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"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue - Updated
Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 09:24 PM EDT

The New York Times has the news that Fake Steve Jobs, the anonymous blogger pretending to be Apple's Steve Jobs, is actually Daniel Lyons of Forbes. Why am I not surprised? Maybe we should be, since this is the man who wrote about the "evils" of anonymous blogging in "Attack of the Blogs", where he said that blogs are “the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective.”

Um. Dude. Talk about world class hypocrisy.

He says he's worried now about being sued. From his lips to God's ears, as they say. The question is, was he put up to this? Here's something of interest, a headline from last month on Techsploder:

Fake Steve Jobs is a Microsoft blogger operative

You don't say? Tell me more.

Here's what prompted the headline on June 23, 2007, figuring out that Fake Steve was one of the bloggers involved in Microsoft's "People Ready" ad campaign, and apparently Lyons as Fake Steve kicked off the campaign:

Nick Denton at Valleywag has a short yarn about bloggers parroting Microsoft's "people ready" slogan, in a campaign by John Battelle's Federated Media. I agree with Denton that it's sad to see allegedly respected blog-voices bend over and take the marketing dollar so readily. You did get paid, didn't you guys?...

"People ready" does look familiar though... and I remember where I saw it first, namely on The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. FSJ casually drops it into the text, like this:

Soon they'll trot him out to make some speech about whatever new slogan IBM is cooking up for the year ahead. "People Ready"? Nope, taken. "On Demand"? Er, tried that. "Open Your Source and Bend Over"? Nice.

That my friends is a true blogliminal. You don't really think about it, but it sticks to your brain like bubblegum to sneaker soles.

The above blogliminal was launched in January already, which points to FSJ being used as a very oblique and discreet test-bed by Microsoft marketing. Obviously, "People Ready" slipped in like a Vaselined gerbil, so it was time to disseminate it wider, with the help of the usual A-List bloggers.

If you read FSJ, and filter out the funnies, you'll see that the topics are pretty much what Microsoft's pushing at any given time. Stuff that desperately needs marketing support like Vista, Zune, Windows, iPhone and Bono. It doesn't take a genius to work out what's going on here, and FSJ is a blogger so... nuff sed eh?

Techsploder didn't know who Fake Steve was, but it had formed a clear picture of *what* he was. Others who participated in the Microsoft People Ready ad campaign, like Om Malik, later acknowledged being paid, and he had enough class to apologize:

So without making any excuses, to my readers, if participation in Microsoft’s advertising campaign has made you doubt my integrity even for a second, then I apologize....

Microsoft asked us to join a conversation, and we did. I wasn’t paid to participate in the conversation, but Microsoft ran an ad-campaign that paid us on the basis of CPM.

I don't know if Fake Steve got paid by Microsoft, but if he did, someone at Microsoft knew who he was. Even if they merely used him to test market the ad phrase. Ditto with the deal with Wired that has now come to light. So people must have known. The Times points out that Lyons used the blog to push his own agenda too:

Mr. Lyons clearly used the Fake Steve persona to further some of his own interests and positions. For example, articles in other business publications and their journalists were a frequent target of criticism from Fake Steve, while Forbes got off comparatively easy.

Fake Steve also had it in for the devout fans of the open-source operating system Linux, calling them “freetards.” Mr. Lyons has written several articles for Forbes in which he has been critical of the cultlike aura around the free software movement and its founder, Richard Stallman.

I mention it because he has a book deal now (it has been my observation that folks who do Microsoft's bidding somehow do get money), and that means he's probably worth suing, if anyone thinks it's worth doing. Discovery might be interesting, indeed. If anyone does sue him, you can count on it that Groklaw will be covering that litigation in detail. And Forbes... what is its role in all this? Inquiring minds want to know. They certainly pushed the blog. They still are. They are sponsoring the blog now, as of tomorrow. Like anyone will read it any more. Actually, so did Bill Gates pimp the blog, now that I think of it, at All Things Digital 5 (at 3:16, his very first words, obviously pre-planned). But legalities aside, here's my favorite part of the Times piece:

As for Mr. Jobs himself — the real one — he did not seem all that interested when told the identity of his online doppelganger. He said in a phone interview that he had no interest in reading Mr. Lyons’s novel.

