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Bill Gates proposes charging per email. Says it will stop spam.

by James Denison / March 11, 2004 9:23 AM PST
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/internet/03/05/spam.charge.ap/index.html

That's why we get so much junk e-mail: It's essentially free to send. So Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates, among others, is now suggesting that we start buying "stamps" for e-mail. At perhaps a penny or less per item, e-mail postage wouldn't significantly dent the pocketbooks of people who send only a few messages a day. Not so for spammers who mail millions at a time.
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Re:Bill Gates proposes charging per email. Says it will stop spam.
by dawillie / March 11, 2004 9:44 AM PST

i am assuming he means hotmail since my default e-mail is controlled by my ISP who I pay every month.
wonder also what USPS and Canada Post will have to say about that.
david williams

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Re: charging per email will stop spam -- also be the death of

to say nothing of all the useful mailing lists from CNet, various investment companies, etc. The problem is that the exact same message is unsolicited SPAM to one person and a valuable message to another. I get a weekly e-mail with the tables of contents of major scientific journals and the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts. Think those would last even a month if there was a per e-mail fee? This is a horrible idea!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Horrible describes it. I wonder why Gates is supporting the idea? [nt]

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I think you asked that as a bit of a joke James - although as you agree it's not funny at all :( how the hell will it be collected anyway - does he intend to buy up the complete Internet :( NT

NT

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Not content with the billions of dollars that he has clawed off us so far, Dave, he now wants even more and is using spam as the golden excuse :( That guy makes me sick NT
by SteveGargini / March 11, 2004 12:15 PM PST

NT

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Wonder of wonders! I agree with Dave. Somebody should tell Gates to stuff it!
by Kiddpeat / March 11, 2004 1:00 PM PST

I also get useful newsletters which are free because there is no cost to deliver them. Gates better work a little harder to figure out how to stop spam. It doesn't bother me all that much anyway.

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Re: Wonder of wonders! I agree with Dave. Somebody should tell Gates to stuff it!

Hi, KP.

I know you don't want t hear the answer, but it's clear -- government regulation to outlaw SPAM. Yes, it won't help offshore directly -- but we could take the lead in developing an international consortium with overlapping anti-SPAM laws. Why the government? Because they're the only ones who can have the force of law behind them. What you see here is trying to let the marketplace do it, and that simply won't work without screwing the consumer in the process. That doesn't seem to bother you in ther areas (cable and utility regulation, frinstance) -- why do you have a different viewpoing on this one? Or could it be that you need to rethink your position on those other areas?

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!


-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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The biggest problem is defining spam.
by Diana Forum moderator / March 11, 2004 10:00 PM PST

Did anyone see any of the hearings? One man's spam is anothers bread and butter (that's what the post office calls bulk mail).

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Why would I not want to hear it? It may be a legitimate government function, but

I would be concerned that they would make things worse. If they don't interfere with legitimate communications, I see no problem with trying. However, I see no magic in gov't bureaucrats. They probably don't have the wits and savvy that private companies do. Therefore, I wouldn't expect too much, and wouldn't be surprised if a they make the situation worse.

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Re:Bill Gates proposes charging per email. Says it will stop spam.

I think it's a damn good idea personally, because i don't send many e-mails, it will certainly stop the spammers.

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I was thinking the same thing when I first read about it. However, ...
by Rosalie / March 11, 2004 10:09 PM PST

as Dave points out this would be detrimental to companies or organizations, some charity oriented, that mail out thousands of asked for newsletters, bulletins and updates.

Right now filters seem to be the best bet. My ISP has very good filter set up by default, however, I found that a few of my friends were having their email to me bounced so I disabled many of the filters. I get very little spam and what little I have gotten I set up filters on my mail client. It can be a pain in the neck but it does work.

Welcome to Speakeasy, billyfridge Happy

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Actually it's a bad idea
by Diana Forum moderator / March 11, 2004 10:09 PM PST

Spammers will simply write it off to the cost of doing business, just like bulk mail now.

Others, like myself, that have a list of people that I send something funny or interesting to once or twice a week would stop.

