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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Fake-Meter  
  A pocket-sized counterfeit currency detector.  

...the so-called fake-meter. This is a pocket device that, when a counterfeit note is passed through a slot, sounds a warning buzzer. As all small boys know, attempts to disassemble the fake-meter are futile; as soon as the case is damaged it destroys itself.
Technovelgy from The Killing Machine, by Jack Vance.
Published by Fantastic Fiction (?) in 1964
Additional resources -

Philip K. Dick solved this problem in a different way; he thought of an idea for currency that could not be duplicated for genetic reasons; see the entry for truffle skins.

Thanks to R. Probert for contributing this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Killing Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Killing Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

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