Companies Dropping The Phone?
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  • timmy827

    Few comments
    -Your government isn’t alone in persisting the fee model. Event ticket merchants are pretty good at maintaining ‘processing fees’, even when you order through a fully automated website and the tickets are emailed for you to print.
    -The cellphone may lose its primacy but I don’t think it will fade completely. It’s my primary link with my parents (who are the same generation as WRM) but also when I want honest-to-god conversations with my girlfriend or close friends my age.
    -Business communication is an interesting beast. I’m a software developer; sometimes the ability to paste code or program results in email is best, sometimes the back and forth of a phone call is more useful, sometimes instant messaging which combines aspects of both. Often you don’t know which one is going to work best until you start going, nothing is worse than calling a meeting for 5 people and subsequently realizing that emails between 2-3 of those are a far more efficient way for that particular problem.

  • An

    The phone is dead! Long live the phone! Phones are going to play a very important role in the 21st century, just not in its current form. By 2014 or 2015, smart phones will outnumber computers. Phones are getting cheaper and doing a lot more. By 2020, I expect a good 1/3 of all transactions being executed via your phones NFC (or equivalent) technology. You might now want to pay your mortgage with a phone but you could by that latte at Starbucks.

    There’s much been made over the past 10 years about the $100 laptop but we should be working on the $10 iPhone (or equivalent). Countries such as Mongolia have skipped over the whole landline phase of economic development, and went communicating via ravens to having a robust cell phone network.

    Speaking over the phone will be still important for business dealings and talking with friends and family, but thank god, we no longer have to deal with the bureaucracy. The one downside about this is all those lazy DMV workers will have to work somewhere, and I’m afraid customer service at Starbucks or McDonalds will go down the tubes.

  • IcePilot

    The structure to support the image will gradually disappear to 3D holo projection. Tablet to smartphone to wrist device to implants.

  • Kris

    “Virtual devices and nanobot clouds that follow you around?”


    “Hemingway could write with only a manual typewriter and a bottle of correcting fluid”

    The bottle of correcting fluid hardly had pride of place.

  • AAllison

    Professor, you took for granted one of the most significant aspects of the communications revolution, name the impact, primarily on AT&T, of the decline in POTS (the home phone). A 22% increase in basic service charge a few months ago caused me to switch to dry-loop (DSL-only), switch my home phone number to pay-as-you-go cellphone and gmail telephony for 2/3 of the cost.

  • C. Philips

    “… if you must send me spam, please do it by email”: Please reconsider and correct this. Marketers can’t call you so much as to make your phone useless–it would be prohibitively expensive. But they can, and will, make email useless.

    There are over 20 million businesses in the US. (One website claims 24.7 million in 2004.) Sending spam to every email address which has ever appeared on the web costs a few hundred dollars, far less than even a tiny telemarketing campaign or even direct mail to just the nearby community. Your email address doesn’t obviously tell them where you live; it is much cheaper to spam everybody. If each of them sends you only one marketing email per year, you get about one spam every second, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year. Your email will be completely unusable.

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