Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jon Rubinstein now says he’ll get a new liver, too

Just heard this from Katie. Palm, which has reinvented itself with a business model that basically involves doing whatever Apple does, only two years later, announced today that its CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is planning to receive a liver transplant. No official date — they just say it will happen sometime in the next 12 to 18 months. Palm says Rubinstein’s liver will have features that my liver lacks, though they won’t say what those features are. Meanwhile Roger McNamee has been posting Facebook updates saying he has seen a working prototype of Ruby’s liver and it totally blows my liver away. Just like the Pre blows away the iPhone, right?

Which reminds me. I’ve been meaning to call Ruby and his team of ex-Apple traitors and congratulate them on that device. Really, guys, it’s a terrific piece of work. Especially that keyboard with the teeny-tiny keys. I was thinking of an accessory you could sell in the Sprint stores: a little knife that Pre users can use to whittle down their fingertips. Oh, and some Band-Aids to patch up cuts from that razor-sharp edge that Gizmodo used as a Ginsu knife. Okay, forgive me. I’m sorry. I’m just kidding. I wish you guys all the best. I really do. I hope you sell loads and loads of those crappy Pre phones. And good luck with the liver, Ruby.

{Much love to Jay for the photo.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Asked and answered, NY Times. Happy now?

So a hospital takes the extremely unusual step of publicly announcing that a certain patient got a transplant, and that this patient got the transplant because he had the highest MELD score on their list, which means that everything was legit and above-board and totally fair. Now this kind of statement is something that hospitals hardly ever do, and never should have to do, but when a national newspaper starts questioning your ethics and suggesting maybe you’re not a bunch of well-trained medical experts with a huge amount of integrity, but instead maybe are a bunch of sleazy hillbilly organ schleppers who’ll violate every oath you’ve ever taken and even break the law in order to sell a liver to some rich guy, even though it means that some poor broke bastard is going to die — well, when that happens, you put out the statement. Katie swears this will satisfy the inquisitive minds at the New York Times, and basically get them to stop slandering me based on unfounded rumor and speculation. I wish it were so, but my bet is it won’t work at all, and now the hacks will just move on to the next complaint, which goes like this: If Jobso had such a high MELD score, well then he must have been a lot sicker than Apple let on, which means Apple was misleading investors, which means all of Apple’s board members should be fired and sent to prison and/or have their eyes held open and be forced to watch Al Gore’s global warming movie over and over again for the rest of their lives. I’m sure that’s where this is going. I just know it. The vultures will never leave me alone.

Meanwhile we’re still trying to figure out which member of the board leaked the story to the Journal, and then got payback yesterday with the story about Tim Cook being the smartest guy in the world. Maybe you didn’t notice, but both articles were written by the same two people at the Journal. They also co-bylined this article from June 5 which cited someone “familiar with the matter” of what we tell our board members (translation: one of our board members) saying the return of Jobso was imminent. Now here’s the thing. One of these reporters is a regular tech beat reporter, but the other, Joann Lublin, has never covered us. So who is this Joann Lublin, and why does she suddenly show up covering Apple? What does she bring to the party? Turns out she’s kind of a heavy hitter. She’s an editor, and she’s been at the Journal since 1971, which makes her, I don’t know, about 60 years old? According to her bio, her area of expertise is management and business ethics, and she “frequently appears at conferences about corporate governance.” If you’re guessing that at these conferences she probably rubs elbows with lots of corporate directors, and that maybe in the course of her travels she connected with someone on our board, and that the reason she gets a byline is that she’s the person to whom our rogue board member is leaking, well, we’re on the same track here.

The question then becomes, who is Joann Lublin’s source? Who on our board knows Joann Lublin? Who would leak my transplant and then, as payback, get a story placed about how great Tim Cook is and how he’s probably going to get a seat on our board soon? Who on the board is in Tim’s corner? Who wants to make Tim Cook our new CEO? Who would be so pissed off about having to cover up for me and keep quiet about my illness, and so worried about their own personal liability, that they would go to the Journal and trust Joann Lublin with a leaked story? Because you’d have to really, really, really trust someone to take this kind of risk.

Thing is, we keep looking at our list of directors, and we can’t figure out who it could be. Then again, it may be that we set this all up ourselves, because we wanted to let the world know about my transplant, but I didn’t want to just announce it myself because, I don’t know, that would make too much sense or something. I don’t know. I don’t remember ever meeting Joann Lublin. Katie says she’s never met her, either. So who knows? Anyway, Moshe is on the case, and he’s got his dental tools. We’ll figure it out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gawker, I need your help

Those are words I never thought I’d write. But here’s the deal. The idiots at Reuters have sent a secretary to stake out my house. It’s sick. I’m calling on Gawker (or anyone else with some spare cycles) to go confront this birdbrain, take pictures, or take video (like with your super tasty new iPhone 3GS) and humiliate Reuters for being such assholes. Seriously, my fellow citizen journalists — it’s time to fight back! And would someone get Jim Goldman and his crew on this pronto? And bring me a chai latte at exactly 165 degrees? Jesus. Thank you.

