Before the world wide web, there was Teletext — the UK-developed information service that let users read news, reviews, program listings, and more, all through their TV set. The chunky, eight-color graphics couldn't look more retro today, but at one point this all seemed impossibly futuristic, and Jim Romenesko has posted an article from a 1977 University of Alabama student paper that details the then just-rolled-out service with barely disguised amazement.

Teletext was ahead of its time in many ways, and manufacturers currently pushing the countless variations of smart TV could well have taken inspiration from a university professor's proclamation that "we should stop thinking of that colorful cathode ray tube in our living rooms as a television picture tube. It is really an information screen, instead." At the time Teletext was being mooted by some as a replacement for newspapers, and the article mentions that some newspaper editors were worried by the seemingly inevitable march of technology — some things never change.