Forum Talk

SAN MATEO (03/06/2000) - (These edited excerpts from our Web site's forums provide a sample of the lively debate that takes place there. For the full discussions, go to and click on the forums button.)Should ISPs secure against attacks?

"I believe the always-on ISPs should make their customers 'play by the rules' by requiring the use of a firewall. This would remedy the current problem where they have made their customers easy targets for hackers -- zombies ready to be taken over."

"Federal regulation of Internet services is overdue and should include licensing for any ISP or router that passes traffic from third parties. There should be some logging of IP traffic, some minimal monitoring for hacker activity, and know your customer regulations, making ISPs and carriers liable for damages from acts by subscribers if they do not document minimal compliance to know their customers and control their networks. The Internet industry is fully capable of improving the security of the Internet. If ISPs are not capable of regulating misbehaving members, then the feds should step in and impose laws."

"It makes sense that those who cause the problem and contribute to the problem should be taken to task. In the case of the recent flood attacks, this would include those who are running the insecure machines that allowed the remote attacks to be launched from their systems."

Is a Java-based office suite the future?

"I think that the networked Java office suite is really going to be the Holy Grail of network computing. The first company to get it right and market it successfully is going to really do well."

"The reality is that office suites (whether Microsoft (Corp.'s) Office, other Win32 suites, or Java-based suites) are going the way of the Dodo. People are spending less and less time in word processors or spreadsheets and more time with online applications. Times are changing."

Regaining PIM features

"A WebPIM [Web personal information manager] makes a lot of sense. It goes with you wherever you go. I suppose my Pilot does too, but 'typing' is not exactly easy. A WebPIM would add a new level of collaboration. It seems to me that many portal sites are moving in this direction. It's an integration nightmare, but this seems to me to be a huge business opportunity."

"I don't want a Web-enabled personal information manager. I want my personal information available to me when I'm offline. I want it on my local hard drive, synchronized with my PIM. As far as getting at it from someplace else, I'd rather get at it from my personal digital assistant when I'm not sitting at my PC than be tethered to the Internet."

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