Top eight tech twits of 2009

Once again it’s time for me to honour the individuals who acted the most like turkeys over the last 11 months. (Next month I’ll get to my awards for malfeasance and general ass-hattedness by groups and corporations.)

Last year I honored rocker Axl Rose, escort-friendly ex-governor Eliot Spitzer, Chinese Premier Jen Waibao, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, and Yahoo’s Jerry Yang with virtual Gobbler statuettes.

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Here are eight public figures from 2009, who really need to get stuffed.

Apple Tableteers

The flying car is more real than this mythical object of fascination. It’s certainly not Apple’s fault.

No, it’s the members of the breathless Apple-tablet-obsessed blogosphere (you know who you are) who deserve this accolade for stoking a few sparks into a raging inferno of dubious information. We may yet see an Apple tablet, but I for one have long stopped caring.

Cem Kinay

The Turks & Caicos resort developer earns his place on my list for his attempts to squash tiny TCI Journal, a volunteer-based news site that had the temerity to report Kinay was one of the developers accused of bribing the island’s governor into handing over choice real estate for a fraction of its actual value.

The governor was removed from office, and Kinay’s attempts to suppress knowledge of his part in the scandal have been for naught.

Glenn Beck

Yes, I know, I’m going to hear it from the Fox Faithful. Too bad. Beck’s shameless scare mongering about some secret government plan to “own” our computers via the Cash for Clunkers program was beyond ludicrous. If you want to continue to believe that, be my guest. I’m buying shares in the company that makes Reynolds Wrap — I predict huge spikes in the price of tin foil over the next three years.

Liskula Cohen and Rosemary Port.

Skanker meet skankee. Cohen earns the Gobbler for pursuing a very public lawsuit when a quiet nastygram would have done what she allegedly wanted: taking down Port’s anonymous Skanks in NYC blog.

Port gets the nod for using the blogosphere in an attempt to destroy Cohen’s reputation — and ended up destroying the notion that blogging can be an anonymous pastime.

I think they should have settled this the old-fashioned way: nude mud wrestling.

Charles Neeson

This Harvard Law professor set out to establish the unconstitutionality of the RIAA’s Gestapo-like copyright enforcement tactics.

But his defense of file-swapper Joel Tenenbaum was so downright weird — including crumbling up styrofoam to show the jury how songs get broken into bits and distributed across the Internet — you had to wonder if he was lighting up during the recess (and I’m not talking about tobacco).

Joel lost, and so did everyone else who wanted to see the RIAA bullies taught a lesson.

Henry McMaster

The South Carolina attorney general threatened Craigslist with a lawsuit over its escort service ads.

Then Craigslist fired back with a list of all the other places you could find escorts in the Palmetto State that McMaster was conveniently ignoring. Craigslist changed the name of its ad category from Erotic Services to Adult Services, McMaster dropped the threats and proclaimed victory.

Have we mentioned he’s now hoping to move into the governor’s mansion? We hope they don’t mind turkey poop.

And finally, my Turkey of the Year:

Michael Arrington

There are so many reasons why Captain Crunch deserves this honour — from his shameless rumour-mongering (remember “Apple buying Twitter”?) to his ethical pretensions (lecturing the New York Times, no less, yet himself publicizing confidential Twitter documents obtained from a hacker) to his blind insistence on products everyone but he and his mysterious sources claim do not exist.

But he’s mostly on here for the CrunchPad, the über-Web tablet that would be king.

It remains an extremely promising device — mostly because Arrington keeps promising to deliver it. Maybe he’ll manage to get it out before Thanksgiving 2010.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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