As CEOs of Apple, both Tim Cook and his predecessor Steve Jobs pride or, in Jobs’ case, prided themselves on the ability to say “no” to ideas. For obvious reasons, most of the time the world never gets to hear what those shot-down ideas actually were.
However, emails disclosed as part of the discovery for the Epic vs. Apple trial, now adjourned, shows one of the ideas that was talked about internally — but ultimately abandoned. That ideas was for a 15-inch MacBook Air, discussed as far back as 2007, the year before Apple debuted its ultra-thin notebook.
Dan Lyons, the tech blogger who skewered Apple for years on the popular blog ‘Fake Steve Jobs‘, is making a return to tech blogging as editor-in-chief of Gawker’s anti-Silicon Valley site, Valleywag.
Current Valleywag EIC Nitasha Tiku is leaving the site next month, but after years in self-imposed exile, Lyons will take over the reigns to smatter the pending tech bubble implosion his sardonic wit. Lyons, who currently works as a ‘marketing fellow’ for Hubspot, also just helped write season 2 of HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” He’ll make his return as Silicon Valley’s #1 critic in January.
Dan Lyons lambasted Steve Jobs and his fellow Silicon Valley cronies for years under the Fake Steve Jobs blog, but now after stints at Fortune, Newsweek and Hubspot, the tech writer will mock a new generation of startup wannabes and tech wackos as a writer for HBO’s hit comedy Silicon Valley.
The new Jobs movie hits Friday, August 16th in theaters. And it’s not going to be pretty.
The movie covers the life of the late Apple co-founder and CEO from 1971, before the founding of Apple, to 2001, when Jobs announces the iPod, thus setting the company on the path to glory and dominance.
UPDATE: Youtube has marked the ad “private,” though a few othercopies were available when we checked. It no longer appears on the official Pecos channel, either. We’ll let you know if we find out whether they have pulled it for copyright violations or something else.
This ad is a twofer of bad taste: Taiwanese tea makers use a Steve Jobs lookalike as they violate Apple’s policy on third-party promotions.
The 21-second ad stars a fake Steve promoting Pecos tea and the company’s iPad 2 giveaway.
Day Lyons, aka Fake Steve Jobs, has retired his online satirical column on news of Steve Jobs’ medical leave of absence. Lyons did this last time Jobs took medical leave, saying it was in bad taste to impersonate the CEO while he was sick.
This time around, Lyons has some harsh words for reporters who will inevitably pry into Jobs’ health:
What’s that you say? Not enough work stress in your life? We’ve got something that’ll ramp it right up, courtesy of Dutch graphic designer/cartoonist Metin Seven: a half-foot, 3D-printed bust of a glowering Steve Jobs. Try positioning it on your desk facing you, somewhere off in your peripheral vision, for maximum effect.
Steve can be ordered from cutting-edge craft-site Shapeways for $116.81 in a color option described as “white strong & flexible.” Obviously.
If you identify with the idea that Apple people are cool, you may want to think different after perusing a few pics of box-licking from the site that promises “Real people. Real Steve Jobs worshipers.”
So far, it’s a pretty bare bones WordPress site that has also used some pretty stale Mac fanatic photos — anybody who regularly reads Apple-related sites will recognize a few old costumed dogs and the infamous bathing suit. The slams at pretty regular-looking folks (the “Librarian” and “Cousin Vinnie“) just seem gratuitous.
Who’s behind it? As iPhone Savior first discovered, it’s registered to Fake Steve Jobs, aka Dan Lyons. We double-checked with whois and it checks out — he’s owned the domain for a year but has just now started populating the site.
Would you be proud or shamed to end up in People of Apple?
Working together with our colleagues in the PRC’s propaganda ministry we have developed a great new counter-narrative that we’ve been pushing pretty hard in background conversations with friendly hacks. Basically it’s the notion that Foxconn’s suicide rate is actually below the national average of China, meaning that if you’re working at Foxconn you’re actually less likely to commit suicide. That’s right. The truth is, we are actually saving lives in China.
