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The Almighty Buck Businesses Apple

Fake E-Mail Results in Angry Apple Shareholders 193

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the solid-gold-stock-tips-buy-buy-buy dept.
drhamad writes "Apple stock dropped 2.2% today in mid-afternoon trading as Engadget published news based on a faked e-mail inside Apple. 'Apparently an internal memo was sent to several Apple employees--and forwarded to Engadget--around 9am CT today saying that Apple issued a press release with the news that the iPhone was now scheduled for October, and Leopard was delayed until January. About an hour and a half after that e-mail went out, a second e-mail was sent--this time officially from Apple--saying the first e-mail was a fake, and that the delivery schedule for the iPhone and Leopard had not changed.'"
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Fake E-Mail Results in Angry Apple Shareholders

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  • by Eternal Vigilance (573501) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:26PM (#19152591)
    Wheeee, fun time trading for somebody today.
    • by smilindog2000 (907665) <bill@billrocks.org> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:37PM (#19152755) Homepage
      The SEC just needs to find who shorted the heck out of Apple stock yesterday.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:00PM (#19153073)
        Yesterday??? We're not that stupid. We've been planning this for months.
        It will look like a perfectly normal transaction: we invested the money that we got from our grandmother's estate.
        Pity about grandma...she screamed awful loud.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rts008 (812749)
        Steve Ballmer:"Drats! Foiled again!"
        *Then throws chair at picture of Steve Jobs*
      • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:14PM (#19154009)
        Shorting would be too obvious. Instead, here's Apple employee "get rich quick" method #5234:
        • Send out fake email which will result in a good price drop
        • Buy stock!
        • Send out official email which denies everything
          • Stock bounces back up within 1-2 days
        • Sell stock!
        They'll never catch me!
        • Oooh... That's really sneaky! I guess crime does pay, at least if you're brilliant.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by ninken (1096461)
        They trace it back to Bill Gates and Steve ballmer, come to find out Apple E-mail servers runs Exchange!
      • by jmp_nyc (895404) * on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @09:12PM (#19154747)
        The problem is that with Apple trading to all time highs at the beginning of the week, lots of people were shorting it, or buying puts.

        Not to mention that this Friday is the monthly expiration day for traded options. The big brokerages that underwrite most options have a vested interest in having the stock price go down by the time the market closes this Friday. There are options on about 4 million shares that expire worthless if the stock price is below 110, 3.4 million shares worth that expire worthless if the price is below 105, 5 million shares worth that are worthless if the stock is below 100, etc. The backers of those options would love nothing more than to see as many as possible expire worthless. They've been known to manipulate Apple's share price downward in the week leading into expiration. (Or at least Apple has managed to go down in the days before expiration in each of the last 6 months, even as the stock has been generally going up.)

        If you want to know who stands to benefit from Apple going down, see who the big option underwriters are...
        -JMP
        • by GlobalEcho (26240) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:30AM (#19161509)

          The backers of those options would love nothing more than to see as many as possible expire worthless


          You obviously don't understand how options traders operate. Those who write the options do not sell them "naked". Instead they purchase an appropriate amount of stock at the same time they sell the option, adjusting the amount according to the "Delta" as supplied by a variant of the Black-Scholes [wikipedia.org] model. See here [thepitmaster.com] for more information on how that works.

          Because these options writers have sold the options short, and hedged the delta, they have sold volatility or are short gamma. Their best outcome is if the stock price does not move, because the risk-reward profile is positive for stable prices. They do not particularly care whether or not the options expire worthless. Big swings in the stock price like yesterday's, though, are quite painful for them.

          Disclaimer: I am a finance industry professional specializing in options models.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jazzyjrw (950758)
        A fake Apple email? Sounds like the work of Fake Steve Jobs [blogspot.com]...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Linagee (16463)
      Maybe they are adding actual useful features like HSDPA? Hahaha. (Or not.)
    • by jcr (53032)
      That's the most likely scenario. There's an awful lot of $105 options hanging out there that expire in two days.

