John Gruber put his angry old man of the Mac hat on today to snark about Gizmodo’s supposed “insider” information regarding the forthcoming Apple tablet.
So Lam’s source is an “insider” but has no idea what the OS is and has the ship date wrong. Sure.
Gruber’s snipe fails, however, because there is indeed a particular kind of “insider” who knows little about the technology, but much about the looks and hooks: talent hired by marketing.
As you can imagine, these people also tend to know only the preliminary bullshit on release dates, and are the most accessible to reporters hungry for leaks.
At Wired, we scored a massive hit in the run up to the MacBook Air’s release with the above mockup (created in about 90 minutes at very short notice), and I’m still pretty proud of it, mistakes notwithstanding. To illustrate it, I relied on an extremely subjective description of the machine, provided by a verified insider who would have had no clue at all about its technology or the ship date. To them, it was just a silver laptop with certain features that everyone kept talking about, and had an extremely distinctive profile
It has an extremely thin profile and is shaped like a teardrop when closed–
thicker at the top behind the screen, tapering at the bottom behind the keyboard.
The most remarkable thing, however, was that this person, who certainly saw the machine, provided us with several completely inaccurate details.
Naturally, I wish I’d taken the source’s word even more literally about the teardrop thing — it seemed quite absurd at the time!