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March 06, 2004


I think it makes a lot of sense if the fee is paid to the recipient of the email. Heck, I'd put up a website that said "I have a small penis, and my mortgage rate is too high. Contact me at [email protected]" in order to attract spam if I got a few cents for every one I deleted. And that would presumably give people the ability to waive the charge to people they correspond with regularly. That way the email charge would be intermediate between "block all mail from addresses you don't recognize" and "let it all in."

Hate to say it as someone who uses a lot, but charging by bandwidth or upload/download makes more economic sense than charging by item. Edward's long email wouldn't be significant compared to a joke video sent as an attachment.

For that matter, charge by item, and Edward could combine several emails together, or the program could automatically wait for a queue

Wouldn't do anything about spam, tho

It's a completely broken solution to the problem. Big corporations that currently send spam would continue to do so, because they can afford it. Small organizations (that tend to go for [email protected], Nigerian, and porn spam) are already out of country or rely on exploiting open relays. So they'd either be out of jurisdiction or would be charging other people.

Meanwhile, your legitimate friends would have to deal with headache of billing and authentication every time they wanted to say hi.

Oh, and it also sets the precedent that certain bits of traffic are to be treated differently from other bits. To the internet infrastructure, e-mail is just bits like anything else. . it's up to the two pieces of software on each end to agree on what exactly those bits are and how to treat them. It's like the VoIP problem. How do you treat internet phone calls like switch-based phone calls for obscure taxation reasons when the infrastructure treats it exactly the same as everything else? If 'e-mail' is charged for, someone will (very quickly) come up with another mail protocol that does the exact same thing, but embeds the message in an image format or via FTP.

And I hereby declare an open thread revolution. The people have Wingsistan have too long suffered under a dictatorial regime that brutally withholds a sufficiency of open threads. Power to the people. Free Hat.

And drunk on our newfound open thread freedom, I entreat you all to watch the most important collegiate basketball game of the year. . nay. . in history. . when Washington attempts to defeat might Stanford tonight in a bid to prove it is probably better than Pepperdine and to become marginally less incredibly unlikely to make the tournament.

have = of. might = mighty.
The cruel regime wouldn't let me go to skool.

Open thread stuff:Martha

"Martha Stewart Living canceled by NY local affiliate" just struck me today. I was just, maybe wrongly disturbed. She broke the law, convicted felon, but not an ax murderer or something. This should damage, not destroy her life.

Would, or is there so much controversy that they can't carry her show? Tape it from the cell, if it is a live show. :)

I can't remember where on slashdot it is, but one completely appropriate "solution" to spammers would be the one taken by the geeks on slashdot for one spammer: publish their home addresses, and sign them up to every kind of paper junk mail they can get.

E-mail spam has actually made me appreciate paper junk mail a whole lot more. It may be a waste of resources, but at least the companies who send it out pay for it, and that payment helps fund the mail, rather than (as the e-mail spammers do) make me pay to receive it, and use valuable resources for free.

Spam used to be a minor nuisance. Over the past couple of years it's turned into a genuine threat to the Internet. I deleted the contents of my trash bin first thing this morning: I have 165 items in there right now, every single one of them spam. (I have broadband. It's actually faster to let the spam download and delete them unread than it is to mess about with Mailwasher.)

I agree something's got to be done, and it would be nice if it involved the spammers actually paying for what they do. I mean that literally, with money, though I admit that I do at times have fantasies of roasting spammers alive just to listen to them scream. Not that I'd ever do it. No indeed. Just... well... sometimes.

How about setting a limit for free e-mail? Say you can send five e-mails out for a day for free, and then each one after that requires a fee of $1.00 per e-mail. I don't know too much about the spam industry though; do spamming corporations send out a lot of e-mails on a daily basis?

Does anyone agree with me that after you buy your computer and pay your monthly charge, e-mail should not exactly be considered "free"?

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