Heart-stopping news for iPod lovers

On a busy news day for Apple, following last night's annual meeting and record stock prices, a story to come out of America claims that iPods can cause interference with pacemakers.

A study by a Jay Thaker, an over-achieving 17-year-old high school student from Michigan, tested the effect of the Apple-branded portable jukebox on 100 patients, with an average age of 77 who all (obviously) were fitted with pacemakers. Electrical interference was detected 50% of the time that the iPod was held 2 inches from the patient's chest for between 5 and 10 seconds.

(We assume the possibility that the reported "interference" could have been down to the fact that easily excitable 77-year-old Michigan residents aren’t used to high schools students holding bits of coloured metal 2 inches from their chests has been explored in full.)

In some cases the iPods caused interference when held as far away as 18 inches from the chest. Interference with the telemetry equipment caused the device to misread the heart's pacing and in one case caused the pacemaker to stop functioning altogether. Whoops.

First mobile phones, then laptops, now iPods. Do they want to take all our toys away?