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"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
- Frederik Pohl

Networked Personal Device  
  The idea that the true power of a mobile device lies in it's backend network capabilities.  

Yet another amazing prediction chalked up for Pohl's Joymaker.

Essentially, it is a transponder connecting you with the central computing facilities of the city in which you reside on a shared-time, self-programming basis. "Shared-time" means that many other joymakers use the same central computer - in Shoggo, something like ten million of them.
From The Age of The Pussyfoot, by Frederik Pohl.
Published by Ballantine in 1966
Additional resources -

This is a dramatic prediction of today's smartphone strategy. As amazing as smart phones are as standalone devices, their true potential is realized as front ends for a cloud of computer functionality. Services like Google maps, Google Goggles and Google Translate are all supplied by the backend computer networks.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Age of The Pussyfoot
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederik Pohl
  Tech news articles related to The Age of The Pussyfoot
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederik Pohl

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