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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  1. Herby

    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...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    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?

  3. Stewart Haywood


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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  6. Rob Smith

    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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real reason

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

  9. Steven Jenkins

    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.

  10. Darryl

    Don't forget the Spice Girls

    Now THERE's a timeless British invention.

    Or was that tasteless? Whatever.

  11. JimC

    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...

  12. Steve

    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.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  14. JayGreeny


    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'!

  15. Dave


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

  16. steve hayes
    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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Labour in a nutshell

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

  18. Les Matthew

    Re: The reason for royalty

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

  19. Frank Haney

    Shome Mishtake, Shurely

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


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

  20. Pete James

    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.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Support for JimC

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

  22. Leo Davidson
    Thumb Down

    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.

  23. Jim

    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?

  24. Scott Silver badge

    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.

  25. Sirus Black

    Come On Now ...

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

    I dont get why everyone's back of it .

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    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!

  27. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  28. ben edwards
    Gates Halo

    640k is enough?

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

  29. Grim2o0o

    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.

  30. Chris C


    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.

  31. Glenn Gilbert

    Gordon and other accountants...

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

  32. Allan Rutland

    Didn't we also invent...

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

  33. James Dunne
    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).

  34. Jamie Kitson
    Thumb Down


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

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The birthright ones...

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

  36. Grimxn


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

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More pretinent

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

  38. Les

    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!!

  39. Anonymous Coward

    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

  40. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  41. Lars Silver badge

    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.

  42. Deryk Barker
    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...

  43. John Gamble

    Amidst All This Kerfuffle

    One astonishingly important point has been ignored:


    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.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Sounds painful

    Typo corrected - and comment published.


    El Reg

  46. Da Andersson

    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...


    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

  47. Philip

    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?

  48. Captain DaFt

    @ John Gamble

    Weren't you aware that Michiganite is the only thing that can harm the Michelin Man?

    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!

  49. Mono Ape

    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.

  50. Julian Garrett

    He's actually quite right

    Jokes aside, Jonathan Ive was the guy behind the iPod. Yes Steve wanted a MP3 player. Jonathan was the guy who made it what it is now.

    I dont believe anyone seriously questions that...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    that skunk is bleeding lethal squire.

  52. Lupus

    Didn't read it all, but...

    How about that there cinema film? Invented in Birmingham, (not Alabama) if I recall correctly.

  53. Andy

    Apple fans are horrified!

    How could the Reg compare a star of international industrial design to a house painter? Anybody who works for the Apple company is touched by the majesty of Jobs and glows with a holy, radiant aura. And of course the *only* reason that you could *possibly* dare to disrespect an Apple employee is because you're an Intel fanboy. I'm shocked, disturbed, and disappointed that the Reg could so carelessly sideline the Apple minority - it borders on racism!

    Wasn't America a British invention? I'm pretty sure Britain played a large part in colonizing the New World. So maybe Gordon is claiming some sort of ancestral right to anything American?

  54. Ishkandar

    @Don't forget

    Faraday *invented* magnetism ?? Damn, I knew I was worshiping the wrong God !!

    If Gordon Brown said the world is round, I'd get want to get confirmatory measurements in TEN different ways before I'd agree to it !!

    @Mono Ape - Them prophets didn't wear no underpants. They weren't invented yet !!

    @Tom Welsh - "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." - So true !! You only have to look at the damage done by a certain house-painter, with a tooth-brush mustache, from Vienna to know who's more important !!

    @So what are you supposed to do while waiting several hours as they clear the wrong kind of fluff off the track? - In a word - bonk ?? It is a no-calorie, environmentally-friendly exercise that is relatively non-addictive and is also good for population control !! Post-coital ciggies aren't allowed on British trains, though !!

    @James Dunne - Gordon bashing is not new to me !! Been bashing him since he was a Chancellor. He has been trying very hard to make micromanaging control-freakery into an art-form !! That's an anathema to my religious belief that good employees should be told what to do and then be allowed to get on with it !!

    @George Schultz - you must not dismiss you illustrious president so blithely. After all, he bravely flew around in the skies over Texas defending those vast herds of cattle from attacks by the Viet Cong !! The fact that he can't tell where the Viet Cong were, even with a map with a BIG cross marked on it, is beside the point !!

  55. Oliver Humpage

    Darling's fault

    I was at an event a couple of months ago where Alistair Darling spoke. He mentioned visiting a school once where a surly pupil complained that "we don't make anything in Britain any more." Darling said he retorted by pointing out that a business just down the road from the school had developed "the chip that made the iPod possible."

