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Apple The Media News

How Apple Orchestrates Controlled Leaks, and Why 195

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bite-of-fruit dept.
Lanxon writes "'I was a Senior Marketing Manager at Apple and I was instructed to do some controlled leaks,' confesses John Martellaro. Monday's article at the Wall Street Journal, which provided confirmation of an Apple tablet device, had all the earmarks of a controlled leak. Here's how Apple does it. Often Apple has a need to let information out, unofficially. The company has been doing that for years, and it helps preserve Apple's consistent, official reputation for never talking about unreleased products. The way it works is that a senior exec will come in and say, 'We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!'"
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How Apple Orchestrates Controlled Leaks, and Why

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  • duh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768NO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:02AM (#30668898) Journal
    Thats how they all do it. Hell its even how the government does it. This isnt news, its well known common practice. Thats why its always fun when Apple goes after someone about a leak. Because in those situations, you KNOW Apple didnt authorize the leak and it makes you snicker.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cronock (1709244)
      I think it also gives Apple a way to test reaction to its products without ever promising anything. That and along with the very active Apple news/rumor sites create a culture that just gets people exited about products, and builds anticipation. I'm sure often these leaks are red herrings too, which keep the "sources" from being accurate often enough to be trusted.
    • Re:duh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:37AM (#30669274)
      With all these flamebait mods, I can't help but picture a legion of hipster-wannabe Mac fanboys with mod points glaring at their MacBook screens, caressing their iPhones like rosaries, all mumbling "How DARE they insult Father Steve!!!" in unison in every juice bar in America.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by 3dr (169908)

        I'm caressing my iphone at an oxygen bar, you insensitive clod.

      • by gtall (79522)

        Does it help you to believe in the existence of Mac Fanbois?

        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          My brother-in-law is one, and I'm pretty sure he's real. Now Santa Claus, on the other hand, does not in fact exist. And if he does exist, that fat bastard owes me years of back presents.
    • A Public Service (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DannyO152 (544940)

      By fleshing out an implementation, perhaps this pre-empts someone patenting "Controlled Leak, Product" (as opposed to nuclear power plant, hot air balloon, disinformation, tire, etc.)

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Because in those situations, you KNOW Apple didnt authorize the leak and it makes you snicker."

      They certainly wouldn't be sophisticated enough to use that tactic to reinforce a deliberate leak...

      • thing is they haven't in the past. Strong words yes, but they never actually go after them to find out who leaked it. But in the case of Think Secret they ACTIVELY in court pursued the leak, meaning it wasnt authorized.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:05AM (#30668926) Journal
    Say Jobs wants to fire someone but he doesn't want to lose them to another company. So he calls up the manager or whoever and asks him to do a 'controlled leak' for him via cellphone at Devil's Slough near Cupertino and wants to meet him there at 3am but come alone and no e-mails, no mention of this to anyone, no sort of traceability just to cover our asses because, hey, this is a controlled leak, right? But he asks the guy to stop at a random pub and buy Steve a bottle of their finest alcohol.

    So the guy shows up and there's Steve walking along the railroad tracks above Devil's Slough. Well, when the guy approaches him, Steve hands him a cell phone and takes the bottle of liquor. Depending on how much Steve likes the bottle of liquor is how Steve proceeds next. If he likes it, he lets the man realize the cellphone is just an iPhone shell and Steve embraces him as Steve injects him with pentobarbital and gently lets him fall to his death in the slough. Now if Steve doesn't like the bottle, he pulls out his chic white iDesert Eagle and puts one in the back of each of the guy's legs gangland style. Then he usually taunts and complains about the bottle the guy brought him before roundhousing him to the head off the railroad tracks. He usually finishes it with a really bad hollywood-esque pun (ex. "consider your employment terminated!") and holds the gun sideways to look badass. Either way the guy just becomes a faceless statistic of people who drank too much at a bar and were mugged on their way home. And since it was a 'controlled leak' no one knows about it.

    It's all true. Reiser tried but failed to open source the model. And that time Jobs looked cancer thin? He had actually just gotten back from a two week stint in Devil's Slough after a botched termination turned into a Most Dangerous Game where the hunter became the hunted.
    • Buh... WHAT?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      Flamebait mods? Cult members are nothing if not humorless.
    • by tibman (623933)

      Is that copy pasta? Because that was good : )

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      "...and holds the gun sideways to look badass."

