Steve Jobs is still alive

29 Aug 2008

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Reports of the death of Steve Jobs, Apple founder and CEO, have been greatly exaggerated. He is in fact very much alive while a news service that accidentally published his obituary prematurely is very much wishing the ground would open up.

It is understood that an obituary that had been written and held for the eventual demise – with a ‘hold’, ‘not for release’ marking – was in the process of being updated on Bloomberg’s content management system when it accidentally was published.

Almost as soon as the notice went up it was taken down, but was spotted by eagle-eyed bloggers, most notably Gawker.com

It is standard practice on newspapers and wire services to have pre-prepared obituaries written and ready for the sudden and unexpected demise of eminent personages.

One of history’s greatest examples of an accidental publishing of obituaries was that of celebrated author and journalist Mark Twain who was twice declared dead and said sardonically: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Other mis-reported deaths in history include the late Pope John Paul II, members of ABBA, rock star Alice Cooper and politician Margaret Thatcher.

Jobs (53), who has survived pancreatic cancer, is the dynamic founder and CEO of tech giant Apple, creators of the iconic Macintosh computer family, the iPod and the hysterically over-hyped iPhone.

Concerns over his health earlier this year caused a mini-storm of speculation on Wall Street.

Red-faced Bloomberg editors issued a statement on Wednesday saying: “An incomplete story referencing Apple Inc. was inadvertently published by Bloomberg News at 4:27 p.m. New York time today. The item was never meant for publication and has been retracted.”

A alleged copy of the obituary re-published on Gawker described Jobs as a “college drop-out … who established his reputation as a technology wunderkind with Cupertino, California-based Apple.” It includes plaudits from Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Well, siliconrepublic.com can reliably inform you that Steve Jobs is too busy to actually die because it would rudely interrupt his development of the next phase of wonder devices. And Steve Jobs cannot be interrupted.

By John Kennedy

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com