    So I suspect Chinese whispers to Brown made him spout this nonsense.

  56. Rob McDougall


    now there's two people you wouldn't want to be stuck in a lift with: GB and Fern Britton.

    Fern Cotton, on the other hand....

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    I suggest you read the defence of Al Gore by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, the inventors of TCP/IP:

  58. ratfox

    Downhill skiing??

    Really? Is this coming from Wikipedia? >_>

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Moffats Writing for Spielberg

    Just to add to my comment above, re why brits with tallent would stay in Britain.

    I just read Steven Moffat's writing for Spielberg & Jackson now... bugger. I knew we should have shut our collective mouths when we were discussion Blink, Girl in the Fireplace, Press Gang etc.

    There's another one who'll end up working abroad for more money and a better life than the UK offers. Sadly he'll end up in USA, because mainland Europe requires something less linguistic..... (think of Triplets of Belleville, Abre los ochos, Taxi, Sunshine) due to the language problem.

    Imagine if Spielberg had made Blink...shudder.

  60. J

    Oh, yeah...

    The old "we invented...", "no, no! WE invented..."

    In Brazil, we are taught that Santos Dumond invented the airplane, for example And the wrist-watch too, to be able to see the time while flying without having to fish in his pockets for the watch. If it's true or not... who cares.

    But I did recently learn that lots of Americans believe Henry Ford invented the automobile! (it was in a little magazine distributed by a famous insurance company here in Dubyaland) Seriously, how stupid is that? He did do some neat things with his production line and all, revolutionary surely, but he was decades late on "inventing" the car.

    So, I guess people will keep arguing over these things forever... even if all the crap is made in China anyway.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think

    I think we're missing a vital point - the ipod wasn't an invention - just a product. However by British standards it was an invention, an invention of hype, marketing and spin. New Labour/Tory like nothing but marketing, hype and spin.

    We don't invent things here, we don't manufacture things here, we just get some guy to polish it, label it, and drink a latte after everyone else has finished the work.

    That's the Britian born of New politicos.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I might agree with Brown... for once

    What makes the ipod an ipod is not the electronics but the design. The ipod was not the first MP3 player (see

    The ipod is much more an industrial design exercise than an electronics exercise so the bulk of the credit should go to Jon Ive (a Pom) and his crew rather then the electronics boys.

    In the USA, at least, industrial design can be patented and considered "inventions"

  63. Tim Brown

    Gordon is correct

    Principal designer was Jonathan Ives, who also designed the iPhone and iMac.

    And Brown didn't say it was *invented* in Britain (like the Reg is suggesting) - just that a Brit was involved.

    @AC re: Moffat writing for Jackson & Spielberg - that's because he's a fucking good writer, producing the best Doctor Who stories. You know it, I know it, Jackson and Spielberg know it, it's only Russell "I'm the best writer because I'm the head writer" Davies that is completely blind to it.

  64. Dean Ransevycz

    The internet invented

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 08:16 saturday

    >> 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.

    Surely you mean a moderately warm afternoon.

  66. Ascylto

    You Cynics!

    Our Dear Leader can't know everything.

    Gordon was BADLY ADVISED!

    (Don't the government spend tens of millions of our taxes each year on PR and firms to advise them? You'd think they could get something simple right wouldn't you?)

  67. Vance P. Frickey

    Ve inwented it FIRST! - PM Chekov

    Is anyone else reminded of the wonderful habit the Russians had (maybe they still do - who cares?) of claiming priority on every invention by the hand of Man? Aleksandr Lodygin invented the incandescent light bulb, baseball was swiped from Russian peasants' lapta... (or is Gordie going to claim that it's really just rounders with fancy equipment?).

    Is New Labour going back to her Red roots? All this time we thought it was henna....

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old hat

    Before the iPOD came out I had my eyes on a MP3 player with a 20 GB hard drive. When they released the iPOD the price of the item I wanted went up. Massively. The iPOD's just a storage/playing device for music, and it was not the first. Calling it iPOD does not make it new. When people pick up on this stuff and hoot derisively they are guilty of accepting Steve Jobs' clever marketing, HL & S. Sheesh

  69. Rodger Young

    @Jay Daley - Vint Cerf has Al Gore poop on his nose

    After "inventing" TCP/IP, Vint Cerf has muddied the waters by trying to validate Al Gore's absurd claim to have done something apart from having the US Government write a few purchase orders for big servers to help advance the Internet. ARPANET had its origins in the late 1960s, about the time Al Gore, Jr was still sending out for room service from his dad's (the previous Senator Gore) hotel suite.

