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"instant-speed trans-Atlantic communication" started with the laying of the first trans-atlantic telegraph cables in the 1860's, and allowed machine to machine communications, messaging, shopping, there are even cases of people marrying after meeting over the telegraph. Radio was in use by the 1920's and a smartphone is basically a personal 2-way radio with pretensions!

I think a lot of modern tech is really just 19th century tech done (a lot) better, smaller, faster, more conveniently, and much more widespread.

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