From Larry Jensen: “I’m sorry that they haven’t chosen to use your Clickle buzzword, but there has been progress on this front. Last month Digital Equipment Corp. (now Compaq, if I’ve got my merger trading cards straight) started beta-testing software for ‘The MilliCent™ microcommerce system.’ The basic concept is exactly the same as you described, with a bit more flexibility: it allows web sites to charge variable fees for content – as small as 1/10th of a cent – either for single-time usage or for longer subscriptions. You can read all about it, and download the software (a plug-in to your web browser) along with $10 of free scrip, on their web site at”

From Bill Densmore, president of Clickshare Service Corp.: “See for more information.”

From Timothy Lash: “Why wait until next decade for the replicator? See today. It’s pretty close to what you describe.

From Jim L’H.: “I like your idea of the replicator and was thinking along similar lines myself. Don’t worry, I’ll let you claim credit if you want. But for this to work, we really need to make our goods transportation system more efficient. Having a person getting in and out of a behemoth truck, driving all over town burning fossil fuel is outdated and unnecessary. Here’s my idea.

“Let’s make a small-package trolley system. String lines, or better yet have underground tubes that go to every home on every street. Little pods would zip along the lines, or through the tubes carrying small packages. My hospital has this for medical chart delivery. Just scale up the infrastructure. Then when you order your shampoo and other sundries, the person at the sundries warehouse puts your order in a pod, gives it your address and sends it down the line. It is automatically controlled and programmed to find the most efficient route to your home. When it gets there, you unload it, put in your recycling, and send it on down the line again. Theft would not be a big problem. First, a thief wouldn’t know what he was getting, second, it is most likely low value anyway, and third, the system would be rather inconvenient to break into (high in the air, or underground in tubes). And of course the pod would be digitally protected to open only at your house. You can claim credit for the clickle and the replicator, but this one is mine. However, I will cut you in if you can think up a catchy name for it.”

Well, one name I can think for it is: stupid. But then you can reasonably have said the same for my clickle and replicator, so I think I’d rather call it visionary. We could get the guys who designed the Denver Airport baggage system to work on this, and soon shampoo or a bottle of aspirin could cost no more than it does in a hospital — $16.

I love the idea, but I think it needs a little work.



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