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"We're there. The future that visionaries imagined in the late 1990s of phones in our pockets and high-speed Internet in the air: Well, we're living in it. "The third generation of data and voice communications -- the convergence of mobile phones and the Internet, high-speed wireless data access, intelligent networks, and pervasive computing -- will shape how we work, shop, pay bills, flirt, keep appointments, conduct wars, keep up with our children, and write poetry in the next century."

That's Steve Silberman reporting for Wired in 1999, which was 13 years ago, if you're keeping count. He was right, and his prediction proved correct before this century even reached its teens. Indeed, half of tech media is devoted to precisely how these devices and their always-on connectivity let us do new things, help us forget old things, and otherwise provide humans with as much change as we can handle. "