i suppose this could qualify as beating the proverbial dead horse, but beat away i shall. a list apart has a nice write-up on the whole smart tag fiasco:

“The Microsoft employee on the Decentralization list likens smart tags to walking around a store with the owner of a competing store?whom you invited along?whispering in your ear. The trouble with that analogy is that if you’ve invited someone along to whisper in your ear, you know the information they whisper is coming from them, not from the owner of the store you’re in. With smart tags, the source of the information is unclear. In fact, it isn’t even clear that the user has invited this particular person to whisper in their ear. A more accurate analogy would be if the competing store owner went around and placed official-looking labels on every package detailing how much cheaper or better the products in their competing store were before you arrived. Once you get to the store, how are you to know it wasn’t the owner of the store you are in who placed the labels on the packages?

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