Ditto. I never read Fake Steve either, except for one article someone sent me when he attacked me personally. Why not? I'm not attracted to mean people. I believe I'm not the only one who notices something ethically wrong with that type of humor. And I don't need to do discovery to know what Dan Lyons is. When I was sent that article, I told the person that sent it that I thought it was Dan Lyons. I kid you not. Here's what I can't wait for though: Darl McBride's next speech about unbiased journalism.

Update: There is an interesting tidbit in the coverage by Reuters. After mentioning that the New York Times reporter figured out it was Lyons by matching up certain similarities in writing style, Reuters tells us this:

Fake Steve, also known as "FSJ" or "El Jobso," blasts Linux fans as "freetards" and skewers leading journalists as "filthy hacks" before signing off with the Indian salutation "namaste."

Someone supporting SCO Group on the Yahoo SCOX message board uses that salutation as well. Just saying. There's even a namasteplease nym, who claims to be from India. Actually, there is a complete stable of nyms. Here's one example. So, come clean, Dan Lyons. Is that you? How about the vicious wherespj blog? Was that you too?

And here's a comment that raises a point I hadn't thought of recently. When Lyons wrote the article, "Is Linux for Losers?" in December of 2005, where he, probably without intending to, highlighted Theo De Radt's intense jealousy of Linus, a comment was left on a blog saying this about it: "I really can't believe Lyons isn't under investigation for stock manipulation." I don't know anything about stocks, so I can't comment. Just reporting what I'm finding. Some brainiac probably will now take a look at his role in the SCO saga and try to match things up, though, to figure out if there is a pattern. One thing I think is likely: this has put SCO in an impossible position, as far as being able to claim that IBM used anybody for anything.

Update 2: Forbes has now issued a statement about Fake Steve moving to Forbes: editor Paul Maidment said on the magazine's website: "From Jonathan Swift to Jon Steward, satire has spoken truth to power as well as amused.

"Fake Steve Jobs will add a different voice to, but one that is in the Forbes tradition for both."

Truth, eh? That raises the legal possibilities, I'd say. If Fake Steve is being promoted as speaking truth, then what he says needs to be true to avoid libel claims, I think. I guess, just imagining for a moment, if I were going to sue, I'd pick the UK as the ideal spot. Others are beginning to note the legal issues and how the blog will now have to change. Caroline McCarthy on CNET writes this:

Personally, I would've liked to see him "end" the "Secret Diary" and then let himself be outed; in my opinion, things will have to change pretty significantly now that there's someone (and a big company behind him) to blame for any of Fake Steve's occasional edginess. The blog displays links back to Forbes; is Lyons still going to be able to get away with Fake Steve's tauting name-calling of "Squirrel Boy" (that's Google CEO Eric Schmidt, FYI) and the like? Will Forbes have to take the blame if the blog uses any more unspeakable epithets for Nick Denton? Critics now know where to point a finger; that's why Banksy can get away with what he does.

I might be totally wrong. Maybe Lyons--who surrendered to the Times without protest, it appears--will be able to sufficiently maintain Fake Steve's appeal. But I doubt it. Think of it this way: Sacha Baron Cohen can still put on his Borat mustache and accent, but now, nobody's going to mistake him for an actual Kazakhstani documentarian. It's the end of a (mini) era indeed.

And here's Adario Strange in an article titled, "The Talented Mr. Hypocrite: Anonymous Blogger Outed As Forbes Scribe":

For the moment, let’s put aside the fact that a Forbes journalist calling independent bloggers like Arrington and Malik on the carpet regarding ethics while blogging anonymously is like Microsoft’s Bill Gates criticizing Twitter’s Evan Williams regarding open software standards.

Instead let’s take a look two years into the past when Lyons penned an article titled “Attack of the Blogs.” The article became famous due to its attack on the practice of blogging, and anonymous blogging in particular. Lyons wrote, "The combination of massive reach and legal invulnerability makes corporate character assassination easy to carry out. Dry treatises on patent law and trade policy don't drive traffic (or ad sales) for bloggers and hosts; blood sport does." That Lyons turned around and decided to profit (he has a book deal connected to the site’s content) from the very thing he castigated so recently earns him a new nickname: Fake Daniel Lyons.

