Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/14/jobs_stars/
Steve Jobs carried 'ninja throwing stars' in hand luggage
Ellison faces challenge for silicon samurai mantle?
Updated Steve Jobs has vowed never to visit Japan again after being prevented from leaving the country with a set of ninja throwing stars, according to a local magazine.
The Apple CEO apparently had a set of shuriken in his carry-on luggage when he was returning from a family vacation by private jet in July, according to SPA magazine via a Bloomberg report. They were picked up by a security scan and officials insisted he give them up.
Jobs apparently took umbrage at the request, arguing, quite logically, that it was hardly a security risk as he was unlikely to hijack his own plane.
When officials refused to budge, he apparently threw the death stars away - presumably very slowly so as not to kill anyone - and declared he would not return to the country.
While this could be simply an airport misunderstanding there could be darker issues at play.
For years people have wondered at how Apple enforces a culture of silence amongst both employees and suppliers. It was assumed that this was a result of rigorous NDAs. But perhaps Jobs' hitherto secret intimate knowledge of pressure points and arcane oriental weaponry may play a factor.
Alternatively maybe Steve is sick of Oracle boss Larry Ellison's cod samurai schtick, and has decided to answer back in kind. Presumably Ellison has taken on the tennis playing ex-HP chief Mark Hurd for his lightning quick reactions to fast moving objects as much as his ability to cut costs while spearheading a convincing mid-range computing offering.
We asked Apple to confirm if Jobs was indeed a ninja master or aficionado of one of the more respectable arts - aiki-jujitsu for example. So far we haven't had a reply, but should a black-clad spokesninja scale Vulture Towers before pinning a statement to our chest with a throwing star and then disappearing in a puff of smoke, we'll let you know. ®
According to John Paczkowski at Digital Daily, Apple has issued a statement calling the Jobsian shuriken saga "pure fiction." Not only that, but in an apparent effort to ease any bilateral tensions that may have arisen due to this now-identified-as-fictional incident, Apple also noted: "Steve had a great time and hopes to visit Japan again soon.”