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Always On by Brian X Chen

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prologue

It’s Friday evening, and as usual I’m meeting some friends, John and Rana, for dinner at 6. In a text message John suggests Alborz, a Persian place I’ve never been to, located in Pac Heights, San Francisco. The clock strikes 5:45 as I step into the elevator and launch the app Taxi Magic. I tap the “Book ride” button, and the app says a cab is arriving, about a half a mile from Wired headquarters. It tells me the driver’s name is “Raj S.” and the estimated cost of the fare is $12.

While I wait on the sidewalk for Raj to arrive, I launch the Yelp app to look up the address of Alborz. “1245 Van Ness Ave (between Sutter and Hemlock).” It’s now 5:48, and I look up as a cab pulls in front of me. That really is pretty damn magical, I think ...

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