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Welcome to the Digital Commerce Society of Boston

Meetings: First Tuesday of each month, Lunch (12-2) at Downtown Harvard Club, Boston, MA, USA.

Cost: $32.50 which also covers the speaker's lunch, A/V, etc.

The individual lunch announcements on the mailing list will give more details.

Directions to the Downtown Harvard Club can be found at:


Speaker Schedule:

4/98 Adam Shostack No Silver Bullet -- Digital Commerce and Payment Security

5/98 Jeremey Barrett Digital Bearer Certificate Protocols

6/98 Michael Baum PKI and the Commercial CA

Previous Speakers:

11/95 Win Treese Designing Systems for Digital Commerce

12/95 Rich Salz Middleware and Digital Commerce

1/96 Art Hutchinson Mapping the Future of Digital Commerce

2/96 Fred Hapgood Living Room ExIm, Retail Replacement, or Mail-Order Redux?

3/96 Mark Bernkopf Tales from the Dark Side: Non-Anonymous Digital Cash?

4/96 Donald Eastlake Implementing Financial Cryptography, The Cybercash Experience

5/96 Perry Metzger Gold Denominated Opium Futures?

6/96 Frank Jaffe The FSTC Electronic Check Project

7/96 Pete Loshin Electronic Commerce: The State of the Art

8/96 Duane Hewitt Idea Futures: Betting on the Future

9/96 Tatsuo Tanaka The Transnationalit of Digital Cash

10/96 Philippe Le Roux Putting a Stock Exchange on the Net

11/96 Philip S. Corwin The Election and the Digital Commerce Agenda

12/96 "Black Unicorn" Money Laundering: The Headless Horseman of the Infocalypse

1/97 Rodney Thayer Applying PGP to Digital Commerce

2/97 David Kaufman 1996 in Review / Predictions for 1997

3/97 Daniel Greenwood Online Government & Electronic Commerce

4/97 Snowed out

5/97 Stewart Baker Clinton Administration Crypto Policy and Digital Commerce

6/97 Fred Hapgood Internet as an Auction-Pricing Incubator

7/97 Win Treese IETF-TLS, Exporting Financial Cryptography, and the Prospects for SET

8/97 Duncan Frissell MarketEarth

9/97 Christof Paar Elliptic Curve Crytography and Digital Commerce

10/97 Peter Cassidy A Future Garrisoned?

11/97 Carl Ellison Identity and Certification for Digital Commerce

12/97 James O'Toole Digital Coupons and Distributed Commerce

1/98 Donald Eastlake SET and UNSET

2/98 Phill Hallam-Baker Philosophy, Law, and Digital Commerce

3/98 Joseph Reagle Meta-data and Negotiation in Digital Commerce

Contact rah@shipwright.com for suggestions.


In the summer of 1995, I had a great lunch with Peter Cassidy, a contract writer and industrial analyst.

As disparate our backgrounds and life experiences were, our luncheon was reminiscent of the original AA meeting. We gibbered at each other for two hours about strong crytography and the enormous potential of Web-mediated commerce and the effects of both on life, the universe, and everything. It was marvelous for two informed parties to share thoughts on the substance of the revolution at hand, undistracted by hype and hyperbole that too often haunts these subjects.

I went on to hang out that night with a couple of pals from my school days at Chicago and they had *no* idea what I was talking about, though they could tell it had me pretty animated. Which got me to thinking...

I talked to Peter, and we both agreed that we needed to have a regular fix of this. We also figured that there were others in Boston who would benefit from the same experience. People in Boston who have some understanding of the financial markets, the internet, strong cryptography and the consequences of mixing the three: digital certificates, the potential for absolute anonymity, and geodesic markets for everything from financial instruments to software to professional services.

People in Boston who would like to meet once a month in a function room somewhere downtown, have lunch, and listen to a speaker or see a net.demo, or just hang out and gab on some aspect of digital commerce.


So, to quote Andy Hardy, "I've got a barn! Let's have a show!". I made some calls, and I got a meeting room for a couple of hours and a nice lunch at the Harvard Club in downtown Boston for about $25 a head as a starting point, subject to demand and scalability.

I then put a "Call for Founders" on three especially cluefull e-mail lists: cypherpunks, www-buyinfo, and ecm. I got indications of interest from about 30 people in Boston, and from about 6 or 7 people world-wide who were either interested in cloning the idea where they were, or who were interested in getting the mailing list and kibbitzing anyway.

