back to article Steve Jobs chops student hack down to size

Steve Jobs may not be a ninja, but when an over-enthusiastic journalism student had the temerity to email him to complain about Apple's less than helpful press office last week, he quickly chopped her down to size. The Guardian splendidly reports that Chelsea Isaacs, a journalism student at Long Island University was tasked …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Sure glad.

    Sure glad I don't spend my money with this arrogant company.

    And it is their arrogance that keeps me from purchasing their products. I would actually like a Mac but I refuse to pay to be abused by a company.

    Anonymous because I don't want the fanbois descending on me like locust.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Sure glad.

      Get a refurbished second-hand one then. That's how you circumvent!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Eh no.... not really...

        Then you're just supporting a second hand market in their kit which keeps the resale values high and encourages more people to buy the God-forsaken stuff in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh no.... not really...

          Or maybe you're supporting the idea that it's sometimes better to buy second-hand and create a market that more efficiently reuses old equipment instead of just throwing it away in landfill to buy more new shit over and over again. It's recycling in its purest form :p

      2. Anonymous Coward


        This is exactly the approach I've taken, for getting an OS X box to do test porting work on.

    2. webster phreaky ate my iphone

      Descends ....

      ... like a locust.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "I would actually like a Mac but I refuse to pay to be abused by a company."

      Errmmm, you're paying for the Mac...

      I bought a Mac and, so far, no-one from Apple has abused me. Should I complain to trading standards?

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


        I bought a mac and went to the local park, believe me I got more than my fair share of abuse!

        Some people just appreciate the male human form in all it's beauty!!!

    4. The Other Steve

      It's true

      "I would actually like a Mac but I refuse to pay to be abused by a company."

      If you pay money for a Mac, Steve Jobs sends flying monkeys to flash mob bukakke you.

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Jobs Halo

        phow! eeww!

        Wow! These Macs actually sound quite hot if its true you get abused why you buy one! Cor! Do you have to type in a safe word though if Steve starts pushing past your limits?

        So maybe there is added value in Apple gear after-all! Sign me up as a new slave to the cult please!

      2. jnewco81
        Thumb Up

        The Other Steve

        "If you pay money for a Mac, Steve Jobs sends flying monkeys to flash mob bukakke you."

        Well done, that's the funniest thing i've read for ages

    5. Doshu

      Forget the fanbois

      I don't like apple's practices and attitude -- on that i believe we agree. That being said, i like some of their products (ipod and ipad, for example) and to me there's no greater (additional) satisfaction than to bypass apple's anal (and imaginary) control in order to bend them to my will.

      That and, hey, they're cool gadgets.

    6. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Wowie, what an adult reaction

      Let me present an option to you. It may shock you to know that you don't actually have to decide on a /company/. You can also decide if a *device* is actually going to be of any use to you, and guess what? With a bit of effort all of this stuff actually occasionally works together (which you can also select on, whooo!).

      Personally, I don't care a flying whit about Jobs, Gates, thingie, err, hang on, ah Ballmer, Linus Torvalds - sorry. I have a job to do, and whatever tool helps me best is what I will buy. I have used Windows and Linux for years, but OSX beats the crap out of that at the moment because it just works. Simple. I have an iPhone, but I'll also have a Blackberry because it's easier to secure - think of the iPhone as an iPod touch which can do more.

      I don't do cult/fashion buying (I prefer the Groucho Marx approach to club membership), I don't buy a version 1 of anything and I don't pay attention to the top people other than when they get in my way. The most stupid thing you can ever do is denying yourself the use of products that help you do your work better or more efficient because you don't like the guy at the top (the reverse is stupid as well - don't buy a product just because you like the sales guy or associated cult).


      1. Anonymous Coward

        Damn Damn Damn...

        You owe me a keyboard and a coffee...

        OSX just works? OSX is a steaming pile of donkey shit. The only decent feature in OSX is bootcamp, so that I can put Windows 7 on it. Seriously, their kit is the dogs bollox, the build quality and the shinyness... but OSX blows chunks. And on that note, when Snow Leopard was first released it was Apples Vista, but no-one noticed... The have improved it but all they are doing is polishing a turd.

        Sheesh, I dunno "it just works"...

        P.S. For the record, I own several iPhones, a MacBook Pro, an iPad and several iPods of varying ages... Some would call me a fanboi...

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @"OSX Just Works"

          One of the reasons that Apple generate such polemic is because in a limited sense their gear does "just work". But, they are never as fully featured as other gear. One of the ways they generate simple user interfaces is by stripping things out. They are actually very aggressive at this, often preventing third party developers adding it back in. Let me show you some examples:

          1st gen iphone. Didn't support MMS or Copy and Paste.

          iOS: No desktop widgets, even from third party suppliers.

          iOS: No proper multi-tasking.

          I could go on, but this short list makes my point. If you don't mind the shortcomings, they can often be great devices. But if you want the features that Apple refuse to provide, you have to look elsewhere. From my personal perspective for example: I won't have an iPod because I'm an audiophile and the quality is too low. Most people don't mind because they listen on the train or similar with lots of background noise, or just aren't audiophiles. I played around with a few generations of iPhones, and can't use the on-screen keyboard. My fingers are like pig's tits and it just doesn't work. I've got a Motorola Droid now because it has a physical keyboard. I can use the physical keyboard, but the onscreen one is virtually unusable for me. If you can use the keyboard on an iPhone, then aside from the slowness of AT&T in the US, they can be good devices.

