No Fact Checking Necessary: Myth Of Cameraphone Inventor Lives On

from the fact-checking?--whazzat? dept

Just a month and a half after News.com's Michael Kanellos showed that Philippe Kahn clearly was not anywhere near being the first to build a "cameraphone" (and even that Kahn's device was simply a camera connected to a phone, rather than a "cameraphone," and Olympus had offered a similar product on the market three years earlier) the Associated Press has come out with an article all about Kahn being the inventor of the cameraphone, supposedly created to help tell people about the birth of his kid. Given the number of stories being pushed in the last few months about Kahn as the inventor of the cameraphone, it has all the makings of a PR campaign to support his latest company, which is still in stealth mode. PR people love to use these types of stories to hook the press, even if they're not true. It's like the story of the inspiration for eBay, where supposedly Pierre Omidyar's girlfriend collected Pez dispensers and wanted a better way to buy and sell them. That story was totally made up, but the press loved it. So, watch out. When you start hearing stories about how I invented blogging because I knew the world needed a better way to communicate, you can just assume Techdirt has hired a new PR person.

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  • identicon
    Andy, 21 May 2007 @ 10:17pm

    no one invented it

    No one invented the camera phone. Someone from the future came back and gave us the technology, just like in Star Trek IV.
    There is some question whether this transfer of technology actually results in a predestination paradox where transparent aluminum is actually never invented by anyone. Scotty, who gives the forumla to Dr. Nichols in the twentieth century, implies that it was Dr. Nichols who may have introduced transparent aluminum to the world (thus allowing Scotty to learn the formula in the twenty-third century), raising the question of where the formula originated.
    -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparent_aluminum

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TriZz, 21 May 2007 @ 10:34pm

    Is it true?!

    I heard you invited blogging.

    Can I have your autograph?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ron (profile), 21 May 2007 @ 11:33pm

    Transparent Aluminum

    Scotty actually invented transparent aluminum. He conceived of it as he was talking about plexiglass and extracted the information as his fingers flew across that little Mac keyboard (ever wonder how all those neat symbols appeared on that screen from just typing?). The problem was that while he was a genius, his mind could not reconcile with the process of pure creation so it invented the fiction of Scotty having learned of the product in his own time. That created the apparent paradox; but in fact, there was none.

    More on topic: for an interesting view of "creation" have a read through James Burke's "Connections". Every new creation is the accumulation of many other, sometimes unrelated pieces, each of which, in turn, is the result of other accumulations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JiZz, 22 May 2007 @ 12:15am

    Is it blue?

    I like to give my bologna a flogging.

    Want my autograph?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob., 22 May 2007 @ 4:33am

    Can I sell Mike's autograph on ebay?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matthew, 22 May 2007 @ 6:51am

    That'd be a phone-cam photo of Mike's autograph to put up for sale on Ebay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JeffR, 22 May 2007 @ 9:14am

    Reminds me of the Snickers commercial from about 2000:

    I invented pants..
    Space Shuttle, that was mine..
    etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jenn Larnical, 20 Jun 2007 @ 3:06am

    Camera Phone

    Actually guys the CNet piece was full of it. It refers to Wikipedia being wrong, but it seems that it is right and that the Cnet piece makes no sense. It sounds like me like Kanelos has a beef with Kahn. Search the patent server and you'll see Kahn's name as well as according to Wiki the commercial partnership between J-Phone and Kahn. That's verified apparently in the high priced acquisition of LightSurf. I think that you need to be careful before you pass judgment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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