That's probably not what he was aiming for. If you are curious, here's how the New York Times' Brad Stone figured it out.

Update 3: Speaking of hypocrisy, or cluelessness about who owns his blog's servers, depending on whether he knows it or not, but Fake Steve has been attacking Linux users for 14 months on Linux servers. I also learned that when the blog started it wasn't It was called The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs and the url can still be viewed if you mouse over the url in this article. That would mean to me that he gave readers no clue at first that it was not the real Steve Jobs writing the blog. The change seems to have occurred in August of 2006, for historians, as you can see on Wayback. Historians and lawyers. It redirects to now.

Update 4: Valleywag has some interesting info on Dan Lyons' money troubles, as they call them and a question about whether the Times outing was a Forbes setup.

Update 5: Roughly Drafted chooses to focus on "Fake Steve Jobs and the SCO Shill Who Hated Linux" -- Lyons' ceaselessly plugging SCO as the eventual winner in the litigation. RD calls him the anti-blog blogger, with a photo of the Forbes cover story "Attack of the Blogs":

The Anti-Blog Blogger.

Lyons not only maintained a prominent pro-SCO, anti-reality blog that rivaled Rob Enderle in its contempt of all things open, but also regularly delivered scathing attacks upon the hero of Groklaw, Pamela Jones, and her crusade to expose the garbage SCO's lawyers was throwing around.

Lyons' pro-SCO blogging even ended up being entered by SCO as testimony in its case against IBM. Even worse, Lyons defended Maureen O'Gara.... Lyons also spread his blog rage against... blogs in general, particularly anonymous writers, making his own sappy indignation as FSJ a bit hard to swallow. His front page story “Attack of the Blogs” of the November 14, 2005 issue of Forbes breathlessly asked, “They destroy brands and wreck lives. Is there any way to fight back?”

More on all of that business later, but how was it that the obviously sharp Lyons chose to side with and promote the case of the parasites of SCO in their transparent assault against Linux? ....

That mistake resulted in years of blogging up SCO as a shining star and blogging down Linux and any who might defend its case as crazy religious radicals. He was wrong, and his documented history of tenacious attacks on defenders of open source mar his newly discovered identity and reputation as the writer of a witty spoof blog.

Coming up: why Lyons was so wrong.

I believe I can answer that without peeking, but expressing it might violate our comments policy. Stay tuned for Roughly Drafted's next article. By the way, to the clueless in the media with the initials P.M., I'm not anonymous if you know my name. Duh. Good thing for you I'm not Dan Lyons, or I'd call you a name that starts with "re" and rhymes with freetard.

As for Fake Steve, it's looking grim for his pure fiction, as well as what many of us consider his tech reporting fiction. Can he ever cover Linux again and have any credibility with anyone? As for FSJ, people are already getting bored with that pretense:

All we care about is that we still get Fake Steve-- the wacky ramblings and sparkling insights of Steve Jobs. Is that what we'll get? As Gruber points out, it's probably not. FSJ's last post is not in the voice of Steve Jobs; it's in the voice of someone pretending to be him. The curtain is falling already.

There's an interesting parallel to this, and it's newsworthy, too: Bree, as of last Friday, is dead. Lonelygirl15, the young woman who took over YouTube and then was discovered to be the product of an imagination, was killed in the final online episode of her story. When Lonelygirl15 was outed, I was just as intrigued as I was with the mystery of FSJ-- who is she and what is this really all about? But when the mystery was revealed, I grew bored with it, and a look at the last Lonelygirl video tells me that I didn't miss much ...

Just so you know, Fake Steve was never that big outside a certain circle. Even today, when I went to Technorati, I see only 360 blog posts about FakeSteve. There are 1,722 blog posts about Groklaw, and I've never even added Groklaw to Technorati's lists. The Times article said he got 700,000 visitors last month. That's chump change, folks. ACT loved it, of course. Perhaps they share common interests.

