28 December 2005

Who invented the Walkman?

As it turns out, it wasn't Sony. It was a Brazilian, Andreas Pavel, who just settled a lawsuit with Sony. Apparently Sony had been willing to pay a licensing fee from the beginning, but not to acknowledge him as the inventor.

I'm not surprised that was the sticking point with Sony; every time I've heard a Japanese person defend their country against charges that they lack innovation, the Walkman was the example they used to prove their point. Clearly they couldn't easily let that part of their mythology go.

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