          Finally, Mac OSX can be great if you can live with its shortcomings. If not, it is a disaster.

  2. Ty Cobb

    Might I suggest another angle on her project?

    Mahaps the lady should check with professor regarding the topic of her article.

    I personally would make it a point to write a piece about the poor to non-existent levels of helpfulness of the Mac beast in the politest of terms myself. Arrogance at the top does not bode well for any company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Might I suggest another angle on her project?

      Slight snag... the PR department of Apple has been like this for over a decade. Apple routinely ignores, or rather is 'unavailable for comment', requests from professional publications as a matter, of course - which is mentioned in the article.

      Jobs' dislike of journalists is well known, as is the way Apple's PR dept. handles enquiries - my main feeling is that the student should have done a bit more research rather than assuming that Apple is just a snuggly-wuggly teddy bear of a company,

      1. Ty Cobb

        First reaction

        My first reaction is the lass could have asked a little more nicely, her comments were likely to bite her in the rear regardless of who read them. More flies with honey and all that.

        I also think she could have easily found descriptive information at multiple websites (correctly cited of course), handled the damn thing herself (the iPad that is), and maybe even spoke with one of the local Mac Geniuses that are supposedly salespersons. Although an official quote or response from a corporate drone would have looked nice in her article.

        BTW - Lenovo 9211 running 'Buntu, Mistress Sarah

    2. Ainteenbooty

      Wrong Major

      She's apparently too lazy to make a good journalist if her plan is to just simply fail the assignment if Apple's PR department doesn't do it for her.

      I do feel that Job's needs his public interface screened for the company's protection, but this girl's story failed to illicit my sympathy.

      1. nichomach

        True enough, and voted up accordingly, but

        ELICIT, damn it, ELICIT. Illicit means unlawful or immoral/unethical.

      2. Wombat

        It's "elicit" your sympathy ...

        .... otherwise your post is illicit.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    what a wan.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      that is all

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If every request to a company's PR department was responded to then the company would fairly soon be doing nothing else. I note that this is a journalism student who clearly missed the section on research and using multiple sources such as previous Apple Press releases. It certainly does not seem to be news that Apple will not help an undergrad student complete their course work, or is this modern journalism get somebody to create the original story ie Apple and then copy it over the whole web. Hang on that's called blogging....

    1. Bear Features


      I got a reply and oodles of material from every company I ever wrote to about such things.

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      PR departments. Answering journalist is what they do.

      >If every request to a company's PR department was responded to then the company would fairly soon be doing nothing else.

      The PR department's job is to answer requests, ESPECIALLY from journalists. Well, not in Apple's case obviously. But in every other company in the world that's what they do. Now if the Big Man Himself in could take the time to answer 3 times from His Shiny iPhone of Power, maybe some lowly PR drone could have spent 3 minutes gathering some material and let the girl dig through it. Mind you, more like 10 seconds as they probably already have canned answers for most cases, because that's the very first thing a PR department would do when coming in existence: prepare canned answers. Even before they get an internet connection.

      1. The Other Steve

        Er no

        "The PR department's job is to answer requests"

        The PR department's job is to do PR.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          they're outsourced.

        2. pablo011

          @The Other Steve

          ""The PR department's job is to answer requests"

          The PR department's job is to do PR"

          What do you think PR stands for???

          Thats correct, PUBLIC RELATIONS!

          (and correct again... including via journalism)

          1. The Other Steve

            Quaff the decaff

            "What do you think PR stands for???

            Thats correct, PUBLIC RELATIONS!"

            Well cheers for clearing that up for me pablo old chap, I thought it stood for "PENIS REPUBLICAN".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        For proper journalists

        But not for wannabe training journalists who want some one else to get their grades for them

    3. James Hughes 1

      I agree

      She really should be capable of doing the research herself. Perhaps a symptom of the current internet essay culture - "why should I write something when you can do it for me?"

      On the other hand, Jobs could have simply replied in a more pleasant manner saying much the same thing. e.g. "Whilst I appreciate your contacting us regarding this mattter, I believe you should find all the information that you require to complete your assignment in the public domain. As i am sure you are aware, researching in this way is an important part of the journalist students learning process, and I would not want to short cut this process for you"

      Or is that over 128 characters or something? Perhaps modern students are incapable of digesting a sentence that long.

      On the other other hand, at least she now has something to write about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        on the other, other hand

        You have a lot of hands

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Perhaps he should have said

          "on the gripping hand"?

      2. Sean Baggaley 1

        You expect the CEO of a major corporation...

        ... to type all that on a fucking *phone*?

        (Did you even bother to read the original article? It explicitly mentions the "From my iPhone" signature on Jobs' reply.)

        Even "Piss off and stop wasting my valuable time" would have been a far more polite and erudite response than I'd have bothered to give.

        Here's a hint: You don't get to be treated with respect until you've earned that respect. It's not freely given.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Err no

      Just publishing press releases parrot fashion is not journalism although more and more writers think it is (obviously excluding El reg from that)

    5. Nanki Poo

      Original research. . .

      I have to say that when I did my final dissertation in business and marketing, I was encouraged to contact original sources, not just photocopy articles and print the web. It's part of the 'investigative' part of it! Albeit it was 12 years ago, I'd imagine there is more pressure now NOT to just to the web for old press releases.

