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"In 1977, it took about eight months for a slightly faster more refined mechanism to put punk in the window of Holt Renfrew. It's gotten faster ever since."
- William Gibson

News Roundup  
  A device that presents brief story outlines, any of which can be chosen to find details.  

Google almost has this; if they combined news.google.com and video.google.com, and then let you record it into your Gmail server space, they'd have it.

He tucked away a quarter litre of sweet-lemon juice and went to work seriously on the coffee before turning on the news roundup.

The news contained nothing fit to be recorded permanently. No news, he thought, makes for a happy country but a dull breakfast. The machine called out the plugs for a dozen stories while the accompanying flash pictures zipped past without Hamilton's disturbing the setting... The announcer proclaimed, "Diana's Playground Opened to the Public!"; the flash panned from a crescent moon down to the brutal mountain surface... Hamilton slapped the tell-me-more.

From Beyond This Horizon, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1942
Additional resources -

Note that this device is better than Tivo or DVRs, because it provides you with a quick verbal list of available items. Like a DVR, it is equipped with a way to record an item permanently.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Beyond This Horizon
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Beyond This Horizon
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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Science Fiction in the News

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

More SF in the News

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