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Gizmodo editors escape indictment but called "juvenile" in iPhone 4 prototype case

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
There was not enough evidence to indict Gizmodo editors in last year's iPhone 4 prototype debacle, though actions and correspondence by the site's editors were called "juvenile" by the court case's prosecuting district attorney.

Steven Wagstaffe, San Mateo County District Attorney, said that his office's review of computers seized in a raid of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home showed no actionable evidence to charge him criminally, reports CNET. Wagstaffe did, however, comment that the e-mail conversations his office uncovered were less than professional.*

"It was obvious they were angry with the company about not being invited to some press conference or some big Apple event," Wagstaffe said. "We expected to see a certain amount of professionalism-this is like 15-year-old children talking."

The raid on Chen's home in 2010 was prompted by the editor purchasing and posting photos of an iPhone 4 prototype, reported to have been lost in a local bar. Authorities were looking for electronic files and other physical evidence that would tie Chen to the theft of the phone, after allegedly being contacted by Apple.

Under California law, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be, but "appropriates such property to his own use," is guilty of theft. Another law states that any person who knowingly receives illegal property can be imprisoned for up to one year.*

Wagstaffe notes that there wasn't enough evidence to charge Chen of any wrongdoing, including extortion. The reference comes from an unsealed court record that reveals Gizmodo editors, in an* e-mail exchange with then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs, listed conditions to be met before the prototype was returned.*



In the e-mails, another editor also implied that he wanted better access to Apple products in the future, CNET reports. Gizmodo has subsequently been banned from Apple events.

"There was so much animosity, and they were very critical of Apple," Wagstaffe said. "They talked about having Apple right where they wanted them and they were really going to show them."



Prosecutors ultimately did not pursue criminal charges, possibly in light of allegations that the raid on Chen's house was illegal.

The report comes on the heels of Tuesday's no-contest plea from the two suspects accused of selling the lost prototype.*

Brian Hogan, the man who allegedly found the prototype in a bar, and Sage Wallower, who allegedly shopped the device to tech sites, were each sentenced to one year probation, 40 hours of public service and $250 in restitution to be paid to Apple, reports CNET. The two men were charged with theft of lost property last August.

The no-contest plea from Hogan and Wallower differs from pleading guilty in that, while it leads to a criminal conviction, the admission of guilt can't be used in any civil lawsuits Apple may choose to pursue.

These latest developments bring an end to the more than year-long saga.
post #2 of 46
That's the face of a 14-year old and grumpy boy, there. Shame on you trying to extort previlleges!
post #3 of 46
professionalism? from gizmodo chen? have you ever read anything he's written?
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"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

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post #4 of 46
I wanted to see people end up in jail, too bad.

Hopefully Gizmodo will never be allowed back into any Apple events, ever again, until the end of time. Apple had better not become soft, just because Mr. Jobs isn't there anymore.
post #5 of 46
What a bunch of douchebags. I'm sure Gizmodo will spin this story to put them in a better light. I would have loved to see the hammer dropped on those clowns, if anything just to make an example of them.
post #6 of 46
Brian Lam posted a rather remarkable account of what impact these events had on him, and on his ongoing relationship with Steve Jobs. He sent Jobs a major apology just before Jobs died. This is one of the best personal tributes to Jobs that I have come across.
http://thewirecutter.com/2011/10/ste...of-an-asshole/
post #7 of 46
@Steven Wagstaffe, San Mateo County District Attorney

Welcome to the Internet.
post #8 of 46
I never really read Gizmodo. Then once the iPhone 4 fiasco happened, I started to look into them a little. It's safe to say I will never read another Gizmodo article again. Talk about opinionated, unprofessional, whiny trash. I don't even care about the iPhone thing, just try reading any of their articles..
post #9 of 46
Gizmodo's astonishingly misguided video with which they emblazoned their home page for literally months shows just how juvenile they are. Watch with disbelief and note the average rating and the top comments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WATcSu58uI4

"The reason I love Gizmodo, I think it's honestly." Oh my...

To say Gizmodo are banned from Apple events is perhaps slightly inaccurate. They are simply no longer wanted, needed or welcome. When you release a product, you invite journalists to come and see the launch as part of a reciprocal arrangement; you let them see the launch and give them a story, they publish an article about your new product and help you publicise it. Apple do not want Gizmodo writing about them any more. They don't consider them journalists and not being such, they are not invited.

Gizmodo called this business a coup, I call it the most damning indictment of blog journalism there has ever been.
post #10 of 46
Clearly Gruber's feelings were hurt. Poor baby.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

actions and correspondence by the site's editors were called "juvenile" by the court case's prosecuting district attorney.


Raise your hand if you are surprised.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #12 of 46
I guess it goes to show you that getting a one or two week jump of something that is going to ultimately sold to the public really isn't worth it. It shows how ridiculous people can be about new Apple products. Just relax and wait for it to come out.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Gizmodo called this business a coup, I call it the most damning indictment of blog journalism there has ever been.