And if you are ever tempted to read Business 2.0, make a note that in their current "The 50 Who Matter Now" list, Fake Steve is ranked higher than the real Steve Jobs. Just so you know that Business 2.0 clearly has lost its sense of proportion and can't be relied upon for solid business information any longer. A little child could tell you that they have it backwards, but I mention it, in case anyone ever does sue Fake Steve or rather the man behind the curtain. That's just the kind of detail that a judge would eat right up when figuring out if there was damage to the Real Steve's reputation.

Hmm. I'm on the jury.... Yes. I vote yes. Real damage was done to a real person. I believe that's called defamation. And judges don't think it's funny the way a decadent Silicon Valley might. As a juror, I wouldn't be laughing either. I'll tell you why. The real Steve was recovering from cancer surgery of a truly serious kind. And every day he had to wake up and know that people all over the neighborhood where he lived and worked were reading that he was an egomaniacal jerk selling products that could be overcharged for because they were shiny and white. And some did believe it. The reputational damage was to him as a person but also to his company. Did it affect share value? How do you quantify? Well, judges find ways. But the personal is worse, because he has to wonder now what everyone is thinking of him, how it affects his legacy, how much they accepted of that trash Lyons dished up, a man who has never started or built a successful company in his life. And never will.

Now, you tell me: how low and cold do you have to be to not care about that? If it's funny, then it's OK to harm a human being's good name because he competes with Microsoft? Folks, famous people are humans too, just like you. And they have human feelings, just like you. If it were you at the receiving end, would it still be funny? Defamation isn't funny. Not ever. Not even when it's funny. That's why they pass laws about it, because not everyone understands this simple ethical truth on their own. By the way, here's a recent ruling, about a California guy who allegedly libeled folks in NJ. Guess where the court says he can be sued? In New Jersey, because he targeted New Jersey with his remarks and knew they would be read there. I'm thinking the Real Steve Jobs could sue in sunny California, then. What? Fake Steve wasn't targeting California's Silicon Valley? Just saying.

P.S. Lyons is now admitting that sometimes he was too mean and went too far. That makes him a bit more likable, unless it's just Fake Dan talking for effect, but at the same time, it makes him a lot easier to sue, unless he fixes those over the top mean spots. He claims he can't take it back, but he also mentions that when Larry Lessig wrote to him complaining that Lyons had written that Google gave Lessig money and that it was false, Lyons corrected the record. He can do that wherever he knows he went too far. Otherwise, I can just hear the plaintiff's lawyer with Lyons on the stand, "So, when you wrote XYZ, was that too mean? How about this part?" I'm guessing his lawyers may be advising him to do a fair bit of fixing right about now. Apologies and correcting the record can undo a lot of damage and can even keep a guy out of court sometimes.

Um. Why would you write that Google gave Lessig money when you knew it wasn't true? No. Really.

Well, maybe Google is getting some of its own back. If you click on the link to all the news stories about Fake Steve's outing, at the bottom of the first page of results, you find this gem of a story, Oops! Woman Sells Ashes of Husband's Former Wife:

Anita Lewis wants the big ceramic turtle back. She sold it at a rummage sale over the weekend for 50 cents.

Lewis says she didn't realize the turtle was actually an urn containing the ashes of her husband's previous wife. Lewis explains her husband was asleep when she started hauling stuff into her Elmira, New York, yard for the sale.

Lewis says the woman who bought the turtle said she intended to use it as a cookie jar.

Sure she wants it back. So what is the connection to Dan Lyons? I have no idea. He's not married to Ann Coulter or anything, is he? Heaven only knows they are M.F.E.O. No. I think it's just Google's little joke on Dan. Or HAL's. Not to scare Lyons about his olde world changing under his feet or anything, but they run Google on Linux, you know. Uh-huh. It's true. Thousands and thousands of Linux boxes. It's Dan Lyons' worst nightmare. For real. Yo.


"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue - Updated | 359 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
I dont pay any attention to Daniel Lyons or Forbes.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 09:32 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

Was this article written by the real PJ? n/t
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 09:35 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: grouch on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 09:36 PM EDT

Corrections here, please. Pinpoint 'em.

-- grouch

"People aren't as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be."
--PJ, May 2007

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: grouch on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 09:38 PM EDT
Off-topic comments here, please.

-- grouch

"People aren't as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be."
--PJ, May 2007

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Blog Page
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 09:52 PM EDT
Hey, everybody!