      Ok, does anyone know why these idiot gang members always hold their pistols sideways?? I mean, no wonder they have to spray entire clips when they shoot since they can't possibly aim a damned gun...

      That just always puzzled me. That and why the hell criminals like them, who often have a need to RUN from the law, wear baggy oversized pants that drop down to their knees when they try to run off, impeding their speed and agility (having to hold them up with one

  • More like applie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:05AM (#30668930)

    It's worth noting that if Apple were a smaller company, this sort of behavior would (or should, you can always find more shills) get doors slammed in its face at media outlets pretty fast. There's two reasons why it doesn't: 1. They're probably well-connected enough that they could always find someone else to leak their supposed "info," either through naievete or just apathy, and 2. They're so big that exclusive Apple news is a big plus, even if it turns out to be false or misleading.

    • And by smaller company, I mean a much smaller company. Obviously, any fairly substantial corporation can get away with the same thing (and does).

    • by hitmark (640295)

      and 3. most media houses are big apple shops anyways. Apple has been big in this area ever since they release the apple printer that matched the screen rez, and became even more entrenched thanks to adobe photoshop (first time i actually bumped into a mac was in the local newspapers photo office).

      • by dangitman (862676)

        and 3. most media houses are big apple shops anyways. Apple has been big in this area ever since they release the apple printer that matched the screen rez, and became even more entrenched thanks to adobe photoshop

        Riiiight. Because the media is run by the designers, printers, and technical staff. Writers and editors take their orders from some Quark/Indesign/Photoshop monkey.

    • Exactly. Engadget, Gizmodo, and the rest of the Apple-centered gadget blogs get a big boost if they can get the latest leak, even if it is nothing more than an ad for Apple.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, and that's how it works. They go to these sites and give a little taster and then as soon as its leaked, they get their dogs out and tell the rest of the news outlets that "XYZ BLOG IS WRONG WE ARE NOT BLAH BLAH BLAH", when in fact, if it were false, Apple would not comment at all.

        Why do I know this? I had it happen to me where I was the source of a posting that caused a half billion dollar spike in their stock (ok...maybe exagerating) and a thousand dollar hosting bill (which was mysteriously paid

    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:44AM (#30669356)

      It's great how much bigger companies do this, here's a transcript I recorded recently:

      for(;;) {
      Informant Exec: So online mag, this is totally off the record, but we're thinking about cloning something Apple is doing.
      Online Mag: O RLY?
      Informant Exec: Yeah, it's going to totally fucking kill Apple.
      Online Mag: Wow, that sounds amazing, what is is?
      Informant Exec: It's kind of like the iPhone only much more innovative
      Online Mag: Sounds like it's really going to change the market, any other projects you're working on?
      Information Exec: Yeah, we're also talking about cloning some stuff Google is doing.
      Online Mag: O RLY?
      Informant Exec: Yeah, it's going to totally fucking kill Google.
      Online Mag: Wow, that sounds amazing, what is is?
      Informant Exec: It's kind of like Google search only much more innovative
      Online Mag: Sounds like it's really going to change the market, any other projects you're working on?
      }

    • Re:More like Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dimeglio (456244)

      if Apple were a smaller company

      Sure, you are being rather hypothetical as Apple is in fact a huge company with innovative ideas. People do care what they'll come out with. So you don't make much of a point. Note that Google once was a small company. I first heard of them through an industry insider who said: "watch-out for this company called Google" in a web cast, "they have quite an interesting concept." Next thing you know, Altavista and Yahoo lost their leads as web search tools. Why did Google succeed? In my opinion, it was the repu

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I think you're assuming I'm saying something good or bad about Apple in general, but in fact all I'm doing is observing that their media strategy would not work for most companies.

        Media is a business, and as much as the media likes to portray itself as gung ho and unconventional, you can't play rough unless you're so big (or so influential) that rejecting you is going to hurt them. Again, this is why Apple's size (and influence, more importantly) lets them get away with it.

