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Microsoft contemplating charging for emails

Some mistake, surely
Sat Feb 15 2003, 09:51
Penny-post-in-the-shape-of-the-penny-black MICROSOFT IS UNFOLDING something it calls the Penny Black project in which people sending emails might have to pay for the privilege.

Microsoft claims in an article on its web site that the "Penny Black" project wants to reduce spam by making senders pay.

In the same article, Microsoft says it is contemplating different ways a sender might pay, including "plain old cash", CPU cycles, memory cycles and Turing tests.

The firm has already put together formal analyses of a CPU based scheme which it calls "a plausible memory based function". It also says it knows how to implement Turing tests and knows how to issue a ticket server.

The ticket server idea would issue tokens for a number of email messages which would allow recipients to call the service and cancel the email.

Microsoft said it is working on "fleshing out the design" and "arguing about the merits of the various challenge schemes".

But we suspect any attempts by the Vole to introduce Penny Black would lead to a stampede for the nearest exit with many users seeing Penny Red, instead.* µ

* MAYBE NOT because it is such a bad idea, per se, but do we want Microsoft to administer it?

L'INQ
Microsoft "Penny Black" project
The Penny Red
British Victorian stamps

 

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