Microsoft Wants You to Pay Postage on Email

CNN is reporting that Microsoft has come up with a scheme to have users pay money to send email as a way to discourage spammers. That should come as no surprise, since the “killer app” of the Internet has gone so long without Microsoft getting any money out of it. But Microsoft is also claiming that their idea wouldn’t actually generate revenue for them because you could earn “email credits” by, for instance, solving a simple math problem, thus verifying your earnest interest in sending an email.

Not only is this idea one of the dumbest I’ve ever heard, but it’s one of the dumbest I’ve ever heard (oops, wrote myself into a hyperbolic corner there). The idea that somehow Microsoft is proposing this and not going to make money on it in one way or another is ridiculous. Surely there will be ads on the web pages with the credit-generating math problems or something of the sort. Or there will be a “float” that Microsoft can take advantage of in some way, or a micro-fee that you’ll have to pay just to get the credits. Something. The invisible hand just doesn’t work the way that Microsoft claims it does.

I have a better idea: let’s implement a system whereby every time you send an email it costs you a penny, but each time you receive an email you earn a penny. Not only would that discourage spammers, but it would discourage all sorts of those jokes and pron-lite that people send around on Fridays. And it would actually encourage people to engage in dialog! People who routinely didn’t respond to emails would run up a debt, and their credit rating would be ruined! Or I suppose we might could just use whuffie and everyone could have a whuffie filter on their email so that non-responders would automatically go to the spam folder…

Pennies from eBay Heaven

1.The Creative Muvo2 can be had from for $200.

2. The internal 4GB microdrives are selling for $260 on Ebay.

3. The empty Muvo2 shell is selling for $45.

That’s a 50% profit on every Muvo2 I buy. I’m tempted to do this and use the profits to put a 256MB CF card in the Muvo2 husk, thus getting a free MP3 player.

What am I missing here?

The Popular Just Get More Popular

There’s an interesting article over at Wired about how Google and blogging in general are responsible for the trend of larger blogs picking up themes and even direct quotes from smaller blogs without attribution. What’s even more funny about the story is that they mention one of the items that we blogged months ago as an example: the Giant Microbes stuffed toys, for which I’m fairly certain we were as much of an original source as anyone can be on the Internet.

But the point of the article is that smaller sites get no attribution for trendsetting or coming up with the stories, and to counteract that researchers have come up with a system designed to find the original sources called “irank”. Aside from the incredibly bad name, we think this is a good way to upend the Google hegemony, especially since we think we’d be “among the rankest,” and that’s just where we’re used to being.

Blog Blogging Itself

Pete Rojas, former editor of the online gadget blog Gizmodo has gone out on his own to start Engadget, which is for all intents and purposes a complete copy of Gizmodo. That’s too bad; Gizmodo under Rojas’ stewardship was the premier gadget blog, but has turned of late into a simple rehash of press releases. Engadget looks like it’ll be the same as the old Gizmodo, with the crafty editorial tone that Rojas brought to it, but it also doesn’t seem to be anything more than gadgets. That leaves both competing in the exact same space, biting entries from one another in a “blog blogging itself” circularity. Pity.

In any case, we here at StreetTech wish Rojas and the team at Engadget luck in their new project. We’ve already readjusted our bookmarks..

N-Gage Ads Banned

It seems Nokia just can’t win with its mobile gaming/cell phone hybrid the N-Gage. According to MobileMag, the Advertising Standards Authority has banned the Nokia ads that show various locations with subtext that described what happened there, i.e. a bathroom with the text “this is where I missed the rim” or a bus stop with “this is where I got further with Lara than anyone else.”

Apparently some folks had complained that the ads are sexually suggestive, or evoke situations in which crimes may have occurred, reminding victims of their suffering.

Don’t worry — in case you’ve never heard of the Advertising Standards Authority, that’s because it’s a UK agency. We here in the US are still able to see these ads – bad as they may be (in quality, not taste).

Cool Vinyl Of the Week

If you’re into high-quality collectible vinyl … well, let’s call them what they really are…dolls, then you’re going to love (as I do) this cool looking one from Jason Siu. Not only is it a funky looking vinyl, it actually works as a speaker as well, pumping out a claimed 25 watts. While I wouldn’t hook it up to my high-end sound system (if I had one, that is) it certainly looks like it’d be a cool addition to a computer at work. Limited edition of 200, available on ebay for around $100, and maybe elsewhere for less.