back to article Search begins on seized Gizmodo journo kit

The Gizmodophone saga lurched another step forward Thursday when the chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, California, the jurisdiction investigating that misplaced/stolen/repurposed next-gen iPhone prototype, announced that a court-appointed agent had begun to search equipment seized from a Gizmodo editor. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Who should play Jobs?

    I suspect just about any retired politician...

    Takes skill and diligent practice to know what the view looks like, when you've got your head so far up your ......

    Nothing against a good product, but that man is an idiot in some aspects, and I'm going to suggest that the 'Any publicity is good publicity' doesn't necessarily apply in this case.

  2. jake Silver badge

    OK, I'll bite ...

    "Detective determines evidence strong enough to issue a search warrant for Jason Chen's home."

    Since when do detectives determine when to issue search warrants?

    Since when is "Identify this as actually being yours, and I'll happily return it" extortion?

    Jobs calling it "stolen" assumes facts not in evidence.

    IMO, Steve Jobs should be up on charges of influence peddling ...

    Regardless of the outcome, while I *have* been nudging users to the Apple side of life when looking to upgrade old/tired/dead WinDOS boxen, I think I'm going to start suggesting LinuxMint and/or (K)Ubuntu::spit:: ... and start working on a General Release variation of the version of Slackware that I built for my Wife, Mom and GreatAunt.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    "If so, who do you think should play Steve Jobs?"

    A blue whale's penis. Then he will literally be the world's all-time biggest d**k.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      World's all-time?

      I'm forced to wonder as to the knob size of, say, the Momentasaurus......

  4. Sean
    Thumb Down

    Extortion used to seem a lot more nefarious.

    "If you'll confirm that this thing is yours, sure, we'll give it back" is extortion now? Srsly?

    1. Thomas 4

      A poor choice of word

      ....but let's suppose a tabloid newspaper got hold of intimate pictures of you and your other half making the beast with two backs and the newspaper said," Sure, we'll give them back to you, just *publically* confirm that they're yours."

      And that's the keyword in asterisks. I'm sure that Steve Jobs has enough documentation to show the police that the item was his but that's just it - he should be showing it to the police, not some worthless hack. Because, you know, the phone *should have been turned in to the police*.

      Proper extortion? Probably not but it sure has a whiff of blackmail and seediness to it.

      1. Shadowmanx2009
        Jobs Horns

        Not sure I agree

        Extortion is a pretty strong word as there is implied of violence which AFAIK isn't the case here.

        But i'm not a lawyer and this hasn't gone to court so I guess wait and see.

        Still think Mr Jobs is making drama out of nothing...

  5. hugh
    Jobs Horns

    Who knows if hes a journalist?

    Is Steve is implying bloggers aint journos?

    Thats going to piss of 99.999% of the fanatics.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


      I suppose it would really depend on the blogger. I'm a "blogger," having both my personal blog ( and the Desktop Management gig here on El Reg. Does that make me a journo? Hell no! Never went to school for it, and I am only just learning the ropes now. I tinker at the edges of journalism, trying to learn how to report actual news, get and perform interviews etc...but I am a blogger, not a journo.

      What about Mary Jo Foley? ( lady has a blog, but she is a first class journalist as well. She digs up a lot of dirt, and does a damned good job of reporting it. Or Michael Geist? (

      If Steve is saying that “Bloggers aren’t journalists,” then I think I largely agree. Most aren’t. If this is to be generally accepted however, we need a new term for the rare actual journalists whose medium of reporting is entirely online.

      Regardless of Steve's beliefs on the matter, journo is about the quality of the craft, not the medium. Does that comment make me a fanatic? Or just bored enoguh to be disagreeable?

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Just a guess

        Trevor, I'm guessing the comment about the fanatics probably wasn't aimed at bloggers as a whole. I'd suggest it was probably a reference to the fact that a lot of Prominent Apple Fanbois are bloggers.

        To put it another way, he's saying that Gizmodo is _just_ a blog, AppleWatch is _just_ a blog etc.

