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May 17, 2010

Apple CEO Steve Jobs' late-night e-mail feud

Posted: 10:47 AM ET

Apple CEO Steve Jobs engaged in a catty e-mail exchange over the weekend with a blogger from the website Gawker, who chided the tech luminary for calling its slate computer a "revolution" in television ads.

Ryan Tate, the blogger, who writes that he was drinking during the digital duel, carries on a conversation that sounds, at turns, like it could have been ripped from the pages of a "Saturday Night Live" script.

Tate's first note, which, according to the posted e-mails, was sent at 9:34 p.m. on Friday, asks Jobs what he thinks a young Bob Dylan would think about Jobs' claim to a computer "revolution."

"Revolutions are about freedom," the blogger asserts (I dare you to read that line without doing a Will-Ferrell-as-George-W.-Bush voice in your head; and keep in mind, we're talking about computers and app formats here, not the War on Terror).

"Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom," Jobs replied at 12:52 a.m. on Saturday, according to the e-mails as posted by Gawker. "The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."

Jobs sent three more notes to Tate after that one. The duo argued about Apple's aim to control app development and the recent police raid of a Gizmodo blogger's home following that blog's decision to publish details about a prototype iPhone from Apple. Gizmodo, as Tate notes, is owned by Gawker Media, which also publishes the site

As TechCrunch notes, Apple's CEO is known for occasionally sending brief e-mails to consumers and reporters.

The BBC's Maggie Shiels makes a funny point about the "nocturnal back-and-forth":

"We're all aware of the perils of 'drunk dialing' an ex – but for Ryan Tate at media gossip blog Gawker, e-mailing Apple boss Steve Jobs – with a stinger cocktail on hand late one night while the wife was away – really paid off," she writes.

Despite his apparent resentment over Apple's efforts to control app development for its products, Tate did leave the exchange with a few positive things to say about Apple and its iconic leader.

"Rare is the CEO who will spar one-on-one with customers and bloggers like this," he writes. "Jobs deserves big credit for breaking the mold of the typical American executive, and not just because his company makes such hugely superior products: Jobs not only built and then rebuilt his company around some very strong opinions about digital life, but he's willing to defend them in public. Vigorously. Bluntly. At two in the morning on a weekend."

Check out the full exchange (foul language warning), and let us know who you think came out on top.

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Filed under: Apple • Steve Jobs

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Jason   May 18th, 2010 10:57 am ET

AppleSfinctor is, for some reason, talking about internal combustion engines and pretending that Apple //c computers were "open source", proving that he's utterly clueless and wasting everyone's time. It must be terrible to be illiterate and an internet troll.

Applesfinctor   May 18th, 2010 11:23 am ET

If the shoe fits...wear it. If not, I'll force it on you.

Applesfinctor   May 18th, 2010 11:27 am ET

Wow...iCNN is terrible. They won't let me post a nice quote for Jason 🙁 I'll keep trying it.

Karla   May 18th, 2010 11:58 am ET

To everyone who has posted re: Jobs not using Gmail: Regardless of whether or not Jobs uses Gmail or any other email venue to discuss his products, I'm wondering if any of this is real. I've Googled for legitimate interviews with trusted news sources [ CNN isn't one of them 😉 ], and I can't find anything about these sentiments from sources such as The Wall Street Journal or other 'big names.' All I can find are rehashes of this same story by industry insider sites.
Can anyone point me to an interview by a ‘significant’ reporter, in which Jobs says essentially the same thing, but not in a "late-night email war"?

Special ED   May 18th, 2010 12:09 pm ET

all things Apple are iCnn iNews worthy

Paul   May 18th, 2010 12:22 pm ET

Jobs is a genius. A tyrant...but a genius.

Applesfinctor   May 18th, 2010 12:46 pm ET

I got yous guys. I've been typing all this from my iMac.


Ant   May 18th, 2010 12:53 pm ET

Just so help clear things up, "open source" does not mean "you can jailbreak it". Open source refers to the source code underlying an OS is freely available for all to modify and improve so that over time it becomes error free (hopefully).

Applesphinctor, all you need to do is a quick, simple Google search for the definition of "open source" and see that it has nothing to do with whether something can be jailbroken or not.

ANRecs   May 18th, 2010 1:01 pm ET

I have a PC and an iPod Touch, my wife has a PC and an iPod nano,
and we're both happy with that.

Apple should just stick to handhelds.

Indifferent   May 18th, 2010 1:09 pm ET

Wow...just keep feeding the troll, Applesfinctor, why don't you. Do you people realize that he will just go away if you stop replying to him?

Jason   May 18th, 2010 1:31 pm ET

Thank you, Ant.

Special ED   May 18th, 2010 1:48 pm ET

sheeple ... sheeple who need sheeple are the Applest sheeple in the world

Stéphane   May 18th, 2010 2:16 pm ET

Vive Apple and long live Steve Jobs !!

Stéphane from Montreal, Canada

ANRecs   May 18th, 2010 2:33 pm ET

Maybe the revolutionary will make a home video game console, but what will they calll it?

Hmm, something revolutionary. Revolution? No, Nintendo tried that.

I got it!!!

iGame!!! Gimme my money, man.

ANRecs   May 18th, 2010 2:37 pm ET

"Long live Steve Jobs"??

As long as he can keep buying his way to the top of the donar list, you got it.

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The recipes for the wines, syrups, cordials and medicines used by the medieval apothecary were passed down through the generations and were closely guarded as the most successful apothecary would have the most customers

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what are u think about it!!!!!!!!!

Apothecary Jobs

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