e-Talk Radio: Daughtrey, Taz, 31 October 2000


going to throw something at you that we haven't…we didn't prepare for. But seeing as how we're in an election month, and we've got different sides of view, we've got three contenders really, and two major contenders and a third one who's way off and distant…There's been some talk of licensing the Internet or charging people for using the Internet, or licensing professionals. What's…Without asking you who you're going to vote for, or your politics, what do you think of that? What do you think about licensing people to use the Internet, or gauging taxes or something on that basis?

Taz: Well, let me separate out. There are some beautiful, what we call Urban Myths. And a classic thing came up, and this is not partisan, because both the Republican and the Democrat candidates for Senate in New York State a few weeks ago were asked in a debate about one of these Urban Myths. A hoax that said that the postal service was going to start collecting a fee on every email, to compensate for the decrease in postal mail. Now, I don't know if there's a decrease in postal mail. My mailbox is still just as full of unsolicited credit cards and junk mail of various sorts. But I'm also getting junk email now, as well.

Carol: Well, and I line up at the post office every week.

Taz: But they asked both the Republican and Democratic candidates for the Senate in New York State, and neither the moderator, the newsperson who was moderating, nor the candidates, knew that this was a hoax. That this was an urban myth. And they both came out pretty much against it, which is great, and we know that there have been some serious proposals to do other types of regulations, the taxation of Internet transactions is probably the most contentious right now. And there are some strong interests on both sides. I think we're much better off if we can keep our hands off of anything that would inhibit people using the Internet. And obviously, regulations, restrictions, and taxes on the one hand, are things that I would avoid.

Carol: Hang on. We have to go into a quick break. But hold that thought, and we'll be back shortly after these few messages.

Welcome back to Quality Plus e-Talk! I'm Carol Dekkers, and my guest this week is Taz Daughtrey, who is the founding editor-in-chief of Software Quality Professional, which is an American Society for Quality, the software division's, quarterly journal. Welcome back, Taz.

Taz: Thanks, Carol.

Carol: We went into break with a little bit of talking about something that I think it's a great title, which is Urban Legends of Software Development, or concerning computers in general. And one of those that I have to kind of chuckle at, but absolutely would be valid, would be the post office trying to collect taxes on email. Even though the post office has nothing to do with email, you know, interoffice mail, where you actually send it by computer and you use an intranet provider. You were going to finish something off on that, talking about the urban legends and the Internet, Taz.

Taz: Well, it's interesting that certainly, just as a medium of communication, the Internet's spreading all these urban legends, all these stories. I was thinking about how many of them dealt with false stories or seemingly plausible stories. In fact, the editorial that's going to be in the upcoming issue of Software Quality Professional, the journal that I edit, tackles some of these, because I just thought it

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