      -jcr
  • Testing the waters? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aichpvee (631243) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:27PM (#19152611) Journal
    Who else thinks they're running behind and wanted to see if they could push back the releases without scaring the sheep?
    • by IAmTheDave (746256) <basenamedave-sdNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:17PM (#19153253) Homepage Journal
      Actually, who else thinks this was a ploy to find out who's leaking internal information? Narrow it down to a suspect, add in some known faithful employees, and send the "fake" press release.

      Engadget gets it... internal leak... plugged?
      • Steve Jobs himself recently said that most leaks are intentional. So no.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Actually the traditional meaning of leak pretty much REQUIRES that it be intentional. It's only been more recently that the term has been expanded to include unauthorized dissemination of information.
      • Actually, who else thinks this was a ploy to find out who's leaking internal information?

        Why was the parent rated flamebait??? This is exactly the first thought that went through my mind. Although, on further consideration, it's possible that you couldn't tell whether it was one of the "targets" that forwarded it or someone else in the company who received a copy from one of the targets. Either way, I don't see a flame ware coming out of this.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Torvaun (1040898)
          It's all about timing. This isn't a traditional Canary Trap, where a bunch of possible leaks all get slightly different stories, and you see which one gets out. It's a Timed Canary Trap. You take a possible leak, and you give him a fake story. Couple months later, you do the same thing with a different leak. Now, you keep track of how long it took to get out after you baited the trap, and the shortest one is probably it. If there are a few short ones, find out who those people talk to, and you're prob
        • by Ilgaz (86384) *
          Also remember right before Leopard actually postponed, the Mac rumour sites were flooded by "Leopard is not ready" rumours with hundreds of comments.

          Lets not forget Engadget could look like blog but it is a very respected site for years. Every professional in industry watches that site as far as I can tell. There are some people saying "random blog", no it is not a random blog. It is the site which has exclusive insider information.
      • by Tim Browse (9263)

        Narrow it down to a suspect, add in some known faithful employees, and send the "fake" press release.

        Ah, the old Barium Lie technique :-)

        As once used by Jennifer Lopez, iirc. The technique of the stars!

    • by evilgrug (915703) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:28PM (#19153435)
      As one Engadget reader commented mere minutes after the initial story was posted:

      "This simply does not make any sense.

      Apple only pushed Leopard back a few weeks ago, and confirmed the iPhone shipping even more recently when they released their quarterly earnings.

      Is someone pulling your leg?"

      These are the kind of things that Engadget should have thought about before the story was posted without contacting Apple.

      And if they were running behind, as you hypothesize, why would they need to "test if they could push back the releases", either they're behind and they have to, or they're not behind and they don't have to. What do they do if they are running behind and do "scare the sheep"? That makes even less sense.
    • by bogjobber (880402)
      Other crazy people.
    • It's more likely that someone wanted to short the stock.
    • Actually I had a couple of Apple sales reps in yesterday.

      They have conferences, sales meetings, and everything all ready to roll for the iPhone on the days and weeks after the official release date. They were dead serious that the iPhone was a go.
  • by bluemonq (812827) * on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:28PM (#19152627)
    ...is the fact that this hasn't happened more often.
    • by Mia'cova (691309) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:53PM (#19152987)
      No kidding. Plus, engadget and friends are going to have to be extra careful for a while. It seems like this would be an easy way to make some money shorting a stock. You'd have to pull it off but it's pretty hard not to predict some copy-cat attempts in the coming months.
      • by VertigoAce (257771) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:37PM (#19153521)
        Engadget wasn't really tricked here. They reported on an email that actually was sent to Apple employees and was forwarded by a real Apple employee to engadget (and it sounds like this employee has been a reliable source in the past). That is about the best source you could have short of an official press release.