Fake Steve continues:
But, see, arguments about national averages are a smokescreen. Sure, people kill themselves all the time. But the Foxconn people all work for the same company, in the same place, and they’re all doing it in the same way, and that way happens to be a gruesome, public way that makes a spectacle of their death. They’re not pill-takers or wrist-slitters or hangers. They’re not Sylvia Plath wannabes, sealing off the kitchen and quietly sticking their head in the oven. They’re jumpers. And jumpers, my friends, are a different breed. Ask any cop or shrink who deals with this stuff. Jumpers want to make a statement. Jumpers are trying to tell you something.
“Threats of this nature are serious and we caution the public to use common sense and good judgment when accessing the Internet from their commercial mobile devices… To purposely try to disrupt or negatively impact a network with ill-intent is irresponsible and presents a significant public safety concern.”
As reported earlier, Fake Steve’s Operation Chokehold — which started as a joke — is growing fast. The number of Facebook fans has jumped from about 300 on Tuesday to more than 2,000 by Wednesday afternoon.
Indeed, the protest is growing so fast it has alarmed Fake Steve, aka Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons, who is backing down.
“I’m trying to find a way to spin it down and get everyone to back off,” he said in an email.
“Don’t turn pussy, Lyons,” wote mark2000 in the comments.
“Don’t apologize, backpedal, or otherwise wimp out,” added reader jycitizen. “I don’t think this will have a Y2K effect on the overall service if people participate in this so called flash mob. I do hope it will be enough of a PR gaffe that companies like AT&T will stop taking their customers for granted, and will shine the light back on issues of consumer protection and net neutrality.”
Fake Steve called on disgruntled AT&T customers to bring AT&T’s data network “to its knees” at 12 noon PST this Friday, December 18. (Here’s Fake Steve’s original Operation Chokehold post).
The action was prompted by comments made by AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega that some iPhone users are using too much data.
Fake Steve is calling on disgruntled AT&T customers to bring AT&T’s data network “to its knees” at 12 noon PST this Friday, December 18.
The action is in protest of comments made by a company executive that some iPhone users are using too much data. The protest started as a joke, but seems to have taking on a life of its own. Judging by comments on forums, Facebook and Twitter, people are planning to take part.
Contacted by CultofMac.com, an AT&T spokesman said:
We understand that fakesteve.net is primarily a satirical forum, but there is nothing amusing about advocating that customers attempt to deliberately degrade service on a network that provides critical communications services for more than 80 million customers. We know that the vast majority of customers will see this action for what it is: an irresponsible and pointless scheme to draw attention to a blog.
The AT&T spokesman doubted the action — if it goes ahead — will have much effect. There’s only about 300 participants committed to take part, according to a Facebook fan page set up for the event. The spokesman also claims that many have criticized the event: several have pointed out that the action may affect emergency calls.
Protesters plan to disrupt AT&T’s data network in several ways:
Turning off WiFi
Streaming YouTube videos
Streaming live video with the new UStream Live Broadcaster app (iTunes link)
Subject: Operation Chokehold
On Friday, December 18, at noon Pacific time, we will attempt to overwhelm the AT&T data network and bring it to its knees. The goal is to have every iPhone user (or as many as we can) turn on a data intensive app and run that app for one solid hour. Send the message to AT&T that we are sick of their substandard network and sick of their abusive comments. The idea is we’ll create a digital flash mob. We’re calling it in Operation Chokehold. Join us and speak truth to power!
“I made up the note,” said Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve. “A reader sent in the opposite idea — a boycott of AT&T for one day, everyone stops using their iPhone for a day, and we show them what’s what. I liked the sentiment but who’s going to stop using their iPhone? And for a whole day? I figured no one would go for it. But a one-hour flash mob of overuse? Now that i could see people doing.”
The fake memo follows Fake Steve’s inspired and widely-linked anti-AT&T rant last week. Fake Steve’s diatribe was prompted by comments by A&T CEO Ralph de la Vega’s saying the carrier may “incentivize” iPhone users to cut back on their usage.
Note: Operation Chokehold may adversely affect AT&T’s voice network and block emergency calls.