      I had many responses to my requests, including national bank and insurance companies' staff who gave me half an hour on the phone, a financial services company who gave me a three hour meeting with one of their directors and also a whole afternoon with the assistant Ed of an understaffed national publication. <shrugz> Maybe my subject was just suitably sexy (Hard Cash or Soft Philosophy - The Pink Pound in the Financial Services Sector).

      Regurgitating multiple sources is one thing, but there's nothing quite like the initiative of gathering your own original source straight from the horses mouth.

      now that's initiative!!


    6. Daniel B.


      ... is everything about going to the source, not just plagiarizing some second-hand article from Engadget, which ripped off some CNET article, which ripped it off from the BBC and such. The student actually did what every journalist should do: go to the source. Most PR departments will have some kind of answer, even if it's a canned statement. Hell, *I* was able to get McDonalds' PR department to answer one of my inquiries.

      A company that can't be arsed to answer is a company that will treat their customers in the same manner. Apple has somehow managed to keep on looking "cool" despite having this rude attitude towards inquiries.

    7. Little Brother

      Got it in one

      Jobs is to be congratulated for providing such a vital lesson to this journalism student, and free of charge as well. The lesson? Do your research in plenty of time and don't blame others when you miss your deadlines through lack of planning, effort or imagination. Jeez. Why doesn't she just do like every other gutter journalist out there? If you can't get the information, make something up :-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least he didn't ....

    ... ban her from ever using Apple products for life - unlike the student who's got a life ban from visitng the US for sending an offensive email to Obama

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: iHate

      Don't you know by now? We're for and against everyone. Why would we have one single agenda shared by all? We're autonomous individuals, you know.


      I bet you'd like to know what I'm typing this on. As if it matters one single jot of an iota. You know most 'sane' people - those who don't work in IT - don't give a rat's ass who made their gear so long as it works, and they can be reasonably assured that it wasn't built from the shattered dreams of orphans.

      1. Richard 120


        Who actually writes "Tsk." and more to the point what does it actually mean?

        Incidentally I heard to make the new iPad it takes an average of 4 orphans to produce the shattered dreams and 12 angels tears to distill the magic they put into the device.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Tsk?

          I write 'tsk', as you can plainly see. Tsk. It's an expression of exasperation or mild admonishment, much as 'pfft' is an expression of dismissal or incredulity or nonplussedness.

          I know you could have figured that out if you wanted to.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Put the thesaurus down...and slowly back away....


            Shirley, you jest!

          2. I didn't do IT.

            Re: Sarah Re Tsk?

            Sarah, that would have required "research", and well... that's the whole point of the story, innit?

          3. Richard 120


            I only have this to say on the matter.


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Jobs Horns

        You're typing that

        using a magnetised needle, an openned hard drive and a very steady hand.

        Anything less and you'll incur the wrath of the god-that's-so-n00bish commentards...

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. The Other Steve


      "I would appreciate it if we knew that the Reg was for or against Apple?!?"

      Or neither ? You know you don't actually /have/ to spend your life writing lists of things you hate ?

      1. Lionel Baden

        WHAT THE FUCK !!!

        "Or neither ? You know you don't actually /have/ to spend your life writing lists of things you hate ?"

        You could of F'ing told me before i wrote over 7000 Pages !!!!!

        Fuck a bucket !!!

        wait no i hate buckets page 4213

    3. LinkOfHyrule

      Foxconn also make your...

      Foxconn also as far as I am led to beleive, make your Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, DS, PSP, Laptop, Sat Nav, Mobile phone, remote controls, Desktop PC and probably your sandwich toaster and who knows, your cuddly toy! (awww)

      No doubt you've brought loads of Foxconn stuff since the bodies started dropping so I wouldn't use that against Apple.

    4. Seanie Ryan

      decisions.. @ David MacMahon

      you made your decision not to buy based on that is written in the Press????? Come on !!

      as for apples PR department, its been said that its their "job" to reply to queries.

      Surely, thats up to the company itself to decide how they run their own business and allocate resources??

      I know I would assign X tasks and if they are already outputting Releases and all the info you can find yourself, then I would not be putting more manpower into that section, I would instead put the money into creating better products and improving support ( i'm looking at you M$)

  7. Code Monkey

    I'm no Jobs fan...

    ... but boo fucking hoo, student lady.

    "Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade." a cracker from His Infernal Majesty

    I'm still never buying another iPod though

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "I'm still never buying another iPod though"

      Neither am I, unless something untoward happens to the perfectly good one I already have.

  8. Bear Features

    chortle chortle

    Oh he's so great. How wonderful and smart he is.


    Genius my bum.

  9. John 62
    Jobs Halo

    the royal

    1st person plural: "we are not amused"

    I also want to go on the record to say that I do not condone any comments about "leave us alone" having anything to do with multiple personalities.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PR , customer services, etc

    Apple aren't alone in this respect, and can hardly be singled out.

    Last time I tried to contact HP it took several weeks to get a response from their customer services and lets not even mention Dell (took about 3 months to get a vaguely sentinant response).

  11. FDV
    Jobs Horns

    Once upon a time...

    "When he was in eighth grade, Steve Jobs decided to build a frequency counter for a school project and needed parts. Someone suggested that he call Bill Hewlett. Finding a William Hewlett in the telephone book, the 12-year-old Jobs called and asked, "Is this the Bill Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard?" "Yes," said Bill. Jobs made his request. Bill spent some time talking to him about his project. Several days later, Jobs went to HP and picked up a bag full of parts that Bill had put together for him. "

    Quoted from

    Wonder what Jobs would have done had Hewlett told him to 'leave him alone'?