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I agree Diana - I cannot see how anything can be done about e-mail from the eastern hemisphere
by SteveGargini / March 12, 2004 5:04 AM PST

I would love to see what Russians have to say to that greedy,greedy man, and with the open gates on the internet I think it would be impossible to impose any charges on electronic mail, certainly not without the I.S.P's cooperation, and guess what I would say to my I.S.P if they threatened me with e-mail charging.

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So far postage hasn't stopped the junk mail in my snail mail box....
by C1ay / March 11, 2004 8:41 PM PST

how's it gonna stop it in my email box? This ain't gonna happen cuz it won't work.

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Re:Bill Gates proposes charging per email. Says it will stop spam.
by Roger NC / March 11, 2004 8:53 PM PST

Actually, I'm surprised ISP's haven't started a more tiered account cost sturcture for such high volume email users, senders that are their customers particularly.

Then again, I guess it may be little difference to ISP if sending huge bulk email or just browsing all day or sending a few larger files. I'm not sure at the ISP equipment/bandwidth end how much difference there is in browsing and email.

But doesn't sent email at least temporarily reside on the server at the ISP? Just seems that spammers would tie up enough of their ISP's service that the ISP would notice and object.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Email cost to ISP is still less than teens downloading MP3 and other large files. [nt]

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Why doesn't Bill Gates

Come up with a new protocol or some such thing that would prevent spammers from using some innocent people's mail servers to send their crap? Oh yeah, cuz he's not that good at security.

I'd be darned mad if I had no tools to stop someone from hijacking my mailserver, and then be responsible for the bill when someone sends out a few million pieces of spam from it.

Bad, Bill, bad boy.

Cindi

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Someone at AP really misstated what Gates really said...

but I will leave it to each of you to look around for his Davos speech.

He suggested that a sender's computer would have to solve a math problem for the mail server to send the message--just seconds, but it would, because of the volume of messages, almost require spammers to invest in supercomputers. The average small email list wouldn't even be affected much and individuals would not even notice.

Others backed a pay-per-mail and that was targetted at commercial entities who presumably derive some pecuniary benefit from the mailing but private individuals would not pay nor would non-profits and a few other catagories.

It was also mentioned that the money would go to the ISPs to reduce costs for clients and to help pay for AV product screening on the mail servers.

Look it up and get a laught or two about this "news" report yourself.

On second thought, many wouldn't so try this one:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2004/feb04/02-24RSAAntiSpamTechVisionPR.asp

...In a spammer's economic model, spending even five or 10 seconds per message could be prohibitively expensive. Smaller organizations, however, that send low volumes of e-mail generally have an abundance of computer processing power available. Although they can't afford to spend cash for a certificate, they can afford to spend a few seconds on each message.

Microsoft has developed a way for noncertified senders to prove that they have indeed spent a few seconds of computer processing time on each message. Spam filters can then recognize that a sender is not a spammer because the sender has demonstrated behavior that would put a spammer out of business.

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A little egg. I think I did see this, but had forgotten.
by Kiddpeat / March 12, 2004 2:48 AM PST

Yes, a little CPU, or a preauthorized sender would make sense. Pennies per message would not.

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Re: Someone at AP really misstated what Gates really said...

Hi, Ed.

That may be an earlier suggestion (or perhaps a later one, if he's already backtracking), but Gates' suggestion of charging the sender a penny per e-mail was widely reported several days ago -- I even saw a clip of him saying it on TV (I forget which network, except that it definitely wasn't Faux News, which I watch infrequently enough that I'd remember!)

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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No Dave, it is not 'an earlier (or perhaps later one...'

it is EXACTLY what he proposed at Davos--didn't you bother reading it after I went ahead and linked to it?

If you saw a "clip of him saying it on tv" you were either dreaming or not paying attention because Gates NEVER said it.

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Re:Maybe this will help curb the spam
by Rolway / March 12, 2004 5:44 AM PST
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Thanks George - That is definitely a step in the right direction - I hope they get sued for millions :) NT
by SteveGargini / March 12, 2004 8:35 PM PST

NT

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Re:Re:Maybe this will help curb the spam ..another story
by JP Bill / March 12, 2004 10:33 PM PST
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I admire their ingenuity and tenacity, not their product [nt]
by James Denison / March 13, 2004 12:13 AM PST

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