Originally Posted by medford
aside from that, the fax is a dying instrument. They have copiers that can scan multiple pages and email them anywhere that you'd like. I don't have to even sign my taxes anymore, I can digitally sign them and hit "send". More and more building departments allow you to submit plans with a digitial engineer/architect stamp rather than submitting multiple sets of drawings each stamped by the architect/engineer of record. I can apply for a loan and never set foot inside a lending institution, there are so many things that used to require a "wet" signiture that now allow you to do so electronically that even that excuse will soon be a thing of the past.
Which is frightening to me -- given how easy it is to forge anything electronic, but that's an entirely different story.
A lot of these technologies will live on in the government, especially at the local level. I work extensively with government agencies, and the vast majority of local agencies simply cannot afford the initial start-up cost of going paperless or electronic -- even though it will save them time and money in the long run. No one has the spare cash, and voters are loathe to approve tax increases for any reason, even if you can promise them greater efficiency down the road.
Thus, things like the fax machine and land-line phones will continue to live on for quite some time.