The world on Thursday finally — finally! — discovered the identity of the infamous bar patron who scooped up the lost Apple iPhone prototype from a Silicon Valley beer garden, thus setting off a chain of events that has taken us far afield from the technology world, into the murky waters of journalistic ethics and police raids.
Wired.com first identified the individual as Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old who lives in Redwood City, California. But it wasn’t long before an email from Mr. Hogan’s lawyer was shooting into the inboxes of journalists everywhere, defending him as “kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son.”
“He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone,” said the email from his lawyer, Jeffrey Bornstein.
The iPhone in question, an apparent prototype of Apple’s not-yet-released fourth-generation model, was accidentally left in the bar by a young Apple engineer. The device was eventually sold to gadget site Gizmodo for $5,000, which splashed it all over the Internet and caused a serious ruckus. Apple asked for the device back and took the case to police.
Authorities then raided the home of one of Gizmodo’s editors and seized his computers, trying to determine whether a felony theft had occurred. Lawyers were called, shield laws were debated, and the issue appears nowhere near resolved.