        The real story is that somebody managed to fool some number of Apple employees into believing the fake memo. It's hard to say much more without some more details (was the From: header spoofed, or was it just good enough to make it past a casual glance?). Why aren't official confidential memos signed by a closely guarded private key? That way employees would know unsigned memos are quite possibly fake.
        • Hmmm, maybe Apple noticed that alot of their super secrets were showing up on engaget minutes after notifying internal resources? A few carefully crafted fake juicy bits emailed around later and they should be able to narrow down who the leak is. I'm sure floggings and/or sackings would then ensue.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by antic (29198)
          "That is about the best source you could have short of an official press release."

          I'd argue that, quite often, an internal leak would be a better source than a fluffy and biased press release!
    • by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:08PM (#19153161)
      In this case, the scams are self-correcting. The more false rumors are generated, the more users will wait for official press releases and dismiss anonymous "internal memo leaks". So this can not happen too often.
      • by vought (160908)
        In this case, the scams are self-correcting. The more false rumors are generated, the more users will wait for official press releases and dismiss anonymous "internal memo leaks". So this can not happen too often.

        Maybe that's what Apple is trying to do. The Apple rumors industry is a thorn in their side on principle; the best way to torpedo rumor sites is to infect them with spurious crap that looks official, catching internal leaks as they go.
    • by MoogMan (442253)
      Indeed. An interesting variation on the pump and dump scam.

      1) Send around a fake email, indicating something negative about a company.
      2) Buy a bunch of shares when the share price has reduced.
      3) Wait and monitor the market.
      4) Sell shares when the share price has been restored.
      4) Profit!!!

      Even a reduction in 2p means a significant gain when you can be reasonably confident to buy many shares, as a company as large as Apple will quickly resolve their share pricing.

      * Not even a ??? damnit, I'm failed as a /.er.
  • by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:28PM (#19152639) Homepage
    Well, I guess that when you come to expect that a company's news comes primarily from intentional and unintentional leaks due to their own secrecy, it makes sense that people would buy this. Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.
    • by vought (160908) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:43PM (#19152857)
      Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.

      Maybe it's time the Apple rumor industry shut down. It's any company's decision to keep any and all information about upcoming products secret.

      The fact that Apple has given in to preannouncing some products lately (Leopard, AppleTV, iPhone) shows that they have given ground on their previously super-secret ways.

      When you're known as the industry's R&D house, it's likely worth a lot of money to keep new projects and features secret for as long as possible. Asking a company to tell you everything they're working on (or schedules) is nuts because it lets your competitors know where to aim - would you want your employer to do that?
      • by hellfire (86129) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `vdalived'> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @09:09PM (#19154705) Homepage
        The fact that Apple has given in to preannouncing some products lately (Leopard, AppleTV, iPhone) shows that they have given ground on their previously super-secret ways.

        Fact: Leopard is just the next version of a product that everyone already knows about. They've always hyped their OS because that's what software makers do, and how they generate buzz and interest. Plus, you can't keep an OS secret because you have to get people to generate software for the OS. That's why you have beta periods, developer networks, and the like to make sure that as many developers who want their products compatible with the next version are ready the day of the official release. Sun, Microsoft, IBM, all do it/did it. It would hurt Apple too much not to.

        Fact: AppleTV had about the same lead time as versions of the iPod and other hardware announcements from Apple. No hardware maker makes their product available right this second after it's announced. They announce it at the best time possible to generate buzz, and then gear up to ship. It helps stir speculation and anticipation. Apple TV was no exception.

        Fact: As Jobs said, he had to submit the iPhone to the FCC for approval. Jobs only announced it this early because at this point, he couldn't keep it under wraps any longer. It becomes public record once the phone is submitted to the FCC. Therefore, you announce it to keep the thunder away from everyone else.
        • AppleTV was previewed at an event on September 12th 2006, named on January 9th 2007, and started shipping on March 21st 2007.

          There was a 6 month period between initial announcement and the customers getting them. Not many Apple products get that sort of a lead time, its usually 'announce, make available for ordering immediately, ship within 2 months'.
      • by Divebus (860563)

        Asking a company to tell you everything they're working on (or schedules) is nuts because it lets your competitors know where to aim .

