Fake Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs considered supersizing the original MacBook Air

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Cheap refurbished MacBook Air
A 15-inch MacBook Air was on the cards for Apple in 2008. It never shipped.
Photo: Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels

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.

‘Fake Steve Jobs’ lands new gig as Silicon Valley’s sharpest tongue

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Dan Lyons, formerly known as 'Fake Steve Jobs'. Photo: Dan Lyons
Dan Lyons, formerly known as 'Fake Steve Jobs'. Photo: Dan Lyons

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.

Lyons wrote his new Gawker Media co-workers the following after news broke of his hiring:

Brace Yourselves, Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Jobs’ Movie Is Finally Shipping Next Week!

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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.

You’re going to hate the movie. Here’s why. 

New Stills From Jobs Movie Published

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USA Today published a couple of new stills from the upcoming movie, Jobs,which has actor Ashton Kutcher playing Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs and Josh Gad playing co-founder Steve Wozniak.

The movie will premier January 26 at the Sundance Film Festival and hits theaters in April.

Fake Steve Jobs Ad Violates Apple’s Promo Policy [Video]

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UPDATE: Youtube has marked the ad “private,” though a few other copies 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.

Fake Steve Signs Off (Again) With Harsh Words For Reporters

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Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve Jobs, with Tiffany (aka Bike Helmet Girl) and Veronica Belmont

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:

Steve Jobs As A Blockhead

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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.

People of Apple Site Shows Ugly Side of “Macs?”

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Depending where you fall on the “I’m a Mac” scale, the candid snapshots of Apple customers at Apple retail stores are a little unsettling.

People of Apple is a cringe-gallery modeled on the creative back fat of People of Walmart.

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?

Via iPhone Savior

Fake Steve Rips BS Claims That Foxconn Suicides Below National Average

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Fake Steve tears down bullshit claims that the Foxconn suicides are below China’s national average (see Fast CompanyZDNetDaring FireballWall Street Journal, Alley Insider and others).

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.

Fake Steve: Our new spin on the Foxconn suicide epidemic

Via Owen Thomas.

Craigslist Ad: Wanted, Steve Jobs Look-Alike

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Someone is looking for a Steve Jobs look-alike, like this guy, who was snapped at the San Francisco Dyke March in 2008 by photographer/comic Heather Gold. 

Someone is looking for a Steve Jobs look-alike for an “impersonator event” on Friday and Saturday in San Francisco’s SOMA — the area around Macworld.

The actual job isn’t specified, but looking like Steve is important, of course, but so is “punctuality.”

“If necessary, we can provide a black turtleneck and glasses,” the Craigslist ad says.

Pay is $100 a day. Wanna bet it’s handing out Gold Club flyers?

Full text of the Craigslist ad after the jump and check out our Gallery of Uncanny Steve Jobs Look-Alikes

FCC Calls Operation Chokehold “Irresponsible,” Fake Steve Backs Down

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Fake Steve is backing down from Operating Chokehold as the FCC calls it
Fake Steve is backing down from Operating Chokehold as the FCC calls it "irresponsible."

As the FCC calls Fake Steve’s fast-growing Operation Chokehold “irresponsible,” Fake Steve is backing down from the protest he started as a joke.

Contacted by ABCNews, the chief of the FCC’s public safety and homeland security bureau warned iPhone users against crashing AT&T’s network. In a statement, he said:

“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.

On his blog, Lyons is now asking protesters not to overwhelm AT&T’s network. Instead, Lyons is suggesting a flashmob-style protest outside AT&T’s stores. The suggestion isn’t going down so well with some readers.

“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.

Get Ready AT&T: Operation Chokehold Has More Than 1,600 Facebook Fans

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Tower
Cell tower photo by forklift - http://flic.kr/p/772WXR

Fake Steve’s Operation Chokehold is growing fast. The number of Facebook fans has jumped five-fold overnight, from about 300 fans on Tuesday to more than 1,600.

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. (Here’s Fake Steve’s original Operation Chokehold post).

The action is in protest of comments made by AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega that some iPhone users are using too much data. The protest started as a joke, but is taking on a life of its own.

On Tuesday, AT&T dismissed the planned protest as a publicity stunt. A company spokesman downplayed any effect it may have — but that was when there was only 300 fans.

AT&T Responds to Fake Steve’s Operation Chokehold

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Cell tower photo by forklift - http://flic.kr/p/772WXR

AT&T has dismissed Fake Steve’s Operation Chokehold protest as an attention-getting stunt.

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:

It’s unclear whether disruption of AT&T’s data network will affect voice calls.

Operation Chokehold Is Gathering Steam — Bring AT&T To Its Knees on Friday

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Tower
Cell tower photo by forklift - http://flic.kr/p/772WXR

Operation Chokehold — a flashmob-style protest against AT&T that began as a joke on Fake Steve’s blog — looks like it may actually take place.

The meme is gathering a lot of steam on Twitter and Facebook, with people saying they plan to join the protest.

“We have got to do this!,” says Mashable reader pjserven, who set up a couple of Facbook pages to help mobilize protestors: an event page and a fanpage that makes it easy to invite friends.

The protest began with a Fake Steve post about an internal Apple memo — fake of course — about bringing AT&T’s network to its knees on Friday, December 18 at noon Pacific:

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.

Pic Of the Day: Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer Rendered In Windows Blue Screens

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Remember that famous mosaic portrait of Steve Jobs that Fortune commissioned made from popular Apple products?

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:

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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.

Gallery of Uncanny Steve Jobs Lookalikes

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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’s Must-Read Take on Schmidt’s Board Resignation

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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.

Link.

Fake Steve Jobs Is Back

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Dan Lyons at a San Francisco book signing in 2007 with tech podcaster Veronica Belmont and Bike Helmet Girl, a recurrent character in the Secret Diary.

Steve Jobs may not be back to work yet, but Fake Steve is.

Fake Steve Jobs (aka Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons) has started blogging again.

Over the weekend, Fake Steve made a series of off-color jokes about Steve Jobs’ recent liver transplant. The posts are classic Fake Steve  — sick, tasteless and LOL funny.

Unfortunately, it may not last.

‘Fake Steve Jobs’ Lashes Out on CNBC

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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.”

Sad.

Via Cnet

“Calvin and Jobs,” the Story of a Boy and His iCEO

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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.