    1. JamesR87

      Thank You.

      This is the comment I needed to read and very much should be part of the article.

      It saddens me to know that mankind is so easily able to forget the kindness of others just because they're now arbitrarily important.

    2. peyton?
      Jobs Horns

      But it's not completely the same

      Rather than a shared interest in nerdery, she's just wining that she needs help on her homework. Gotta side with Jobs on this one. I mean, she could have at least left the 'poor me and my grade' bit out - it was tangential to the problem of the PR department not responding.

      Actually... come to think of it, maybe it was not tangential to her needs. After a modicum of research on Jobs, she realized he's a bit of a jerk, and decided to throw out some bait to get a story with a more interesting angle.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Newton said something like

      "If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants"

      The ancient greeks have two good words for this situation "hubris" and "nemesis". I wonder if an entertianing tragedy will follow?

    4. DZ-Jay

      Re: Once upon a time...

      There's a big difference here. Steve Jobs' charisma and knack for persuasion are legendary, even from an early age.

      Ms. Isaac's requests obviously did not impress either Jobs or Apple's PR department.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Maybe you like living inside the reality distortion field; personally I prefer an accurate and sober analysis of what is an is not possible.

        Such an analysis would probably include the statement:

        "It is not possible for Steve Jobs to be polite as he has his head stuffed so far up his fundament he wears his ass for a hat".

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Way to spin an article. How about *publishing* the mails. like every other publication? Have you employed or been taking lessons from Alistair Campbell, or have you been bought by News Corp?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Academia abandoned

    In primary school in the late 80s we wrote newsletters on Clarisworks on a Mac Classic. In secondary school in the mid 90s we used similar Mac Classics to learn IT basics, again using Clarisworks.

    These started my fondness for Macs.

    In unversity, a project that built upon a C based interpreter that could be built on a PowerPC unix system prompted me to buy an OSX Mac Mini. I then picked up a cheap G3, an LC475 (free with a decent cheap monitor) and a Classic for the fun of it.

    My learning experiences and studies brought me into contact with Macs, the same for others, otherwise they would be as obscure as Acorns and Amigas are now.

    However, now I feel that Apple have left this academia support behind and became a "trendy" marque, much like Audi which was once the quirky German alternative to Saab and Citroen, and now is bought by sheep (and in my experience is now less likely to be seen in a lecturers car park, amongst the other two examples).

    What happens when the trendies move on to the next big thing?

    Mid 90s all over again without the education market?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      When the support of the trendies end...ies

      Apple will be left with a meh-worthy reputation in the technical arena and will go downhill rapidly. You can almost see this with the iPhone 4- it adds very little over the 3GS, so fewer people will buy them. They'll get old and dog-eared and when they get replaced it'll be with the newest cool thing.

      Then Apple will fade into obscurity again- like Microsoft is starting to do, but without the benefit of a trillion dollars of infrastructure, a wide range of good (not particularly excellent, but "good" nonetheless) products and a billion and one familiar users- and be bought only by men in berets and turtlenecks as an ironic purchase or by wannabe rappers because it's shiny.

      The fall is slowly underway now anyway- even the Simpsons have taken the piss out of them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      "However, now I feel that Apple have left this academia support behind and became a "trendy" marque"

      Apple has /always/ been a "trendy marque", from the 1984 "Big Brother" advert, through the "snow white" design standard, through Seinfeld product placement to Sex in the City product placement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Jobs Horns


        True, Apple have traditionally been trendy, but I remember the mid 90s, pre iMac, Jobs was a NeXTer, Apple was a niche manufacturer for DTP machines on the brink of closure (despite Jeff Goldblum uploading an animated gif from a Powerbook to an incompatible, millions of years advanced alien spacecraft system, at the time when Macs and "PC"s could barely communicate).

        The translucent iMac and iBook saved the company and had the buying public embracing them again.

        The perceived abilities of the Mac for Graphic Design and DJing help it's street cred, although Windows 7 and a couple of Linux distros have caught up.

        Recently some of their PR decisions have really alienated their customers, they need to realise that you can't sit on a cash nest indefinitely laughing and showing contempt to the people who are feathering it.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Computer Weekly or Computing

          I still remember the comments section on the back of Computing or Computer Weekly when Independence Day came out. I think the headline was "They've finally found a computer a Powerbook can talk to"....

        2. The Other Steve

          There isn't enough sigh in the universe

          "Recently some of their PR decisions have really alienated their customers,"

          And of course that would be why Apple came top of the ACSI PC industry survey. Again. Clearly Apple have alienated a lot of people, but I don't think it's their actual customers.

  13. M Gale

    "No Comment"

    Those two words alone can be made to sound like anything you like. Just be creative with what Apple are not commenting on.

    Sly, vindictive? Absolutely. Deal with it.

    Sent from my HP Pavilion.

  14. Test Man

    No sympathy

    It's not Apple's responsibility to help out an undergraduate with her work. That's her job, so if she's on a deadline with nothing done, then she clearly doesn't know how to do her essay properly. If she was smart, she wouldn't rely on one source to be able to complete her work.

  15. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    Useless student

    I see media students are being trained in all the latest PR techniques, such as purely relying on a company's press releases to write a story.

