Apple Fans Turn Ugly

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From: Tom Whore (
Date: Thu Sep 07 2000 - 12:59:10 PDT

From Wired,1284,38607,00.html

A self-proclaimed "guerrilla group" of Mac users plans to disrupt the
keynote speech of Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the Apple Expo in Paris later
this month. The protest is scheduled for Sept. 13, the day Apple (AAPL) is
slated to release the public beta of Mac OS X.

According to an email credited to the "Expo Protest Team" that was sent to
Wired News, the group will be griping about three key issues: Apple's
treatment of its users, the company's legal threats against websites and
people who release information about Apple products before a product's
official release, and Apple's treatment of its European customers,
particularly those in the Great Britain.

The email says that the planned protest will take the form of an
"alternative" speech by team members that will be delivered "in the
middle" of Job's keynote speech.

According to an anonymous email sent by a person who claimed to be a
member of the group, the protesters will "have a number of people planted
in the audience, so that as one protesting speech-giver is ushered from
the room, another will pop up to take his or her place, and so on. "Every
single member of the group will know the full text of the speech we want
to deliver and we will have a sufficient number of people there to ensure
that our message is heard," the email warned.

Piers Brown-Hill, a London-based Apple IT supervisor, said he's spoken
with members of the group, who contacted him asking for support during the
protest. "They are upset about Apple's threats to take legal action
against 'gossip sites' and are particularly upset over the cancellation of
U.K.-based expos and events," Brown-Hill said.

John Davies, a computer repair technician in London who plans to attend
the Paris Expo, believes that many would welcome an "English, not
American" version of the Mac operating system, and agreed that Apple has
been "rather snarky" with its users lately. But he doesn't support the

"There are better ways to handle this," Davies said. "Interrupting Jobs'
speech will just get people annoyed at the protesters. Jobs gives
brilliant speeches, and the protesters may be clubbed like baby seals if
they dare to interrupt his spiel."

But it seems that the group is particularly set upon interrupting Jobs'
keynote. The text of the group's email accused Apple -- and Jobs in
particular -- of growing "arrogant" and not recognizing the loyalty of the
users who "stuck with the company during the dark years." "Apple needs to
realize it is in a unique position within the computer market, in as much
as it has fans as well as customers," the email said. "Apple needs to
adapt the way it deals with these people and find some other way of
dealing with them other than sending in the lawyers." The group promises a
peaceful protest, with "no throwing of rotten apples."

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