Tag Archives | Fake Steve Jobs

Operation Chokehold: All Hype, No Bite

What, you expected AT&T’s network to come to its knees? In what could probably be called the most foregone conclusion in the world of technology in quite some time, AT&T’s network withstood the assault of what probably was not more than a handful of users taking a piece of satire way too far. I checked my phone here in Reading, Pa. and didn’t really notice much of anything other than the typical peak-hour slowness. Others across the country reported similar results, according to the Facebook group.

Of course AT&T is not going to feed the troll: the company’s response was that there was “no impact” on service as a result of this. Reading the Facebook page is somewhat amusing, too. A lot of folks there seem to be determined to make some impact — in fact one is already recommending Round 2. Good lord.

As for Lyons, what does he have to say about this (edited for a family site, here’s the full post):

“I shall never speak of this again. Nor should you. Peace be upon you.”

Thank god.


The Tech Media’s Complete Loss of Rationality

I have been sitting here watching in disbelief over the past few days, feeling somewhat embarrassed about my profession at large.  Much of the tech media that has been tripping over themselves to treat Dan Lyons’ satirical movement to bring AT&T’s network to its knees as something akin to the Boston Tea Party — a defining moment that affects real change.

It’s been called by some as a “grassroots movement.” Another says that this, and I quote, “should be big lesson to any company about how social media is changing customer relations.” Others are lashing out at Lyons himself, calling him irresponsible for using his blog for exactly what it is, a satirical look into the world of Apple. To say the amount of bloviating on this topic has been astounding would be an understatement.

Earth to the media: Dan Lyons is a satirist, not Che Guevara!

Lets be clear here: there is absolutely no evidence that “Chokehold” will be anything more than a blip on AT&T’s daily graphs of data traffic. All of the hype surrounding the event has been manufactured by the tech media itself — and unfortunately, by some who have a large readership and lots of influence — and not by Lyons himself. If anything, I believe Mr. Lyons has been unfairly attacked and criticized for something that we have all essentially foisted upon him.

Remember that Facebook group we talked about in our initial coverage? It’s only up to 3,800 members — way smaller than other protest groups which have effected real change. If we are going to gauge participation by social media, we should look to Twitter too. A cursory look shows a lot of discussion, but its exactly that — talk. Call me skeptical, but its very hard to get an actual effective protest together. People are just too lazy these days, frankly.

If this is even in the least bit successful, we shouldn’t thank its creator. Rather, we should blame the tech media for making a huge deal out of a joke. Have we become so desperate for news that we’re practically manufacturing an event?

No, I’m not denying AT&T’s network sucks. In a lot of the country it does. But its not that bad that its going to bring hordes of people to the point of streaming their hearts out at 12 noon pacific tomorrow in some wild attempt at sabotage wireless data style. It’s just not going to happen. It’s time that the tech media takes a step back, and turns the hype machine off. Our readers deserve more than this.


Fake Steve Jobs Spurns Real AT&T Protest

It started out as a joke for Dan Lyons, known to us all as “Fake Steve Jobs,” but it has now taken on a life of its own. Operation Chokehold was supposed to be a fake protest that would attempt to take down AT&T’s network by overloading it, according to a post on Lyon’s site. It was meant to look as if it was real, but Lyons apparently was saying it in jest.

His fans apparently want to make it real, however. A Facebook group has been created urging people to do what Lyons suggested — run a data intensive application on the 3G network for a full hour on Friday at Noon PST — and currently sports about 1,600-plus members. The media is having a field day with it (heck look at us, we’re even covering it), and AT&T is peeved.

Check out this statement from the company to Apple web log Cult of Mac if you think they’re just blowing this off:

“We understand that fakesteve.net is primarily a satirical forum, but there is nothing amusing about advocating that customers attempt to deliberately degrade service on a network that provides critical communications services for more than 80 million customers. We know that the vast majority of customers will see this action for what it is: an irresponsible and pointless scheme to draw attention to a blog.”

Maybe AT&T needs to take a bit of a pill — why give this publicity as I doubt this will amount to anything — but who knows with the way their 3G network runs. I guess if this does happen, we’ll find out if that report from Mr. Turner on AT&T’s network issues we blogged about in October was actually true, no?

Blogger and Technologizer contributor Dave Zatz really takes it to Lyons though (and I’m paraphrasing):

It’s a spiteful and selfish act …. spearheading a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against one of the largest US communications networks may also attract the sort of attention he’ll be less pleased with … (Dan Lyons) is a professional journalist. And this is a call to action in the real world, not the ‘fake’ one.”

Not sure that I would go to that extent. While it was stupid, I would not call it spiteful or selfish. Lyons just didn’t think this one through before releasing it to the masses. As much as we can make jokes out of AT&T’s shoddy 3G service, for some its actually enough that all they would need is a call to action to vent their frustrations through something like this. In any case, I HIGHLY DOUBT it would be able to get to the level where it would actually do any damage. It ain’t the 1960’s — we’re too lazy to protest these days.