    If I was her lecturer, I'd fail her for relying 100% on Apple's PR department to provide the information she needs for her project. A single source is never going to be good enough.

    As arrogant as Apple can be, I can fully agree with them here; their PR department probably has actual *work* to do, beyond helping students with their projects.

    It's amazing how many student requests PR departments get, especially if a whole class has been given the same project. And they tend to ask incredibly open-ended questions (eg. Please describe the marketing activities of your company...) which essentially mean they want you to write their essays for them.

    Sorry students, FAIL.

    1. Baba

      No fail for this one

      Actually, she did rather well by becoming the news. Me thinks she'll go far

      1. No, I will not fix your computer
        Paris Hilton

        Re: No fail for this one

        Unless you can build a solid body of work you will never be a journalist, reputation is important, and building reputation by telling a CEO that he is obliged to do your homework might give you 15 mins of fame but that's not reputation, that is notoriety, in the same way Paris Hilton might be more well known than Stephen Hawkins (and, some might say contributes more to society, whether that contribution is positive or not is a different matter).

        She gets a big fat fail from me because faced with a knock back from one research source she bleats about it, blames Apple for her inability to pursure other research methods and while she should be spending her time working she chooses to take a course of action that takes up her time and adds nothing to her work.

        Personally I found Jobs funny, any direct engagement from the man himself is gold (even if it's, on the face of it a turd), and what you do with that engagement is the measure of journalistic abilities. What is a pity is that (some) people will remember her but not even know the name Barkha Dutt, but I suppose that's the disposable nature of our fast-food culture, the Paris icon, just because.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    I laughed

    I actually thought this was quite funny, and typically American brash.

    A more subtle british approach would be to tell her to "please visit our extensive library of press archives, where you will find the information you require".

    This response would not be the coupe de gras of the SJ response, but certainly instill in her the will to curl and up die - or at least never to call the PR department again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      A more British response would be to ignore all emails, reply to the occasional postal mail, and have some inexperienced call centre employee answer the phone who does not know.

    2. Rafael 1
      Jobs Halo

      Lazy students

      Once, while working in a local college, I had to deal with complains from a student (administration major) that the librarian "wasn't helping at all with her research".

      Following rules, I've asked the librarian about the problem. The librarian told me that the student went to her office asking "what's the difference between culture and civilization". The librarian told the student to search in the encyclopaedia, and five minutes later the student was back complaining that there were entries for culture and for civilization, but not an entry for "difference between culture and civilization".

      No sympathy for that student.

    3. Havin_it

      coupe de gras?

      Cup of fat? Really?

      ...Well yeah, maybe that works, actually.

  17. James 5

    If ...

    you have a really, really good product that performs exactly as required, is fully intuitive, never ever falls over (i.e. 100% operational - no failures, errors or any of that boring stuff) then you have no need of a large PR department or Support come to that.

    But I guess what Steve Jobs was trying to say is "You're too stupid to be playing with my perfect little iPad" or perhaps "if you need to ask how to work it you shouldn't be using it!"

  18. P.Nutt

    There's your problem!!!

    "Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile" Is it any wonder Jobs told her where to stick her report!

  19. SlabMan


    Maybe he's not a Chelsea supporter

  20. Tom 38

    I'm with David McMahon

    I also would not buy a deceased Foxxconn employee - not after the last one, it wasn't even fresh, battery life was awful and it wouldn't synch with my PC.

    I'll get me coat..

  21. Keith 21

    Lazy wannabe "journo" cries because Jobs won't write her essay.

    There, that neatly encapsulates the entire issue.

    Lazy, whiney, wannabe "journo" is too lazy and/or too stupid to do her own research (then again, what "journo" these days bothers with research anyway? I mean, have you SEEN the bullshit in the papers?!) demands Apple's PR department write her essay for her then, with when they decline to acquiesce to her request, she demands Jobs makes them write it for her, and then she bitches and moans when he doesn't.

    Hey, guess way, lazy-student - try EARNING your grades, try doing the work YOURSELF, rather than hoping to score big points by regurgitating PR department output for once...

    1. DrXym

      Responsible journalism?

      You call her "lazy" for trying to contact the press relations department. I'd call her conducting due diligence. Crazy as it may sound, it is good form to contact the entity and request comment before hammering out a story. I wish more blogs & journos did it.

      Anyway, at least now she can make lemonade from lemons. Steve Jobs basically and undeservedly told her to piss off. If you can't write a story about that then you don't deserve a passing grade.

      1. Keith 21
        Thumb Down

        No, she was lazy, pure and simple.


        Because Apple PR was the ONLY source she ewas using to get her information.

        And that is sheer laziness.

        "Apple PR, I need to write an assignment, here's the information I need you to supply".

        "Apple PR, you didn'ty answer me, I need this or I'll fail my module"

        "Steve Jobs, I need the information by Moinday or I'll fail and your PR won't talk to me"

        That's not "due dilligence", that's unmitigated laziness.

        Had she been doing her assignment properly, the fact that ApplePR didn't give her the information she demanded (and looking at her extremely verbose opening email, I don't blame them - she waffles, she goes all over the place, she bores the reader to death; whatever happened to a clear and concise request for the specific details she was seeking? Had she done so, I bet they'd have given her a reasonable answer) woudl have made no real difference, she woudl have the information she sought via her other research efforts.

        But no.

