The Art of Building Robots

Letters chime in on our coverage of Microsoft's Robotics Studio, desire for more coverage on testing, and more.

Letters to Visual Studio Magazine are welcome. Letters must include your name, address, and daytime phone number to be considered for publication. Letters might be edited for form, fit, and style. Please send them to Letters to the Editor, c/o Visual Studio Magazine, 2600 El Camino Real, Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94403; fax them to 650-570-6307; or e-mail them to vsmedit@1105media.com. Note that the views expressed in the letters section are the opinions of the letters' authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Visual Studio Magazine or those of 1105 Media.

The Art of Building Robots
I read Patrick Meader's Robotics editorial with interest (Editor's Note, "Applying Robotics to Everyday Scenarios," August 2008). But I was disappointed to see no mention of FIRST Robotics, where people like us can mentor high school students in Robotics and the art of building robots.

I think this program is probably one of the best educational ideas ever to be developed for creating future engineers, whether they're interested in creating hardware or software. You can find more information on this organization at www.usfirst.org.

Lee Drake
Rochester, N.Y.

More Unit Testing Articles, Please
My granddaughter and I both appreciated John Kuhn and Paul Sheriff's article, "Test Your .NET 3.5 Apps" (June 2008). I have one quibble -- I think the article was misnamed and focused more on design for unit testing, or re-design, as the case might be. But this is an important topic that I believe warrants more discussion, given the need to support agile practices and competing technologies such as JavaScript, ASP.NET, and code-behind, none of which encourage unit testing.

Quentin Gilbert
received by e-mail

Encrypting Data in the Cloud
Patrick Meader makes some good points in his editorial, "Is SaaS Right for You?" (Editor's Note, July 2008). Per his concerns about storing sensitive data offsite, I suspect strong encryption can help. If the service company itself isn't of questionable origin, corporations would be receptive to the idea of storing highly encrypted data offsite (using One Time Pad and related techniques). The SaaS program would do the encryption locally on the user's machine, then send the result out to be stored in its cloud servers somewhere.

Saty Raghavachary
received by e-mail

Correction
In the July 2008 issue we inadvertently swapped the screen shots for Figures 2 and 3 on pages 20 and 22 in the cover story, "Test-Drive SQL Server Data Services." We apologize for any confusion this might have caused.

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This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.

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