John ("Daring Fireball") Gruber is no Dan ("Fake Steve Jobs") Lyons. Thank goodness.
At his prime -- when he was on the lam, a bored editor at Forbes by day covering boring IBM (IBM) press events and a swashbuckling parodist at night, one step ahead of Silicon Valley hounds desperate to discover his identity -- nobody was writing funnier tech copy than Fake Steve Jobs. See, for example, here and here.
Then he got outed by the New York Times and he became plain Dan Lyons, a fortysomething writer whose best gig was behind him. He cashed in his cachet for a third-rate novel -- Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs (A Parody) [Da Capo Press; $22.95] -- and took a job at a dying newsmagazine.
"I'm just not as funny as Fake Steve Jobs," he told a New York City audience two years ago. But he kept writing -- heavily edited columns for Newsweek and entries in The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs that weren't as amusing when you knew who wrote them. From time to time his two voices -- the button-down columnist and the free-wheeling parodist -- would get mixed up and the effect could be toxic. Take, for example, Apple's Rotten Response, his Newsweek column on Steve Jobs' Antennagate press conference.
Enter Daring Fireball's John Gruber, dean of the Apple bloggers and a rarity in tech circles -- a software engineer who can actually write. On Thursday he tried his hand at parody. Taking on the persona of what his critics regularly accuse him of being -- a fanboy shill on the payroll of Apple (AAPL) Public Relations -- he sliced up Lyons' latest column with a pretty sharp knife.
It's not Fake Steve Jobs at his best, but neither is Fake Steve Jobs.
For anyone following the Antennagate saga, Gruber's Sorry, No, I'm Not Going to Write a Piece Arguing That Dan Lyons Is a Jackass is a must-read.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]
"iCon" has run into contractual problems, say sources close to the negotiations
It's only an Apple (AAPL) satire, but already the lawyers are playing Steve Jobs' kind of hardball.
Less than two weeks after the studio Media Rights Capital announced that it had struck a deal with the Epix channel to make a TV comedy series pilot called "iCon" -- "a scabrous satire of Silicon Valley and its most famous citizen," according MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 28, 2010 4:10 PM ET
The author of Newsweek's glowing iPad cover story sang a different tune at the unveiling
"Some say the iPad heralds a new era of computing, and I'm inclined to believe them," writes Dan Lyons in the lead story of Newsweek's April 5 cover story. "The interface is so intuitive — navigating with your fingers rather than a keyboard and mouse — that it will change what we expect from our computers."
That's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 27, 2010 2:31 PM ET
Wired taps a baker's dozen of the "brightest tech minds" to mark the rise of the tablet
"With the iPad," writes Steven Levy in How the Tablet Will Change the World, "Apple is making its play to become the center of a post-PC era."
Levy argues that the conventions underlying today's personal computers -- the graphical user interface, the shrink-wrapped boxes of software -- were forged 40 and 50 year ago.
What MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 23, 2010 11:06 AM ET
A rash of online fraud in New York may have done what Operation Chokehold couldn't
Why did AT&T Wireless (T) halt online sales of Apple (AAPL) iPhones in New York City the weekend after Christmas? None of the answers AT&T has given so far make much sense.
The new policy was first reported to The Consumerist's Laura Northrup by a reader in Brooklyn. In a blog entry posted Sunday afternoon, Northrup suggested MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 28, 2009 8:38 AM ET
Ma Bell's wireless network is still standing after Friday's grassroots iPhone attack
The appointed hour -- Friday, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. PST -- came and went and AT&T's (T) 3G cellular network had not been brought to its knees, despite the best efforts of thousands of Apple (AAPL) iPhone users.
"As far as I can tell, there's been no impact at all," wrote Dan Lyons in The Secret Diary of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 18, 2009 4:24 PM ET
A smartphone protest begun as blogger's joke catches fire in the high schools of America
The most interesting thing about Operation Chokehold -- a grassroots denial of service attack against AT&T's (T) data network scheduled for Friday at 12 noon PST (3 p.m. EST) -- may be who has signed on to take part.
You can see their shining faces on Facebook's official Operation Chokehold page, which by Friday morning had attracted MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 17, 2009 8:34 AM ET
Getting the kind of information about Steve Jobs' health that Apple's (AAPL) investors and customers deserve is tricky, as tech reporters discovered to their peril this week.
The sources in the best position to talk about Jobs' medical condition -- which forced him to announce Wednesday that he taking a six-month medical leave -- are his physicians, and they're prevented by doctor-patient confidentiality from disclosing what they know.
Everybody else is MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 15, 2009 11:25 AM ET
Last we checked, the full catalog of Beatles songs was supposed to be available for sale on the iTunes Store before the end of 2008.
Well, it's not happening this year, according to one of the band's two surviving members, and for all we know it may never happen.
"The last word I got back was it's stalled at the whole moment, the whole process," Paul McCartney told reporters gathered Monday for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2008 12:35 PM ET
Dan Lyons the former Forbes editor whose brilliant Web parodies of Apple's CEO entertained tech enthusiasts for two years, publicly apologized Friday to those who complain that he's not funny since he stopped writing as his alter ego, the Fake Steve Jobs.
"I really miss him," said Lyons, speaking in New York City at the Web 2.0 Expo, a tech conference sponsored by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Lyons stopped contributing to his popular MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 19, 2008 12:34 PM ET
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