2016.06.09 Government made the iPhone

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Pelosi doubled down on dumb, she held up an iPhone and said, "almost everything [in this] came from federal investments in research". This raised eyebrows in all the places where the technology was truly developed, and if true, why hasn't a Socialist/Communist country, with their far more powerful governments, given the world anything as noteworthy?

Issue Lie Truth
Government made the iPhone Government created the iPhone, not Steve Jobs or Apple, proven by GPS Music Player = private. Cell Phone = private. Browser = mostly private. So government gave us what? GPS (Global Positioning Satellites) which was a Satellite implementation of a civilian idea... and it only augment one small feature of smartphones (positioning for maps). And it was still the civilian sector that innovated and made the technology affordable. The private sector pays for government, not the other way around.
❝ [Holding up an iPhone for everyone to see] Anybody here have a smartphone? In this smartphone, almost everything came from federal investments in research. ❞

So dumb, it burns.

The Components that the phone is made out of:

  • Aluminum - discovered by Hans Christian Oersted (Dane) [1]
  • Gorilla Glass - Corning[2]
  • Integrated Circuits - while ideas were theorized earlier it was Jack Kilby (Texas Instruments), Kurt Lehovec (Sprague Electric Company), Robert Noyce (Fairchild Semiconductor) that combined invented the circuit, the isolation, and the interconnects that allowed them to happen. [3]
  • Cell Phone - Motorola [4]
  • Capacitive Touch Screen - E.A. Johnson from Royal Radar Establishment in Malvern, United Kingdom [5]
  • ARM processor - British computer manufacturer Acorn Computers developed the Acorn RISC Machine architecture (ARM) in 1983 [6]

The MVP (Minimum Viable Product or features) and what made the iPhone (and all smart phones) successful:

  1. an iPod with touch controls - developed by Apple
    • MP3 music format was created by Motion Picture Experts Group (private companies) in 1993 [7]
    • All the interface and software for capture/playback was by Apple
  1. a revolutionary mobile phone - Motorola, with the FCC delaying the Cell Phones implementation by 40 years.
  2. a web browser - An idea created by Tim Bernes Lee at Cern -- by ripping off IBM's SGML, and Apple's HyperCard and other hypertext. The implementation of Safari was created by forking KHTML (OpenSource by Torben Weis and Martin Jones) and creating WebKit (the engine for Safari) and Apple putting their own UI around it.

So WTF is Pelosi talking about? (Pardon my TLA). Ignoring that she got the organization wrong (it wasn't the Association for the Advancement of Science in America), she named a few things

  • GPS which was created by the U.S. government -- by taking our money, and paying a private university and public aerospace company to create it for them. And the whole thing was an idea was just a satellite version of Robert (Bob) J. Dippy's GEE (and the later LORAN-A) radio-navigation system, from the UK.
  • Flat screens - As we know them (LCD's) go back to 1888 and have a long history, with only occasional government contributions. Or 1936, Kálmán Tihanyi, (Hungarian) for the plasma (with evolutions by Universities, Fujitsu, etc.). Mostly private.
  • Wireless data compression - evolutions of wired data compression which was virtually all private sector.
  • voice recognition - Bell Labs in the 50's and 60's, then a little DARPA in the 70's, then IBM and Dragon Systems, and so on. So a teeny bit of government in an ocean of private research.

So even the majority of things she uses as examples were mostly private funds or innovations, with a little government sponsored research sprinkled in. But remember, since all of government revenues come from parasitically taxing the private sector (and individuals), they deserve almost no real credit -- they took the money out of the system, and gave a small contribution back, that's how government works. Thanking them for the scraps seems silly, as without them we would have had much more to do research on our own. Since Government couldn't exist without the private companies and individuals who pay for them, while even when governments fall apart, there are still companies and individuals who innovate.


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