We wuz robbed - Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain

Readers of Computer Weekly’s sister publication New Scientist recently voted the microprocessor as the most important “discovery” of the past 50 years. It was upgainst  the mobile phone; space exploration; magnetic resonance imaging; the World Wide Web; the global optical fibre network; error-correcting codes; lasers; public key encryption; and green chemistry.
Downtime will take nothing away from the microprocessor, but we think the game was rigged. Unquestionably the most important invention (for this is what we are really talking about) of modern times is the transistor. But New Scientist readers weren’t allowed to vote for it as William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain made their breakthrough at Bell Labs in 1947.
In a similar competition at the Economist, readers voted the Web as the most important invention. Which just shows how much they know.

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