        The lazy whining student demanded ApplePR effectivly write her assignment, then she bleated to Jobs when they didn't, then she gets stroppy when the Apple CEO doesn't write her assignment for her.

        Lazy, lazy, lazy.

        Nothing more.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Granted you're right....

        However, she appears to have simply called just Apple and then done nothing else! She could have contacted an Apple store or spoken with a reseller to see how things work. Contacted BestBuy/PC World or whoever and ask for their angle on how the PR machine at Apple works.

        Nope, easier to simply fire off an email and wait for the work to come back in a neat, easy to copy form. Sick and tired of putting up with people who think the world owes them one. This is a fine example of someone, granted in a very poor and rude way, pulling a lazy bastard up for being just that, a stupid, self-centered, whiny, lazy bastard!

    2. Wyrdness

      On the other hand...

      This could actually help her to find employment with certain publications. The Inquirer may well have a vacancy for a sloppy third-rate journalist who hates Apple. She'd be sure to fit right in there.

  22. Velv

    She should FAIL her course

    Doesn't she know the first rule of journalistic sourcing: Wikipedia

    It is the font of all knowledge, both good and true. I'm sure she'd got an A+ if she'd gone to the right place.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Bonus points...

      ...if she goes to Wikipedia and then quotes one of its references as her source. Especially if it's a broken link.

    2. Joe 35
      Thumb Up

      "Doesn't she know the first rule of journalistic sourcing: Wikipedia"

      Indeed, as it has the useful side benefit that if there isn't an article there, you can always write it yourself and then quote it. Though in this case the lazy would-be journo would it seems be unlikely to be arsed to do that.

  23. Bill Fresher
    Thumb Up

    I'm with Steve

    I can sympathise with his response.

    I keep getting emails from iTunes Germany which I've found it impossible to unsubscribe from. No one at Apple replied to my requests to be removed from their mailing list so I sent Steve an email in which I wrote "Please leave me alone". I completely understand how annoying it can be to get emails you don't want.

  24. JaitcH

    Arrogance of Apple encapsulated and personified in an ignorant pig

    Jobs idea of Customer Care is nothing. It personifies Apples attitude towards it's customers. F You!

    Whether iPhans agree or not (please use the red box below) he told them to F Off when it came to fixing the Lemon 4 - he lied and never did fix all the problems.

    Jobs could care less as long as the cash keeps on coming in. The Japanese called his bluff and he blinked. They got his number right on. There's a word for this - fraud.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ha ha!

      I see what you did there...Lemon not Apple! Razor sharp wit, stand aside Oscar Wilde.

      How about you run even a small 100 employee company selling a useful product and see how many toss-pots you have to deal with on a daily basis? I think Steve Jobs is a first class asshat, but after three emails from some twat trying to get their work done for them, I think I would have lost my rag and told them where to get off too!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    She will probably go far now having managed to annoy a well known CEO into responding.

    If she had been less demanding and more polite she could have claimed the moral high ground over a typically rude Mr Jobs. As it is i agree with all those on here who fail her for asking other people to do their work for them. I thought the assignment was to review an iPad app, so any comment from Apple's PR should have been a nice addition to add to the rest of her research certainly not the core of it.

  26. AndrueC Silver badge

    This is a terrible story

    I've had to upvote several posters who are supporting Mr. Jobs.

    Can we get back to stories where Apple and/or Mr. Jobs are at fault? They reassure me that all's right with the world.

  27. Doug Glass

    What a Turd

    Obviously The Sacred J is interested only in getting what money she might have out of her pocket and into his. What a common turd! Not a way to win friends and influence people in my opinion and just pushes me further from the Apple store. Unless she's his next liver donor he has no use for her.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    not suprised

    just have to look at how he runs the company to see he is a complete dick. seeing as this is on el reg and prolly other sites too i think she may end up with a better grade than she first feared?

  29. Smudge@mcr

    The first rule

    In journalism the first rule is "There is no such thing as bad publicity"

    She'll get a job offer out of this, and then we can all forget her.

    The system works (for some)

  30. kain preacher

    to the folks bashing her

    There are a few facts missing. Did she choose this topic or was it assigned to her? When starting out as journalist you don't always get pick what you want to report on. Was she required to contact apple directly and get info from them? Yes the professor could do some thing silly like that. You know make her get a first hand information rather than just searching the net. It's crazy thing that editors like to have from their reporters . You know having them have first hand sources instead of just taking stuff off a companies website . But I could be wrong .

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      Re: to the folks bashing her

      >>You know having them have first hand sources instead of just taking stuff off a companies website . But I could be wrong .

      Well, either she was asking for simple material which could well be duplicates of the website, and these days web tends to be more up to date and accurate than PR guff, i.e. the website is usually more "first hand", or she was asking (and evidently in a very demanding way) for lots of time and engagement, this would never be forthcoming unless she did it in a tactful, polite manner, I found Apple UK helpful when I was doing a paper on pervasive computing, specifically Kindle vs Stanza (OK, I only got 63%, but that wasn't Apples fault).

  31. Hnelson
    Big Brother

    The messiah had spoken- via iphone

    I quit buying apple after they kicked Wozniak to the curb. At that time, Apple was the hacker's choice. But as things go, locking the OS and being idiots didn't help. If jobs was smart, he should have sent the request to a lower level flying monkey to handle it. I guess you have to work hard at being a class A jackass.

