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NYT Exposes the Identity of Fake Steve Jobs 166

Posted by Zonk
from the hard-to-be-anonymous-if-someone-is-determined dept.
mattatwork writes "NY Times writer Brad Stone figured out the real identity of Fake Steve Jobs. With classic nick names like 'freetards' and 'beastmaster' Fake Steve captured an audience of 700,000 visitors to the site and around 50 emails a day. According to Daniel Lyons, the senior editor at Forbes magazine who maintained the blog, there is no definite plan for the future of the site. 'Mr. Lyons said he invented the Fake Steve character last year, when a small group of chief executives turned bloggers attracted some media attention. He noticed that they rarely spoke candidly. "I thought, wouldn't it be funny if a C.E.O. kept a blog that really told you what he thought? That was the gist of it." Mr. Lyons says he recalled trying out the voices of several chief executives before settling on the colorful Apple co-founder. He twice tried to relinquish the blog, but started again after being deluged by fans e-mailing to ask why Fake Steve had disappeared.'"
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NYT Exposes the Identity of Fake Steve Jobs

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  • Solved? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taoman1 (1050536) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @09:21PM (#20126313)
    Was this a mystery that just had to be solved?
  • Re:Solved? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Sunday August 05, 2007 @09:27PM (#20126353) Homepage Journal
    No kidding. I was wondering the exact same thing. It was a parody, and it was fun. Now it's going to get corporate sponsorship from the guys employer and I'd find it hard to think it'd be the same again.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @10:18PM (#20126611) Journal

    I guess he's no longer best known for being a SCO supporting paided{sic} shill.

    Actually, given who it turned out to be, the motives and biases are rather clear in hindsight. I'm almost willing to bet that Steve Ballmer wasn't among the "other CEO voices" Mr. Lyons tried out...

    But then, maybe it was a means for ol' Dan to get out his juvenile side?

    I dunno - this is starting to sound too much like a flamebait -ish pack of conspiracy theories. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was funny here and there - but seeing who's behind it makes me wonder if it wasn't just a larger propaganda campaign on Lyons' part.

    /P

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2007 @10:24PM (#20126637)
    Give 'em a break. They've been floundering for a left-wing dictator to whitewash for a long time now.

    Think I'm kidding?

    Google "Walter Duranty".
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @10:40PM (#20126713)
    The "Secret Diary of Bill Gates, Aged 40 1/4" was in a similar vein, about 10 years ago. This was written, as the title implies, in the style of Adrian Mole, as a self-important nerd.

    Monday, January 15
    No. It can't be true! They really are writing about Steve Jobs -- I just saw the latest Wired magazine with an in-depth interview with the Boy Wonder. Why is he a "visionary"? I'm a visionary too. Why don't they call me a "visionary"? I'm tired of being "ruthlessly competitive". This guy got lucky too. I mean, you know, they always say I got lucky when IBM licensed DOS. That wasn't luck, it was skill. I negotiated a great deal from IBM then ran over to Patterson's place and snapped up Q-DOS. That takes *balls*. Jobs has no balls. Jobs is a guy who spends two weeks choosing a washer/dryer. Yes, *two* weeks. For what? Like, $500 or so. The guy has millions. Jobs is a guy who actually cares about his clothes "feeling really soft". What a loser --
    The site lasted a year or so. I found an archive of 1997 here. [davesource.com]
  • by neillewis (137544) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @10:45PM (#20126749)
    Try and find a used copy of Dan's 'currently unavailable' novel Dog Days. He started out mocking MS (in a sub-Coupland stylee) and when that didn't get him much kudos he started taking it out on their competitors.

    Somebody should start a Fake Dan Lyons blog...
  • Re:Best known. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jeremy_Bee (1064620) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @11:43PM (#20126983)
    I like and respect Groklaw and so on, but I don't think they actually said what you think they did, and the "evidence" is pretty scant.

    FSJ used the term "People Ready" once in a blog and Bill Gates mentioned FSJ in a recent interview so ...
    of course the whole thing is a conspiracy on Microsoft's part and Bill Gates was in on it?

    I don't see how that necessarily follows.

    The way I read the Groklaw article, they are merely reporting on the guy that's throwing this theory out there. I don't see Groklaw themselves as seriously proposing that FSJ is some kind of Microsoft plot.

