Feeds

Steve Jobs 'heart attack' citizen hack wasn't a short seller

Wall Street just got punk'd, SEC reportedly finds

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US government investigation into an 18-year-old's false "citizen journalism" report that Steve Jobs had had a major heart attack has so far found he did it for the craic, according to a report.

The SEC is probing the circumstances surrounding the one-paragraph October 3 story on CNN-owned site iReport because it caused a sudden 5.4 per cent drop in Apple's share price. Authorities are obliged to examine if it was a deliberate attempt to manipulate the market and whether the unnamed teen behind it made money.

Investigators have uncovered no evidence he did, Bloomberg reports.

Here's the 94 artful words that triggered the run on AAPL:

Steve Jobs was rushed to the ER just a few hours ago after suffering a major heart attack. I have an insider who tells me that paramedics were called after Steve claimed to be suffering from severe chest pains and shortness of breath. My source has opted to remain anonymous, but he is quite reliable. I haven't seen anything about this anywhere else yet, and as of right now, I have no further information, so I thought this would be a good place to start. If anyone else has more information, please share it.

The heart attack claim followed several months of speculation about Jobs' health, prompted by his frail appearance at the 3G iPhone launch in June. The ex-fruitarian founder's continued control freakery is seen as crucial to Apple's success by investors and is reckoned to account for a significant percentage of the firm's total value.

Despite Job's apparent weight loss, the false iReport story would probably have sank without a trace, like most user-generated content, had it not been dredged up and republished unchecked by the blog Silicon Alley Insider. The tech stock punditry mill is run by disgraced former Oppenheimer and Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget.

The youth's motives in contributing to the web spam mountain are likely to remain obscure. The real mystery authorities should investigate is why stockbrokers believed what they read on the blog of a man the SEC banned from Wall Street for life after the dotcom crash for, erm, circulating false information about tech companies. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.