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IFTF Tribute to Paul Baran: Forecasted Online Shopping, News and Banking in 1971

Excerpt from the 1971 Paul Baran report, entitled “Brief descriptions of potential home information services.” (Source: IFTF)With the recent passing of Paul Baran, IFTF is releasing an excerpt of a 1971 report in tribute, entitled "Brief descriptions of potential home information services." The excerpts are from the report titled, Toward a Study of Future Urban High-Capacity Telecommunications Systems, which included a handbook of forecasts for what was then called "broadband telecommunication and information services" — later known as the Internet.

From IFTF: "The fact that Paul forecasted online shopping, news and banking in 1971 is amazing in itself, but also the sophisticated ways these services could be used — many of which only came to fruition in the last decade. What he describes in 'dedicated newspaper' doesn't look like the early New York Times website, as much as it looks like more recent news feed aggregators, like Google Reader, My Yahoo! or Feed Demon. The report contains not only a description of restaurant websites, but also Open Table-like reservation services. The report remains a true testament to Paul's vision and foresight."

Related topics: Broadband, Internet Protocol, Telecom, Web

 
   
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