Quote of the Day: The Man Who Killed the Pay Phone

“I was talking and stepped into the street and almost got hit by a car,” Mr Cooper recalls with an impish grin — the first hint of mobile telecommunications’ distracting downside.

The Economist profiles Marty Cooper, the engineer behind the first cell phone prototype in 1973 and the first commercial mobile phone a decade later. Remember what your life was like before you had a cell phone? You actually had to plan to meet up with people at set places at set times, or things would go completely haywire. Also: answering machines!