And Heinlein's Newsbox

In his 1941 story Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein wrote about a more advanced form of television called a newsbox:

"I was looking for the newsbox. Mind if we throw it on the screen?"
"Not at all." The smaller man stood up, pressed the rewind button, and set the controls for projection. "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 sound track and let it hunt."
"Okay," agreed Lazarus, stepping up and changing the setting to audio. "What's the code word?'
Lazarus punched in the setting; the machine chattered and whined as it scanned and rejected the track speeding through it, then it slowed with a triumphant click.
(Read more about Robert Heinlein's newsbox)

A new service at provides the capability to search the web for video (and audio) clips. Blinkx claims to be unique among other providers in that you can not only search with standard keywords and Boolean queries, but you can also enter normal text for a conceptual search. The search is done on a transcript of the words taken from the soundtrack of the television video clip.


The homepage starts with an interesting application; a large matrix of screen capture thumbnails. Some of them are moving; run your cursor over the moving thumbnail, and get a short text summary. Click on the thumbnail to see the clip.


This interface looks quite similar to an earlier effort - see 10x10's User Interface Cooler Than Google's By A Factor Of Ten for more information. Finally, here's a shot of a standard search results page:

(From also provides Smart Folders, which reside on your PC. Content is automatically pushed to these folders, based on user-specified criteria, keeping them current for offline viewing.

Read more about and other similar services here.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/3/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Media ")

'Facetime Facelift' Beautifies Video Chats
Always look your best - on Facetime.

Meeting Wendy Of Wendy's
Wendy of Wendys meet Rondald of McDonald's.

Narrative Science And Phil Dick's Homeostatic Newspaper
'The structure... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times.'

BookTrack Adds Sound To Books
I really don't think this is a very good idea. Readers?



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.