I completely agree. Though I don't think you should associate blogs with journalism. While there are exceptions, they're hardly the rule. Gizmodo is not journalism.
post #14 of 46
Thanks for the important update...

/yawn
post #15 of 46
Gizmodo is an embarrassment to tech 'reporting.'
post #16 of 46
Maybe its because i believe in karma or manners but wouldnt promptly returning the iPhone gotten you better access to apple products?

I am a techie and would love to get looks at unreleased products but i would return any lost products no questions asked. My only selfish request would have been to hand it to steve jobs himself but other then that no money in return or no access to products or anything like that.

IF they would have said no to steve jobs himself i would have still given it back.
post #17 of 46
This whole prosecution was dumb to begin with. Being 'juvenile' is not crime. If it were, a lot of us wouldn't be here.....

Many posters here, who are/were (perhaps legitimately) p-o'ed with Gizmodo shamefully conflated (and surprisingly, still continue to conflate) their dislike with wishing harm upon those that they dislike.
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This whole prosecution was dumb to begin with. Being 'juvenile' is not crime. .

No, but dealing in stolen property is.

The fact that the prosecutor didn't think he had enough evidence to convict doesn't mean that Gizmodo was innocent.
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post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Clearly Gruber's feelings were hurt. Poor baby.

Wait a second - other than linking to the same article and making a one line comment on his own page (which he does as a blogger and tech reporter), what does John Gruber have to do with this article?
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by grlym View Post

Brian Lam posted a rather remarkable account of what impact these events had on him, and on his ongoing relationship with Steve Jobs. He sent Jobs a major apology just before Jobs died. This is one of the best personal tributes to Jobs that I have come across.
http://thewirecutter.com/2011/10/ste...of-an-asshole/

I read his feeble attempt to save-face a day or two after SJ passed away. All that little pr!cK tried doing was the classic "better to ask for forgiveness, than permission" act.

Brian - and the rest of the Gizmodo lowlifes - knew what they had in their hands, obtained illegally as far as I'm concerned, and tried to put a noose around SJ's neck unless he gives-in to Gizmodo's extortion tactics. That's not journalism. It's called "Blackmail".

Good riddance to Brian Lam. His 15 minutes of fame vanished. Thankfully, because of the internet, his misdeeds will forever remain for others to do a background check on him.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

No, but dealing in stolen property is.

The fact that the prosecutor didn't think he had enough evidence to convict doesn't mean that Gizmodo was innocent.

Groan.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

Gizmodo's astonishingly misguided video with which they emblazoned their home page for literally months shows just how juvenile they are. Watch with disbelief and note the average rating and the top comments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WATcSu58uI4

"The reason I love Gizmodo, I think it's honestly." Oh my...

"Astonishingly misguided" is a good description. I'd add: embarrassing, vainglorious, immature, opportunistic, and tacky.

Just because you add a Coldplay-esque track to it doesn't make it inspiring or cool!!
post #23 of 46
Regardless of the merit of Gizmodo's actions, what I think is equally unprofessional is the DA's apparent need to make comments such as were made. What public interest is served in making the statements that were made; statements which are basically value judgments?
post #24 of 46
Well, at least this whole sorry affair has been wrapped up and the actual dealers of the stolen property were convicted. As for Gizmodo, I think a judge calling them juvenile is satisfaction enough for me.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This whole prosecution was dumb to begin with. Being 'juvenile' is not crime. If it were, a lot of us wouldn't be here.....

Unfortunately they are adults and hence can be tried as such. The e-mail to Steve Jobs was extortion, plain and simple. "Give us access to early info and you'll get your iPhone prototype back", was the essence of it.

It's just that Gizmodo's actions were borderline plain stupidity so it was probably not worth pursuing convictions and wasting even more time and tax dollars.
post #26 of 46
Talking about information in emails stored on Chen's computer isn't exactly professional. Is everyone in the valley smoking something?
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post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This whole prosecution was dumb to begin with. Being 'juvenile' is not crime. If it were, a lot of us wouldn't be here.....

Many posters here, who are/were (perhaps legitimately) p-o'ed with Gizmodo shamefully conflated (and surprisingly, still continue to conflate) their dislike with wishing harm upon those that they dislike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Under California law, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be, but "appropriates such property to his own use," is guilty of theft.

I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that the silver Apple logo emblazoned on the back of a never-before-seen iPhone model might possibly indicate that it belongs to...Apple? Being that obvious, this is a crime. Don't confuse the choice not to prosecute with a declaration of innocence. Gizmodo were utterly out of order - legally, professionally and morally.

Apple asked for the phone back and Gizmodo decided to play hardball...with the second largest company in the world...and Steve Jobs. It was men against boys.