Well, a reader of Day Lyon’s Fake Steve blog created this portrait of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer from snaps of Microsoft’s most memorable product — the blue screen of death. Check out the detail of Ballmer’s tongue:
This is actually quite astounding. Dear Reader Fraser has created a mosaic using 80 random Windows crash shots to portray Uncle Fester. Below is a detail of the tongue. Click on both to see them in greater detail. The full file is really amazing — we hope to make it available as a download soon so that you can print it out, frame it, give to people you don’t like as a winter solstice holiday present — you get the idea.
For what it’s worth, Fraser says he’ll create a poorly drawn portrait of anyone — just check out his site, PoorlyDrawnPortraits.com. Much love, Fraser. You sick bastard.
Isamu Sanada’s day gig is photography, but his passion is Apple mock-up design.
An amateur designer of fantasy Macintoshes with a website that showcases dozens of his speculative designs for Apple gear, Sanada got his mock-up cred back when he posted an amazingly prescient take on the Titanium G4 PowerBook months before the real deal was released.
Though he’s gotten lots of praise for his designs, Sanada has been quoted regarding his design chops humbly, saying, “Apple’s thought is more splendid than my thought.”
Hit the jump for more Steve Jobs lookalikes and if you find one out and about — or happen to be one yourself — send us a pic or post it on our Facebook wall and we may feature yours in a gallery post down the road.
Fake Steve has a hilarious series of posts about Eric “Squirrel Boy” Schmidt’s resignation from Apple’s board. Much better than the real news and boring analysis. Starts with Squirrel Down! and continues:
“Eric, let me tell you something. After what you pulled here at Apple, no one will ever trust you again. You’re a dead man. Okay? You are the herpes of the tech industry. You lame-ass spy. You backstabbing, flack-fucking thief. You sat in our meetings and learned all of our secrets. You listened to our product development plans. Then you went off and copied our products and now you’re trying to fuck me in the ear with my own ideas.”
Then he goes on to detail the hilarious phone calls Steve has taken from wannabes looking to fill Schmidt’s empty seat, including Woz, Kara Swisher, Jon Shirley, Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble and Chris Anderson.
Worth reading in order to appreciate how the joke builds (I made the mistake of reading them backwards). Highlights are the Kawasaki and Anderson posts.
A couple of the larger media egos on the Apple beat got into a public spat on CNBC Wednesday, in the wake of Steve Jobs’ sudden decision to step aside from day-to-day operations in Cupertino.
Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons, who outed himself as the man behind the formerly wildly popular blog Fake Steve Jobs told CNBC’s Silicon Valley bureau chief, Jim Goldman, he’d been “played” and “punked” by his sources at Apple.
Goldman had previously reported, in the wake of Jobs’ decision to forgo the keynote address at Macworld 2009, that his sources had assured him the Apple CEO was fine and healthy and that the company’s decisions around Macworld had more to do with its long-term market strategy, and had not been guided by any concerns about Jobs’ health.
The clip is a bit of Kabuki theater that reminds one of nothing so much as children squabbling over a dying parent. It devolves, as so many of these things do, into a tempest of shouting and mewling. The conversation’s moderator sums it up nicely at the end, saying, “nobody can hear anything you guys are saying because you’re talking all over one another, and we’re out of time.”
Good news: you may already have the black mock-neck, 501s, New Balance sneakers and an iPod Touch in your wardrobe.
Bad news: any costume you have to explain a few times until everyone is too drunk to care isn’t your best bet.
In my childhood, I had two obsessions: Calvin and Hobbes and Apple. And someone has finally had the foresight to bring them together for Calvin and Jobs, which chronicles the adventures of a boy and his imaginary Apple CEO. It’s quite witty, very much in the tone of the real series. The cartooning isn’t so elegant as (almost certainly disapproving) Bill Watterson, but that’s pretty much a certainty. Still, my favorite remix comic since Garfield Minus Garfield, so well done, PinkFloyd99 of Flickr! Click through the jump for four more adventures of Calvin and Jobs!
Update: This set of cartoons was written by Jacob Lambert and drawn by Gary Hallgren, and is from a two-page spread in the current issue of MAD Magazine.