Here's why I love technology. Someone, somewhere in the world writes a story. They submit it for publication to PodCastle via email, and the editors decide to publish it there as podcast audio. They email the story to a voice actor who records the audio and sends it back. PodCastle does some extras like intro and outro, then posts it to their news feed. Google Reader picks it up for me and I download it. I see that it's a long one, so I shorten it with Audacity, then plug in my phone and copy it there to listen on the train. Finally, I put on my noise-cancelling headphones and listen in total comfort with all the background noises automatically filtered out for me.
And all of this was free. Well, technically I pay an ongoing fee for the phone and the headphones were a gift, plus I paid for the computer and the internet time to download the story, and the electricity to run it all. And the author got paid by PodCastle, and presumably the narrator, too. Still, during the whole transaction from story writing to me listening, I didn't have to reach for my wallet once. We live in a truly amazing world.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - And I'm probably using half this technology wrong.
PPS - If that's even possible.