        Most of the time, the business of

  • by Anonymous Coward

    you purchased more Apple stock?

  • everyone does it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:15AM (#30669010)

    did you really think all those dumb unboxing youtube videos of the Pre and other cell phones where they don't show anything weren't official marketing? if it really was someone who stole a copy then they would show off every feature on the internet so all the internet peoplez would think they are cool

    • Most of the time the way that an unboxing video can make it to YouTube is that some retailers sell things in advance. I mean, Harry Potter, which everyone -knew- the release date and had it printed on all the boxes still made it out to store shelves early. How much more likely is it that some Wal-Mart in the middle of nowhere gets a box of shiny gadgets and decides to put them on sale?
  • Stocks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retech (1228598) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:27AM (#30669142)
    I'd love to see some data about company insiders and their stock purchasing/selling in relation to the "leaks". There are a few people making a shitload of $$$ off of the leaks. And if they are not then I'd be shocked. The last WSJ "leak" shot appl stock way up and my first thought was: someone is having a nice Christmas bonus.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rude Turnip (49495)

      As long as leaks and product releases are timed with trading blackout periods (usually tied with quarterly earnings reports), there shouldn't be a problem since an insider wouldn't be allowed to buy or sell stock in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Insider trades are in the public domain. Yahoo stocks has a nice list [yahoo.com]. According to them, the last trade by an insider was December 2nd, 2009. I wouldn't know how these things go down, but my guess is that's too early to be able to easily pin as illegal behavior without some direct evidence. Also, I'd guess that a lot of the big shots are in it for the long haul and aren't interested in gaming their own stock (I could surely be wrong if the iSlate turns out to be a dud and there's a whole bunch of insi
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by swb (14022)

        You do know that insiders only trade on their own account when they have to unload stock options or for other PR reasons.

        They make real their money on inside trades through proxies and third parties.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        An insider is anybody with material information about a company that isn't public. Sure, the people on those lists are certainly insiders, but they're not ALL insiders.

        If I whisper to a friend that my employer is announcing a new widget next Tuesday, my friend is now an insider. Granted, it is VERY hard to spot this kind of stuff, but that doesn't make it any less illegal.

        The whole concept of a stock market is that everybody has access to the same information. When one group of people has access to infor

  • Controlled Leaks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "...Senior Marketing Manager at Apple and I was instructed to do some controlled leaks".

    Let me be the first to say that anytime you boss wants you to do something "off the record", you need to start doing 1 or all of 3 things:

    1. recording massive amounts of evidence(when did he ask you, how, what time, save emails offsite) for your own benefit
    2. get an authorization document on company letterhead signed by him
    3. refuse to do it.

    They are setting you up my friend. You've probably broken some type of law alre

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joeyblades (785896)

      I think you missed the point.
      The Apple guy doesn't leak to the media, the Apple guy consults with a partner. The partner leaks to the media. The partner will likely have a special non-disclosure agreement that will cover his ass in the event that all goes south. It's all well orchestrated, undocumented, and not illegal.

  • by starbugs (1670420) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:31AM (#30669184)

    All we need to do is create a leak for a fictional (but desirable) product. Slowly release blurry mock-ups and specs. Start a few rumors here and there. Then (as long as everyone stays positive) we let Apple deal with the actual implementation.

    I'm awaiting my DRM-free ireader. (Apple, you can do it so much better)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      The problem is, there are some things Apple simply won't do. For one, they want to release gadgets in generations. Just look at the iPod, first it was a black and white screen, then it was a color screen, then it could play videos then it had a touch screen, etc. If Apple doesn't see any way to easily upgrade a device, they won't make it. Unlike most "geek centered" devices, Apple's gadgets usually are lower-speced than their competitors but bring polish to the market. Look at the iPod, it wasn't exactly th
      • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @11:03AM (#30669598)

        That's because apple wants to release good products at launch time. Sure you can use the latest screen technology hut it doubles the cost comes with unstable drivers and if you sneeze at it cracks. Apple sells the whole widget. Having an easily scratched screen material is just as bad as buggy software.

