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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Automatic Refueling Screen  
  Repels objects that are too big, and gathers small ones for fuel.  

"It has every feature of a stock car, with just one or two more."

"Such as -"

"...An automatic fueling screen - repels large bodies, sweeps in small ones for transmutation into air, food, fuel."

From Biddiver, by Theodore Sturgeon.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
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