        Or, they could use the Microsoft Method: fill the channels with bloody obvious, redundant and conflicting pronouncements of what the future holds but only deliver about 4% of it. That'll keep everyone off balance, eh? Nobody really knows what in the hell you're working on and everyone will freeze in their tracks.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wSLACKWAREorf.net minus distro> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:49PM (#19152929)

      Well, I guess that when you come to expect that a company's news comes primarily from intentional and unintentional leaks due to their own secrecy, it makes sense that people would buy this. Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.


      Perhaps, or maybe it's Apple's way of finding out who's been breaking their NDA. Perhaps by first looking at trading activity, then by looking at the wording of the email that was posted on Engadget. After all, if you found this out, you'd want to either short stock or something first, then leak it out... Remember, Apple still has to deal with leaks, and something as wild as this may make it obvious since it'll hit the big sites (one of which is likely to post it verbatim, thus identifying the culprit). And people who react to silly things like "A well-connected Apple employee said..." or "Our insider Apple employee" do deserve to get burned if they make financial decisions based on an unverifiable source. The source could very well be real, but it could also be made up. Speculation on new products is one thing, but actually doing stuff based on news whose validity is as good as the neighbourhood bum...

      As for intentional leaks, that's hard to determine. But if you're going to do stuff like sell stock, you might want to wait for official confirmation. Because it's so easy to write "A VP of marketing at Apple has told me that the iPhone will support 3rd party applications, and there is going to be an SDK released June 1. Developer iPhones will be released then as well."
      • After all, if you found this out, you'd want to either short stock or something first, then leak it out...

        Well, if you want to commit a crime, be investigated by the SEC, convicted, and sent to jail, then yes, you'd short or something first.

        If you just want to get fired, you'd forward the email on to your outside contact without touching the stock.
      • Perhaps, or maybe it's Apple's way of finding out who's been breaking their NDA.

        Yeah, and I'd bet the Board of Directors would have liked a chance to vet that kind of move before blowing away $2 billion in shareholder value. I think this is just a prank gone horribly wrong. But for the grace of common sense go I.
    • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @07:51PM (#19153697) Journal
      Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.

      Get serious.

      Shortly after I went to work there, a colleague explained to me exactly what that secrecy is worth in monetary terms. Apple got the iMac G4 on the cover of Time magazine. You can't buy Time's cover as an ad placement, but if you could it would probably be worth a tens of millions of dollars.

      -jcr
    • What secrecy? I know Apple traditionally haven't been too forthcoming, but that's because they need a competitive advantage. Why should any company tell the world what they're working on?

      Lately though, Apple have started giving out tidbits, such as the iPhone well before release. And what happened? A lot of people immediately tried to copy the iPhone.

      If Apple think they're skating to where the puck will be (as opposed to where it is now), then why would they want a welcoming commitee waiting for them?

      I thin
  • by Chairboy (88841) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:29PM (#19152647) Homepage
    When something like this happens where a direct financial impact can be measured, do any of the rules change regarding the protections that the reporting website operate under?

    If the New York Times reports that Microsoft was filing bankruptcy and the stock plummeted, The NYT would be held to some sort of standard. Sometimes a retraction isn't enough, for instance, to protect from a lawsuit.

    Now when it's a website, do any of the protections exist, and what are the implications for these guys in terms of liability?
    • by eln (21727) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:38PM (#19152779) Homepage
      If they had a source, and a valid reason to believe that source was credible, I don't see how they can be punished for that. I would hope they had more of a reason to believe it was credible than that it came from an "apple.com" e-mail address.