The New York Times is friggin pathetic

Seriously, this is just so lame. They got beat on the liver story by the Journal, and now they’re desperately trying to put some spin of their own on the story to sort of redeem themselves. So they run this incredibly stupid piece suggesting that maybe I jumped the organ donor line. “Whenever someone rich and famous receives a transplant, suspicions inevitably arise about whether that person managed to jump to the head of the waiting list and take an organ that might have saved the life of somebody just as desperate but less glamorous,” they say — only to assert, a paragraph later, that every doctor they talked to says there is no reason to cheat because these days anyone can pretty much sign up for a liver and get one.

There’s no evidence suggesting I cheated. Nobody is quoted in the story saying I cheated. There’s not a shred of anything in the actual story about that. I mean, yeah, as they point out, if you’re rich and you own a jet you can sign up at different places and zoom in on short notice. And you can buy a big friggin mansion and just camp out waiting for some motorcyclist to go splat and leave a nice juicy set of fresh organs behind. So what? This is news? As I’ve said before, what is the friggin point of being obscenely rich if it doesn’t gain you some advantages in life? Why would anyone want to be rich if you didn’t get anything out of it? Duh, New York Times. Think about it. Anyway, they’ve got no proof that I did anything wrong — in fact they’ve got no actual information about me at all, but nevertheless they can run a photo of me and a headline that says, “A Transplant That Is Raising Many Questions.” Oh really? It’s raising many questions? Where? From whom? I haven’t heard any, except from the newsroom of the lame ass New York Times.

Then, as if that’s not bad enough, they pack right next to it an incredibly boring piece by our hero Brad Stone and his ladyboy sidekick Ashlee Vance about how Apple is so secretive, even though some pinhead academic guy says everybody else is trying to be more transparent. You can read it here if you want a good laugh. Thing is, these secrecy complaints have been around forever. It’s not news. But let me offer a quick response on this: a) Yes, everybody else is talking about being more transparent, but mostly they’re full of shit, and oh, by the way, Apple isn’t everybody else; and b) last time I looked, we’re kicking everyone’s ass. So hey, Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance, did it not occur to you that maybe we know what we’re doing? You know, there’s this little thing called an “income statement.” And something else called a “balance sheet.” Have you heard of them? Worth taking a look sometimes. Ours is pretty impressive.

Fact is, what’s really going on is the Times is pissed that they got scooped on LiverGate by their big rivals at the Wall Street Journal. According to the person we’ve got embedded at their Silicon Valley bureau, their boss Damon Darlin has been going apeshit ever since the Journal liver story broke on Friday at midnight. Now they’re desperate to break some kind of second-day news on this.

For what it’s worth, you want to know what Brad Stone was doing last week when the Journal was busy digging up the liver story? He was calling around to fellow hacks asking if they had galleys to some forthcoming Ben Mezrich novel about Facebook. According to Brad, Fortune had locked up some exclusive deal to run an excerpt of the novel — and Brad wanted to pee on their shoes and ruin their exclusive by obtaining the galleys and running excerpts first. In other words: Classy. Now he’s bothered by the fact that I don’t want to tell the whole world every little detail about my liver. Seriously, what would you like to know, Brad? You want video of the operation?

I will tell you this about iLiver 2.0: It’s nanoengineered, and it kicks ass. I wake up every morning feeling like Shaft, Superfly, James Bond and Kung Fu all put together. I’m bench-pressing twice my body weight, and I am so friggin ready to kick some low-rent tabloid hack wannabe ass that’s it not even funny. So bring it, Brad Stone and you other jealous, sanctimonious gits at the New York Times. Seriously. Bring your A game, you clueless, classless motherfriggers. I will be alive long after every one of you is dead. I know this makes you crazy, but it’s the truth. I’m back, bitches. Deal with it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Clarification: I only have half of Pogue’s liver

He wanted me to have the whole thing. But I was like, David, seriously, I only need half of it, and he was like, “Seriously, man, after all you’ve done for me — I mean have you seen my house? Have you seen where I live? Really, Steve, take the whole liver, I mean it.” I insisted I only needed half, and he was like, “So as long as they’ve got me opened up, why don’t you take a kidney while you’re in there?” I told him I don’t need a kidney, and he was like, “Just keep it as a backup. Have it frozen or something. Or how about a lobe from one of my lungs? Or a section of my large intestine. Just name it, you got it.” In the end I only took the liver section. The photo shows him arriving at my house to thank me for letting him be my organ donor. Frankly, I understand where he’s coming from. I’m not happy about needing a new liver, but I do feel great that I could let David even out his karma a little bit. Truth is, Pogue wasn’t kidding when he said he owes me. Hell, even we’re not even close to calling it even. Also, I have to tell you, the guy’s liver is friggig primo. Very, very low mileage. Much better than the stuff you get waiting on some list. Much love, David Pogue.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pogue’s liver kicks ass

Namaste, David. I owe you one.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Seriously … where the hell am I?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Feeling … strange. Am I … in heaven?