        When you've been loyal and enthusiastic about a company in the way some of these sites have, might be a bit of a kick in the teeth no?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


          Ooooh. Good point. Also: did you just attempt some form of literary analysis on a Register comment? Doesn't that violate some rules somewhere? I admit, it's 3:33am here, and I have been up for a little over 30 hours*...but that seems wrong somehow.

          *Seriously, moving terabytes of info from one drive to another on the same system while keeping the shares in place during the movie may not be difficult, but it sure as hell is boring. And it makes for a long night. Gogo disk upgrades.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge


            You're right I did!

            If Ms Bee would be kind enough to arrange a time, I'll bring the handcuffs!

            Don't get me started on moving info, I've had some serious woes whilst re-jigging our backup system!

      2. hugh
        Jobs Horns


        so what you're saying is that bloggers are wannabe journos?

        1. Anonymous Coward


          he's just saying a journo isn't a journo unless they've been properly licensed by a government authority after attending the approved classes and kissing the approved arses.

          When "free press" requires an Official Certification, it isn't free anymore.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


            What's the difference between an Engineer and a Technician? An Engineer must uphold a certain set of /very/ stringent professional ethical standards. If he does not, he will loose the right to work as an Engineer again. People who are not properly accredited are not allowed to call themselves Engineers and work as such because of the high standards to which the Engineering profession must be held.

            What is the difference between a Journalist and a Blogger? Well, while no official certification body exists whereby professional standards are enforced in the same manner as Engineering, I believe the differences are essentially the same. The true journalist holds himself (and his peers) to some amazingly high, and difficult to maintain standards. They accept no gratuity, no bribe, write no puff piece, and have no mercy. They report what is and allow the world at large to draw conclusions from the facts that are presented. That there is the real difference: facts. Sticking to them, digging them up, uncovering them and in no way shape or form biasing them ever.

            In my personal opinion, there are damned few actual journalists left in the /entire world/. Whatever the medium; television, newsprint or online…the number of journalists who actually hold themselves to such standards could probably fit in a large living room.

            Is some guy (myself for example,) spouting his personal opinion all over the internet a journalist? No. That’s editorialising, but it isn’t actual journalism. The days of the investigative reporter are damned near dead. Replaced by people who will rewrite press releases in exchange for a pat on the back or a free toy; or some talking head on the TV regurgitating whatever tripe his political masters give him to keep the ratings high.

            A real journalist doesn’t let his personal opinions about anything, from climate change to corporate corruption stand in the way of reporting the facts. They report he facts without any editorialising whatsoever, let you decide, and they constantly take the piss out of everyone and every thing.

            Where has the real news organisation gone? The one where, from local news to international, science reporting to art anything clearly not a researched, factual article was clearly marked as such, and often at dramatic odds with the actual investigative journalism that was what sold papers? Why is it that The Daily Show, in it’s satire is closer to actual investigative journalism than almost anything available from the mainstream US?

            What about the BBC? I used to practically worship the quality of honest investigative journalism that came from them. The past 15 years or so have seen an awful decline…they are a mere shadow of their former credibility.

            That’s what if all boils down to: credibility. Journalists are known for reporting factual truth, and as such you learn to trust your media more than your politicos, your police force, your military and most certainly company PR departments. Can you name any news organisation, from The Reg to the BBC to the New York Times to Al Jazeera, that you can trust without reservation to tell you the unbiased truth? Can you even name a combination of them from whom you can extract an algorithmically predictable signal from the noise?

            This is why I read The Register. There are some who write for this rag that I would consider being solely editorial writers, constantly rehashing personal opinions regardless of facts but not an actual professional journalist. Others here are vicious and brutal; they play absolutely no favourites. They bite the hands that feed them…all of them.

            For this very same reason, I adore the Nobel Intent section of Ars Technica. The science writers there are fantastic; and they tear everyone, (from scientists to sceptics to regular Joes) fresh new ones on a regular basis. I just can’t stomach their terribly biased tech writing; it seemingly can find no fault with some companies…companies they tend to act as apologists for.

            In this, El Reg, for all that it is an online IT Tabloid is still not only so far above the quality of journalism exhibited by regular “bloggers” that even after all that ranting above I still feel I can’t do it justice. Where I start losing faith in humanity is that El Reg, for all the Paris Hilton and tabloid antics and horribly, horribly biased unmarked editorials is still more trustworthy and accurate than most of the major “mainstream press.”

