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Spark

Spark wants to hear from you. Are you passionate about technology? What topics do you want to learn more about? What sort of technology advances would make your life better?

Send your comments and ideas to spark@cnn.com. Here are some of your e-mails.

Biometrics for handbags

Spark has received several e-mails about the anti-theft handbag featured on the October show. Here are some comments from viewers. Full story

Dear Spark,
I think the technology that allows only the owner's thumb print access to the handbag is really great. I would like to buy it as soon as possible.
Nwosu Maximilian Izuu

Dear Spark,
I was somewhat alarmed to see the anti-theft hand-bag being portrayed as a solution to the problem of pick-pockets. Experience tells me that the addition of expensive technology does not solve the problem, but makes the bag a target. When something can be locked, it can be unlocked; where it can be coded, someone can decode it. The presence of biometrics indicates to a thief something is worth stealing, and the whole bag would then go, either by cutting the strap, or just snatching it. Surely camouflage, decoy material, spreading valuables about the person, or better still not carrying too much of value is a far better option. Inner cities these days are not safe places to flaunt wealth, carry expensive goods openly or even drive expensive cars, unless you are made aware of your potential as a target and are willing to face the consequences. I'd hate to see this device "spark" a trend of stealing bags, and fingers to open them with.
Diceman, United Kingdom

Dear Spark,
As a woman who has handbags both ripped off and slashed, I find the anti-theft handbag an appealing idea. However, I'm not sure whether Louise's current version would help much. I think one might go further by offering already successful handbag and/or backpack makers a secure, cut-proof lining that would also alarm when any strand is broken. If I could find the right material, I might even be tempted to market it myself under the name "Safety-Net."
Barbara Ratanapimankul

Dear Spark,
I have a friend whose handbag, which had a long strap, was stolen by a thief who jostled her and ripped the whole bag from her shoulder, even though she had her arm around the bag. The bag you showed on Spark could still be stolen and cut open later by the thief. A better idea is to line a backpack with chicken wire. Backpacks are commonly cut open from the underside but the wire would stop this from happening. To stop thief cutting the straps, you could thread bicycle wire -- the thin cable used for bicycle brake and gear-changing -- through the arm straps of your rucksack. The reinforced rucksack is near impossible to steal from you -- even in a crowded holiday town.
Alex Williams, United Kingdom

Dear Spark,
I am an Industrial Design student at the University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands. I think the pick-pocket handbag has a ridiculous solution, making the bag expensive and cumbersome. Only the person who owns it can open it. It must be battery-operated so can you still open the bag when the battery is empty? Can you open it when the electronics fail? Putting the reader on the side means it would be easily damaged. There are many more simpler and better solutions.
Rutger Prins, The Netherlands

Dear Spark,
I have lived in Costa Rica for a year and before that, Chile, for 11 years. During that time I have been mugged three times. This handbag would not have helped me as my leather purses were sliced with a razor blade from behind. A slash-proof purse would be better.
Carla, Costa Rica

Dear Spark,
I think this is a wonderful invention but feel it might be too expensive for this purpose. It would be better off with briefcases. The inventor should try it with with men's briefcases.
Jerrison Irene-oshias, Nigeria

Dear Spark,
The handbag is a wonderful idea but the concept is flawed and the designer has not done her homework. Having spent a lot of time in Central and Eastern Europe, I know this design would be useless. Here, victims are targeted by as many as four thieves, who will stop at nothing until they have stolen what they want. It looks good on television but it won't protect women in this part of the world.
Christina Rick, Czech Republic

Dear Spark,
A good idea but handbags will always be snatched no matter what security feature you add.
Awilo Logomba, Africa

Dear Spark,
Adding an alarm to the bag is an even better idea.
Wolex

Untangled

Dear Spark,
When are they going to come out with wireless headsets (for iPods, MP3s etc) so you are not trapped to the thing by long wires that get continually tangled?
Kimeran Daley, United Kingdom

Back seat driver

Dear Spark,
Several car brands in India have very little or no leg room in the back seat. So why not turn the back seats in these cars around, facing the other way, to make to most of the room in the trunk and give passengers more legroom?
Shriram Krishnan, Mumbai

In black and white

Dear Spark,
I want to see mobile phone manufacturers create black and white screens. I don't need a camera or color pictures but really do need a large clear black and white display that you can read in bright light, full communication functions and a decent multi-day battery life.
John Bishop, Thailand

Safer roads

I recently filed a US patent for an invention, which can be viewed at www.safecarchase.com. I have developed a remote Vehicle Stopper System, which would allow the police to immobilize a car safely. My system utilizes a remote control device, which would be located in a law enforcement vehicle. This remote control device, once activated by a law enforcement agent, can either: Signal all vehicles within a 100 to 300 foot radius to first reduce speed, and then ultimately stop. This system avoids dangerous car chasing. Or it can immobilize (immediately or later) a specific car if the owner has not paid his or her taxes for example or because he or she must be arrested for other reasons (child support, parking tickets, false alarm, etc.). I am sure you can see the benefits of this Vehicle Stopper System, mostly its ability to save lives as well as time and money. I am currently seeking potential users to create a prototype, as well as partners to further develop and promote my system.
Robert A. Dunand, New York

Hot stuff

I have a special kind of dinner plate. It keeps food warm for a longer period of time than conventional plates. My fore parents designed it many years back and it has been in my family for years now. I am thinking of trade marking it and getting it registered so that I can put it on the market. I have also designed a particular, peculiar design pattern for fabrics -- a bit like the Burberry design -- and I want to trademark it also.
Ken A Ejovwoke

CNN reserves the right to abridge e-mails. Not all e-mails can be published.


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