    Big business did Gore claims to have done, anyway - look at how private enterprise is totally funding new undersea fiber optic cables across the world - two competing systems, at that. That process began before Gore got his hands on the US economy and re-invented government by selling off our Defense Department to the Communist Chinese.

    So what we have is someone who has crippled capitalism every chance he got while in the Senate claiming credit for a massive achievement which began before Gore hit puberty, made by that military-industrial-academic complex Gore's buddies hate so venomously.

  70. Matthew Johns

    Racoon hats

    AFAIK native americans don't wear racoon hats. That means they must have been invented by early settlers, who would have descibed themselves as British, . I think that classifies them as a British invention. Or maybe French.

    Mine's the one with the Bowie knife in the pocket. I use it to cull the laughing gnomes...

  71. Stephane Mabille
    Paris Hilton

    Apple HQ is in Blackpool, of course

    I have some doubt about Gordon logical demonstration.

    - Proposition:

    "Talented people in England will make company to relocate here" (Hard to believe but let's go with it for the sake of the argument)

    - Demonstration:

    1) A Brit invented the iPod. (Let's admit it as a fact for the demonstration purpose)

    2) Apple relocated.... Doh!

    Oops sorry..... I'll read logic for dummies before my next attempt.

  72. Anonymous Coward


    Current stars of international industrial design, my bum.

    its a white rectangle with a thumb wheel, what is so astounding about that, face it you bought one because your mates have one and its nice and warm in the middle of the flock with all the other sheep. Baa

    Personally I think they look hideous, just like a mini unbranded cereal packet box.

    The lack of a search is a total killer unless you are dumb enough to sit there on the RSI wheel until you have scrolled through 160GB of tracks to find the song you want.

    If your idea of good design is rounded corners and no keyword search then you sir make Chris `the monacle` Eubanks look like the epitome of good taste.

    IPOD Almost any other PMP

    Create Playlists on the move ? [ N ] [Y]

    Supports Any OS without fcking around ? [ N ] [Y]

    Has Keyword search ? [ N ] [Y]

    Supports most of the popular audio codecs [ N ] [Y]

    Rapes the punter for $$$ to add a video codec [ Y ] [N]

    If you like the iPrat, buy one, cherish it, practise onanism in its honour but be under no illusions that it is anything other than a shiny turd in a cheap white case.


  73. Jason Togneri
    IT Angle

    @ Frank Haney

    Wow, there's so much going on here (and most of it misinformed) that it'd take more time than I actually have available to answer most of it. So I'll pick just this one, which is a problem for Americans and other aliens. Frank Haney:

    It's "Scots", not "Scotch". The former are a nation of people in Scotland. The latter is a famous drink from said nation. I will happily drink a Scotch, because I am a Scot. This is not hard to get right.

  74. Slaine

    A Scotsman Apologises

    Napiers "Difference Engine" - the forerunner to the computer.

    Dunlop's "Rubber Pnuematic Tyre" without which the entire planet would have piles.

    "Tar MacAdam Road Coating", "Cat's Eyes", Education and the Bank of England... The list of SCOTTISH contributions is second to NONE.

    And then we had to go and produce that F*CK*NG TW*T Gordon Brown. Sorry England, debt paid. I'll hang up ma sporran.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft invented the web!

    This article reminded me of the claim by Bill Gates not long after they developed IE that they created the Internet/Web. Hilarity!

  76. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Wasn't America a British invention?

    Undoubtedly. The US consitution has its historical foundations in everything from Magna Carta through to the various pre-independence consitutions of the states. The revolutionaries were largely middle class educated types who were British in all but geography. (They even drank tea, FFS, until it became politically incorrect and they had to switch to coffee, poor sods.) The "locals" and "non-British colonists" had to wait for quite some time before *their* views were given an airing.

    Of course, like all the best British inventions, our politicians completely missed the point and someone else made all the money.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ipod and psion

    your own article on the history of Psion states that they were developing a mini hd based mp3 player, and the key folks now work for Apple, so was he so wrong?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Brithright ones...

    ...aren't obsessed with winning elections and therefore can vote on proposed law as they wish with no fear of losing power...

  79. David Edwards

    The British (Cornish) Invented the Toyota Corolla

    The Ipod is just an evolution of the MP3 player so the Toyota Corolla is just an evolution of Richard Trevithics "Puffing Devil" the frst wheeled self propelled vehicle (not on rails either) that was Built/Invented in CORNWALL!