  • by earthbound kid (859282) on Monday August 06, 2007 @12:05AM (#20127085) Homepage
    What ever happened to As Seen On TV [slashdot.org]?
  • by didlybom (608643) on Monday August 06, 2007 @01:34AM (#20127357) Homepage
    I believe I was the first one to write a fake Steve Jobs' blog. I stopped when it reached the top 5 results for a 'steve jobs' search and Apple's legal department contacted me. http://web.archive.org/web/20040102222820/http://j ustonemorething.com/ [archive.org]
  • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Monday August 06, 2007 @02:17AM (#20127523) Journal
    Yeah, he's that Dan Lyons. Total scumbag hack. This is possibly what made him such a great Fake Steve Jobs.

    Then he did something that I still can't believe. He picked up a marker and started drawing on my whiteboard. Which everyone knows is a huge pet peeve of mine. It's my whiteboard. Which I was standing at, holding a marker, writing things like, Wrong, Stupid, Clueless, Dumbass, No Friggin way, and so forth. So he started drawing on the whiteboard, things like Money, Mine, and Shut up, and I'm just standing there like, Oh. My. God. I can't believe I'm seeing this. What the frig? I could feel the veins in my eyes starting to swell up like they might explode. And I was like, Put. Down. The. Friggin. Marker. Now. Seriously, man, before I do some aikido moves and rip out your friggin heart and eat it in front of you, still beating. Or take your friggin head off. How dare you? How dare you? This is my whiteboard. That's it. Take your stupid money and don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out. I'll do my own blog, on my own terms. Now, despite all this, I did say "Peace" as he left.
    -- From the post God it feels so good to fire people [blogspot.com].

    So, Dan Lyons the reporter? Douchebag should choke on his own cock. Dan Lyons the satirist? Artist. It's too bad he's folding The Secret Diary into Forbes. He should quit his job there, leave the douchebaggery behind him, and strike out on his own.
  • by gujo-odori (473191) on Monday August 06, 2007 @03:10AM (#20127727)
    I used to work at Microsoft, and from reading minimsft, I'm pretty sure he really does work there, or at least did at one time. His take on what's right and wrong at Microsoft shows not just a great deal of insight, but a great deal of knowledge of what it's really like on the inside. If he doesn't work there, he's got to be talking to some pretty knowledgeable people who do, and who are willing to say these things to an outsider at the potential risk of their jobs.

    So, if I were an investigate reporter trying to find out who minimsft is, I'd start by moving anyone who is not a current or former blue badge to the bottom of my suspects list. The stuff about being a manager and being male may be true or may be obfuscation, so I wouldn't put too much stock in it It's not hard for a non-manager there to make the same observations mini-msft makes. I accept that minimsft is probably male, if for no reason other than most of the people working there (at least in coding jobs) are men.

    Minimsft may well be exactly what he describes himself as. OTOH, I wouldn't be surprised if he were actually a mid or senior-level manager. Turning an oil tanker can be hard, even for someone with a lot of clout, and revolution is sometimes easier to start from the bottom than from the top. Microsoft is certainly an oil tanker, or perhaps an aircraft carrier might be a better description. They, too, take a lot of time and space to turn, but once turned can move pretty quickly and bring a lot of power to bear on the target.

    Can Microsoft be turned? Now that's an interesting question. The corporate culture there so powerful, pervasive, and seemingly immutable. Turning Microsoft may not be impossible, but it would be very, very hard.
  • I dunno about that. If the primary concern was book sales, he'd have been better off preserving the anonymity until the book was actually on the shelves. When "Primary Colors [cnn.com]" (a thinly veiled account of the 1992 Clinton campaign -- the book's main character, "Jack Stanton", is a doughnut-gobbling Southern governor running for President) came out, it was credited simply to "Anonymous" -- which led the media to speculate for weeks about which Clinton insider had spilled the beans. By the time it was revealed that "Anonymous" wasn't really a Clinton insider but rather Time magazine reporter Joe Klein, the sales of the book had gone through the roof, fueled by all that media speculation. One would think the same would be true of a Fake Steve book, if it were teasingly credited to "Anonymous" as well.
  • by anwyn (266338) on Monday August 06, 2007 @10:13AM (#20129611)
    L. Detweiler created the theory called the Snakes of Medusa [interesting-people.org] that large numbers of anonymous identities were being created, called tentacles [jargon.net], and that these snakes were conspiring with each other for nefarious purposes.

    Some cypherpunks [jargon.net] discovered that Detweiler was using his own theories, and that he had several tentacles of his own.

    This incident confirms the Detweiler theory.

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