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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

News Receptor  
  Devices used by homeostatic newspapers to gather news autonomically.  

How did automated news machines create their newspapers? Where did the information in the stories come from?

Seated in his office, Peter Hood heard far underground a low rumble, a halting, uncertain stirring. They had been successful.

The edition, when it was laid on his desk by a bustling CURBman, surprised him by its accuracy. Even in its dormant state, the newspaper had somehow managed not to fall behind events. It's receptors had kept going...

It was uncanny, Hood thought as he read the lead article. The very news-gathering services of the homeopape had reached into his own life, had digested and then inserted into the lead article even the discussion between himself and Otto Dietrich. The newspaper was - had been - doing its job. Nothing of news-interest escape it, even a discreet conversation carried on with no outsiders as witnesses...

From If There Were No Benny Cemoli, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Galaxy Publishing in 1963
Additional resources -

Current computer-generated news devices (like Google News) also make use of "news receptors". It's not difficult to imagine a news service that used sources like Twitter and Facebook to create accurate stories about individuals, just like in the quote from the Dick story.

Continue reading about homeostatic newspapers.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from If There Were No Benny Cemoli
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to If There Were No Benny Cemoli
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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