Real 'Fake Steve Jobs' Tried To Out Anonymous Linux Blogger - InformationWeek

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8/6/2007
12:07 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
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Real 'Fake Steve Jobs' Tried To Out Anonymous Linux Blogger

Talk about irony. Now that we know "Fake Steve Jobs" is Forbes reporter Dan Lyons, we also know that FSJ--as Lyons--once tried to out the tech industry's other, equally infamous sub-rosa blogger--Groklaw's Pamela Jones.

Talk about irony. Now that we know "Fake Steve Jobs" is Forbes reporter Dan Lyons, we also know that FSJ--as Lyons--once tried to out the tech industry's other, equally infamous sub-rosa blogger--Groklaw's Pamela Jones.When he's not penning FSJ, Lyons covers the tech industry for Forbes magazine. Among other things, he's written frequently about free software, Linux, and SCO's lawsuit against IBM.

His coverage has drawn repeated fire from the free software community and Jones, a secretive blogger who posts about all things Linux on a site called Groklaw.

Over the years, Jones and other Linux backers have said Lyons "needs a hokum detector," has been "hilariously wrong" in his coverage of free software, and is "biased" against the Linux community. (Disclosure: I've also been at the wrong end of these sorts of missives from certain Linux fanatics.)

Jones has also likened Lyons to "a buzzard hunched on a tree limb, always on the alert for anything he can swoop down and attack me for."

In turn, Lyons in a 2005 Forbes story tried to out Jones--who is secretive about her identity and background, does not allow pictures of herself to be posted on Groklaw, and has registered the site through a third-party service so her personal details won't show up in the Internet's 'Who Is' database.

Lyons has also used the FSJ blog to unleash his own barbs against Jones and the free software community. Writing as FSJ, Lyons frequently referred to Linux aficionados as "Freetards."

FSJ also called the GPL stewards at the Free Software Foundation "so corrupt that they make Greenpeace and the United Nations look like saints." He labeled FSF leader Richard Stallman "demented" and said Jones is FSF's "Chief Propaganda Minister."

After the news broke Sunday that FSJ is Lyons, Jones posted a column on Groklaw calling the writer guilty of "world class hypocrisy" for remaining anonymous. (In case you're keeping score, that's one anonymous blogger calling another anonymous blogger a hypocrite.)

The question now is whether Forbes should continue to let Lyons cover issues related to Linux and free software or move him to another beat. Through his "Fake Steve Jobs" persona, Lyons has pretty much divulged the fact that he thinks the FSF is a pack of loons--so it might be hard for readers to accept his reports on the subject as objective.

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