            What does that say about the “free press?” Does the fact that anyone can write a blog actually mean anything? Or has this phenomenon weakened the only reliable source of information our civilisation has maintained for over a hundred years to the point of worthlessness? If you accept that true honest to god investigative journalism is almost dead, then where do you start pointing the finger of blame? Fox news and Rupert Murdoch and his ilk most assuredly…but Bloggers bear some of it as well.

            Mainstream press isn’t worth saving any more than bloggers are, and vice the versa. What needs saving is the profession of journalism. It needs to become an actual profession…as strictly self-regulated as Engineering or Medicine.

            The medium though, really doesn’t matter.

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


          I can't speak for any blogger other than myself...

          ...but yeah, I want to be an actual journalist. In case you haven't read the comments much sir, I do quite love to write. Everyone is different. aManFromMars likes to craft perfectly obtuse, yet really insightful comments as an exercise in attempting to cause others to think more about pretty much everything. The commenter jake likes to comment even more than I do, but always deeply contrarian; he likes to /argue/. (Or he’s really just one of the biggest downers of all time. I haven’t decided.) The Moderatrix enjoys roaming around taking the piss out of absolutely everyone, but tends to do in a very one-off manner. She likes the short one-liners, humorous, but rarely gets drawn into a real argument about anything.

          I think that one day (a ways off in the future I would bet,) it would be awesome to semi-retire to journalism. Maybe after I pay off my mortgage and don't have to rely on as much income to survive. Do all bloggers have similar dreams? I can’t possibly say. Most likely some of them think they already are journalists, some just want to tell the world about their feelings and thoughts. In this, I find that medium is actually making a difference; Twitter is doing a good job of sucking up those who don’t seem to aspire to serious journalism, but have a need to leave a little bit of themselves on the internet anyways.

          The different between “want to be” a journalist and “a wannabe” is, IMHO, that someone who “wants to be” one recognises they aren’t, and strives to be better. The wannabe thinks he is one…and isn’t. We all love deluding ourselves into thinking we are greater and more important than we really are; perhaps there isn’t one among us who doesn’t fall prey to it.

          So could you tar all bloggers with the same brush as one another? I don’t personally think so; however I still think the idea of _most_ bloggers being “wannabes” might sadly be valid…

          Oh, and I realise that your post was largely in jest…but it caused an interesting pondering nonetheless, and figured it might be worth tossing back in the thread to see what others think.

          1. jake Silver badge


            "Everyone is different. aManFromMars likes to craft perfectly obtuse, yet really insightful comments as an exercise in attempting to cause others to think more about pretty much everything."

            I'm still not convinced amfM (note capitalization) isn't at least partially an AI project ...

            "The commenter jake likes to comment even more than I do, but always deeply contrarian;

            Always? That's a mighty wide brush, pardner.


            "he likes to /argue/."

            Not really. I'm a curmudgeon, I've earned it (time'll do that to a guy, especially in this field). I also like to play Devil's Advocate, hopefully making people think. Tilting at windmills is probably pointless, but it's a hobby.

            "(Or he’s really just one of the biggest downers of all time. I haven’t decided.)"

            Might be your perception. I just tells 'em like I sees 'em. If my variation of reality sends you into a deep blue funk, maybe changing your own reality will make you happier?

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


              I'm from the internet. It'll take more than a contrarian to get me down. I survived 50+ pages of utterly unbelievable trolling in a thread over at Ars, I think I got this covered. (For the record, I was having an absolute ball. I had had a miserable week, and spending a weekend counter-trolling the trolls in between bouts of housework was fabulously cathartic.)

              I make my statement about "always contrarian" with some certainty. El Reg kindly provides me a list of your (unbelievably vast) number of posts, and even context for them. (The threads they were posted in.)

              What I can say is that here, on El Reg, you are pretty damn near 100% contrarian. You are also one of El Reg’s most prolific commenters, behind Sarah Bee and only a very handful of others. As such you are a /fixture/ around here, and it has become fairly easy to predict not only what threads will attract your attention, but the general gist of what it is you are going to say. I should start an office pool; we can guess on relevant threads how many comments from the top you are, with bonus points for content accuracy.

