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An electronic version of the newspaper? That’s crazy talk

My friend Fabrice forwarded this wonderful 1981 news report about efforts to bring major US newspapers to the fledgling personal computers of the day. My favorite bit: Thanks to the inconvenience and high cost—it took two hours to download a single newspaper to the computer at a cost of $5 per hour—this bit of fanciful future technology wouldn’t be putting the street corner newspaper seller out of business anytime soon.

Of course, as we flash forward over 25 years, I’m reading two newspapers every day via the Kindle, and they’re delivered wirelessly, in seconds, and for free, each morning. And major US newspapers are cutting back again and again, and many will likely be forced into bankruptcy in the coming year … All thanks to the Internet and, of course, America’s ever-increasing disinterest in reading.

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