It's becoming a holiday tradition: Google announces a holiday party for Silicon Valley reporters at its Mountain View headquarters, and Valleywag's invite gets mysteriously lost in Gmail's ever-canny spam filters. The invitation for the December 8 event, held again at the Googleplex's Cafe Slice, is nontransferable, so we can't accept any pass-along invites, alas.But here's a clever idea: The RSVP form allows you to suggest a colleague in your place. It would be a pity if jealous colleagues at, say, the New York Times filled out the form for John Markoff and suggested they attend in his place. I just declined on behalf of AllThingsD's Kara Swisher — though she could always crash as the guest of her wife, Google executive Megan Smith. Here's the full invite:
God bless John Markoff's ethics-addled heart. The veteran New York Times reporter sucks up industry-spin bullshit, fake quotes and all, then repackages it as truth I can cut and paste. Why is Windows 7 suddenly in the news? Same reason Microsoft's cloud-based Office knockoff, whatever it's called, was also demoed to developers in Los Angeles this morning:
When the Times got a call from Steve Jobs, the hands-on CEO of personal computer maker Apple, it had already been investigating the former pancreatic cancer victim's health for several days. Following a Monday report in the Post that some Jobs associates were "troubled by his thin appearance," the Times on Wednesday revealed Jobs underwent some sort of surgical procedure earlier this year. By Thursday afternoon, Times columnist Joe Nocera was preparing to report that Jobs was losing weight due to "ongoing digestive difficulty" and, possibly, due to a recent infection. That's when Jobs phoned to give a peace of his mind. But with a liberal interpretation of the term "off the record," Nocera would go on to finagle a scoop out of the confrontational call:
In the fantasy world of the blogosphere, reporters for big national newspapers are slow-thinking, backdated rubes flummoxed by the Net, which they mistakenly call teh Intarwebs. In real life, 58-year-old New York Times reporter John Markoff is spending Sunday afternoon cranking through Facebook, installing apps like a champ and taking friend requests from slacker freelance writers i.e. me. This is the same John Markoff thanked in the credits for the original Mac OS two decades ago. Sure, we mocked his Times piece announcing Web 3.0. But at the rate Scoop-'em Markoff is flooding my news feed, he's going to know more about Facebook than the entire Valleywag staff by Monday morning. Sigh, back to work.
- An unscrupulous LiveJournaler posted a fake Craigslist sex ad and published nearly 200 responses, including that of Microsoft employee Jerry Cummings (Warning: Dongs), pictured here. While this was a real asshat stunt to pull, that won't stop us from tittering at Jerry for sending dick pics using his work address. [Waxy.org]
While Jon Schwartz is going all "Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got," he's redefining "the edge of the Mission District." Big-time tech writer John Markoff named the edgy San Fran hood as Schwartz's stompin' grounds in his glowing NY Times profile. But a local journalist says Schwartz lives (on a hill!) in Noe Valley, the decidedly classy — but oh so conventional — home of yuppies and stroller-pushers. Hey, it's not a palace in Atherton, but it ain't a flat above a taqueria.