      If you start punishing reporters for getting a story wrong based on a faulty source when a reasonable person would have accepted the source as credible, you will basically kill investigative journalism (as if it wasn't close enough to dead in this country as it is).
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DTemp (1086779)
        This is why journalists do a thing called fact checking. You need multiple sources, or at least a source more convincing than a random @apple.com address, before you go to print with something like this. If Engaget was a legitimate news source, they would get hit HARD for this. But they aren't legitimate, so nobody really holds them in less esteem after this. Apple still has the right to legal action, however.
      • '' If you start punishing reporters for getting a story wrong based on a faulty source when a reasonable person would have accepted the source as credible, you will basically kill investigative journalism (as if it wasn't close enough to dead in this country as it is). ''

        The email claimed that Apple had issued a press release about major delays in two very important products. It would have been common sense to contact Apple and check if such a press release actually existed. We'll see what the SEC thinks ab
      • by Darth (29071)
        If they had a source, and a valid reason to believe that source was credible, I don't see how they can be punished for that. I would hope they had more of a reason to believe it was credible than that it came from an "apple.com" e-mail address.

        If you start punishing reporters for getting a story wrong based on a faulty source when a reasonable person would have accepted the source as credible, you will basically kill investigative journalism (as if it wasn't close enough to dead in this country as it is).


        Wh
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by sayfawa (1099071)
          Punishing reporters for getting a story that completely wrong based on a faulty source they did nothing to verify would resurrect invetigative journalism, not kill it. The reason it is so close to dead is because people give this kind of shoddy work a free pass.

          If by punish you mean no one reads their stories anymore so they don't make money and have to stop writing garbage. But there can't be laws against repeating what someone told you. Well, as long as they didn't tell you the HD-DVD key.
          • by Darth (29071)
            that is a good point that i didn't make clear. I do not advocate laws to punish journalists for getting it wrong.

            I wouldn't be opposed to a lawsuit by parties harmed by this kind of incompetent journalism, but I think the most effective way for the public at large to punish this behaviour is to stop using them as reliable sources of information.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neoform (551705)
      Shareholders are made fully aware of the risks of buying and selling stocks.

      If a website prints false news they can be held for libel by Apple, but not by the shareholders individually.. it's all part of the risk.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by illumnatLA (820383)
      Generally, a newspaper or journalist wouldn't just giddily publish something like this without a little old-fashioned fact checking. It's idiotic to publish this with information from only a single source. Oh, but wait... this is Web 2.0 isn't it... screw the facts... gimme page hits.
    • by tacokill (531275) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @09:37PM (#19155021)
      No, the rules do not change. And the rules are "there are no rules". They have zero liability here. In good faith, they thought the story was true.

      Unless it is shown that a hedge fund or some other entity both made-up and profited from the story, it is what it is. A fake story and nothing more. Yes, the credibility of Engadget will be hurt but there isn't any legal implication whatsoever unless it was a true stock scam.

      If you are actually dumb enough to trade on information like this, then you deserve what you get. "Bad" information is everywhere. That's why the smarter ones of us don't take everything we hear as the final word. As an example, don't you ever wonder how the "Microsoft is buying Yahoo" story got started? It's much much more subtle than this story and THAT is the proper way to do a stock scam. In that case, nobody can point to the originator of the story and it just seems plausible enough to actually be true. Meanwhile, as we idiots on /. debate the details of the story, several hedge funds trade out of Yahoo at a very nice profit.

      Of course, nobody can prove the story is a pump and dump so nothing happens and the world goes on. However, I don't think the Apple/Engadget deal is the same thing.
      • I think traders have no comeback against the publisher.

        Here in Australia (and I think the U.K., Canada, and New Zealand) the general rule is that you do not owe anybody a duty of care for pure financial loss, unless you have some special relationship - e.g. a financial advisor and a client. You only owe strangers a duty of care for injury or damage.

  • by msew (2056) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:38PM (#19152771) Homepage
    Looks like they are flushing out folks who forward internal emails. Send to a few people and see if the fake news gets out. Binary search in action!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Just given a few different months, you could quite easily start narrowing down a leak.
      Email 1: iPhone delayed until September. Leopard delayed until October.
      Email 2: October/October
      Email 3: October/November

      If you already had a list of suspected leaks you could narrow the field very quickly with different month combinations.
      • Just given a few different months, you could quite easily start narrowing down a leak.
        Email 1: iPhone delayed until September. Leopard delayed until October.
        Email 2: October/October
        Email 3: October/November

        If you already had a list of suspected leaks you could narrow the field very quickly with different month combinations.

