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back to article Gordon Brown claims a Brit invented the iPod

Bad news for Tony Fadell, a Michiganite and inventor of the iPod. In an interview yesterday, Gordon Brown claimed the ubiquitous device in the name of Mother England. While talking about the economy during daytime television show, This Morning, Brown let it drop that it was a Briton who in fact invented the iPod. "Companies …

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Coat

And AlGore invented the internet

101 Fallacies I have known.

Among them:

The world is flat (with apologies to the Flat Earth Society)

You can go faster than the speed of light (sorry Einstein)

DeHavaland was the first to go faster than the speed of sound (Hi Chuck!)

I'll respect you in the morning.

The check is in the mail.

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" (run like hell!)

"It's free" (nothing is!)

640k is enough.

The list goes on. I'll get my coat. Bye...

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Boffin

Britains got talent

So Gordon Brown wants to take credit for the last vestiges of technical talent we've been nursing for the last 10 years, and can't even get that right? Gah.

If he likes us to lead in technical matters, it wouldn't hurt to show us some love, amirite?

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China

Now we know why everyone is locating their manufacturing in China. It is all the talented people sploshing around in the paddie fields.

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You really need to get out more

I don't normally comment on this sort of things but only tech site could compare one of the current stars of international industrial design to a house painter. Stop spending your time trying to second guess the Intel road-map and go to a gallery geek.

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Flame

This sort of sniping is exactly why the UK has a brain drain

This is exactly the kind of sniveling point-scoring journalism that makes the UK's best and brightest head for the exit. The ipod, like countless inventions before it, was the product of quality engineering coupled with splendid industrial design. If Gordo had never heard of Fadell and credited only Ives, that's a faux pas only of interest to nerds like us. I would expect that in Michigan they credit Fadell and not Ives. It really doesn't matter.

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Happy

Perhaps he reads The Register

From your article on Psion published in June last year:

"Psion were being approached by many startups who realised the brand value Psion could bring to a new area," recalls Hughes. "Before one had even appeared on the market, we were approached by a company that had an MP3 player that was Flash-based. It held only half an hour's worth of music, but we saw how that could evolve into a large market."

Tupman recalls devising a hard-disk based player around this time.

"Ken and I spent a number of months just driving around the country trying to pull together a plan to make hard disk drive MP3 player," he says. "Creative had their big CD-sized player with 2.5in drive, and there were lots of little Rio players; we thought we could make a play in that area because we had the technology. It was very much an investigation."

In October 2001, with Tupman now at Apple, the iPod was launched. In 2003, its sales exploded.

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Black Helicopters

One item that the Brits did invent and should be proud of

Clearly the best thing that ever came from Britain was the Magna Carte, Even tho it was an attempt of one group of royal (birthright!) leaders to gain power from others born to power. For this the world owes Britain. (This is from one of those slimy Yanks.)

By the way, when are you going to get rid of the birthright ones? They are quaint and all but I mean the big eared one seems to be a waste of time and money. On the other hand, the younger one has balls going to Afghanistan and all. Not something many of our 'birthright' ones (ahem Dubbya) seem to feel they need to do. (Cough - chicken hawk!) Or to paraphrase Leona Helmsley - only the little people get shot at in war. Ah well - in less then a year the great US national nighmare will end.

Now where is that d@#$ helicopter - I need to get out of here before THEY catch me.

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Anonymous Coward

The real reason

is that Brits spend so much time drinking on public transport. Someone should put a stop to that!

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Unhappy

Product or Parts?

He may have been talking about some of the component chips in the Ipod which were invented and designed by Wolfson, a spin out from Edinburgh University.

That is the British way of doing business, we sell someone a part for 2p and then buy back a finished product for £199.

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Don't forget the Spice Girls

Now THERE's a timeless British invention.

Or was that tasteless? Whatever.

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The reason for royalty

is that it means that you don't have slimy sharks fighting all the time over who's going to be the big boss, and when slimy sharks are fighting for status and being the big boss ordinary folk like us tend to get hurt. You could argue at the moment the balance in the UK is getting too close to the US model with too much power to the slimy sharks...

