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"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

Newsbox (News-Receptor)  
  Also referred to as a microviewer; could search media programming for news on a particular words used in the broadcast.  

[He] was bending over the news-receptor, his eyes pressed against the microfilm viewer.

Lazarus cleared his throat loudly and said, "Howdy." The man jerked his head and exclaimed, "Oh! Sorry-I was startled. Do y' a service?"

"I was looking for the newsbox. Mind if we throw it on the screen?"

"Not at all." The other man stood up, pressed the button to rewind the film, and reset the box to project on the screen. "Any particular subject?"

"I wanted to see," said Lazarus, "if there was any news about us-the Families."

"I've been watching for that myself. Perhaps we had better use the soundtrack and let it hunt."

"O.K.," agreed Lazarus, stepping up to the receptor and changing the selector to audio. "What's the code word?'


Lazarus punched the keys. The machine chattered and whined as it scanned and rejected track sped through it, then the film slowed with a triumphant click. "The DAILY DATA," it announced. "The only midwest news service subscribing to every major grid and private photophone to Luna City...

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

I'm wondering if this is the first place anyone described the idea that has finally been implemented on PC television cards. With these cards in your PC, you can not only watch the program on your PC screen and capture (save) programs and screens, but you can put in keywords, and let the PC screen current program subtitles.

Heinlein's version is somewhat more advanced, since it apparently looked for spoken words based on text criteria.

Also, note that some units (although not this one) are equipped with scramblers to remove commercial messages. It seems able to put a broadcast on "hold", suggesting that it has a Tivo-like capability to pause in presenting information while continuing to record:

The machine hummed and clicked and again spoke up. "The DAILY DATA, the only midwest news-"

"Can't we scramble that commercial?" suggested Lazarus. His companion peered at the control panel. "Doesn't seem to be equipped for it."

See the automatic commercial deletion capability from Satellite Five by Arthur Burns (1938).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Methuselah's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Newsbox (News-Receptor)-related news articles:
  - And Heinlein's Newsbox
  - Nozzl Real-Time Local News
  - Bespoke Clothing In 30 Minutes
  - Sewbo Robot Perfect For Heinlein's Bespoke Kilts!

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