier to code the site to be more 
> browser-agnostic than to code specifically for a single release of a 
> single browser.
> > Oh, yes, there is that advertisement about "Let us give you a quote on
> > your auto insurance and we'll give you a free calculator even if you 
> > don't
> > buy the insurance" and after you hang up the phone, you realize they know
> > what cars you have, what your name is, what your address is, etc. And,
> > that stuff gets sold for bucks. 
> I suggest that no one gives information away for free.

Thanks for the URLs below...I'll have a look. But, my example is that they
give you a calculator in exchange for personal information most people
would think is worth less than a calculator. When I read articles on
privacy that tell me that giant server farms are being set up where all
this personal information is going, and being sold to companies for
marketing information, it scares me. The ACLU has some stuff on their
websites about privacy that is very serious. Last night on the news, they
gave an example of a woman whose medical file (with a genetic problem) got
into her bosses hands and her boss fired her shortly thereafter. Not
because she was doing a bad job, but, presumably because she was
"predisposed" to become ill (show symptoms) and die at an earlier age (I'm
filling in some of the explanation). 

Last fall, our insurance plan (BCBS) sent us a VERY intrusive set of forms
asking about everything medical about my wife and I. Sidney Wolfe, one of
the public interest MDs, says his organization got one of these too for
all of its people and they had to fill it out before they would get a
rating. They might have even not gotten renewed, at any price! Insurance
should be available to all (except those who would defraud), but the
companies are trying to weed out high risks in a drive to cut costs. So,
where does that leave people with problems not of their own making?

  Arthur E. Sowers, PhD
  | Science career information website:   |
  |      |

=== no change to below, included for reference and context ====
> see 
> and
> > Plausible, but you really have to give people more before asking them to
> > spill the beans on themselves. 
> > 
> Absolutely.  Quid pro quo.
> > > The visitors to the site who wish to locate you will not be required to
> > > register. 
> > 
> > Well, I didn't see anything when I visited that suggested I did not have
> > to register & get a password to get anywhere.
> No that's worrying, actually.  If I enter personal info into a database, 
> I want to know that it's not some crank who is looking up the info.  
> especially in this business.  It would be more appropriate, IMFFHO, to 
> have the searchers register before they're allowed to query the database.
> >  In the past 2 weeks, after I advertised this project, my
> > > experience was that real people are not shy to write down their 
> > > professional
> > > information (because they want it advertised anyways).
> More fool them.  Information is money and power, not to mention the 
> security implications raised by Dr Sowers.  I wonder how secure is the 
> database, especially given the evilness that is Visual Basic.
> Anyway, to cut a long story short, given its current state I for one am 
> not at all interested - not least because I will not install IE.
> -- 
> Richard P. Grant                                     MRC Lab of Mol Biol
> rpg 'at'
>              -- 'I found my drill/On Blueberry Hill . . .' --

More information about the Bioforum mailing list