Funny thing about Apple -- getting its PR drones to respond to even a friendly request is like trying to get a straight answer out of an oil company executive. Unless you're named Mossberg, Pogue, Levy, or Baig, all you generally get is the sound of crickets.
Other big companies range from pretty good (Dell, HP) to fair (Google, Microsoft) to awful (Amazon, Facebook) at getting back to those of us with "press" cards tucked into our hat bands, but Apple's contempt for the media is in a class by itself.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Can't get enough of the Apple epic? Review recent history -- through Cringely's eyes -- in "Psst, pass it on: Apple has no secrets" | "The feds may be on to Apple's bad behavior" | "An iPhone thief unmasked, Jobs uncaged, and tablets unraveled" | "Steve Jobs: Savior or tyrant?" ]
Yet if you email Steve Jobs directly, you may get a response -- usually a terse one-liner telling you you're wrong, but sometimes a lot more.
This is what Valleywag blogger Ryan Tate discovered in the wee hours of Saturday morning when, after getting ticked off by an Apple commercial describing the iPad as "revolutionary," he penned a pointed missive to the Apple CEO.
Three hours later, Jobs responded -- initiating a long, sometimes heated, and NSFW email exchange that touched on Apple's refusal to support Flash even in its recompiled form, C++, Apple's Cocoa video technology, the MacBook Pro, the iPhone app store, Wired magazine, Bob Dylan, and adult Websites.
Per Jobs, the iPad's "revolution" is all about freedom:
Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.
Naturally, the money quote became Jobs promising to deliver a world "free from porn" on the iPad and iPhone (except, of course, for the 17,453,897 XXX sites you can reach using the Safari browser). And if he can't, Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales will step in and finish the job.
Remember, Valleywag is owned by the same blogging empire (so to speak) as Gizmodo, and Gizmodo and Apple are at war over that iPhone 4G prototype that went out for a few beers at a San Jose hofbrau last March and never made it home.
(eSarcasm has a complete timeline of the events surrounding that story, but I suspect they may be fudging the facts a bit.)