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"...being predictive, being right about the future, is not the point of any given story or novel. The point is about exploring as wide a range of possibilities as possible."
- Peter Watts

E-Document Distribution  
  A method of wirelessly distributing a document to a large group of people in an ad hoc setting.  

How many times have you been to a conference and heard "I'm sorry, I only made 250 copies of this paper - some of you are going to have to share."

At a conference in the novel, one of the speakers finds an online document. He distributes it to the others live.

"Aha," Nielsen said. "I just found an interesting paper on continental weathering that supports what Stan says. Here, I'll pipe it to you."

People drew plaques and readers from their pockets and unfolded them to receive the document, drawn from some corner of the net by Nielsen's quick-and-dirty ferret program. Distracted from his recent desire to leave, Stan too began reaching for his wallet.

From Earth, by David Brin.
Published by Bantam in 1990
Additional resources -

I'm constantly being promised that I will be able to walk up to a kiosk and hold out my device, and good stuff will be automagically beamed into it. This is a good early description of the electronic alternative to "Xerox the material, and give a copy to everyone."

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Earth
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