        You'd need to make it much more subtle than that. "Hey, did you get the memo that we're delaying the iPhone until September?" "What? I thought it said October." "OMG you're right... ponies!"

        Instead, change around words subtly:

        1. John Smith, Director of Product Development, has announced that the iPhone release will be pushed back to October.
        2. John Smith, Director of Product Development, announced that the iPhone release will be pushed back to October.
        3. John Smith, Director of Product Development, has

    • by B3ryllium (571199)
      Binary searches are inefficient at revealing sources, because you need at least six or seven opportunities ... the best bet would be a Canary operation.
    • '' Looks like they are flushing out folks who forward internal emails. Send to a few people and see if the fake news gets out. Binary search in action! ''

      That is extremly unlikely. If some joker thinks it is clever to fake an email, some idiot with need for a bit more importance forwards it to a rumor site, and they publish it without any fact checking, causing four billion dollars loss in market caps, that is bad. If some manager at Apple had the great idea to do this on purpose, that would be so incredibl
    • Your binary search algorithm has performed an illegal operation. Cancel or Allow?
    • The Canary Trap (Score:3, Interesting)

      by patio11 (857072)
      Tom Clancy details a variation on this in one of his books: if you suspect you have a leak, you draw up a document which is a mix of truth and plausible lies which is interesting, will largely congeal with what the mole's handlers already know, and includes lurid phrasing at several locations. Then you leak N copies of that memo to your N possible leaks, and listen for what combinations of key phrases (or, not quite as easily, key facts) make it into unapproved channels. For example, you might embed twent
  • Owned (Score:2, Funny)

    by Eddi3 (1046882)
    I think an 'owned' tag would be appropriate. =)
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:42PM (#19152827)

    ...an internal memo was sent to several Apple employees--and forwarded to Engadget...

    ...several Apple employees filed for unemployment this afternoon.

  • interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blackcoot (124938) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @06:53PM (#19152991)
    because i heard the same story about delaying the iphone till october from a cingular rep two weeks ago. i wonder if this is the same leak...
  • What does the Securities Exchange Commission have to say about all of this? It would be interesting to know who has recently shorted a tonne of Apple Stock - as they would have the most to gain from a temporary smear campaign.

    ---
    This doesn't smear [douginadress.com]
  • Don't believe what you read on the internets.
  • First, they claim that Linux infringes on more than 250 of their software patents. They have been backpedaling since then but are pretty consistent in alleging that Linux infringes on their IP somehow. They are also implying that Open Source is a risk due to the lack of a backing corporation or warranty (Uh, have they read their own Windows EULA lately?).

    Now, a faked memo is released stating that Apple's important releases this year are delayed, which strongly implies to PHBs that the products are flawed.
  • 1) snoop on email and phone lines without warrants
    2) temper with it
    2) profit!
    Seriously, this episode shows how sensitive and precious internal company information is and how dangerous it can be, when it is tempered with. In this particular case, snooping was probably not the reason for the damage, but the story illustrates how spying on citizens could damage enterprises in the future.
  • by Jeremy_Bee (1064620) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @08:21PM (#19154095)
    Everyone is jumping all over Apple for their "secrecy" when it clearly has nothing to do with these kinds of episodes which happen at all kinds of companies, not just the clever secretive ones.

    Others are guessing about which Apple employee will get fired, when all reports indicate an outsider as the source, not a real Apple employee. As consumers of news therefore, it seems that the majority of us have failed to even discern the basic facts here.

    As producers of news, the kiddies at Engadget are the real culprits here and the creators of the whole mess by means of their thoughtless and incompetent "journalism."

    They are the ones that did not bother to simply phone up Apple and ask for a confirmation as any decent journalist would normally do. They are the ones that continued to run the false story on the main page even after they received a correction from Apple itself (they put that *after* the break for about an hour after they found out and did not change their headline). They are the ones that filled up their own comments area, calling the people protesting their move "jerks" and telling them to "shut up." They are the ones that deleted posts on their site that were too critical of their actions.