        Most people don't realize that hardware and material science is a major part of product design. Bringing a final product to market is about trade offs.
        There havebeen touch screens and tablets for years upon years. But until recently the hardware and software haventbeen ready for mass deployments. Just look at Microsoft. Is windows tablet edition a good piece of tablet software? Ithas all the pieces but they haven't been assembled properly yet. The need for convertible tablets is why. Msft is trying to shove a mouse and keyboard based desktop at tablet users. But that isn't how tablet need to work. They need their own UI

        just having the ingredents doesn't mean you can bake cake.

      • by dangitman (862676) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:31PM (#30670994)

        Look at the iPod, it wasn't exactly the largest media player at the time, nor did it have the most specs.

        In portable music players, largest is not best. The iPod succeeded because it was the smallest hard-drive based player on the market. As far as specs go, you're wrong. It was the most advanced product on the market. It had Firewire for transferring music, while everybody else had USB 1. It had a nice screen and menu navigation system, while everybody else had clunky controls like a portable CD player, and very limited LCD displays.

      • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:02PM (#30672398) Homepage

        I think you're on to something, but the reasons are a little more complicated than, "they want to release gadgets in generations".

        First is the fact that their development method is just different from a lot of other companies. Most companies take an idea an idea like a portable MP3 player and say, "Lets put every feature we can into this thing for launch. I want it to have a radio, and have it play lots of games, and maybe have a built-in toaster oven!" So they make a list of features and put them all into a prototype. They polish the prototype until it kind of works, and then release that design as a product. In its first version, it only kind of works, but has lots of problems from having a lot of not-quite-ready features crammed in. They try to fix these problems in the next version.

        In contrast, if Apple sets out to design an mp3 player, then there's a decent chance that the product will only have 1 major feature: playing mp3s. Instead of making the first version have loads of features, they'll spend their development time making sure that using the product as an mp3 player is easy, intuitive, and works very well. They'll add features over the next few versions, but they'll do so relatively slowly because each time, they're making sure the new features are integrated well into the existing design.

        Those are two different design philosophies which bring different results. In the first way of doing things, you start with a more feature-rich product, but in the second way you start with a more polished product.

        Beyond that, there's something else going on in Apple's marketing that is pretty obvious once you notice it, but a lot of people don't notice it. Most tech manufacturers are constantly trying to introduce new products and drive down the price. When Apple introduces a new product, they tend to keep the price stable for a very long time. Watch iPod prices or Macbook prices, and you'll notice that the price very rarely goes down. As new technology comes out, Apple keeps upgrading the product to be smaller, lighter, or more feature rich in order to justify the current price, but they don't really drop the price.

        It's worth understanding that the price points are often chosen by marketing, and then a product is designed to fit that price. I believe the first iPod was $400, and right now that's also the price of the most expensive iPod. There's a reason for this. It's not that Apple couldn't create a really snazzy $700 iPod, but that if they did, Jobs would probably say, "Let's put that on ice until we can make it cheaper." Ultimately, they don't want to release a $700 iPod and then two years later sell the same iPod for $400. Along with everything else, that creates the impression of a product whose value is dropping. They'd much rather sell a crappy $400 iPod this year and then two years later sell you the super-snazzy iPod for $400, so that you have the impression of a product which preserves its value by continually improving.

  • The reasons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:31AM (#30669186)

    For those who don't feel like actually reading the article, here're the specific reasons given for the tablet leaks:

    * to light a fire under a recalcitrant partner
    * to float the idea of the US$1,000 price point and gauge reaction
    * to panic/confuse a potential competitor about whom Apple had some knowledge
    * to whet analyst and observer expectations to make sure the right kind and number of people show up at the (presumed) January 26 event. Apple hates empty seats and demands SRO at these events.

    I'm especially curious about the first and the third. Who is the competitor? The Google/Alex Reader partnership? The rumoured Chrome OS tablet? And who is the partner, a content provider or an OEM? Were they concerned that there wasn't enough interest in the device to guarantee volume, or was it something else?

