Subject: Re: is it ok if I quote? From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 22 Sep 2002 22:20:02 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Stefan Schmiedl | So the current situation is a kind of non-optimized "win-win" situation, Well, that would perhaps be your conclusion, but it does not follow from anything I wrote. | Let's assume that Google would charge end users for the classification, and | be charged for the right to provide the information by the authors. Do you | think that it would still work, or would it lead to the end of the service? The Internet will not become a money machine until the banking industry figures out how to transfer money for free so you can charge USD 0.005 (half a cent) for some simple service like, say, reading a newspaper article you have searched for. With today's payment system, the cost of the transfer of the funds completely dwarf the cost of the service paid for. Various ways to deal with "electronic cash" have failed (I attended the opening of the First Virtual Internet Bank, but it folded after losing money mainly due to a severe shortage of cooperation from the banking industry), and I think the biggest hurdle is that the banking industry has a negative incentive in letting transactions be cheap or free -- they are lending the money that people have effectively lent them out again to other people and only make money if they can have stable capitalization. If transfers were free, people would move money around all day to get better interest rates from wherever, and then the interest rates would drop and probably make borrowing much more expensive. This situation, however, is what acutely prevents the Internet from taking off as a network for paid services. (The other options are to let micropayments accumulate at each site and only to charge or credit credit cards when the amount surpassed certain thresholds on the one hand, which exposes the receiver of the funds to high risk, and prepayment of some small amount that is effectively always unavailable to the payer on the other hand, which exposes the payer of the money to high risk.) -- Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder. Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.