Those people are the founders of the group, and their names and e-mail addresses are in the membership book as such.

I figured the agenda of the first meeting would be an introduction of everybody, and organizing some kind of structure for further meetings: a program committee and anything else we need to do to get the next meeting(s) organized, including picking a name. The original name "Boston Society for Digital Commerce" was changed to the more re-instantiable "Digital Commerce Society of Boston"

The content of subsequent meeting programs will be determined by a program committee, which, for the time being, will consist of volunteers from the society's general membership.

At the moment, we're meeting the first Tuesday of the month and at the Harvard Club, or a similar downtown location, for lunch, from 12:00 to 2. Yes, you need a jacket and tie. For the time being, we collect checks payable to the place where we have lunch ("The Harvard Club of Boston", at the moment). We have a registration/payment cutoff of the Saturday prior to the event, so we can get the room paid for in advance.


If you're on this e-mail list, you're signed up to receive messages about the time and location of DCSB meetings. If you want to have lunch, just send us a check or money order before the deadline of the Saturday before the Tuesday meeting, and show up for lunch.

If you show up for lunch, you're a member. :-).


One of the first messages I got when I sent out the original call for founders was from Rich Lethin. Rich is the person who put up the ecm ("Electronic Cash Market") list, which is where bids, offers, and trades of digital cash for "real" cash are recorded for public notice. Rich offered to set up a mail list, and this is it. At some point, we're hoping to have a web-searchable archive of the messages on this list, so if anyone wants to archive the e-mail traffic until then, it would be appreciated.


To send a message to the list, send e-mail to dcsb@ai.mit.edu. The message will be rebroadcast to all subscribers.

This list usually unmoderated. However, if we start talking about the most recent results of the Buzzard's Bay Regatta (you can tell I sail, right?) instead of digital commerce and finance, then you can be expected to be gently steered back to a more germaine topic.

When things get hot, occasionally, we turn moderation on; reformat junk and cull garbage. Sometimes it is just pruning threads that have wandered enough or deleting messages from folks who seem to post to entertain themselves or bludgeon us with their email signatures that advertise their consulting sevices. We might prune personal attacks.

I'm on several lists which are run like this, and I haven't seen anyone thrown off yet, but if your on-line behavior is found "unbecoming a member of the Society" by the membership, you can expect to hear from people on the list, or from Rich or me, and, if you persist, you *will* be deleted from this e-mail list. Among other things, spamming the list with unrelated advertizing -- or with too much *related* advertizing -- is considered "behavior unbecoming".

It's important to note here that we are running this list on limited resources with the gracious help of MIT's AI lab. Keeping to topics appropriate to digital commerce and finance will be a good way to keep the volume down and use the resources we've been donated wisely.

There's also a digest mailing list, dcsb-digest, for folks who want to get the list traffic only once a day. For folks who want the absolute minimum amount of email, there's also an annoucement list called dcsb-announce, strictly for annoucements related to the business and activities of the society.


We're using some software called "Majordomo" to administer subscriptions. The commands that you send via email to Majordomo must be formatted precisely, or things won't work.

There are three mailing lists:

list descriptions

dcsb normal list, some talk and discussion on the topic of electronic commerce.

dcsb-digest all of the traffic on the dcsb list, grouped into a single daily email message sent out in the early morning (Boston time). For folks who want to limit email interruptions during the day.

dcsb-announce Announcements for society business. No chat or other clutter. Probably moderated.

If you're on the normal list, messages will be sent to you as fast as the MIT AI mail server can turn them around. If you're on the digest version, the messages will get batched and sent out when enough accumulate.

You can change among the three lists by unsubscribing to one list and subscribing to another. For example, to change from normal to digest, you'd want to send two messages:

To: dcsb-digest-request@ai.mit.edu


To: dcsb-request@ai.mit.edu


How you unsubscribe depends upon which list you're on. If you're on the normal list, to unsubscribe, you need to send mail like this

To: dcsb-request@ai.mit.edu


If you're on the digest version, to unsubscribe, you need to send mail like this:

To: dcsb-digest-request@ai.mit.edu


And if you're on the annoucements list,

To: dcsb-announce-request@ai.mit.edu


A variety of other commands are handled by Majordomo. Send mail to dcsb-request@ai.mit.edu containing the word "help" for details.

The society was formerly called "bsdc"; aliases no longer exist for these addresses at ai.mit.edu.


Bob Hettinga DCSB Luncheon Moderator and Rich Lethin (list maintainer)

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