Science: Goodbye Ring-a-Ling

Like the creak of wheels on a horse-drawn cart or the dry wheeze of a hand-cranked auto engine, the familiar ring-a-ling of the telephone will soon be only an echo of the past. The telephone of the future will emit four staccato baritone beeps—and this week, in the homes of 300 residents of Morris, Ill., a farming center 75 miles southwest of Chicago, the beep of tomorrow could already be heard. Using Morris as a pilot project, Bell Telephone Laboratories have installed telephones that can:

¶ Reach frequently called numbers by dialing two digits instead of seven. ¶ Route incoming calls...

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