Who is he? He’s the Apple engineer who, while field testing the new, unreleased 4th generation iPhone, left it in a bar, which led directly to Gizmodo’s hands-on feature. Scoop city for Gizmodo, hot water for Powell.
Oops. Apple is infamous for their security. There are virtually no leaks that they don’t orchestrate, and actual hardware leaks are, I believe, unprecedented. I hope Mr Powell doesn’t lose his job over this, but it wouldn’t at all surprise me. Consider that I’ve seen the “this is a shot of Steve Jobs’ office from earlier today” gag several places already.
There’s lots of whining from [pro-Apple](http://ihnatko.com/2010/04/19/the-increasingly-plausible-miraculous-engadget-and-gizmodo-iphone-4g/] fanboy-ish blogs (some of which I enjoy — but don’t pretend Gruber and Ihnatko aren’t fanboys), but it’s hard to blame folks like Nick Denton for running with this. Journalism, especially tech journalism, runs on the scoop, and Gawker Media found themselves in the proverbial catbird seat here (Ihnatko’s story was written early on; it’s since come to light that Gawker did indeed pay someone for the phone, which was apparently left behind in a bar (see first link)). Andy insists that Gawker have explaining to do, but I disagree: all the explanation we need is already there:
- It’s a real unreleased Apple product; and
- They got it.
Since they ran the story, their servers have been slammed. Cheap pageviews are one thing, but pageviews based on having a real scoop that nobody else has? That’s something else again, and it puts money in Gawker Media’s pockets, and bonuses in the employee’s accounts to pulled this off for Chairman Nick.