iPads as cost-reducers for local govs: More ammo for Information Stimulus Plan—which would also help media

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imageMore and more localities are turning to the iPad as a paperwork-reducer, says USA Today. And that’s new ammo for the Information Stimulus Plan that I’ve proposed here and in Jim Fallows’ blog on the Atlantic Monthly site.

Encompassing areas ranging from healthcare to education, the plan in effect would redirect resources from paperwork to useful destinations such as our cash-strapped public libraries.

The news media would particularly benefit, without having to ask for special favors in areas such as copyright. For many people—preferences vary—tablets are optimal for long stretches of newspaper or magazine reading, not just the book or business variety.

Via tax credits for certain individuals, help for localities and and in other ways, the plan could (1) popularize use of iPad-style devices and other cost-saving gear and (2) encourage both the public and private sectors to take advantage of the increase in tablets in use.

imageThe plan among other things would facilitate the creation of a well-stocked national digital library system, a concept I’ve been advocating since the 1990s via the TeleRead proposal, which in fact suggested use of the tablet form factor (although I believe people should have many choices).

Favorable reaction has come from important sectors that the plan would help along with Americans in general. “It’s a lengthy essay, but compelling in that Rothman sees the iPad as a way to help media and education in one fell swoop," writes Steve Rubel, a leading corporate technology blogger and an SVP at Edelman Digital. "It would be great to see tablets become a pivotal way we retrain the workforce.”

Shown is a non-iPad, a tablet with new Mirasol display technology from Qualcomm (via TeleRead). Here’s to the idea of many companies involved, not just Apple, to reduce costs!

Related: How to enjoy a preview of ‘Scandals’ in iPad-style splendor—and what this means for geeks, book publishers, authors and news people.

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