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You can laugh now….

…but some people knew waaay back then that news will, one day, move from expensive paper to cheap internet:

From here

TechCrunch surfaced this look at a story that ran back in 1981 that covered
how internet news would someday be delivered. At least watch the last 30 seconds. The reporter remarks it would take more than 2 hours to deliver the digital text needed to read the “online newspaper.” She added the per minute (i think) charge was around $5 and comments about the difficulty the new approach would have when competing with the .20 cent daily.

What’s in store for us over the next 30 years?

Comments

  1. #1 steve
    January 31, 2009

    The reporter remarks it would take more than 2 hours to deliver the digital text needed to read the “online newspaper.” She added the per minute (i think) charge was around $5 and comments about the difficulty the new approach would have when competing with the .20 cent daily.

    An entirely reasonable thing for a non-techie to think in 1981. In fact it was a good 15 years later before regular people started getting news over a computer.

    What that reporter says is not nearly as foolish as Wired magazine announcing “Paper is Dead!” every few months in the 90′s.

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    January 31, 2009

    And to think, the kids who watch this are going to have explained to them what an “acoustic coupler” is.

  3. #3 dreikin
    February 1, 2009

    “acoustic coupler” – a modem?

  4. #4 spondee
    February 1, 2009

    -2000 computer owners in the bay area
    -interview with Richard Halloran “computer owner”
    -”…copy it onto paper to save it.”

    Awesome.

    I really shouldn’t be laughing, I was six at the time.

  5. #5 Coturnix
    February 1, 2009

    At the time, I was playing ‘Hobbit’ on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum. That clip was impressive for the time. This was before Commodore came out!

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    February 1, 2009

    What is that red thing with the round thing on it and the pigtail wire sticking out of it?

  7. #7 Eric Lund
    February 2, 2009

    Oddly enough, they didn’t pick some young guy to talk to about this service: Mr. Halloran appeared to be at least 50, and probably closer to 60, at the time this segment was filmed.

    I’ll cut Mr. Halloran some slack about copying onto paper to save it. I still sometimes do that, e.g., with airline schedules: pick out the connections that work for me on each airline and write that down so that I can refer to them later or, in the case of business travel, tell the secretary which flights I prefer.

  8. #8 opony
    February 3, 2009

    That’s great!!
    when can I expect this system in my country…
    I think I have to wait about ten years…

    best regards from Belarus