Don't wait for the beep: Voicemail is going the way of the dinosaurs. [telecom]

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The San Jose Mercury News reported that with the prevalence of mobile
phones, texting, chat apps and email, voicemail just isn't what it
used to be.  Voicemail is now viewed as inefficient. And for many,
that feeling extends to phone conversations in general: these days, a
phone call often requires advance scheduling. The frantic pace of life
and work is pushing out phone-based voice communication in favor of
text, chat, email and other options seen as more efficient.

for full article please see:

When we used a Teletype for timesharing in high school, we thought it
would be neat if we could each own one, and leave each other written
messages.  The unit with the built-in controller allowed automatic
unattended answer.  (But later we got cheaper units without the
built-in unit.)  Of course, in those days, renting a teletype was too
expensive for a kid at $100/month.

Ironically, this was the communications situation Western Union sought
to have back in the 1960s--everyone owning a teleprinter to send and
receive messages, carried by WU.  Unfortunately, it took 50 years for
the technology to evolve to become affordable, too late for WU to

In 1956, Bell introduced its answering machine:

(side note: on pg 90 of the above magazine, there is an ad for Howard
Johnson's roadside family restaurants.  Despite being a casual place,
note all the customers are in suits or dresses.  Also, the full
service gasoline station on pg 11.)

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