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Not an iPod

I reckon Gordo's getting the iPod confused with the Web. That *was* invented by a Brit, even if he was in Switzerland at the time. The confusion explains a lot about NuLabour's education policy, they clearly wouldn't know a good education if it bit them in the arse. PissUp/Brewery and all that.

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Boffin

So what?

It's no different than the Americans claiming every single computing innovation has come from silicon valley, constantly re-writing history and conveniently ignoring the actual facts, not just with technology either.

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Coat

Misinformed.

It may just be me, but it seems the esteemed Mr. Brown is either running on a vast amount of misinformation; what with his comments on the 'British' ipod, and others made a week or so ago about this new strain of 'lethal skunk' that is allegedly '20x-30x' stronger than that which was smoked in the 70's, or he's simply cracked under the pressure, and his brain is leaking. Either way, someone needs to muzzle him to prevent him spreading such blatent lies. I don't mind the normal lies he has to tell to keep his job, but blatent lying is just too much!

Mine's the one with the 'lethal skunk'!

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Hollywood

Just thinking of all the times the US has revised history via Hollywood.

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Paris Hilton

We did invent it!

Clearly ,Gordon Invented we Invented the Ipod, so what's the problem?

Paris because she clearly did not invent it either.

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New Labour in a nutshell

A total inability to tell the difference between substance and presentation.

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Re: The reason for royalty

Unlike royalty that got all its power from being nice gentle little minnows.

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Shome Mishtake, Shurely

"...Gordon Brown claimed the ubiquitous device in the name of Mother England."

Really?

I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the absurdity of a scotch person claiming an invention for the sassenachs.

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Turning Japanese

Over time the British have invented their fair share of things, and some of it has been useful. Amazed you didn't mention the realisation of balancer shafts by Frederick Lanchester (later used by the likes of Porsche) or the ballbarrow by James Dyson (er....) but hey, you can't please everyone.

As the Prime Minister is so keen to proclaim the nation's abilities in research could he explain the funding cuts made by the STFC, the pathetic levels of help given to business start-ups and Tony Benn's blocking of what was pioneering work on the foundations of the Internet back in the Sixties?

Let's face it, in a country where you can get a degree from writing about the Beckhams, the future of invention ain't going to be in this scepter'd isle.

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Anonymous Coward

Support for JimC

Currently, I've got far more time for the Lords than I do for the Commons.

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iPod wasn't invented at all

I don't see how the iPod can be considered an invention at all, considering it was not the first MP3 player nor the first HDD-based MP3 player, and certainly not the first portable music player, digital or otherwise.

It was a refinement, sure, but not an invention.

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Jim
Alert

Re: The real reason

"that Brits spend so much time drinking on public transport"

So what are you supposed to do while waiting several hours as they clear the wrong kind of fluff off the track?

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Joke

We invent ideas

In the UK we have invented all sorts of modern ideas. The problem is that other people have made better use of them.

You could list jet engines, WWW, or even taxation without representation. The USA gets rich on Boeing, internet porn and representation without taxation.

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Come On Now ...

Seriously .. Isnt Ipod a MP3 Player with A HDD and a screen ?

I dont get why everyone's back of it .

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As I've said before...

Gordon can be proud of Britain, at least in Europe we are...

No #1 - Childhood Asthma!

No #1 - Childhood Obesity!

No #1 - Binge Drinking!

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Alert

Re: Herby

There's a much longer list of fallacies. The Earth does not spin on its axis once a day (that would be a sidereal day). There are not 52 states in the USA. And so on ad nauseam.

In any case, there had been MP3 players before the iPod. What distinguished the iPod was slick packaging and even slicker marketing. In that sense the outer casing _was_ the inventive step. In so as far as you can claim to invent something that is merely a rehash of what has been done before, yes, the iPod had a British inventor.

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Gates Halo

640k is enough?

Really? People still use this poorly attributed didn't-even-happen-quote in 2008? Still?

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Alert

But lets not forget...

Ah yes, the great British invention. You do know that we actually invented the word: invention. It was back in the summer of 1756 I think.

