By Bill Densmore
What appears below is a verbatim transcript, (which typographical errors and spellings corrected) of a typewritten document dating to spring, 1979. I possess the original. Copies were shown to Else Steiner and Herbert Rice of Williamstown in early 1993 and one copy was mailed to Robert L. Scheier (now of Worcester, Mass.) shortly after the original was prepared.
"My idea is for a (sic) integrated system in which a citizen, in his/her own home, would be able to obtain delivery of an actual edition of the newspaper of his choice not from a paperboy or the newsstand but from a non-impact printer driven by digital information provided either by direct broadcast satellite or FM subscarrier transmissions.
"The advantage of this means of delivery to the reader would be the ability to select the particular edition he wanted to receive by selected (sic) what time the receiver/printer beings accepting data. For example, a sports-laden nedition might be broadcast beginning at 3 p.m. and the general news edition at 1 a.m. An edition heavy on business news might run at 11 p.m. and an edition heavy with local news could be broadcast at 5 a.m. Depending on the bandwidth of the transmission medium, there might be time for more precisely targeted editions demographically.
"As with a water, electric or gas meter, or the counter on a certain manufacturer's copy machine, the number of editions received by the citizen/customer will be recorded and the customer will make periodic payment to the oroginator -- either to a collector who comes to the house or by going to the bill- payment center with the counting box or by some mechanism in which the printer/receiver can "talk" to the originator/publisher via the home computer. If the newspaper has a high-enough ad/cpy ratio, no payment may be required.
"The advantage of this means of delivery to the publisher would be the complete elimination of any mechanical delivery system -- printing press, pressroom crews, news delivery trucks, newsprint supplies -- with a resulting dramatic drop in the costs of production.
"Obviously this transfers the printing/paper purchase function to the reader. My system would have the newspaper publishing acquiring and leasing the receiver/printer units, or licensing their direct sale by third parties. The publisher would also have to own either a satellite transponder channel or the subcarrier of a local FM station.
"The reader, under my idea, can select any of a variety of formats for his newspaper. He may choose an 8-1/2 x 11 or an 11 x 17 paper format, or decide th have the data flow into the memory of his home computer for reading from the screen.
"An early disadvantage of this system will be the bulk, cost and transportation of enough paper necessary to print a daily newspaper into the home. This will be alleviated by the development of synthetic, plastic-based ppaer which, after it is full read, would be deposited back into the printer/receiver where it will be reduced to liquid and re-extruded the next evening in new sheets to receive the next day's news. The "printing" will be either a burning of the plastic itself, producing a pattern of discolorations, or through the appolication of some other application of some other chemical substance, which, when melted, will precipitate out of solution with the liquid plastic and be recovered or disgarded. From time to time, the plastic reservoir will be replenished when the level of impurities makes the "liquid paper" too dark to read.
"Non-impact printers which work through Xerography or other processes are already available, although currently quite expensive. As this technology becomes mainstream, the cost of the major component of this system will reach a level where units can be practically leased to or purchased by individual newspaper readers.
"The composition of "liquid paper," which appears to be necessary as a practical matter to make the system a commercial success, is not in the public domain. It would have to be of a type similar to what is used in a variety of packaging products. Unlike paper, it would not have to be especially flexible, nor long lasting, but it would have to be tear or rip resistent. Perhaps the material could be part parafin."
Thus began the seeds of Newshare
Newshare and Clickshare are service marks of Clickshare Corp.
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