NEXT L.A.: A look at issues, people and ideas helping to shape the emerging metropolis. : Cyber Cafe

Amy [Harmon], I was a bit puzzled by the angle you chose on your story (“Wired Awake in Cyberspace,” Aug. 8) about Cyber Java. If you find electronic communication so odious, what sadistic editor assigned you to the Next L.A. page? The truth is, having e-mail access at a cafe is far less odious than having a telephone there, as you have to choose to read the e-mail. Try declining a call when a waiter brings a telephone to your table sometime!

Actually, I’ll bet there were articles written a century ago about how the world was going to hell now that telephones were being installed outside of homes and offices. Maybe when I’m cut off on the 405 by a driver blithely downloading e-mail on his cellular computer I’ll agree things have gone too far.


Santa Monica


(Harmon covers technology and cyberspace for The Times. She likes electronic communication just fine, but prefers her coffee strong, black and unplugged.)

Smog Stuff on the Web

Computer users in Southern California and around the world can view Southland smog forecasts and learn about the latest air pollution technology on the Internet.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District home page on the World Wide Web features daily air quality forecasts for all areas of the air basin, as well as a detailed summary of 1994 air quality for the region.


In the near future, Internet users will be able to access “live” air quality readings for any area in the region by clicking their computer mouse at the desired spot on a full-color computer map.

To view AQMD’s home page (from your Web browser), type


AQMD news office