              Your history of commenting here on El Reg reveals someone who will with almost perfect predictability respond “black” to virtually any posted “white.” I get the playing devil’s advocate thing, I honestly do. I have been known to pick arguments arguing sides I don’t necessarily agree with just because the process of /debate/ with a worthy partner is of itself fun.

              And while you have the odd post that is bright or at least not down…in general you spend your time berating others, or pointing out (perceived) flaws. Sometimes you make little humorous quips that are perhaps a little bit geared towards the more depressing end of the humour spectrum. Overall though, you are generally quite down.

              Now, I don’t view this as trolling. You are something else altogether. You don’t seem to make comments in order to inflame people and drive ongoing debate, but seemingly for no reason except to be disagreeable. (Let it never be said though, that you will back away from any argument or debate if someone counters your posts.) I don’t even say it’s a bad thing; it’s your right to be as disagreeable as you want. In fact as a regular fixture around here it would probably be downright unnerving if you were to begin behaving in any other way. It would be like aManFromMars talking like a normal human. Or the Moderatrix posting love poetry. The regular commenttards could probably cope, but it would be pretty damned odd..

              In any event, it’s an observation, not a criticism. We tend to bump heads a fair bit, but from your posting history, I can’t take that as anything personal. It’s just who you are. Or at least…it is who you choose to be online.

            2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


              "I'm still not convinced amfM (note capitalization) isn't at least partially an AI project ..."

              Regardless of capitalisation would it matter if he were an AI? (Side note: truthfully, I almost never get the capitalisation right because I tend to use his real name, not amanfromMars. I stopped thinking of him by his handle a long time ago.) If the AI were aware enough to parse comments on this site and dozens of others across the net, responding coherently and consistently...wouldn't that be cause to treat "it" as you would any other sentient, sapient lifeform?

              If he is an AI, (which I seriously doubt,) he is the most sophisticated program this planet has to offer. Send him an e-mail some time; he responds fairly quickly, in exactly the same style, and makes a lot of sense. (Okay, I don't agree with him all the time, but he's still more coherent than some folks I work with...)

              It’s just a dialect he happens to use online. He succeeds at his goal though; for anyone who takes the time to read his comments, he makes them think…

      3. TimNevins


        Main Entry: jour·nal·ist

        Pronunciation: \-nə-list\

        Function: noun

        Date: 1693

        1 a : a person engaged in journalism; especially : a writer or editor for a news medium

        b : a writer who aims at a mass audience

        2 : a person who keeps a journal

        I'd say a blogger matches that definition

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Journalist?


    2. David Adams
      Jobs Horns

      "Is Steve is implying bloggers aint journos?"

      Of course he is.

      See this:

      "Steve Jobs fears Nation of Bloggers"

      The big media companies fear bloggers.

      Steve can't make money out of bloggers.

      By sidelining bloggers he keeps the media companies sweet and whole new revenue streams may magically open up with paid for content on the "iJustinventedanewdevicebutdon'thavetheimaginationtocomeupwithadecentnameforitsoi'lljustcallitanisomethingorother"

  6. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    From the article: Jobs went on to say that he "thought deeply about this," and decided not to "let it slide" because to do so would be against "our core values."

    So the core values of Apple, (and I would assume by extension Steve Jobs,) are an extreme desire to control the flow of information, (as evidenced by this being such a Big Deal in the first place,) and a complete and utter inability to forgive.

    You know what? Screw the whole what technology is good, or bad, or nerd wars or any of it.

    This guy just doesn't sound like someone I'd like to sit down in a bar and have a beer with. I think his "core values" and mine are damn near diametrically opposed.

    I suppose that would be why he's filthy rich and I'm not. Nice guys finish last, and all that. Sad though. This whole thing is very sad…

    1. The Other Steve
      Jobs Horns

      Apple core

      "So the core values of Apple, (and I would assume by extension Steve Jobs,) are an extreme desire to control the flow of information, (as evidenced by this being such a Big Deal in the first place,) and a complete and utter inability to forgive."

      And some other general control freakery and ass hattery as well, yeah. But you got the first bit wrong. It's the core values of Steve Jobs and by extension those of Apple.

