Cheques seem out of place
In reference to Bank chief calls for an end to cheques (October 24), I am surprised that there are still so many cheques floating around in the UAE.
In my home country of Australia, it is now very unusual to see a cheque at all. If you want a chequebook from a bank, you must ask for one - and then the bank staff will probably advise you to make electronic payments instead.
For many years now, I have paid all my bills and sent gifts of money to family members via online banking. I have even paid tradespeople in this way, by transferring money directly to their nominated bank account.
Here in the UAE, I pay my utility bills electronically, and I certainly would not even contemplate writing a cheque for this purpose.
I don't have a home loan here but, as I understand it, some lenders require customers to write cheques to cover future mortgage payments.
Surely there are far better ways to secure a loan. Mark Tucker, Abu Dhabi
The best thing is to create a system where the cheques are checked electronically and run through a central clearing mechanism.
I believe this could eliminate more than 75 per cent of cheque returns.
Abdulla Al Binali, Dubai
Education system lacks competition
I really have a hard time seeing New Gems schools will accommodate 33,000 children (October 23) as good news.
I am concerned that a single for-profit educational organisation controls such a large part of this essential industry.
Gems offers a reasonable quality of education, but I would much rather see other companies come in to create real competition and help drive prices down.
Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi
Home care best if you can afford it
I am writing in reference to the story about childcare, Are you damaging your child? (October 23)
As a father, I made many financial sacrifices to keep my child out of day care. I believe it would have been harmful to my son at such a young age.
I wish our economy was structured differently, and that a middle-class income would make it possible for everyone to live the way our parents did.
J Jay, Dubai
Call to support local farming
One issue relevant to Fresh goat's milk? Here's how (October 24) is the lack of investment into enabling farmers to grow produce here in the UAE.
Farming locally leaves a smaller carbon footprint and the stock gets to the store a lot quicker.
K Fuzi, Dubai
Nuclear free must apply to Israel, too
Israel is reliably estimated by US scientists to have built-up a secret arsenal of up to 400 nuclear warheads, together with a second strike capability from its German-made nuclear-armed submarines.
Clearly, the UN Security Council must enforce a nuclear weapons free zone to include both Israel and Iran, but it must be supported by the US.
This is what the UK government wants and so should America.
Douglas Reed, UK
Smaller iPads are just the beginning
Well, by now we know the answer to the question you posed in Will Apple go small in tablet wars? (October 23).
Maybe the real question is: does Apple want to squeeze out all the competition and conquer the world of technology?
As your article pointed out, Apple needed to release the smaller iPad to keep up with the 7-inch tablets that are being released by other companies.
Apple is certainly looking over its shoulder at what the likes of Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft are doing.
But by all accounts it was a huge launch on Wednesday, with not just a smaller iPad released but a new Macbook, too.
Importantly, there was also a change to the specifications of the iPad that was released earlier this year. The "big iPad" now has twice the speed due to a better chip, plus longer battery life, the new Lightning connector and other enhancements.
This must surely come as a disappointment to those buyers who took the plunge just a few months ago and thought they were getting a device that would remain state of the art for at least a year or two.
No matter what you buy these days, it seems there is something better just around the corner. And, even without Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple continues to be able to persuade us that whatever it makes is a "must-have" item.
Trevor Long, Abu Dhabi