CEO Steve Jobs should be commended for Apple Computer's superior work environment [Nov. 14], which embraces collaboration and control. Employees in different departments team up in a "simultaneous and organic" process to create amazing, innovative products. Apple has gone above and beyond its competitors in classy, creative design. If more companies in today's technological industries worked harder to create a quality product for the consumer, success would be based not on profits alone but on the more important goal of user satisfaction.
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
As a 13-year-old, I can't help noticing that all the kids on the school bus are talking about the iPod and when they'll be able to get one. It's one of the most popular electronic products on the market. Apple doesn't rely on other companies to make hardware; it creates its own. Apple's innovative process is what makes its products top quality and up to the minute. The iPod and iTunes turned the company around and made it a big hit. Apple is doing a fantastic job.
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Since the new iPod is 30% thinner, people will have enough room in their pockets for a couple more credit cards to buy even more frivolous stuff.
Pacifica, California, U.S.
Those of us who have stuck with Apple for 20 years know what Time seems compelled to tell the rest of the world almost once a year: it's an amazing company that makes great products. Apple has been declared dead more times than I can count, but it is special and better than most other U.S. companies. If only the rest of them could do as well as Apple. I use my iMac to make movies, access my AppleWorks cookbook, keep track of dates and addresses and listen to music as I recharge my iPod. What's next?
Christine Lowe Slater
Northbridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
"How Apple Does it" was a refreshing take on the company's culture of technological transformation. There are not many great innovators still kicking around in the business world, but Steve Jobs and Apple Computer are leading the way. With them in the forefront, it won't be long before home theater becomes mainstream. I can't wait.
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
The Cool New World
Your article "biochips for everyone!", on computer microchips that can be implanted in humans, set off alarm bells [Nov. 14]. While each chip contains a personal ID number that could be scanned like a bar code and provide needed medical data, there is a serious danger. The government or anyone smart enough to hack a security system could end up using biochips to track a person's movements and activities. Should biochips become commonly used, people might then be forced to have them implanted. And if that happened, anyone who did not have a biochip could not live and work in this society.
Marblehead, Massachusetts, U.S.
In "Getting Inside Your Head," you reported on scanning techniques that help determine how our brains work. You noted that corporate marketers could use neuroimaging technology to scan people's brain functions as new products are tested. Philosophers and theologians should be alert to those innovative methods for looking inside how the mind works. Those who grapple with the interrelation of mind, soul and body must consider more seriously the implications of the latest information available in brain research.
Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.
Rise of a Superstar
The article on basketball star Yao Ming and the controlling role played by Chinese authorities [Nov. 14] convinces me that the transformation of China can be better achieved by economics, not by politics. Large corporations can show the way by providing tangible examples of how the Chinese people can have a better standard of living through their individual efforts and creativity. Political rhetoric and mismanagement are not effective.
Tsang Kwok Choong
France's Streets of Fire
Re your reporting on violent protests in France [Nov. 14]: The rioters, who are mostly Arab or black, may also be French, although they say they don't feel as if they are treated like "real" French citizens. But what is a French citizen? France is in the middle of a deep national identity crisis. The population doesn't know what it wants, and the politicians don't know what to offer voters. The cause of the riots goes beyond economic and social problems. France is a radically changing society, and it needs something to give it direction. French citizens need a reason to respect our laws and authorities. We need a reason to come together.
Before we Americans shake our heads in wonder or look down our noses at the French for allowing extreme inequality to fester for so long, we should pay attention to what TIME said about the French having to confront the widening disparities between those who live in soulless apartment blocks and the rest of the country. As you noted, if those problems aren't addressed, "the rage and resentment inflaming the streets will surely continue to smolder." That is also true of certain parts of Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles and any number of other U.S. cities. We will be forced to confront the same inequalities. It's a question of when, not if.
It is an illusion to believe the generous social-welfare benefits France offers its citizens including millions of immigrants mostly from Arab countries will bring social peace. How can the government, the left-wing media and lite French society turn a blind eye to the hatred brewing in immigrant housing projects? The greatest damage inflicted by the riots has been to the hopes of young Arab men and women who really want to become integrated into their adopted country.
