Tim Bray proposes a solution for spam. It’s another rehash of the idea of charging a nominal fee to send an email, and would work if we could get everyone to adopt it rapidly, since it would be opt-in.
In another item about Foo Camp, he describes a talk that Tim O’Reilly gave on computer book sales:
Tim O’Reilly and one of his henchman gave a wonderful session which was just a brain-dump on technical book sales over the last year, broken down by publisher, by category (e.g. “Open Source,” “Operating Systems,” “Microsoft Technology,” “XML”). I think one hour of this kind of intense numerical data is worth approximately six months of listening to prognosticators and analysts. I’m not going to try to summarize this universe of information, a couple of things are worth noting: First, Perl used to be a $6M business for them, it’s down around $2M. The Parroteers need to buckle down and create some more book fodder, methinks.
I’d love to have been there for that.