Vista Too Big
I agree with part of this quote: " . . . Vista as the best and biggest Windows release since Windows 95" ["Microsoft's Big Bet: Win>"/>
Vista Too Big
I agree with part of this quote: " . . . Vista as the best and biggest Windows release since Windows 95" ["Microsoft's Big Bet: Win With the Web," March 15]. Everything is big—the icons on the desktop are big, the line spacing in menus, the line spacing between e-mails, the Sidebar, the Gadgets on the Sidebar. In fact, everything is way too big.
As for security, User Account Protection is too annoying in its current state. It will annoy people so much, they will find a utility that makes it easy to turn it all off and it will be a failure. A user needs to give Windows permission twice just when trying to change the time. It's ridiculous. Five clicks in Vista vs. three clicks in XP—now that's productivity.
I don't like it, and I can't see how having transparent title bars and windows that take two seconds to minimize or close is going to make anyone more productive. If users are enthralled with these features, they're looking at the desktop too long and not doing any work.
Allen Park, MI
The Oregon Option
Thank you for Knute Berger's essay including his prediction that Washington will "take the plunge" on the passage of a death-with-dignity law [Mossback, "The Culture of Death," March 15]. Berger rightly states that people need to study the issue and think about the implications. The exemplary practice in Oregon clearly demonstrates that for the past eight years, there has been no abuse; only qualified patients used the law, and its existence provides immeasurable comfort to many.
"State-sanctioned killing" seems to imply ending a person's life against his/her wish; however, this law offers a strictly voluntary option available only to terminally ill competent adults who make the request to avoid a prolonged dying process. The physician determines that the patient is qualified and may then prescribe lethal medication, which the patient takes independently, maintaining control of the procedure.
Terminally ill Oregonians are fortunate to have the option of a peaceful death; this is a fundamental civil right. Dying patients in the state of Washington would like the same option.
Vice President, Compassion & Choices of Washington
Knute Berger continues to reach toward subjects which so many choose to avoid [Mossback, "The Culture of Death," March 15]. Well done. People do think about these issues, and sometimes close friends talk to each other about it, but not often. It seems to be a subject that only those who have come face-to-face with some kind of death experience will entertain. We tend to think we are invincible when young.
Without the legalization, people choose a variety of methods to die, and some are very dangerous to others. Death by cop. Death by head-on collision. Death by driving off the pier. Death by jumping off the ferry. Death on the train tracks or off the Aurora Bridge. People seem to find a way if they are still mobile. It's those who are bedridden that must suffer.
Trench Instead of Tunnel
OK, I've got it ["Build the Tunnel," March 15]! Though I've tried to advocate a "berm-way" instead of an at-grade, rebuild, or tunnel option the past couple years (a berm-way would use the lower half of the existing viaduct as one highway surface; the footprint beneath would become parking), I think a cheaper, safer, and just as effective corridor for 85 percent of this infrastructure project could be achieved if a highway was built in an open trench, no lid, and with pedestrian and vehicle overpasses at key intersections.
The openness would allow for greater safety for drivers: no costly ventilation systems to build, no fear of chain-reaction accidents with cars and pedestrians trapped in a tunnel (cranes could pluck and lift cars out of the trench in the event of accidents), and—in the event of another earthquake—no collapsing concrete roof structures.
The noise would be dampened, absorbed by thick walls, and there could be landscaping between the cross- overs with trees and vegetation to improve aesthetics.
Let's think about that possibility before it's too late and too expensive.
Taxes Upon Taxes
Thanks for George Howland Jr.'s article ["Slaying Gridlock—Maybe," March 15]. It seems there was something left out of his discussion—the voters just passed a huge tax increase on gasoline to be directed towards roads. Not to mention the huge increase in revenue from the booming economy. So the state just goes merrily along thinking up billions of dollars in new taxes for roads. What was the gasoline tax hike all about then? I'm not criticizing Howland; I simply don't get it. The state acts as if there never were taxes in the past so, now, let's go for a huge increase. Perhaps Howland could explain.
Do the right Thing
I read Ron Wurzer's response to Erica Weiland, and I'm aghast [Letters, March 15]! If you don't get a model release, you don't publish the photograph. Period. Any photojournalist of any caliber knows that. Putting aside the fact that Wurzer essentially profited from this person's misfortune (Ron, you didn't happen to sign over your check, did you?), his answer is indicative of so much that is wrong in our culture. "I would've done the right thing, but jeez, it was so inconvenient." The right thing is rarely easy, or there would be more people doing it. I suspect if he'd asked for permission, he might not've gotten it, but I for one don't feel so enrichened by his "art" that it trumps that person's rights. Set your sights a little higher.
Editor replies: On the contrary, model releases aren't required for news photographs taken in public places. At least until they take the First Amendment away.
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