10 technologies that should be extinct (but aren't)

These obsolete technologies didn't get the memo--maybe because someone wrote it on a typewriter and faxed it to them

3. Fax Machines

Despite advances in Internet fax services and the availability of dirt-cheap scanners, this office machine of the 1980s is still with us--more than half a million of them were purchased over the past 12 months, according to the NPD Group, a market research company. It's not just people who still wear shoulder pads and buy Cyndi Lauper albums. These screechy, annoying gadgets continue to attract realtors, lawyers, insurance companies, and others nervous about the authenticity of signed documents without an ink-based John or Jane Hancock on them.

"Their endurance is in part a testament to the failure of digital signatures that would allow us to e-mail certified copies of contracts and similar documents," says NPD Group analyst Ross Rubin. "As with electronic voting machines, there remains a level of societal skepticism over the viability of digitally certified documents."

As for the rest of you? Get over it, writes Tom Adams, VP of marketing for Protus, the parent company of online fax service MyFax.

"Fax machines are just so 1980s," he says. "If you're still using one, it's time to put it in the attic next to your legwarmers and that copy of The Breakfast Club on VHS and move to an Internet fax service instead."

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