By Dan Moren
March 31, 2021 11:00 AM PT
The Back Page: Brow Beaten
It is my deepest pleasure to report the satisfactory conclusion of Phase One of Operation
When you came to me last summer and gave me the goal of publicly humiliating a purveyor of Apple rumors within a year, there were those both within and outside of our department who said such a feat couldn’t be accomplished—and, moreover, shouldn’t. That Apple should not lower itself to combatting those mongers of mistruths, those spoilers of surprise and delight.
But I could tell from the glint in your bespectacled eyes that you were serious about this endeavor, and so it has been my singular mission for the past nine months, seven days, one hour, and fifty-seven minutes to carry out your desires to the fullest extent possible.
I know there are those who believe that you, especially, are a kind-hearted soul who remains above the fray of the petty Apple rumors and product leaks. But we both know the truth: You are a one-man vengeance machine, bent upon nothing but crushing your enemies at any cost. If you’ll permit me to be so bold, I’d like to think that this makes us kindred spirits.
I am aware that it has been no picnic for you to see these so-called “leakers” and source-code divers poking their noses where they don’t belong. And while the board and your closest colleagues may worry you have lost your perspective, given the generous funding you’ve allocated to us—we were sorry to hear, by the way, that you had to shut down both AirTags and the HomePod just to make sure we had enough money to carry out our operations—we remain extremely grateful for your generosity.
As to our methods, we have employed a strategy of carefully calculated leaks too tempting for any pundit to ignore. By specifically targeting those who have shown themselves to be enamored of the adulation and infamy that come with this kind of transgression, we were assured that our target could not help but act precisely as we predicted, taking the all-too-tempting bait of something as simple as an Apple event date. (As you know, this is something over which we have complete control. It’s no harder than throwing a dart at a calendar.) Our so-called source’s casual suggestion that the “leaker” might put their own… skin on the line was just icing on the cake. You might call it a close shave, if you’ll permit the joke. Ha ha.
PETARD can, of course, not conclusively establish that no future interloper will ever again embark upon a campaign of publishing leaks, I can assure you that my team and I stand ready to intervene should we be called on. The future of Apple is not merely in products, after all, but in services—such as the service we provide, of spreading disinformation to those who would delve into our most tightly held secrets. We think of nothing else, day and night, in every waking moment.
I can only say in closing that I am glad we were able to continue this, Apple’s core mission, of keeping what we want to ourselves and only sharing when we absolutely need to. Like you, we envision a more perfect future where Apple never has to divulge any information at all to the masses, unwashed or otherwise. After all, the only perfect product remains the one with no users. That’s why my most prized possession remains my AirPower charging mat.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at email@example.com. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]