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Innovation?

How can anybody seriously claim the ipod as innovative? Long before the ipod we had these things called walkmans, and then cd players. Hell, the ipod wasn't even the first digital audio player. Though I believe it was the first digital audio player retarded enough (from a consumer point of view; genius from a vendor point of view) to use a non-replaceable battery. Battery dies, buy a new one. Welcome to the throw-away society.

And as for "The ipod, like countless inventions before it, was the product of quality engineering coupled with splendid industrial design."

Seriously, with all that stroking, I can see why the ipod is white.

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Gordon and other accountants...

So one one side of his face he bigs up achievements; on his other face he slashes funding for science.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7373940.stm

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Coat

Didn't we also invent...

or was it just this government who invented the white elephant.

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Dead Vulture

How is Gordon wrong?

I do love the way el reg has subscribed to the latest spell of Gordon bashing like every other sheep in the media. To say the ipod was invented by a Briton (Jonathan Ive) isn't particularly a stretch, given that (from the info i've seen) mp3 players were NOT invented by apple, and the attractively simple design that sets ipods apart from their competitors WAS Ive's design.

Whilst I acknowledge that there is 'a subtle difference between the house painter and the architect', the whole attraction of the ipod was the casing with the intuitive wheel interface and the smooth lines, compared with other mp3 players of the time such as the rio diamond or the mpman (which, granted were created 3 years earlier, but there were little prevalent alternatives until the ipod).

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Really?

I could have sworn that Leslie Nielsen was one of ours! :(

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The birthright ones...

... are currently making a lot more sense than the elected ones.

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Apple

He was probably confusing Apple with the Beatles. An obvious mistake for men of a certain age...

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Anonymous Coward

More pretinent

Don't you think "the computer" would have been a relevant mention here...?

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Les
Flame

Sounds painful

"Companies will come and locate in Briton"

I just hope I'm not the Briton involved.

Go on, publish the comment and leave the typo!!

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Unhappy

Don't forget

That Gordon Clown is Scottish, Whilst your on about his lack of credible knowledge, I'd mention that there are very few "Britons" left in the UK as they where replaced by the anglo saxons over a thousand years ago. There are lots of British people, that you could corrupt to "Britains". So don't forget it is Britain, not Briton, the people are British. If you don't know how to use a language I'd suggest you don't.

Other wonderful British inventions and discoveries:-

The Empire

Jet engine

Electromagnetism (Faraday)

Radar (cavity Magnetron)

Smug Septic tanks..LOL

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Anonymous Coward

Why would they go work in Britain?

I like to see dirty girls do dirty things with cups and pets, that will soon be a crime.

I have contracts that go beyond 6 months and cost a lot of travel and accomodation expenses. I'd risk getting whammied with IR35 super-tax.

I express opinions critical of the UK police, and the police in the UK don't need a warrant to attack back with more than words. It is not safe for me to express my opinion in the UK.

I express opinions critical of the Blairist government, and given the vagueness of the crimes created, it is not safe for me to express my opinions while in the UK.

I've smoked pot, it's overrated, it's a crime in the UK but I am not a criminal for smoking it, neither is Jacqui Hypocrit Smith.

My wife would need a visa to visit Europe, the embassy staff in Paris need punching for their attitude.

My house cost me 110,000 Euros, I would end up living in a tiny 2 bed terrace with lodgers for that money in the UK.

You have Europes most expensive petrol, rubbish public transport and minimal cycle paths.

UK has self centered twats in leadership that would rather lock 10000 people in prison just in case they 'might commit' a crime as part of their 'preemption' strategy. I don't want to be part of that 10000.

I cannot guarantee my right to no punishment without judicial process, courtesy of UK's pre-seizure of assets. I cannot guarantee I could pay a lawyer with my assets seized.

I cannot go to public parks and picnic and drink beer, there is a no open cans policy in most public places. Do not step on the grass.

I cannot take my daughter into a bar to drink cola in the hot afternoon, only pubs with family rooms can take her. She is treated like a problem child.

