Glitch in system causes pre-written Jobs obituary to be sent out prematurely

August 28, 2008

It is common practice to pre-write the obituaries of celebrities. By having their job history, details of surviving family members and information about a lifetime of achievements pre written it makes it much easier to get the obituary out on time in the event of their death. Morbid, to be sure, but a necessary evil in the news business.

Imagine my surprise when several of my favorite technology news sources, including Mashable and C|Net, reported an obituary leak this morning. What does that have to do with Apple or Mac.Blorge? The unfortunate soul who got to see what his obituary would look like this morning is none other than Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Inc.

It is no longer a secret that Jobs has suffered from pancreatic cancer and other health ailments recently. Both Jobs and the company claim that he is in good health at the moment (translation: Do Not Panic! Grab your towel and head for the nearest emergency exit!). However, he has looked anything but tip top lately.

His haggard appearance and lackluster performance at the WWDC keynote coupled with faulty product launches and PR woes lead many to believe that Apple is desperately scrambling to find a suitable replacement. Who can fill Steve Jobs’ shoes? After all, he already left the company once to pursue his own projects and it spent those years floundering in a sea of mismanagement and horrible products and design, only to recover on his return.

Bloomberg, the news service that inadvertently sent the obituary around this morning, has already apologized and retracted it. If you want to see the sneak peek, you can find it courtesy of Gawker at this link. in spite of the prompt retraction, this “mistake” has had the wires buzzing all day with “what ifs” and speculation on what might happen to Apple when its visionary leader is finally gone.

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