FORTUNE -- At 11:07 a.m. Monday, a brief item hit the business newswires:
Apple may buy Twitter for $10B -- Forbes
At first I assumed it was some kind of mistake. But no, there it was on Forbes.com: A 980-word piece by Eric Jackson, one of their regular contributors, pitching Apple's (AAPL) $10 billion purchase of Twitter as the "next shoe to drop" after Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Instagram.
This is how rumors get started.
It wasn't that long ago that Apple was supposed to be buying Facebook. Or Disney. Or Yahoo. Or Adobe. Or Tivo. Or Netflix. Or Electronic Arts.
The rumors didn't make sense then and they don't now. Facebook and Twitter are not the kind of company Apple buys.
What kind of enterprise does Apple buy? The list below, taken from Wikipedia, is instructive. As the entry succinctly puts it, paraphrasing BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl (now at AllThingsD): "Apple's business philosophy is to acquire small companies that can be easily integrated into existing company projects."
See? Not a Facebook or Yahoo among them. Apple's largest acquisition was the 1997 purchase of NeXT that brought Steve Jobs back to the company for $404 million -- about 1/25th the price Jackson is suggesting Apple pay for Twitter.
So file this story with the one Forbes ran last week on the significance of Tim Cook's visit to gaming powerhouse Valve -- a visit, we later learned, that never took place.
It's not there anymore, but there's no building going on, and the property is not for sale
Remember the Jackling House, the 14-bedroom Roaring Twenties-era folly that Apple's (AAPL) Steve Jobs bought, hated, and planned -- despite the objections of preservationists -- to replace with a modern home more to his exacting standards?
Well, it got torn down in February 2011, while Jobs was dying and had more important things to do MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 12, 2012 7:41 AM ET
Ripe target, easy to spoof, smack in the middle of his demographic sweet spot
The Conan O'Brian Show Thursday night aired yet another mock Apple (AAPL) video -- its fourth this year, by our count. (See here, here and here.)
This one picks up where news stories about the lost iPhone 5 left off, with Cupertino's crack engineers devising ever more fiendish punishments for whomever took the secret prototype. (Tag line: "You MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 10, 2011 12:56 PM ET
A report from IDC sets off some pretty silly headlines in the tech press
The top item on the closely-watched Techmeme news aggregator Saturday morning was a piece by ZDNet's Larry Dignan about how the shipments of tablet computers have failed to meet the industry's "lofty expectations."
It was a theme picked up by at least eight other news outlets, including VentureBeat ("Tablet sales slow"), The Loop ("'media tablet' market isn't as MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 9, 2011 5:51 AM ET
His advice: "Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff"
Like many authors trying to sell books to a reading public whose attention span seems to be shrinking to 140 characters, Carmine Gallo never misses an opportunity to promote his two Steve Jobs "secrets" books: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs.
He does it again in the current issue of Forbes, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 17, 2011 8:28 AM ET
Perhaps Apple's magazine subscription rules weren't as one-sided as publishers feared
If you were subscribing to the online edition of, say, Wired, Vanity Fair or the New Yorker on the iTunes store, and you were faced with the pop-up window at right, would you opt-in and click "Allow"?
Most major magazine publishers, when shown this screen by Apple (AAPL) representatives, blanched. Each of them knew full well the kind of gravy they MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 12, 2011 6:49 AM ET
Starting with the fact that he's $176 million poorer on paper than he was a month ago
According to the current issue of Forbes, Steve Jobs is the 34th richest person in the U.S. and tied for 110th in the world, having climbed 40 spots in the magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires.
But where does that wealth come from, and how does it compare with other tech luminaries? Let's take MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 11, 2011 7:54 AM ET
Sales estimates range from 35 million to 100 million, with the biggest slice going to Apple
In his debut performance in this week's Barron's, where he replaces the venerable Eric Savitz (now at Forbes), Tiernan Ray provides a useful round-up of Wall Street tablet sales estimates for 2011.
Only trouble is, the estimates vary so widely you don't whether to laugh or cry.
On the low end, Citigroup estimates sales of 35 million, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 27, 2010 12:50 PM ET
Questions have been raised about some blueprints that surfaced earlier this week
It wasn't quite on the level of its iPhone 4 prototype scoop last spring, but Gizmodo generated some nice buzz for itself Tuesday when it published what it claimed are the plans for Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs' new house.
"You knew Steve Jobs was tearing down his old mansion," the piece began. "You didn't know what he was building MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 30, 2010 8:38 AM ET
After years of stasis, Pandora is on the verge of being rewarded for recent growth with a fat check. But can Elevation Partners' Roger McNamee -- even with U2's Bono in the backseat -- pick a winner?
By Chadwick Matlin, contributor
Pandora, that online music station you likely have open in another tab right now, is on the verge of adopting a new sugardaddy. Elevation Partners, the venture capital firm most famous for its MOREAug 26, 2010 11:47 AM ET
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