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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  August 1993, Week 2

COMMUNET August 1993, Week 2

Subject:

Re: Techno-dumping (and the TeleRead alternative)

From:

"David H. Rothman" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Communet: Community and Civic Network Discussion List

Date:

Fri, 13 Aug 1993 11:51:09 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (60 lines)

Many thanks for your note, but we here in the parade are still quite dry.
You see, TeleReader sightings are like Elvis sightings--bogus. Elvis is
dead and the TeleReader has yet to be born. To address your points, I
applaud Apple's interest in tablet style computers, but if you read the
TeleRead proposal itself (available to anyone from me via e-mail), you'll
see I have in mind a machine quite different from the present Newton and
perhaps even from future Newtons.
 
For one thing, I envision users making frequent use of that old
anachronism, the *keyboard*; a TeleReader would be useful not only for
reading but also for heavy-duty writing (a wire stand would allow the
machine to be at the right position). For another, I'm quite grouchy about
screen resolution and, from what I know of the Newton, it's far from there
yet. Plus, I'd like a bigger screen. If John Scully or a successor wants
to adapt a Newton and bid for a TeleRead contract--well, terrific. But please
don't suggest that Apple has already come up with a true TeleReader. Mind
you, I have joined others in speculation about low-cost comptuers that
could be built with off-the-shelf parts, but even they would not be true
TeleReaders.
 
Anyone spotted a tablet-style computer with a detachable keyboard (when the
machine isn't used as a reading computer), a gigabyte of mass storage, a
paper-quality screen, and an interface of the kind I've described in the
proposal and in messages to this list? Enquiring minds want to know.
 
Seriously, many thanks for the note and do take a look at the latest
version of the proposal. You'll see that the machine is just one aspect of
the plan. I'm also calling for an *affordable* universal library
containing virtually all coyrighted books, and I am proposing a way to
protect ebooks by removing the incentives for bootlegging and providing
for fair compensation for creators (having done half a dozen books, I have
a little interest in this matter). I also suggest, in the latest TeleRead,
that the same network infrastructure could be be used for Freenets so
people wouldn't have to get a Sun or other system going and worry so much
about the technical aspects. And I tell how TRnet could work together with
the Internet--which could receive funding by way of a TeleRead agency. I
also tell how to cost-justify the plan by encouraging the *mass* use of
electronic forms to be filled out with TeleReaders. American spend
hundreds of billios of dollar a year on government-related paperwork,
according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Reducing this time by just a
fraction could save tens of billions.
 
At any rate, with a TeleRead-style network and library in existence, Apple and
others could sell *lots* little boxes and make a bundle off electronic
forms used for tax returns and other transactions with the government.
TeleRead's main purpose it to drive down the cost of technology for all,
especially schoolchildren. But would also reduces the cost of gov. and
creates new jobs at Apple and elseewhere.
 
--David Rothman
 
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David H. Rothman                                  "So we beat on, boats against
[log in to unmask]                                 the current...."
805 N. Howard St., #240
Alexandria, Va. 22304
703-370-6540(o)(h)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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