    I'm throwing down the big brother card because that's what "Mr. Anti-establishment" turned into.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Does she not yet know...

    ...that if you want someone else to write your homework for you, you have to go to Yahoo! Answers?

    That's what all the other whiney schoolkids do anyway.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As it's supposed to be a journalism course ...

    maybe the goal wasn't to write an article about some iCrap but to see if any of the students could actually get a response of any description from anyone inside Apple. About anything.

    That sounds like a more challenging project for an aspiring journalist. I suspect this counts as a pass.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So then, Chelsea Isaacs's future in journalism is assured

    She made the news. She is the news. I think she'll do well.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      Tell that to Paul Chambers

      Fame is different to reputation!

  35. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Chief execs are busy people.

    Christ, some companies have really poor support and call centre staff who can take anything up to 20 minutes to pick up the phone and she moans when an email to the CEO doesn't produce the results? She is lucky to get a reply at all. He could have ignored or deleted it.

  36. Ruud Noorhoff 1


    I know it's hip and trendy to call Apple (and Jobs) arrogant, but let's not forget that journalists have been a lot more arrogant for a longer time. They are evidently also a lot stupider.

    And this was just a student too.

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Nobody asked for an essay to be written

    @Keith 21, don't be such a raging fanboi. She didn't demand Apple PR or Jobs write her essay for her, she asked for answers to 3 questions. It does seem reasonable to be able to get some kind of answer within a week to a few questions, even if the answer was "no comment". Of course she should have been prepared for not getting answers from Apple.

  38. Fuh Quit
    Jobs Horns

    Her skills, if this is true, are irrelevant

    The PR department should've given her the Vulture, sorry, bird.

    I've not checked all the dropdowns at - is this one of them? ;-)

    Oh and is it really :-)

  39. LaeMing
    Jobs Halo

    as the internets says:


  40. Michael Radenheimer

    So goes the Mac

    Not a fan of Apple, its overly brutal control of aps, and they price they charge for their toys.

    but we do have Apple to thank for many things. Heck, thanks to iTunes you can pay .99 for every television show want to watch on your portable device. That's brilliant!

    no, not really relavant to the story - but i can't resist a good stab at overpriced underpowered gadgets.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bollox to Jobs

    Android will make iOS a little used piece of proprietary nonsense.

    1. Maliciously Crafted Packet

      Android is overrated...

      and has peaked. Windows phone 7 will be taking market share from you guys soon enough. iOS will remain largely untouched.

      As for the student hack. Apple have bigger fish to fry. Still... it could have been worse if Apple had Malcolm Tucker working in their PR dept.


    2. Alex Rose


      As an Android user my heart sank and I died a little inside when I read this comment.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad approach, bad response

    The kid should have approached her project from a different angle when Apple refused to respond. There are plenty of information sources. That would be what journalists do when they can't get it from the horse's mouth, isn't it?

    That said both the PR department and Jobs himself were rude to her. The purpose of a PR department is to talk to journalists. The least they could do is send out a form letter. And 'please leave us alone"? Come on. I don't care who it's coming from, that's just rude. Not to mention terrible customer service. Had he handled this like a real businessman (which he ceased to be long ago in my opinon) would handle a complaint about their company we wouldn't have an article to read about it. Then again Jobs has never been known for his ettiquette, so I suppose it should be expected.

  43. Silent but Deadly

    I don't own any Apple products...

    so therefore I'm not biased. Steve was just showing her how a real hand model does it.

    Except he specialises in the middle finger.

    1. Dan Wilkinson

      Not biased? You sure?

      Just because you don't own any doesn't mean you are not biased. It might mean you are not biased towards a favourable opinion, but given that you are balls deep in the comments section of a largely anti-apple story and taking the mick out of His Steveness, I would hazard a guess that yes you are in fact biased after all.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    At the risk of sounding serious...

    I can't say I much care for journalism or the institutions that churn them out like cannon fodder, but sufficed to say, Mr. Jobs is clearly the biggest dick of the first decade of the new millennium. And as much as Apple has done to weasel itself into most educational institutions, you’d figure that Mr. Jobs would be a little more civil to the demographic he’s worked so hard to indoctrinate.

  45. pAnoNymous

    they have a point

    wow so her academic grade depends on a reply from a press office? what is she in primary school? I suggest she gets a couple of proper sources and does some proper research rather than join the copy and paste press releases mob. please leave them (Apple) alone.

  46. John I'm only dancing
    Thumb Down

    All seem to be missing the point.

    "Chelsea Isaacs, a journalism student at Long Island University was tasked with writing a piece about an iPad program at the campus."

    As she is from the US of States, I would assume 'iPad Program' refers to a Programme, or iPad app at the campus.

    If that were the case, what the ferk has it to do with Apple?

    If it a programme, which is to encourage the use of the iPad as an educational tool, surely, the quotes, background etc, should come from the college.

    Well said Steve, I wouldn't have couched in such nice terms, I would have probably told her f*@k off and then billed her for my time.

  47. Arclight


    So she searched the net, and found the real Steve Jobs email address? Really? THE Steve Jobs, or Steve Jobs that works in accounting at Heiffer and Sons, or Steve Jobs the painter and decorator or Stev.......

    Because of course if find information on the interwebs its always true. Even Kylie Minogue agreed with me when I was chatting with on messenger last night.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      30 seconds with Google....

      Got me Now, that might or might not be him, but it's definitely someone inside Apple.

