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Steve Jobs ninja story won't die on Web

Doug Gross
An animated video imagines the (presumably fictional) moment that Jobs' ninja stars are discovered.
An animated video imagines the (presumably fictional) moment that Jobs' ninja stars are discovered.
  • Tabloid tale of Steve Jobs packing ninja throwing stars making rounds on the Web
  • Apple calls the report, from a Japanese tabloid, "pure fiction"
  • Makers of viral Tiger Woods video envision Jobs morphing into ninja

(CNN) -- Steve Jobs is apparently not arming himself for ninja warfare.

Apple has found itself in the bizarre position of having to deny that claim this week after a tabloid report that its CEO was stopped at a Japanese airport with ninja throwing stars.

And the Web, presented the chance to ponder the beloved-or-reviled Jobs along with the iconic weapon of kung-fu movie lore, responded with glee.

Jobs no doubt could use some throwing stars, or shuriken, to eliminate some corporate competitors in a high-tech, bizarro-world battle. Apple ninjas vs. the power of Google Fu? We'd watch that.

But Apple was quick to dismiss the tabloid tale.

"Steve did visit Japan this summer for a vacation in Kyoto, but the incidents described at the airport are pure fiction," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said Wednesday. "Steve had a great time and hopes to visit Japan again soon."

In its latest issue, Japan's SPA! magazine claimed Jobs was stopped after a security scan at Osaka's Kansai International Airport while returning from a family vacation this summer.

It said that after Jobs was told he couldn't bring the stars on his private plane, he said he would never visit Japan again.

A Bloomberg story about the tabloid report said an airport spokesman confirmed that someone was stopped for trying to carry throwing stars onto a private plane in July but would not identify that person.

Of course, Apple's flat denial of the far-fetched story didn't stop technology writers and others on the internet from having fun with it.

Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese outfit responsible for the sublimely ridiculous Tiger Woods car-crash re-enactment, weighed in again.

In its latest effort, a Steve Jobs avatar (clearly fictional because his trademark black mock turtleneck looks more like a V-neck), magically morphs into a ninja and starts flinging throwing stars around the airport when he's stopped.

The tale has given tech writers plenty of fodder as well.

The tech bloggers at Gizmodo, which got on Jobs' bad side earlier this year with video of a prototype iPhone 4 before the phone was released, pondered their possible fate if the story was true.

"In any case, if any of us appear dead with a sai [a martial-arts dagger] up our most tender parts, another rumor would be confirmed: Steve has been watching too many Teenage Mutant Turtles episodes on his Apple TV," read a post on the blog Wednesday.

And Charles Arthur, a technology writer with London's Guardian newspaper, made some astute, albeit tongue-in-cheek, observations about Apple's denial.

"This does raise the point that ... Apple didn't actually deny that Jobs is a ninja - bit of wiggle room there," Arthur wrote. "Or perhaps he does have the ninja stars, but he wasn't stopped. Ah-ha!"


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