AT&T vs. Fake Steve Jobs: iPhone-y Operation Chokehold on a roll

Fake Steve Jobs (aka Dan Lyons) is at it again. This time, he's organizing a 'satirical' protest against AT&T's 3G network. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers find their own ways of wasting iPhone bandwidth.

By Richi Jennings. December 16, 2009.

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Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention how Tetris actually works...

    Rik Myslewski summarizes the backstory:

A web-borne ... movement to spank AT&T this Friday which started as a hoax has taken on a life of its own. On Monday, the ever-risible lampoon site The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs published a parody proposal ... called Operation Chokehold that calls upon iPhone users to flood AT&T data networks this coming Friday.


Fake Steve (aka Daniel Lyons, late of Forbes, now of Newsweek) ... approved of the plan. ... [It] may have started as satire, but it's gathering steam as an actual protest - so much so that commentary about Operation Chokehold is choking the web. ... People, people, people... Fake Steve is a satirist.

Robert Scheer has his ear to the ground:

Thanks to the runaway success of the iPhone, AT&T has the largest wireless network in the country—and the lousiest. Fed-up subscribers, who pay the telco about $30 a month just for data (and another $40 or so for voice), are planning an assault.


The idea is to cripple AT&T’s network in order to draw attention to its weakness. To do so, participating iPhone users will run data-heavy applications over AT&T’s 3G network on Friday from noon to 1 p.m. Pacific time.

Leander Kahney has Ma's response:

Fake Steve is calling on disgruntled AT&T customers to bring AT&T’s data network “to its knees” at 12 noon PST this Friday, December 18. ... AT&T has dismissed [it] as ... "An irresponsible and pointless scheme to draw attention to a blog. ... There is nothing amusing about advocating that customers attempt to deliberately degrade service on a network that provides critical communications services."


The action is in protest of comments made by a company executive that some iPhone users are using too much data. The protest started as a joke, but seems to have taking on a life of its own. Judging by comments on forums, Facebook and Twitter, people are planning to take part.

Seth Weintraub sees the irony; twice:

AT&T, being totally inept at PR, acknowledged the operation, thereby granting it more publicity than it would have ever gotten on its own. ... Nice work.


Want to know the most ironic part of this whole gag?  Most San Francisco/New Yorkers probably won't know the difference when the Chokehold hits or if it even has...which proves: if AT&T were really, really serious about providing critical communication services, they'd FIX THEIR F-ING NETWORK.

Steve Jobs Dan Lyons grins, foolishly:

So we’re off to a good start. Apparently we’ve hit a nerve, and why not? It’s tough being an iPhone user and putting up with the kind of abuse that we’ve had to suffer. Enough is enough! Keep spreading the word, people. Heck, maybe we can organize physical get-togethers, so Chokers can hang out and choke it together in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood. We’ll chant “Attica, Attica, Attica,” or something.

  Man I am feeling the way I did on the day I burned my draft notice at a protest. Anyone who’s in the executive offices — meet me in the David Crosby conference room and someone bring the bong. Peace.

But Dave Zatz says FSJ is out of line:

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs ... was once clever and entertaining. It’s decidedly less so this week. ... “Operation Chokehold” is no Boston Tea party. It’s a spiteful and selfish act. Which has probably been good for his blog traffic. But spearheading a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against one of the largest US communications networks may also attract the sort of attention he’ll be less pleased with.


I’m no fan of AT&T’s inferior network performance. But [FSJ's] plan does nothing to ameliorate the situation or enlighten the players – both AT&T and Apple are most assuredly aware of the situation. So, to my fellow pissed off AT&T customers, out of respect for all the pregnant women, business people, and me, let’s act responsibly and please keep the network up Friday.

So what's your take?

Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...


Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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