Why is it, just when I think people can't sink any lower, I'm always wrong?
Actually, I expect to be wrong. I just misgauge the magnitude of it.

You know, it's going to be very interesting when FOSS stops being the elephant
in the room. The gravy train and ability to manipulate will be trumped by the
communication of the FOSS community. Forbes would wind up losing a lot of clout
over something like this.

Until that happy day, here's something to reflect on. M$ and company are
turning out to be their own worst enemy. They are providing nothing but ammo
for people to not only distrust them, but to actively oppose them. Good going.
They are proving themselves to be as crooked as they accuse us of being.

Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger

Edison: Since when has news been entertainment?
Murray: Since it started?
--"Max Headroom"

[ Reply to This | # ]

I thought Lyons moved to Information Week
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 10:12 PM EDT

Who knows what name he's using there.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Fake Dan Lyons" is....
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 10:29 PM EDT
Any takers?

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue
Authored by: maroberts on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 10:53 PM EDT
For once, I'm afraid you've lost me. Why would anyone want to sue, even in
today's rather litigious America? He's never said he's the real Steve Jobs and
even if he has, only Steve Jobs would have standing to do so.

I'm well aware that Daniel Lyons is not Groklaw's, or anyones favourite person,
but I feel that in complaining about this Groklaw has jumped the shark a

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 11:53 PM EDT
mmmmm....I guess I do need a sense of humor. I have come to the conclusion the
average Joe doesn't need much to entertain himself and 99% of the blogs out
there will fit the bill. Perhaps, US magazine would be a better pick for my
mentality. I am not too bright myself and can't do math, let alone read to

[ Reply to This | # ]

Now, what if Jobs sues for identity theft?
Authored by: Peter Baker on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 12:35 AM EDT
I mean, *that* would be humour :-)

On the serious side, the 'faked' association could have provided some nice
leverage to manipulate Apple's image, which could be another entertaining
exercise to take to court.

So, question: does the disclosure result in a legal liability for the author?
That could get interesting..

= P =

[ Reply to This | # ]

Looking Back...
Authored by: sproggit on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 01:40 AM EDT
My apologies in advance for the shameless cynicism in this post.

Looking back on this particular Lyons posting, and perhaps a few others that we've seen from other 'professional' bloggers out there, we may come to see a positive outcome from this.

For those not familiar with the Hype Cycle, (or here), Lyons is helping to push blogging through the "Trough of Disillusionment" and on towards the "Slope of Enlightenment". This isn't the most pleasant of journeys for any new concept - be it technology or social structure - but it has become an aspect of the genesis or evolution of new ideas.

It isn't pleasant because amidst all the fake bloggers out there, or the "independent reviewers" that raved about Vista and then kept the shiny new hardware on which their preview samples were provided, there do happen to be a small minority of people - like PJ - who do their utmost to write with integrity and honesty.

It's oh-so-easy to make generalisations on any given subject, but perhaps when it comes to blogging and forum-style web sites like Groklaw, there is an observation we can make.

It seems as though the editors of such outlets change their minds but rarely for the most part. When such shifts happen, then it appears to be for one of two reasons:

Firstly, because the editor has found new facts, or learned something that has persuaded them that their original view was wrong. When this happens, such an editor typically admits to the change in an open and honest style [frequently referencing their original views] then sets out the reason for the change in perception.

Or secondly, because the editor has just been paid a large amount of money to say something different. When this happens, such an editor typically tries very hard to forget any previous comments they may have said on the subject and instead spends all their energy trying to sell the new idea that they have just been paid to foist on an unsuspecting public.

All of which makes me realise that blogging, like software development, remains true to the ideals of the GPL and FOSS in general. When you're being charged for closed-source software, you're getting a restrictve deal. When you're reading a mono(b)logue written by a schill paid to repeat the marketing noises of a large company, you're just the mark in an elaborate sting.

So thank you, My Lyons, for this post.

You might not have done much to further the marketing plans of your payMasters at Microsoft and you certainly haven't done much for Mr Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, other than try and grab attention by the use of his name. But what you have done is help to educate a wider public on the difference between open, un-biased and un-funded blogging from editors with honesty and integrity, as opposed to your style of commercialised rant.

