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The ECT proposal sounds pretty good, and I'd like to toss in my nickle's
What to do about the non-Unix (and Unix variants) world? Granted that the
majority of the net is "unix" based, there are still a *lot* of folks that
run MSDOS, Windows, Amigas, Ataris, and god-knows-what-else. If they can't
'play', that would seem to put a semi-serious limitation on the testbed.
What hooks are going to be available to let the other kids play? (I count
myself in there - I run Windows)
There was recently a not-so-brief thread about what to call the electronic
"cash" - why not just go with that old Sci-Fi standby of "credits"
(abbreviated C| ? Or the copyright symbol?)? It's not specific to any
country/currency, and fairly accurately describes the nature of the medium.
Are the creditbanks going to be available on a 24-hour basis, with the
attendant load/reliability questions? If not, what to do about overdrafts,
or refusals-of-service because a creditbank is 'down'? How to deal with
getting account balances (if appropriate)? Do we handle the transactions as
cash (each "bill" serial numbered and sealed)) or checks (available in
virtually any "denomination" - with the related check-based concerns)?
If it's going to be in "denominational" form, how are these "bills" going to
be identified? This is related to the unix/MSDOS/Atari/Amiga/??? question -
discrete monetary denominations should at least have filenames that are
usable by all participants (regrettably, that means the MSDOS limitation of
8.3 - *sigh*). If checks, what format do they take (I'll assume they'll
still meet the minimum filename limitations of MSDOS)? How are the credits
actually transferred (ie, how would I send C|35 to Tim May :-) - attachment,
inclusion (uuencoded? MIME?), or ???? Would I be correct that these credits
would only be available in integer units?
Please understand - I'm not trying to throw cold water on the idea, or
pretend I'm playing "devil's advocate", or anything of the sort. I like
the idea of implementing a testbed for e-money, and would like to
contribute whatever I can: I've followed the e-money discussions as theory,
but my 'real world' job is as an engineering tech - the one who tries to get
from the design/theory stage to real implementation. You "engineers" get to
work out the gory details of what's the best "design"; us "technicians" have
to work out the details of how to implement your designs - and provide
feedback when something doesn't "look right", or ask questions when there's a
_perceived_ problem with the implementation. The design/implementation
process generally works best when the engineer can tell the technician what
he's trying to do, and the technician gets to provide feedback by asking dumb
questions about why and how and what-happens-if :-)
Finally, I think it would be better if the foundation for the ECT were in
place before trying to spread the gospel, so to speak. I know that's kind of
obvious, but if we had the creditbanks in place, the creditnotes or
creditchecks available, and the tools (MS-Windows CreditWriter? Atari
CreditPurse?) to allow unix/DOS/Atari/Amiga users to actually use the system,
more folks would be willing to at least give it a *try*. It's the old
bird-in-the-hand vs two-in-the-bush deal.......
One thing did occur to me after reading the ECT proposal: it would seem to be
ideal for mailing lists and moderated newsgroups. Someone wanting to post an
article/message pays (say) C|10 for the privelege; if others like it, they
send the author C|1. Flamers don't make much (if any) money, and good stuff
increases wealth. Leaves folks free to write whatever they want, but not for
free (translation: you've *really* got to want to say it before you'll pay
for it). Kinda brings new meaning to the phrase "putting in my .02 worth"
Dave Merriman -
Playing "Straight Man" to the Cypherpunks Comedy Troupe :-)
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