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Published on Mar 16, 2012
Dusty and darkened by his 1,700-mile journey on horseback from the heart of Texas, Gonzo Journalist 3.0 Nilay Patel rolls his Retina Crystal Ball from its repurposed velveteen Crown Royal satchel onto the Vergecast studio conference coffee table. His abilities enhanced by a half a vodka-soda, Media Theoritician Joshua Topolsky gazes deep into its almost-too-real surface, failing to notice it's sticky with day-old margarita juice and unsavory bits of dried salsa. As he swipes, pinches, and zooms nimbly in the airspace around the orb, JT communicates a fantastical vision of the present from deep within the darkest corner of its fourth core: an era free of the feudal shackles of FM frequencies, the print edition of the New York Post, and the cantankerous media tastemakers and oligarchs who once held so much influence over the populous. Peering up above his reading glasses from the Ba-Bl section of his recently-hyperinflated Encyclopedia Britannica, Dubious Sage Paul Miller wonders what can possibly come next. Not so shockingly, it's the future: one where all citizens exist in a fat green cloud, joyfully passing bits, bytes, kilobytes, and pagesix.com links directly to their Fave Five Friends upon tiny Napster- and KaZaA-branded puffs of cumulonimbus. Jarringly, the sphere momentarily flashes in a spinning beach ball animation, then goes dark. And Nilay seems to have left his charging cradle down south. You could cut the air with a RAZR: it's the Vergecast. More from The Verge: