Did Bing Crosby and the Nazis shape Silicon Valley?
The New Yorker assigns the legendary crooner an oversized role in creating California's technological landscape.
Say what? The headline conjures images of Crosby tinkering with vacuum tubes and capacitors in a Santa Clara garage owned by the Third Reich. But that's far from the case. In fact, there are some improbable leaps in the article linking the crooner with the Nazis and California's rich technological history.
Here's how The New Yorker's Paul Ford sees it:
After World War II ended, the Americans sifted through German technological innovation and found magnetic tape. The Nazis had used tape recording to broadcast propaganda, Ford writes.
Engineers from a company called Ampex began studying the tape technology in the U.S. and showed Crosby, who by then was one of the wealthiest celebrities in the country. Crosby invested $50,000 in Ampex, and his new radio show became the first to use the technology.
Within the next decade, engineers from IBM (IBM) helped build the first hard drive. "There is a direct link in the Silicon Valley understanding between Bing Crosby's crooning and the rise of the hard drive, which was designed as an improvement over magnetic tape," Ford writes.
He even illustrates his thinking with an equation: Microphones + crooning + Nazis + radio + $50,000 = Silicon Valley.
These associations are a bit tenuous. On the AudioKarma home audio discussion forums, one member said last year that the Nazis really had nothing to do with the invention of magnetic tape or the equipment used to play it. "I suppose that we must call the airplane a 'Republican invention' and the Chevy Volt a 'Democratic electric car' since the incumbent presidents were members of those parties," that member wrote.
But these equations can be fun. How about this one: Abraham Lincoln + writing on a shovel by candlelight + coal = Helped create the iPad?
- Both sides dig in over cutting food stamps
- Zombie Lehman Bros. sucks cash from nonprofits
- Seeds planted to revive hemp as US cash crop
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the Tuesday session near their lows with the Russell 2000 (-1.0%) leading the slide. The S&P 500 lost 0.5% with nine sectors ending in the red.
Equities indices started the day with modest gains and spent the first two hours of action in the neighborhood of their flat lines. Although the early trade lacked clear sector leadership, that could have been overlooked due to the strength among heavily-weighted sectors like health care (-0.3%), ... More
More Market News
The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'