France has absorbed waves of immigrants, from Russia, Poland and Armenia, to name a few countries. Those newcomers came from a broad spectrum of the economic and political landscape, yet by the second or third generation most of them had assimilated into the French population. Why is that not happening with the Muslim community? Muslims were welcomed and provided with government assistance they would never have received in their own Islamic countries. Although it is incumbent on governments to provide adequate education and job opportunities to minorities, it is also the responsibility of Muslim communities embedded in the Western world to start asking themselves the hard questions about their failure to assimilate. Until then, there will be little hope of any change.
The rage expressed night after night by alienated youth dealt a crushing blow to France's self-image as a model of tolerance and social equality. Could such riots occur in Canada, a nation of immigrants, many of whom face severe economic challenges and are excluded from Canadian society? We must make sure that Canada's educational system imparts a sense of shared values and that there are real equal opportunities for all.
Syed Waris Shere
God and Science
While I applaud nobel-prizewinning physicist Eric Cornell's evenhanded call for moderation in the intelligent-design debate [Nov. 14], I long to see an article that examines the causality for the controversy and suggests how it might be resolved. Among my friends who are adherents of the doctrine of God-inspired intelligent design, the issue isn't one of competing or conflicting scientific theories but of a desire to make science work for them in the effort to live a purposeful and successful life. We need to focus on finding a solution rather than repeating the same arguments for 100 years.
Carmel, Indiana, U.S.
Cornell says there should be no theology (or intelligent design) in science classes and no science in religion classes. Not many high schools, however, have religion classes. In my high school years, I remember struggling to reconcile religious teachings with the theory of evolution. I think religious students would be more comfortable if they were told that science looks at things differently than religion does, and that although they will learn about evolution in science class, it does not mean they must give up their religious faith. There are truths to be found in both.
Bonita, California, U.S.
There have been many times when religion has fallen behind science and when efforts have been made to reassert religion in an authoritative position. The most famous of those clashes was, of course, between the Roman Catholic Church and Galileo over his heretical belief that the sun was the center of the universe. Galileo was sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, and science was forced to submit to religion. Intelligent design is a fleeting but dangerous effort to maintain a position that, in the face of science, becomes less and less credible with the passage of time.
Your notebook item "Outing Secret Jails" [Nov. 14] said the Washington Post reported that the CIA has held captured al-Qaeda members in covert detention centers in several East European countries as well as in Thailand, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Holding prisoners in secret and denying them recourse to judicial hearings in a timely fashion are more than appalling. The Bush Administration seems not to understand that if you want to "export" democracy, you need to act like a democracy, not a totalitarian state. Say all you want about the ends justifying the means, the reality is that such actions undermine our stated reason for occupying Iraq. If President George W. Bush is intent on remaking Iraq into a democracy, he needs to start acting like a civilized leader.
Kure Beach, North Carolina
I was very impressed by your coverage of the Global Health crisis [Nov. 7], especially your article on Dr. Dora Akunyili, the director general of Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and her work to combat the trade in counterfeit medicines, even at the risk of her own life. It is good for her to be recognized as the Global Health hero that she truly is. I appreciate her efforts as well as those of all the others fighting hard to eradicate the world's dangerous diseases.
This world is blessed with enough human and material resources for every human being to live in peace and prosperity. Yet human suffering continues to grow. Most disheartening is the fact that many precious resources that should have been used for human welfare have been wasted on war. One wonders why man, who has walked on the moon and explored Mars, cannot prevent Earth from becoming a virtual hell.
France in May 1968
Reports on the riots in France [Nov. 14] often refer to the disturbances that took place in that country in May 1968. We said then that the revolt was the result of students and workers feeling increasingly frustrated by President Charles de Gaulle's government, "on which normal public and political pressures had almost no effect." Here is an excerpt from TIME's coverage of those events [May 31, 1968]:
"Last week the myth that France and De Gaulle are one lay shattered forever amid the garbage festering in the streets of Paris, the litter of uprooted paving stones, the splinters of chestnut trees hacked down to make barricades, the blood spilled on the capital's boulevards. France was a nation in angry rebellion ... Everywhere, France writhed in revolt and dishevelment. Half of the nation's 16 million workers were on strike, and most of the rest were idled by a massive transportation shutdown. The country's students barricaded themselves in their universities. Farmers defiantly parked their tractors across the nation's highways. Protesters surged through Paris streets by the thousands each night, battling police and riot troopers. With startling suddenness, the serenity of Gaullist France had been swept away in what the French are already calling 'the Days in May.'"