It isn't a trivial technical problem to revise the electronic message
infrastructure to arrange for payment of postage but to assert that it
can't be done or wouldn't be deployed flys in the face of the relatively
short time frame for adoption of the WWW or IM.
If I had a tenth of a cent for every time someone assumed the
existence of a global low-cost highly reliable micropayment clearing
system, it wouldn't matter, because there is no such a system and
never will be, so I couldn't collect it anyway.
The problems that make e-postage impossible are entirely unlike the
ones that might have faced WWW and IM. It's basically a banking
problem, not a software or networking problem. I wrote a white paper
a couple of years ago that laid out the situation, which only needs
some minor updates to make the numbers even less favorable than they
were then. Visit http://www.taugh.com, where it's white paper #1 near
the bottom of the page.
John Levine, johnl(_at_)iecc(_dot_)com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://www.johnlevine.com, Mayor
"More Wiener schnitzel, please", said Tom, revealingly.
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