  80. This post has been deleted by its author

  81. davefb

    ARM is everywhere

    Frankly the only mistake is that he just mentioned the iPod, why not mentioned the nintendo DS and GBA, Symbian phones ( which use an OS initially developed in the uk) and whatever other devices which use the billions of ARM chips sold.

    But no, instead of pointing out that people in britain are involved with hi-tec still, we'll have a go at gordon..

    Anyway, he'll be saying us brits had something to do with the video chips in the iFone next!

  82. Ted Treen

    Of course it was.....

    Americans are Brits, anyway.

    Just living (for the past 230-odd years) under a succession of rebel colonial governments.

    Therefore it stands to reason that whatever is American is, underlying it all, British - albeit somewhat rebellious.

  83. Peyton

    I don't get the downhill skiing reference

    Am I missing something? Surely it was invented in Scandinavia?

    @some other posts

    They are not "Racoon Hats" or even "Raccoon Hats" - they are "Coonskin Caps" :p (But they were invented by American Indians)

    Also, we still drink loads of tea over here. In most parts it's iced (and in the south, ALWAYS sweet =) although in parts of New England I think hot tea still reigns supreme.

  84. Doug

    What about Stan?

    We brits gave the world Stan Laurel! Job done.

    Gordon to Blair - "Well, thats another fine mess...." etc. etc.

    Blair to Gordon - "Well, thats another fine mess...." etc. etc.

  85. JohnP

    @davefb - Symbian

    "Symbian phones ( which use an OS initially developed in the uk)"

    and still is developed mostly in the UK I hasten to add (and no, I don't work for Symbian).

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    forgot to mention...

    We are a superior people living in a superior country:

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

    1) No #1 - HE degrees per capita

    2) No #1 - The least number of study hours per degree and student

    3) the conclusion surely must be another No #1 - intelligence...

  87. Peter Hood


    >It's "Scots", not "Scotch". The former are a nation of people in Scotland. The

    >latter is a famous drink from said nation. I will happily drink a Scotch,

    >because I am a Scot. This is not hard to get right

    *Wrong*, and YMLT read this:

    [Search key; Scotch]

    I have the source material to hand, and my memory of it informed both my search and impulse to respond to your inaccurate remark.

    In their native tongue the Scots can call themselves what the heck they like, but don't have rights on the English Queen's English.

    HTH. HAND.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is just another example of why Brown is not fit to be Prime Minister of this country. The guy is a total fool and appears to know nothing about anything other than money - and I suspect that's because he has a million advisors and financial consultants helping him slide the beads of his abacus.

    (last time I used an abacus I was about 4 years old, I wonder if Brown still uses one?)

    Is it any wonder that science and engineering in this country is in such a mess when you've got muppets like Blair and Brown running this country for way way too long. Blair freely admitted he didn't know how to use a mouse when he succombed to the most powerful job in the land.

  89. Crash Override
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Apple fans are horrified!

    Umm, don't know how long it's been since you looked at Apple, but they now use Intel chips...

    Paris - because she wouldn't have known that either...

    Mine's the one with the BOFH logo on the back

  90. Steve


    The Scandinavians probably invented the ski, and used it for transport cross-country, but it was the Brits who pioneered ('invented" is a dodgy word) the idea of climbing up a mountain (near Chamonix) just so they could slide down it again.

    These days it's only the French army recruits who have to do that, the rest of us can use ski lifts. Bet those boy soldiers just love us for that...

  91. Eric Crippen
    Thumb Up

    @ John Gamble

    I thought I'd read through to make sure no one else made the "Michiganite" correction. After living their for 30+ years, that kind of thing caught my eye. Funny that someone else caught it. Go Wings!

  92. Jeff

    A Brit invented the MP3 Player

    I did attend a meeting at East London Inventors Club where a Brit there giving a talk claimed to be the inventor of the MP3 player - further information can be found on these links

  93. john hennessy
    Paris Hilton

    ah, but one more thing

    The late, great Arthur C. Clarke described a personal audio player small enough to be worn around the neck back in the 1950's or 1960's. So Iguess he scores the MP3 player as well as the comms satellite...

  94. Anonymous Coward

    I've always found it ironic...

    that the British invented the angled deck and fresnel-lens landing system (AKA the "meatball lights") that made it possible to land jets on aircraft carriers...

    then they get rid of their carriers, and are now pretty much the only navy in the world NOT using it.

    I don't need a coat, I've got a yellow shirt.

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