    • Re:The reasons (Score:5, Informative)

      by yakumo.unr (833476) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:43AM (#30669340) Homepage
      There's talk of Microsoft slate tablet kicking about now too : http://www.neowin.net/news/live/10/01/06/microsoft-set-to-unveil-slate-tablet-pc-at-ces [neowin.net]
      • by Swift2001 (874553)

        This is Microsoft's pattern. The iPhone was about to be announced. It had touch control. So that weekend, Microsoft announces the Microsoft Table for Business, or whatever they call it. It's always something. This would be the... fourth (?) tablet that Microsoft has done. Three were total failures. Howsabout trying for 4?

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      The tablet is sort of like AppleTV in that it ends up begging the question "Just who exactly is this aimed at?" With netbooks, smartphones, etc. on the low end and full-blown laptops on the high end, I just can't picture a big market for a $1000 tablet PC. Who is going to pay $1000 for an underpowered laptop just because it has a touchscreen? Unless they have some more surprises up their sleeve, I just can't picture the market for this thing.
      • by BobMcD (601576)

        The tablet is sort of like AppleTV in that it ends up begging the question "Just who exactly is this aimed at?" With netbooks, smartphones, etc. on the low end and full-blown laptops on the high end, I just can't picture a big market for a $1000 tablet PC. Who is going to pay $1000 for an underpowered laptop just because it has a touchscreen? Unless they have some more surprises up their sleeve, I just can't picture the market for this thing.

        There's a portion of consumers that don't worry too much about the price. There are a variety of reasons for this:

        A) They're relatively affluent and wouldn't likely buy a 'bargain' device
        B) They believe they actually save money, through superior return on investment
        C) They believe the product is a status symbol

        E.g. the $800 iPhone. Comparable devices at that time were around $500. People bought all each of the units made, and iPhones were scarce, back then.

        While I don't personally know any of these pe

      • Well for one thing, there's a rumor that the screen will be sort of a hybrid LCD/e-paper screen, and another rumor that it will have a built-in modem for mobile broadband. It may be less of a low-end laptop and more of a super high-end Kindle.

        But then some rumors seem to indicate that it might be a somewhat new class of device. There's been talk about the input interaction being unlike things that we've seen before, the possibility of docking stations, and other weird stuff. It's really hard to tell at

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by snowwrestler (896305)

      In the case of today, I would guess:

      the competitor is Microsoft [nytimes.com]

      and

      the partners are Verizon [computerworld.com] (more [iphonefaq.org]) and TV networks (for content) [arstechnica.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tirerim (1108567)
      Those were listed as possible reasons for the tablet leaks. The article was written by a former Apple employee, so he knows how these things commonly work, but he doesn't know specifics in this case—it could be just one of those reasons, or several.
    • You left out the 'could have been' part. None of these were stated as being the reasons for certain.

  • Ethics (Score:3, Informative)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:36AM (#30669262) Homepage Journal

    Ethics (n): The 'optional' set of rules companies occasionally engage when it is a benefit to the company but publically declaire they use at all times.

    • Re:Ethics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @11:04AM (#30669616)

      For any publicly-trade company, acting to benefit the company is actually one of the fundimental ethical principles. If you act in a way that drops the company's stock price you're essentially shredding other people's money. Sneaky but harmless media-baiting to improve a product's chance of success is the right ethical choice in that framework. It's not ethical from the journalistic perspective, of course.

      • by ari_j (90255)
        Taking advantage of others' unethical behavior for your own benefit - ethical or not? Discuss.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Sockatume (732728)

          Precisely! From our outside ethical perspective, is the net total of the benefit to Apple's shareholders plus the penalty to media integrity greater than zero? Apple's stock price went up three cents around the leak, is that the price of journalistic integrity?

          • Apple's stock price went up three cents around the leak, is that the price of journalistic integrity?

            Considering the current state of journalistic integrity I'd say we're definitely looking at a net gain as a society. Seriously, though, do you really think that Apple orchestrating controlled leaks really has any measurable impact on journalistic integrity?! Even the net effect of every major technology player orchestrating controlled leaks seems barely a blip on the "subversion of journalistic integrity" radar. Now if all these players were involved in behind-the-scenes bidding wars over whose "leaks" woul

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by A. B3ttik (1344591)
      What makes you think this is unethical? They're not lying or even doing things underhanded. They're just spreading information in an unusual way.

