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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

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 Street Publications 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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