There are lots of fat ugly old childless bitter women trying to make everyones life as miserable as theirs is. Some of them have ministerial positions.

The food is expensive and overprocessed.

A bottle of wine would cost me 4x the French price.

I would be punished as a 'binge drinker' for drinking beer by PC nazi's trying to fix health problems with taxes. Better to tax 20 innocent people than let 1 person drink too much.

There is nothing for me in the UK, I wish Europe would pull up anchor and let you guys sail away till you get your house in order. Blair will not be President of the EU, Sarkozi has withdraw his backing. Brown will not be anything but a bad memory.

@fallacy: You can go faster than the speed of light

I have 1 kg weights that TIME TRAVEL that say you're wrong.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/17/photons_ftl_not/comments/

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Happy

Never underestimate design

The number one reason for the success of the Ipod was certainly design.

To call it an invention is rubbish, of course.

To underestimate design is like saying that the look of a woman is compleatly irrelevant.

Deep down we always assume the "good design" to be good, intelligent and so on.

And a architect is indeed a designer (painter) if he wants to succeed.

As far as I have seen nobody has mentioned the Iphone.

Again all design.

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Paris Hilton

Why am I not surprised that he is unaware that...?

The COMPUTER was invented by a Briton - Alan Turing.

The world's first programmable, electronic, digital computer (Colossus) was built by three Britons: Tom Flowers, Sid Broadhurst and W.W. Chandler.

The world's first stored-program, electronic digital computer was built in Britain (the Manchester University BABY).

The world's first production computer (EDSAC) was built in Britain (by Maurice Wilkes at Cambridge).

The world's first virtual memory system (ATLAS).....

The list goes one.

Paris, because I don't suppose she is aware either...

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Amidst All This Kerfuffle

One astonishingly important point has been ignored:

"Michiganite"?????

The two terms used by natives of that state are Michiganian, or Michigander. Either one is correct, except that once you have chosen one of those two terms, you are forever required to tell those who use the other just how wrong they are. This leads to years of entertaining argument and helps while away the winters.

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Misconception of "design"

"We dare say there's a subtle difference between the house painter and architect". How true, and there is no doubt which of the two is more important. Sadly, for many years now the words "design" and "designer" have been twisted more and more in the direction of the house painter. Today, "design" connotes trendy, short-lived outward appearance, usually coupled with extremely bad functional design and choice of materials. It's as if appearance is the only thing that matters. Pity.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Sounds painful

Typo corrected - and comment published.

Drew

El Reg

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Hull - Centre of the World - Not!

Magna Carte?

Dooh! That was written by the invaders from France ( the 1066 bunch ) and they originated from Scandinavian Vikings/Settlers/Traders who settled in Normadie - the "Norman" part of France....

Also, the "Dane Law" was introduced before the Magna Carta anyway - by the Danish Vikings.

Please sort out your history a bit more...

Further:

A Brit Invented the Radar

A Brit made the Jet engine design used in the UK/US today ( Whittle ) even if the Germans was early with the jets.

And the aeroplane - well, sort of. As the US Inventors ( Wright brothers ) was so greedy and worried about patents they didn't tell anyone about how to do it, the Brits and the French ran ahead with the technology and developed it further.

Cheers All

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Maybe Gordo wan't just referring to Jony..

Wasn't the processor in at least the earlier iPods (Gen 1-3?) supplied by PortalPlayer using ARM-licensed technology?

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Joke

@ John Gamble

Weren't you aware that Michiganite is the only thing that can harm the Michelin Man? http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1173/774789874_7cee7c85b9_o.jpg

Of course, even I (DaFt as I am) didn't know there was a human MADE of the stuff! Gads! The Nightmare Super-villain of all car drivers!

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Political rapier

Jeremy Paxman says "I'm confident my tenure is secure from Fern Britton's recent challenge".

In other news, committed Christian, Gordon Brown, declares reality-based thinking a pernicious influence and vows to push forward with his science-free view of how Yahweh wants us to wear our underpants.

Eejits. The lot of them. Apart from that Brit who invented the iPod.

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