      Note that as a fellow Galt Follower, I am interested in your response.
    • by BobMcD (601576)

      s/companies/humans/g

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ekimminau (775300)
      This is no such thing as "business ethics". There is only "ethics".
  • by snowwrestler (896305) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @10:38AM (#30669292)

    I work in politics and government and to give Apple much credit for this is sort of laughable. Let's just say that if they tried to patent it, there would be plenty of prior art.

    Some people will look at this and think "that's why Apple is so successful at building buzz." It's only partly true. Every company leaks, but not every company gets a NY Times story and 100 blog echoes. The leaks work so well because Apple is a hot, popular company. They don't, by themselves, make Apple a hot, popular company.

    • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:53PM (#30671336) Journal

      The leaks work so well because Apple is a hot, popular company. They don't, by themselves, make Apple a hot, popular company.

      Actually, I think it is a chicken/egg issue. At this point, the kind of leaking that happens is partly responsible for building the chic, hot, popular. People generally want to be in the "in crowd", and Part of the whole "leak" mentality is build momentum before a product is released.

      The leaks accomplish this "in-crowd" mentality, especially when it is accompanied by pictures of people waiting in line at the local Apple store for days, for the latest coolness a few months later when said coolness is released.

      Apple has MASTERED this like no other company. Nobody waits in line for the lastest "Dell" or "HP". Why? Because they aren't "cool", and all of the products they release are in fact part of the YAD (yet another device).

      Other companies get this kind of response once, or twice a decade. Apple achieves this on a regular and consistant basis.

      Apple is cool, because people think it is. People think it is cool, because on a regular basis, they release things that people want because Apple is cool.

      It is cool to be Apple.

  • 'We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!'

    Surely they need to know exactly what was told to them and have proof, so have the reporters not heard of taping the conversation? "No emails" is obviously a "we don't want a paper trail (even if it is obvious)" thing, but even having the conversation directly in t

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Posting Anon as I've already modded in this discussion: That's illegal (and highly unethical from a journalist's standpoint) without getting consent. And reporters don't want to burn bridges in any event. No legit reporter would break important rules for something as unimportant as tech gossip.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      In many places this sort of recording isn't legal. It is theoretically possible to attach some sort of consequences to breaking a confidence. It would be a different matter if you gave your permission to be recorded, were in a public place, etc, but if you specifically asked to have a private, off the record, conversation things get a little less black and white.

      A person may or may not face legal penalty for this kind of behavior, but you can be certain they would never get those kinds of tips again. Sin

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        If there isn't any incentive for outing a tipster then why worry about a paper trail? ;)

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          Because hard evidence, such as email, could be revealed by a third party who wouldn't suffer the consequences of the outing.

          Private verbal conversations, on the other hand, are deniable.

  • Surprised? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Andrevan (621897)
    Is anyone really reading this and scratching their heads, saying, "Well gee, I thought it was a bunch of intrepid hackers who broke into the mainframe to steal the pix?" Of course Apple orchestrates their leaks and rumors. Even their litigious cease and desisting of Mac rumor sites is all part of cultivating their mystique. Even "non-evil" companies like Google pull shit like this. It's all part of the marketing game to build pre-release buzz for products.
  • News?.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vectorstream (784843)
    How's that any f@cking news to begin with?....If your leak looks like advertisement on the hush-hush it usually is. Disinformation campaign 101 - only its' not some spook agency , it's some corporate entity behind it. Apple has to do a lot more of this crap as so many of their sales are to consumers so the the whole FUD strategy has to be rehashed every quarter or so.
  • More publicity (Score:2, Informative)

    by thetsguy (1211146)
    And we are increasing the publicity by discussing this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @11:17AM (#30669756)

    Bears: Wanton woodland defeacation shock
    Pope: Catholic?

  • This is old stuff. I remember reading it in The Macintosh Way. Guy Kawasaki's thesis was that by making yourself a good source the press were less likely to burn you.

    ...laura

  • Uncontrolled leaks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 200_success (623160) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @04:08PM (#30674110)
    Also of interest is how Apple handles unauthorized leaks [gizmodo.com] from its employees. Apparently, they lock down buildings and inspect employees' personal communication devices to hunt down the perpetrator.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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