FORTUNE -- On Friday, Daring Fireball's John Gruber, one of the most influential Apple (AAPL) commentators on the Internet, began the latest episode of his Talk Show podcast by launching without preamble into a riff about Andy Pettitte's return to baseball.
No surprise there. Gruber's podcast style is as idiosyncratic as his widely-read blog, and he'll use any excuse to talk about his beloved Yankees.
In the absence of an explanation from the principals, the blogosphere rushed to fill the void with speculation about what had just happened; there were hundreds of posts on Hacker News alone. Among the theories put forward overnight (and collected by the candler blog's Jonathan Poritsky):
Most long-time listeners wished the new Talk Show well, but the consensus among those who caught the first episode on The Mule (title: "What if the Dolphins Had Thumbs?") was that without Benjamin to keep him on track, Gruber tended to go off the rails.
The iTunes customer review voted most useful Saturday morning pronounced Episode 1: "Unfocused, uninteresting and unlistenable."
Neither Gruber nor Benjamin returned our requests for comment. We'll try to keep an open mind.
UPDATE: Benjamin on Monday posted a four-minute message about the end of Talk Show. He points out that it actually stretched back 120 episodes, wishes Gruber the best with his new show and tells listeners where they can find it. See Special Episode No. 6: Regarding the Talk Show.
Is it a flash in the pan or one of those rare companies that defines an era?
Investors, analysts and business historians have been struggling in the weeks since Apple's (AAPL) most recent earnings report to make sense of this corporate oddity: a mega-cap company ($487.1 billion) that grows like a start-up (first quarter earnings up 115.7%).
Since November, when it pulled decisively away from Exxon Mobil (XOM), Apple has been the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 26, 2012 6:28 AM ET
Horace Dediu puts his finger on the difference between Steve Jobs and Léo Apotheker
In a wide-ranging rumination that takes its starting point in 2001 -- when HP (HPQ) was courting Compaq and Apple (AAPL) was launching the iPod -- Horace Dediu's Critical Path podcast Tuesday touched on everything from Renaissance painting to the death of the HP TouchPad at the hands of CEO Léo Apotheker.
But for me the heart of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 24, 2011 10:29 AM ET
Using its pile of cash to become the single buyer that controls key high-tech supply chains
In two different forums, discussions about what to do about Apple's (AAPL) growing cash problem have come around to seeing things the way Steve Jobs and Tim Cook do.
Apple's problem, as Wall Street sees it, is not that the company has too little cash but too much -- $65.8 billion in liquid assets at the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 5, 2011 7:58 AM ET
Their contrasting views help explain why Apple's share price is falling while its prospects rise
Business Insider's Henry Blodget and Asymco's Horace Dediu both watched Steve Jobs' keynote address Monday and both talked about it on Tuesday -- Blodget for 5 minutes on Yahoo Breakout, Dediu for 56 minutes on the debut of his Critical Path podcast on Dan Benjamin's 5by5 network.
Blodget's take: No new iPhone. The iCloud, big whoop. Steve MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 8, 2011 10:40 AM ET
Yours truly talks about Time Magazine, Steve Jobs and a 15-year case of writers block
In February this blog profiled Dan Benjamin, the talk show impresario whose 5by5 Internet Broadcast network has become destination listening for hundreds of thousands of Apple (AAPL) devotees.
Now he has returned the favor. He invited me to be a guest on The Pipeline, an interview show he describes as "in-depth conversations with innovators, designers, geeks, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 5, 2011 2:41 PM ET
Has the iPhone replaced the iPod as the headliner for the company's fall product preview?
Many Apple (AAPL) watchers are finding it hard to believe that summer might come and go without a new iPhone, as some are reporting.
But to Marco Arment, the rumors make a lot of sense.
In a Thursday blog post entitled "Apple's boring hardware updates," the creator of Instapaper and co-host of Build and Analyze argues that MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 31, 2011 7:12 AM ET
An analyst imagines everything it might be when -- and if -- it opens this spring
Among the people who follow Apple (AAPL) closely, the massive server farm the company is constructing in Maiden, N.C., has achieved near mythic status. It has become the answer to every unanswered question about Apple's troubled online strategy, from what Steve Jobs was thinking when he green-lighted Ping to how MacBook Air users are supposed MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 23, 2011 6:13 AM ET
Dan Benjamin's 5by5 podcasts are the place to go to hear Mac gurus free associate
In the middle of a live broadcast discussing Twitter's new president, Google's (GOOG) Android market share and why Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Phone 7 is a terrible name for an operating system, the guest pauses to ask his co-host: "Speaking of well-hung Wookies, does this show have a sponsor?"
The guest is Daring Fireball's John Gruber, dean of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 15, 2011 6:16 AM ET
|November jobs report: Unemployment falls to 7%|
|Fast food worker: Protest didn't cost me pay|
|2 million Facebook, Gmail and Twitter passwords stolen in massive hack|
|Where should you put your money now?|
|Sick days: A luxury many hourly workers don't have|