Digital Newspapers

With a download time of two hours and a charge of $5 per hour of use, the tele-paper  was going nowhere. It had a small market due to the fact that the necessary technology was only obtainable for a minute percentage of the population. More than anything it was an attempt to get the ball rolling on keeping the news cycle on par with technological advances.

In a 1994 video covering the future of electronic news Roger Fidler projects the next 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years of consuming news will lead to a reliance on the Tablet, and Fiddler explains that the goal of his Innovation Design Lab is to create a bridge of familiarity. This particular point stands out because he is essentially describing the ability of tech companies in the present day to get their customers to adapt to new products, operating systems, and forms of consumption by creating the illusion that you as the customer have the option to choose, when in reality the decision is already made for you. As long as the bridge to get from point A to point B is an easy one, in this case the bridge from a physical newspaper to an electronic newspaper, the pushback will only be from the minority.

Fast forward another decade and the technology that we had been subjected too had been on such a rise that the skeptics started to shine through. The future of technology was ominous, and in this EPIC 2015 video  there is an almost Orwellian tone. The Google Grid, a hypothetical next step for Google to take which is outlined in the video stands out to be as particularly peculiar. Shortly following the introduction of the Grid comes the partnership of Google and Amazon, countered by the New York Times going “off-line” and becoming a source of news only for the “elite and elderly”. This is where the line is officially drawn and a cultural divide is predicted. Although I don’t think it has come to fruition, perhaps it is merely too subtle for me to notice.


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