It's January, and that can only mean one thing: Apple has cranked the Hype Machine up to 11 again.
It used to be that Apple had to run the machine itself -- stoke up the fanboys, leak a few juicy details to select members of the press, then deny deny deny. (Former Apple marketing honcho John Martellaro has written a fascinating account of exactly how Apple does a "controlled leak" for The Mac Observer.) Now all it takes to whip the blogosphere into a frenzy is to spam out a cunningly cryptic invitation to a "special event" on Jan. 27.
[ Haven't had your fill of hype? Check out Cringely's observations on the enormous hype factory that was CES 2010. | And stay up to date on all Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
The invite is so groovy-looking that I -- like 16,456,298 other blogs -- feel compelled to reproduce it here.
What do all the splotches mean, exactly? The NSFW snarks at eSarcasm have a few theories. (My personal favorites: Apple is merging with Skittles, or this is what you get when you cross the Teletubbies with a steamroller.)
No matter. The Web is abuzz with news, rumor, innuendo, vague speculation, and pure drivel about what we'll be learning one week from today, as well as several comprehensive summaries of same. Here's my own version: