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The Internet cart track

The article "Wanted: an Internet without speed limits" (20 January) fell into the trap of assuming that a higher bit-rate connection to your Internet service provider (via ISDN, ADSL or cable modem) will equal a faster download from the Net. Not so. What is needed is a high-speed, dedicated Internet core. It is no use downloading a Web page via a 2Mb ADSL link to your PC if the server on the other side of the world is using a 9.6K modem. A good analogy would be zooming down a motorway in a sports car, among other fast cars, which then all have to negotiate a section that is a cart track. Unfortunately, there are a lot of information cart tracks on the Internet.

Tex Bennett

Earls Colne, Essex

The need for

better design

RB Rabbetts, being an optometrist, is more likely than anyone else to have notice taken of him when he complains about people looking up at computer screens (Inbox, 20 January). I hope that the makers of computer desks will take notice, because most are designed to take the monitor sitting on top of the computer itself, which invariably makes the set- up too high.

The more expensive the desk, it seems, the less suitable for viewing. Many of these have an extra-high shelf provided to take the monitor, simply to get it out of the way (and cause cervical spinal problems, incidentally). I thought furniture designers were supposed to consider ergonomic standards at the design stage.

P Donohue

p.donohue@virgin.net

There is just no stopping the spread of `spam'

I have seen - even as a Dutchman - the new word "spam" everywhere. It's most regrettable that there is a similarity to a Mr Keith Spamer (Inbox, 20 January), but no sensible person will confuse the person and "spam" e-mail.

One should realise that language forms new words all the time.

You cannot stop this. Besides, it's good for the publishers of dictionaries.

Henk Jansen

hmjansn@worldaccess.nl

Sir,

Keith Spamer may not like the words "spammers" or "spamming", but he has already lost the battle. Contrary to his supposition, there is a dictionary, The Oxford Dictionary of New Words, published 1997, that lists and defines both words, together with spam as both a noun and a verb!

Peter Longhurst

plonghurst@compuserve.com

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