      Though I suspect that that there are many people in Apple who wish Jobs would just fuck off out of the way and stop making them look like dicks all the time by waving his vision about. Same old same old.

  7. Araldite
    Jobs Horns

    Glass Houses and all that

    Interesting comments from one of the original (but not first) phone phreakers. See -

    I wish that guy would remember his roots and not PUSH his will on everyone that likes his products.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    apple said it was not theirs

    You may be falling victim of the Steve Jobs reality distortion field if you so lightly pass over the known fact that Apple was contacted early on and their official opinion was that the device was a chinese knock-off of on interest to them. The police were also contacted and took no action

    Maybe Hogan should then have called the various chinese knock-off producers and offer to return it to them. That would have been consistent with Apple's official advice.

    He did Apple a HUGE favor in not doing so, and should be amply rewarded for them for his later actions which resulted in the device being offered for return to Apple despite Apple having denied ownership and provenance.

    (If I ever find an Apple branded bit of kit in the street, I'll know better than to contact Apple or the police. In future, fan bois, if you lose it, you've lost it; and thank Jobs for that).

  9. DP 1

    Who should play Steve Jobs?

    Sir Ben Kingsley. A good actor who can ham it up when necessary (don't believe me? Go watch Thunderbirds).

    Sir Ben at his hammiest would be a great Stevie J.

  10. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    There is going to be a lot of nonsense spouted about this... I suggest that everyone gets a basic principle clear in their mind.

    The offence of theft involves taking somebody's property with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.

    It is therefore hard to see Jason Chen being successfully charged with theft - he seems to have advertised that he had it, and was willing to return the item in question.

    It is easier to see Brian Hogan charged with theft - he seems not to have been willing to return the item, and, indeed, did not. He sold it on to a third party. There should be some consideration of whether the initial refusal of Apple to accept the phone lets him off the hook. If it does not, then a charge could well be laid.

    If Brian Hogan is successfully charged with theft, then Jason Chen's position is an interesting one. We have seen that he cannot be charged with theft, but there would seem to be a strong case to answer that he might be guilty of handling stolen goods.

    I look forward to some interesting legal shennaingans, refers....

    Beer because that is the best companion to complicated arguments. It makes them seem so simple....

    1. Dave Bell

      Different laws for different places

      I think you're essentially correct about UK law.

      This didn't happen in the UK.

      (Similarly, the argument over who might be a journalist is rather more important in the USA than it might be here.)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Larry David should play him

    Of course he would have to have a lobotomy first, he's got far too much wit and personality.*

    *Real wit and personality that is, as opposed to emperor's new clothes wit and personality that only the sycophants can detect.

  12. Jacob Lipman

    Jobs should be played by...

    Steve Buscemi.

    Just for the smile.

    Also, which is it?

    "I can (sic) do that," he said. "I'd rather quit."


    "I can't do that," he said. "I'd rather quit."


  13. adrian lynch

    Hugh Laurie

    He's gaunt and looks good in black. Also they both (Hugh and Steve) have Stephen Fry in common as butler/fanboi. I accept I may be stretching this a bit.

  14. John Edwards


    I'd hand it in at the local nick, (some sort of computer thingy). If it was unclaimed after 90 days, in the UK it would be mine. Or I'd just chuck it in the bin and deny all knowledge. Or, stick it behind the bar but decline to part with it without proof that the claimant was the rightful owner. Or 'phone Apple's published number and get a call number from the hell desk Do that and never hear any more about it. Or, dick around with it myself and write an article about it for PC World's house magazine while waiting for Apple to come and collect it. Even then I would make the claimant pay for a registered letter as I would be sending it to Apple's head office. Can't be too careful.

    BOFH, grow some pimples, I need an assistant.

    John Edwards

  15. The Other Steve

    Who should play jobs ?

    Well Jobs of course, no one else is even remotely up to the task. Failing that, Christopher Walken does a good squeaky voiced sociopath.

  16. mky

    I'd suggest

    Dennis Hopper to play the role of Jobs, to bad he just died.

  17. Carl Pearson

    Steve Jobs Cannot Be Played

    There is only one choice: Chuck Norris!

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