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Thumbs Surgically Altered For iPhone? Think Again

It's been a long week. More layoffs at Sun, <a href="http://www.unstrung.com/document.asp?doc_id=131208">Sprint Nextel's earnings down</a> (again), the wheels finally coming off the <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2007/08/sf_muni_wireles.html">municipal wireless bus</a>, AT&T censoring <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201310731&queryText=pearl+jam">Pearl Jam's anti-Bush lyrics</a> (and then claiming it was unintentional), etc. etc. So

Richard Martin

August 10, 2007

1 Min Read

It's been a long week. More layoffs at Sun, Sprint Nextel's earnings down (again), the wheels finally coming off the municipal wireless bus, AT&T censoring Pearl Jam's anti-Bush lyrics (and then claiming it was unintentional), etc. etc. So when we saw this story, the editorial team at IW rejoiced."Man has thumbs surgically altered to better use iPhone," the North Denver News reported. A Denver man had supposedly gone to a cosmetic surgeon for a procedure known as "whittling," wherein his thumb-bones were shaved down to make it easier for him to push those tiny little buttons. Now here's a newsflash we can really grasp! Here's something we can really sink our fingers into!

Tech sites around the Web swiftly picked up this story and repeated it as fact. I dunno, maybe it was the Onion-esque headline. Or maybe it was the fact that the iPhone doesn't have tiny little buttons, or maybe it was the closing quote ("Opening spaghetti sauce jars has been a problem. That was a big surprise.") Anyway, I just didn't buy it.

Which turns out to be a good thing. I did some quick fact-checking: there's no Dr. Robert Fox Spars listed in the Denver phone directory. I called the North Denver News and asked for the writer, James Benfly. He hasn't called back, but the story no longer appears on the NDN Web site (though the headline on the home page is still there).

Friday, the dog days of August, the heat setting in and it's a long time till the NFL season opener. A hoax story is just what we needed -- but can you believe that some outlets actually swallowed this?

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