I certainly don't wish any harm on anyone. I think Gizmodo have had their comeuppance in the form of complete loss of credibility. I for one will not read any article on the site, even if I am sent a link I won't read it on principle. These are not people who deserve traffic.
post #28 of 46
I wonder what the DA called the idiot who lost it in the first place?
post #29 of 46
"Prosecutors ultimately did not pursue criminal charges, possibly in light of allegations that the raid on Chen's house was illegal."

Wow. And not a single iDouche cared to comment on Apple's illegal action.

One Apple's iGestapo repeated again recently. Silence from the fanboi's.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

I wonder what the DA called the idiot who lost it in the first place?

Mistakes happen. Dealing in stolen goods and extorting people, however, is intentional.
post #31 of 46
OoooOooo not name calling... anything but that!

Christ, did this need reporting?
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Well, at least this whole sorry affair has been wrapped up and the actual dealers of the stolen property were convicted. As for Gizmodo, I think a judge calling them juvenile is satisfaction enough for me.

Well, I suppose you're still waiting then. Wasn't it the DA who said so?
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Well, I suppose you're still waiting then. Wasn't it the DA who said so?

Well, OK, my mistake, apparently CNET said the DA apparently used the word "juvenile" *.

But in any case the rest of the DA's quoted comments are about spot on. He must have been quite baffled as to Gizmodo's behaviour.

*Wagstaffe said, however, that his office's review of the computers seized from Chen's home showed the correspondence between Gizmodo editors was "juvenile."
post #34 of 46
Is it really news that the the prosecuting attorney is denigrating (potential) defendants?

With that said, i'm somewhat annoyed that the word juvenile has a negative connotation.
post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that the silver Apple logo emblazoned on the back of a never-before-seen iPhone model might possibly indicate that it belongs to...Apple? Being that obvious, this is a crime. Don't confuse the choice not to prosecute with a declaration of innocence. Gizmodo were utterly out of order - legally, professionally and morally.

You're mistaken there. Every iPhone has a silver Apple logo on the back. That isn't proof that it belongs to Apple - only that it was designed by Apple.

HOWEVER, Gizmo clearly knew that this particular phone belonged to Apple because they contacted Apple to try extortion. They can't argue that they didn't know who the phone belonged to - regardless of any logo on the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

I wonder what the DA called the idiot who lost it in the first place?

Careless? Which isn't a crime.

Furthermore, we still don't have proof that the guy lost it. It could have been stolen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thee O'Maschas View Post

"Prosecutors ultimately did not pursue criminal charges, possibly in light of allegations that the raid on Chen's house was illegal."

Wow. And not a single iDouche cared to comment on Apple's illegal action.

One Apple's iGestapo repeated again recently. Silence from the fanboi's.

What part of ALLEGATIONS do you not understand?

There are people who think Elvis is alive. That doesn't make it true.
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post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thee O'Maschas View Post

"Prosecutors ultimately did not pursue criminal charges, possibly in light of allegations that the raid on Chen's house was illegal."

Wow. And not a single iDouche cared to comment on Apple's illegal action.

One Apple's iGestapo repeated again recently. Silence from the fanboi's.

In the case of the house raid on Chen's house, there was probable cause. So no illegal action by Apple - or do the facts of the matter get in the way of your attitude?

Again there were allegations and reported activity - no real confirmation of what happened, especially in light of mixed stories coming out of the precinct involved. Or again, are the facts of the matter getting in the way of hating on Apple for you?

Perhaps next time you do a drive by here you can use the trash can instead of throwing stuff on the floor?
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #37 of 46
In the car business, spotting a prototype before it's ready to prime time and publishing scoop pix to the embarrassment of the manufacturer is part of the game. Apple should not be so paranoid about this, and anyone finding an Apple product ahead of launch should be free to publicise it. But not be difficult about giving it back.

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



Careless? Which isn't a crime.

Furthermore, we still don't have proof that the guy lost it. It could have been stolen.

If it was stolen said idiot would have filed a stolen claim which he didn't. He lost it. And he is an idiot as he works for the most secretive company ever second only to the CIA. I wonder if he's in the mail room now or at a genius bar somewhere? Banished to Siberia like KGB would do.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

If it was stolen said idiot would have filed a stolen claim which he didn't. He lost it. And he is an idiot as he works for the most secretive company ever second only to the CIA. I wonder if he's in the mail room now or at a genius bar somewhere? Banished to Siberia like KGB would do.

The CIA is a company? This explains a lot... :P
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

In the car business, spotting a prototype before it's ready to prime time and publishing scoop pix to the embarrassment of the manufacturer is part of the game. Apple should not be so paranoid about this, and anyone finding an Apple product ahead of launch should be free to publicise it. But not be difficult about giving it back.

They tried Engadget first. They turned it down. You don't turn down something like that unless you know it's over the line and unprofessional.

I hear what you're saying but they went too far and the faeces only hit the fan when Gizmodo declined to return the device.
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