      Personally, I don't understand why he has a public email address at all. It must be swamped with nutters and retards.


      1. Arclight

        Does that...

        ...mean its his email address, or just one for nutters and retards to swamp thinking they really are mailing the real Steve Jobs?

        Put yourself in his shoes, would you really use such an obvious email address for your work email, that will get spammed to hell and back or, like me, pick a random word such as arclight that means something to you and friends but naff all to fanbois and apple haters?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Deserves to fail

    She deserves to fail. Her emails were rude and sent to the wrong people. Jobs gave her more tie than she deserved, and she was rude with it. She's the arrogant one. It's not up to Apple PR or any company CEO to do her homework. I'd support Bill Gates for doing the same, and Shuttleworth too. I hope she leans a lesson about how to behave and becomes a better journalist, if she passes. She missed he obvious angle on this story, which doesn't bode well for her.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With Apple on this

    From the email The Grauniad published:

    "I had 3 quick questions regarding iPads, and wanted to obtain answers from the most credible source: Apple's Media Relations Department."

    Curious as to what she wanted to ask that made her think Apple's Media Relations department would be the most credible source of answers and not look on, say, the official iOS dev site - that would surely also be a credible source of corporate spin? And also why her grades seemed to hinge on the answer to those three quick questions and not the rest of her report on the university's app.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    What's the problem here?

    She wants to be a journo and wrote to some company and expected them to write her paper for her.

    Sounds like she's off to a great start to me!

  51. Tequila Joe


    Steve Jobs says "Sorry."

    Frankly I'm stunned - two more key presses than FOAD.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suffer from embarrasing body odour?

    "You know most 'sane' people - those who don't work in IT - don't give a rat's ass who made their gear so long as it works"

    Yeah, don't agree with that as it happens. Most people aren't 'sane' (in the sense of making entirely rational decisions about everything they do) - they're blown about by the winds of advertising, peer-pressure, upbringing, emotional upheaval, convenience, availability of money and so on. As it is in the world, so it is with IT because IT is a part of that world.

    You buy anti-perspirant? Why? You could just use aluminium chlorohydrate instead: It'll stop you sweating and won't cost you anywhere near as much as the stuff you buy in supermarkets. So why buy anti-perspirant?

    Because you're not as sane as you think you are, that's why.

    And neither is anyone else.

  53. Paul RND*1000


    If by "ninja" you really mean "arrogant moron" then sure, Steve Jobs is King of the Ninjas.

    WTF happened to him, seriously? Is this all part of the "hi, I'm a Mac and I'm better-and-cooler-than-you" image Apple wants to project? Has he been taking PR lessons from the Other Steve? When will he start throwing limited edition, uncomfortable but desirably cool designer chairs around?

    Perhaps she should have said she was a shareholder, since that's who these companies really serve, not the paying customer.

  54. No, I will not fix your computer


    To be honest, if I was Steve and got an email saying "the hypocrisy of ignoring student needs" (a cut and paste), I wouldn't immediately be in the most helpful of moods!

    She had three emails responded to by Jobs, but she didn't think of asking the "three quick questions" - talk about a wasted opportunity, now she can't even say "Steve Jobs declined to comment".

    She also said "I have called countless times throughout the week, leaving short, but detailed, messages which included my contact information and the date of my deadline. Today, I left my 6th message" - so "countless" would be five then? maybe a fax and email to them would also have been a good idea given that they are not responding to phone messages, perhaps they are inundated with phone messages?

  55. Charles King
    Jobs Halo

    Go Steve!

    Presumably Apple's PR dept has better things to do than answer inane questions from random dweebs, which is why they never returned her calls (neither would I).

    Yeah, Steve should have kept his mouth shut and just kicked a cat or something, but I can't blame him when I'd have been tempted to use less temperate language.

    Of course, this whole thing is almost certainly a hoax from some sad little girl who's desperate for attention.

  56. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Jobs Horns

    The whole story

    As much as I don't like the guy, let's take another look at the situation:

    Does anyone actually know what the "3 questions" actually were and how she worded her requests to Apple's PR dept.?

    For all you know she may well have been asking questions no reasonable company may be expected to answer.

  57. Tigra 07
    Thumb Down

    That wasn't a real email from Jobs

    Clearly Steve Jobs didn't send that email because the word "sorry" was used.

  58. Martin Usher

    So she's got her material....

    She just needs to publish a piece that's got a suitably dressed up version of the message "Apple are a bunch of arrogant wankers". The non-story is a story -- how Apple manipulate publicity to control their product image, how they don't talk to anyone unless they perceive some advantage to them to do so and so on.

    Apple thrive because the competition's so inept.

    Personally, I use older versions of Windows (for when I absolutely have to run Windows) and, of course, Linux. I find newer code is bloated and its attempts to make it user friendly have made it all but unusable -- you have to swallow abstractions that suit various marketing departments but don't represent the structure of the machine.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Playing devil's advocate

    I wonder what the tone of her fifth message was like? And what deadline was she on - 48 hours?

    Corporate wheels do tend to rotate quite slowly.

  60. Simon B

    Glad I don't waste my money on this arrogant company

    I'm glad I don't waste my money on this arrogant company, time and time again they show it's all about sales and not the customer.

  61. William Higinbotham

    What Goes Around

    I hope she learns that waiting till the last minute and still no answer, that it is time to make up a story. Gonzo journalism style!!!

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