Your public are truly grateful.


[ Reply to This | # ]

"Fake Steve Jobs" never seen this ... will never miss it...
Authored by: SilverWave on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 02:43 AM EDT
must of been busy :)

The bulk of all patents are [bad]...
Spending time reading them is stupid...

I can change the rules...
The coupons have no expiration date..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sue? for what exactly
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 03:08 AM EDT
I know Dan Lyons works for the dark side, but come on ...

Sue? For what exactly. He never claimed to be the REAL Steve Jobs, it was always
pretty obvious it was satirical humour. Now you may, as an industry insider,
read more into it than I do, but I suspect 99% of the readership simply took the
humour at face value. In places its a little bawdy, in places its a little
disrespectful ...

But thats HUMOUR for you. Even Steve Jobs himself has no intention of sueing.
So come on PJ, lighten up. This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but,
actually, making fun of one of your heros is not *actually* a crime.

So, do enlighten us, what *exactly* would anyone want to sue for? Its not
illegal as far as I know to make fun of people. When you rise that far up the
tree, then you become more likely to be the subject of attention. Hell, there
must be enough sites out there making fun of Bill Gates, and I haven't heard
anyone on here complaining ...

So get a grip, relax and laugh along.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Where's your sense of humor?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 03:34 AM EDT

You make it sound as though Lyons has done something bad. On this occasion, he hasn't. His "Fake Steve Jobs" blog was not intended to deceive anybody. It was parody; humor. (You do know what that is, I hope?)

This kind of parody is not very original. The British satirical magazine Private Eye ran a spoof column by "Denis Thatcher" (then-Prime-Minister Margaret Thatcher's husband) for years in the 1990s. Same idea, just in print instead of on a web page.

[ Reply to This | # ]

My theory...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 03:48 AM EDT that Microsoft ended up screwing Lyons too.
the poor thing could only afford eating some cheap burritos.
As reported by Valleywag
There's two things you can't fake: good taste and intelligence.

Lyons seems to have neither.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Revenge of the Crunchies
Authored by: PM on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 04:01 AM EDT
How Dan Lyons, the arrogant bully and coach of the SCOX football team at Forbes
College was finally debunked.

Available in unencrypted format on DVD under Creative Commons License.

(right back at the start of the whole SCO debacle, Dan called Linux people
'crunchies' in a Forbes article).

[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't understand this at all
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 06:09 AM EDT
The idea seems to be that the use of the phrase "people ready" in a
fake-Steve article in January 2007 was subliminal test-marketing of the slogan.
But it wasn't new then - Daniel Lyons himself had already made fun of it in an
article in March 2006:

[ Reply to This | # ]

Breaking own rules?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 08:46 AM EDT
PJ, please take this in the kindest way possible. In the article above you say
"..folks who bend over for Microsoft ...".

I think this goes against your crude and obscene portions of your comments
policy. What else can this phrase mean other than what I, and I am sure
everyone else read it to be. I know this has kind of entered the standard
lexicon, just like the phrase "...he go screwed...", but with so many
out there (the Fake Steve Jobs included) looking to throw stones at you, this
might not be the best choice of words.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What ever happened to L. Detweiler
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 08:50 AM EDT
L. Detweiler started out as a respected internet contributor who wrote Anonymity FAQ. As time went on he seemed to become obsessed with the idea that people where creating large numbers of anonymous identities, called tentacles that were conspiring with each other for various nefarious purposes. This theory is sometimes called the Snakes of Medusa.

The term tentacle is still in the jargon file.

He continue in this vein for a while, and his rantings were very entertaining. Then he seemed to drop out of sight.

Does anyone know what happened to him?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not for the money - in case anyone wants to sue
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 08:52 AM EDT
"...he's probably worth suing..."

Depends on your point of view. Does the person who has standing to sue need the
money? Probably not.

My impression is that Steve Jobs has a company to run. Where blogging
interferes with running that company, then he may sue.

Otherwise why bother? Lawsuits take time and money and are a nuisance, to be
avoided unless absolutely necessary.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Fake Steve Jobs" attacks Groklaw, FOSS
Authored by: MacUser on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 09:42 AM EDT
I doubt Lyons is going to be sued over identity theft, but he might have issues with defamation.