    The problem is simply one of a lack of journalistic standards and a blurring of the line between "I'm a rich kid who likes computers and has a website" and "I am an IT reporter." Incompetence and asshattery plain and simple.

  • #1 Fake email from Apple executives that product will be delayed.
    #2 When the panic happens buy Apple stock at a low price.
    #3 After Apple figures out the email was a hoax, sends out new email saying the schedule has not changed. Apple stock returns to normal.
    #4 Sell Apple stock and reap in big profits.

    I'll be the fake email was sent via some Botnet that a Uber Hacker group had controlled to pull off a daytrading scam.
    • by The Mutant (167716)
      They wouldn't do this in the cash markets and they certainly wouldn't go long Apples shares as you're describing.

      No, if this was manipulation (and I agree with you on the point that it probably was), then someone purchased put options, which increase in value as the underlying security, Apple shares in this case, decline.

      They'd select the precise contracts to purchase based upon expiration dates and how far out of the money the put options were. Options give the holder immense leverage; I've controlled $3.
  • the mail was from sballmer@apple.com
  • While it is debatable as to whether Apple is too secretive for its own good, there is no denying that the company utilises rumour to build hype for its products through news blogs such appleinsider and thinksecret. The thing is about a rumour (that some people may forget) is that it can be both positive and negative for the subject in question. Sometimes rumours can backfire and this is just purely an instance of the Apple rumour mill NOT working in the company's favour.
  • Can't Be Real (Score:5, Informative)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Wednesday May 16, 2007 @10:15PM (#19155393)

    As a former Apple employee, I can tell you without a doubt that they don't distribute this type of information in memos. The grunts like us are not privy to release dates for anything except pretty much our own assigned products. The only people who are at any point aware of big-picture information like this are the suits, and I doubt any of them would leak (especially considering you can count them on two hands).

    Like the iPhone, Apple employees rely on the same sources regular joes do to find out about new releases. Nobody besides the iPhone team even knew what an iPhone looked like before it was shown at MacWorld.

  • The great interest of this is that it shows how much the current share price reflects expectations of the performance of the iPhone. It was a great dry run. Those who believe the price has built into it unrealistic expectations of the iPhone can now confidently make a wager using options, and pretty much know for sure that if the thing doesn't take off like a rocket, they are going to clean up.

    Expect put option sales to rise gradually over the next week or so.
  • ...a glorified press release web site like Engadget for news. When news that is just regurgitated p.r. becomes the basis of decision making, you're depending on professional flatterers and your decisions will be no better than the sum of their servility and gullibility.

    The problem goes a bit further, unfortunately, than tech news. Much the same servility in the higher reaches of the press explains why "weapons of mass destruction" that don't exist become the basis for a war; in that case, infamously, the

    • Why have we become suckers?

      First off, you have to understand that the Western World has ALWAYS been suckers for the media. Hitler's regime didn't invent propaganda. They simply picked up the same textbooks that Chuchill and Roosevelt were reading on the subject. We have "freedom of the press" built into the constitution for a damn good reason. The guys who wrote it knew damnwell how to play the media like a cheap instrument. Go as far back as the Romans, and Government knew all about how to get the press to
  • So, Engadget runs a fake e-mail. Would it have occurred to them to wait and call Apple to see if it's true first?

    Gosh, that Steve Jobs is such an ogre about the Journamelists who cover Apple. Control freak!

    Or maybe we see why.
  • My brother used to work for UPS back in high school, and they would regularly do theft audits. One of the best techniques was to simply open a bag of M&Ms at the start of the sorting line, and can anyone who ate some as the goodies made their way down the line. Similarly with other small, easily grabbed items that employees damnwell better have known better about.

    Despite iron-clad policies, stories of this happening in the past, and giant signs on the wall, they snagged folks all the time.

    In this case,

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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