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Gawker Bids $100K For The New Apple Tablet

The last I heard, the yet-to-be-released Apple tablet/ iSlate ticket price was rumored at $1000. But the cost, specs and design of the device was kept under close wraps by the secretive Steve Jobs, who's motto should be "there will be no wine, before it's time." However that was all about to change when a promotional scheme devised by the Gawker Media/Valleywag team was released to their readership.

It was a novel idea. Offer the public a $100K 'Scavenger Hunt' for anyone who could provide inside trader information by presenting the new Apple Tablet to the Valleywag staff in their Silicon Valley offices . Apple, on the other hand was less than pleased.

Actually, managing editor Gabriel Snyder's Scavenger Hunt had four levels of incentives attached to the promotion. $10,000 for "bona fide" pictures of the device, $20,000 for video, $50,000 for pictures or video of Apple CEO Steve Jobs holding the tablet, and $100,000 "to let the Valleywag staff play with it for one hour.



Gabriel SnyderGabriel Snyder
With their January 14 announcement, Snyders's plea for insider information was playfulSteve Jobs and the Messiah Machine TabletsSteve Jobs and the Messiah Machine Tablets and literary as he labeled Apple's device as the "holy grail" and the "messiah machine."

However he also displayed his frustration when he released the following:

  • "We've had enough of trying to follow all the speculation around Apple's impending tablet — how it'll work, its size, the name, the software and whether it will save magazines. We want answers, dammit! And we're willing to pay."
So the Hunt was on. And it only took 24 hours before Gawker announced its first winner - Apple, themselves! In Snyder's January 14 column he congratulated Michael Spillner of the prestigious Menlo Park law firm of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe by noting, that by receiving a letter from their firm "they had the most concrete proof of the messiah machines' existence so far." However Spillner's Scavenger Hunt  letter wasn't really an entry into the contest at all - it was a warning to cease and desist.

And in that letter , it noted that If the Valleywag contest did not shelve their campaign, then Apple  "reserved the right to seek any and all remedies" against Snyder, Gawker Media, and anyone who provides information on Apple trade secrets as a result of the offer.

Well one would think that would have been enough to stop Valleywag in their Scavenger Hunting tracks. Apparently not!  Vallewag is not backing down. Up until 3 hours prior to this posting, they announced they were still offering prizes for information about the tablet / iSlate and have advised would-be participants to use anonymous email addresses.

Proposed Design for iSlateProposed Design for iSlateNow I need to review one of my past blogs titled, "The $1000 Apple Tablet Remains A Secret Until The Big Reveal." In that article, I not only researched 20 potential designs for the Apple Tablet by well known tech designers, I posted their interpretations. So if you're not afraid of a herd of lawyers coming after you, feel free to send one or two of them to Snyder and his team. Chances are he has already seen them...but it might be a kick in the head to see if you get a call from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe!

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Ron Callari
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