I stopped reading that blog a while ago because of his mean-spirited attacks on FOSS and indeed Groklaw, e.g.:

"The FSF's legal researcher and Chief Propaganda Minister, Pamela Jones, claims to be an expert on legal issues yet she's been on the run for a month, ducking a subpoena. That's, um, kind of not totally kosher, legalistically speaking. Why is she hiding?

[Potentially libellous material deleted]

Apparently she doesn't want to give a deposition and deny this under oath. Write to Pamela Jones ( and demand that she COME OUT OF HIDING AND COMPLY WITH THE LAW!"

(That entry appears to have been edited and toned down later, but was quoted and preserved for posterity on

At the time I reckoned the writer was a tech journalist -- the style has all the hallmarks: a smug, superficial knowingness and content based almost entirely on the week's press releases.

But I couldn't understand why a blog devoted to Apple would veer so often and so nastily into open-source bashing; most Mac users are supportive. There had to be another agenda.

Fakes Steve Jobs = fake journalism.

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Daniel Lyons, Fake Steve Jobs & copyright
Authored by: MacUser on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 10:25 AM EDT
As a professional cartoonist, I have seen my work appear uncredited on
blogs. Sometimes bloggers deep link to my images, using my bandwidth as
well as my pictures.

I've noticed many, many images on the Fake SJ blog. As an ardent
supporter of IP rights, Mr Lyons has doubtless secured permission from the
copyright holders, and paid licensing fees.

It makes no sense to sue a lone blogger for lifting pictures, unless the
circumstances are extreme. But Forbes has deep pockets!

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I for one am disappointed
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 11:37 AM EDT
I used to read the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs regularly... not sure what to
think now. I guess there's a fine line between slanted reporting and brilliant

(Must have missed the entry where he criticized PJ.)

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"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue
Authored by: john82a on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 11:41 AM EDT
<I wouldn't be surprised to see a "fake Dan
appearing on the stage at their next conference.>

philosphical conundrum: could a fake be more fake than the fake...

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FSJ=DL Now on Reuters
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 12:07 PM EDT
"Fake Steve Jobs" blogger exposed as Forbes editor

Reuters via Yahoo!
By Scott Hillis
Mon Aug 6, 12:41 AM ET

"You interact with a computer differently when you can trust it to be reliable." --from a blog comment, 2007-07

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks comments thread
Authored by: Alan(UK) on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 01:39 PM EDT
Somewhat belated.

Microsoft is nailing up its own coffin from the inside.

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Has he only succeeded in destroying his carreer?
Authored by: tiger99 on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 01:46 PM EDT
Thinking about how the MOGster realy enhanced her prospects, when she went looking for PJ.....

Few took this shill seriously before, even fewer will now. I would say that his prospects have significantly diminished, and deservedly so!

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If you can give some, you can take some
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 02:31 PM EDT
FSJ was hilarious. Not always good taste, not even always funny, but a lot of
his posts were very funny.

In satire, everybody gets hit. Repeatedly. Almost every piece FSJ wrote on MS
was a LOT more damaging (if you care to think of it that way) than any FOSS
comment out there. And he was a disgrace for the devoted Apple fan. Let's
not forget his comments on Sun.

I am an Apple fan, a java programmer and a FOSS fan. I really really don't like

MS, which has nothing to do with the quality (or lack of it) of their products.
am an avid reader of this blog as well.

BUT FSJ made me laugh the way Gervais makes me laugh. It's painful to
watch, it's way out of line, but coming from the mouth of fake God of Shiny
Tech, it somehow works.

I don't particularly want to know the writer behind it, as I don't particularly

want to know most comic writers' life.

It may not be your cup of tea, but the sérieux with which you take all this is
um, painful to watch. Worthy of satire even. I also think it doesn't compute
with the sarcastic tone in most posts on Groklaw. If you can give some, you
better be able to take some as well.

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"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 02:51 PM EDT
Why am I not surprised? Maybe we should be, since this is the man who wrote about the "evils" of anonymous blogging in "Attack of the Blogs", where he said that blogs are “the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective.”

So have we gotten the point yet that when someone comes from out of left field with an provably, knowingly false attack on someone else or ourselves (especially ourselves, since we know the truth), the attacker is invariably confessing his own sins? We should, therefore, never be surprised to find some loud mouth doing exactly what he's accusing other people of. The only question should be how long it's going to take to uncover that the accuser is really the wrongdoer.

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Hypocrite Lyons was using Linux!
Authored by: whoever57 on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 04:23 PM EDT
I wonder if Danny-boy ever stopped to wonder on what platform his "fake
Steve" blog was hosted? Yes, according to Netcraft, it was hosted on a
Linux platform.

Does that make him a "looser"?

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"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 04:28 PM EDT
Quoting Frank Zappa
Q: "What is the ugliest part of your body"
A: "Your mind.

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Should have been "Fake Steve Ballmer"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 04:44 PM EDT
Seriously ... if he had taken that nom de plume, I think the blog would still be
around and would have had a _lot_ more respect as satire ... since it was
clearly pushing a Microsoft agenda, it could have aligned itself as the rantings
of SB if he didn't have to fear stockholder retaliation, the SEC, or the courts.
Now _THAT_ would have been interesting.

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Pining for PSJs
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 05:34 PM EDT
Lyons is interesting, in a know-your-enemies kind of way, but I'm bored for some
real action. I want the PSJs!

And, a question that someone else raised several articles ago, but was never
answered (that I saw): Can Kimball go to trial without deciding the PSJs? Can
he just ignore them?

In other words: Does something actually have to happen in the Novell case
before mid-September?


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Excellent Quote I Think Of In Situations Like This...
Authored by: DarkPhoenix on Monday, August 06 2007 @ 05:59 PM EDT
"It's too bad there isn't a 20th Century Charles Dickens to write about the terrible destruction of these 20th Century fagins who make themselves rich while they destroy the psyche of so many."

Leo J. Ryan

"No one's going to give you a map; you've got to walk your own path." - Hot Ice Hilda, Outlaw Star.

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Alvar Hanso is Dan Lyons!!!
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 09:00 AM EDT
Alvar Hanso also signs off his letters with "namaste".
Coincidence? I don't think so!!!!
Even if not Hanso himself, at the very least Lyons must be
a senior executive of the Hanso Foundation, and I bet he's
deeply involved in the DHARMA Initiative.


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"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 09:00 AM EDT
You keep going, PJ! We love you. Reading how the M$ media try to twist things -

without you none of the freedoms we enjoy today would be as self-evident.
Thank you!

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"Fake Steve Jobs" is Daniel Lyons, in case anyone wants to sue - Updated
Authored by: Dave on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 03:43 PM EDT

The whole Microsoft operative angle on this particular story seems a red herring to me.

Let's look closely at the paragraph in question, and in context.

So, the whole focus of the blog entry was to bash IBM -- one of Lyons' favourite activities, it seems. There's nothing especially original in his digs: sell-offs to the Chinese, armies of consultants, meetings and PowerPoint. Parts were quite well delivered, though: frankly, he's much more entertaining when he's writing as Fake Steve than as himself.

Anyhow, this particular paragraph. Let's break it down...

Soon they'll trot him out to make some speech about whatever new slogan IBM is cooking up for the year ahead.

He's criticizing IBM here for having lame, meaningless marketing slogans, and not much else.

"People Ready"? Nope, taken.

This slogan is lame and meaningless enough, but it's already been taken. By Microsoft, of course. No, he's not slipping it in subtly, hoping it'll stick in your head. He has set it off with quotes, to identify it as a slogan, and he's outright said that it's already taken.

"On Demand"? Er, tried that.

"Tried that" because "On Demand" was IBM's last slogan. If mentioning Microsoft's slogan was supposed to be some kind of favour, then he's extending the same courtesy to IBM here.

But obviously, that's not the case, as he's clearly trying to tear IBM to shreds in this piece. It's pretty clear to me that in mentioning "People Ready", he was also getting in a little jab at Microsoft.

"Open Your Source and Bend Over"? Nice.

And the punchline. This one is supposed to reveal IBM's true intentions. Of course, he only thinks it's funny because he still doesn't get open source or free software, but that's nothing new. At least it's in character, since Jobs doesn't get it either.

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