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"If I had to get a new Ph.D. now, I'd get it in polymer engineering - the manipulation of matter."
- Bart Kosko

Automatic Commercial Deletion  
  Device automatically detects commercials and turns off the set for the duration.  

The too-handsome announcer with his too-suave voice slipped deftly into focus, saying dulcetly, "This is WZQZ, bringing you Rod Shipkey with the compliments of Tootsie-Tonic, that gentle-" The screen went dead.

Strike looked across at Jerry in surprise.

I bought one of those gadgets yesterday that automatically turns off the radio when the commercials begin," she explained.

From Satellite Five, by Arthur K. Barnes.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

Heinlein alludes to this capability in his description of a newsbox in his 1941 story Methuselah's Children.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Satellite Five
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur K. Barnes
  Tech news articles related to Satellite Five
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur K. Barnes

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