Archive for the ‘Newsflash’ Category
Media speculation ended today with the announcement that in early 2012, Apple will launch a new device called “iPen.” The face of the campaign will be the British writer Jake Wallis Simons (32), the company confirmed.
Details of the new product are sketchy. According to Apple sources, the device will be “any size and scale between a regular biro and a felt-tip,” and will “come fully charged with iInk, giving users 134 hours writing time right out the box.” iPen will also have an extraordinary idling time of at least two years. It will be compatible with any sort of paper or card, although the internet is buzzing with rumours that Apple will also launch an “iPaper” and “iCard.”
“Just think,” said Jake Wallis Simons, speaking for the first time in his role as an ambassador for Apple. “Within two years we could be writting an iLetter on iPaper with our iPens, putting it in an iEnvelope, and dropping it into an iPostbox. The possibilities are endless. This really is the new frontier.”
But the device is not without its detractors. The American technology website CNET released a statement yesterday welcoming the iPen to the marketplace, but voicing concerns about Apple’s strategy to ship it “only with black iInk for the first six months.” This makes the produce “unnecessarily limited,” and could lead to “user dissatisfaction,” it said. The issue could particularly affect teachers, who “would wait to purchase iPen until red iInk is introduced.” CNET also expressed concerns about “compatibility issues,” shedding new doubts about how well iPen may synch with other Apple products. As for PC users, CNET said, they are “totally in the dark.”
For Apple fans, however, this development marks the next step in Apple’s extraordinary story of innovation. “I can’t wait to get my hands on iPen,” said a chap called Steve, a self-confessed Apple fanatic, from his tent outside the Apple Store in Covent Garden last night. “iPen’s instant-on feature will enable me to make notes instantaneously, without having to boot up my Macbook or unlock my iPhone. iPen is 100% wireless, and can work on anything – even the back of my hand.” He also expressed enthusiasm about the new range of iPen cases which will soon be available online.
“This has come at the right time for me,” said Jake Wallis Simons, the new face of the iPen campaign. “I have long used Apple products in the hope that I will one day regain the usability I previously enjoyed with old-skool paper and pens. Now with iPen and iPaper, Apple has scratched that itch. Thank you, Apple!”
“They made contact with me in an Apple Shop, of all places,” says Simons. “A man in a trenchcoat and 1950s fedora offered me a circa 2005 32GB iPod in return for my services. At first I didn’t know which Agency he was from. Then he asked me to come to his house for a bowl of mămăliga and a chat, and I knew he could only be from the SIE HQ in Bucharest.”
Mămăliga, a cornmeal mush served on its own or as an accompaniment, is a popular dish in Romania.
At first, Simons says, he was tempted. “I’ve always liked mush, whether cornmeal or otherwise,” he says. “And an iPod from 2005 is practically a collector’s item.” Moreover, he continued, he was getting desperate; recently, as blog readers will appreciate, he suffered rejection from both MI6 and the Russian secret service, the Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации.
However, Simons’ bubble was burst when the role he was being offered became clearer. “I had assumed they wanted me to be an Agent,” he explains, “but gradually I realised that they wanted me to Teach English As A Foreign Language (TEFL) to their operatives in Bucharest, at a rate of £3.50 per hour.” After brief consideration, the writer declined.
This morning, the SIE released a statement in which they denied any role in the debacle and blamed the “overactive imagination of the novelist.”
“We cannot be held responsible for what calamity may befall the writer if he dies not desist from spreading such malicious untruths,” Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu, Director of the Agency, did not say. “Rumours that I have a poison-tipped umbrella are likewise completely false. But if I did have one, I would not be afraid to use it.”
Headlines have been dominated this week by damning revelations surrounding the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, who is rumoured to have had a number of compromising relationships with various young men. This morning, fresh allegations emerged that Dr Fox is “actually a literal fox.”
“I was as shocked as anyone else,” says Jake Wallis Simons (32), the novelist and journalist who uncovered the damaging information. “But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Foxes are known for their stealth and cunning. It’s not a coincidence that this creature managed to become a senior figure in British politics.”
The revelations are supported by transcripts of a 2003 interview in which Liam Fox confessed to “a visceral dislike of farmers,” and an “overwhelming passion for chickens.” He also confessed to having “intimate knowledge of my constituents’ bins.” These comments were initially dismissed by analysts as being frivolous, but they are now being taken more seriously.
In another startling development, the Guardian today leaked details of some unreleased video footage showing Dr Fox at a late-night bar with an unidentified young man. A large fox’s tail – known to specialists as a “brush” – can clearly be seen protruding from under his raincoat.
“We are currently subjecting the footage to a series of rigorous tests to establish its authenticity,” a source from the newspaper said. “Once these tests have been completed to our satisfaction, we will release the Fox Tapes on our website.”
When questioned about his sources, Simons was candid. “I heard on the local grapevine that a member of the Scottish animal community had infiltrated British politics at the highest level,” he explained. “The foxes, of course, closed ranks. So I began by questioning my sources in the hedgehog population, but they were reluctant to give anything away. The same went for the squirrels and badgers. Finally, however, I was approached by a group of weasels who alleged that the Defence Secretary is, in actual fact, a literal fox. As I said, I was as shocked as anyone.”
Late last night, the Defence Secretary’s office released the following statement: “Liam Fox is recuperating after some nocturnal scavenging last night. We can nonetheless state categorically that at no time was he dependent on any Canidaelean behaviour, from the time he took office until the present.”
Dr Fox is due to make a statement to the Commons later today.
“It will simply be a normal day like any other,” said Jake Wallis Simons (32), speaking to reporters at his home yesterday. “I’ll wake up in the morning, have a shave, turn to my lucky writing aftershave and – poof – it will be empty. Just like that. This is a real danger, and I’m trying to raise awareness.”
Simons has been using “Scent of Chokolat” aftershave since July this year. He bought it while on a trip to Portugal, and has not looked back since. “It has a rather unusual scent,” Simons explained. “It’s sort of a bit chocolately, but then also smells a bit of handsoap or something. It’s totally, unique, very cheap, and very lucky. When I wear it, my writing flows like the brown river in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.”
The problem is, Scent of Chokolat is very rare. It is only available in Tomar, a small town in the centre of Portugal, and supplies are very limited. According to a Chokolat spokesman, the aftershave takes an unusually long time to produce.
“The frightening thing is,” said Simons, “the more I use it, the less there will be. I call that the Aftershave Change Theory.”
Although Aftershave Change – the notion that aftershave simply “runs out” when used – is supported by the majority of scientists, it is by no means accepted across the board. While some experts refer to AC as a “proven set of facts,” opinions differ vehemently. Many factions still strongly feel that the decline in the level of aftershave in the bottle is the result of a natural aftershavic adjustment. “We have seen aftershavic decline several times over the course of Simons’ lifetime,” explained Professor Steve Stevenson, an Aftershave Change sceptic. “There is every reason to believe that the current lows represent simply a fluctuation in an otherwise stable situation. The scaremongers should be ashamed of themselves. There should be no cause for aftershavic alarm.”
The problem for Simons is that since ”Scent of Chokolat” is his lucky aftershave, he cannot afford to take the gamble. ”If the bottle did run dry,” he said, “everything would fall apart. I’d be afflicted with writer’s block forever, and life would not be worth living. We need to get the message out there. It’s vital that we all take steps to combat Aftershave Change now – before it’s too late.”
News emerged today that Jake Wallis Simons (32), a novelist and journalist, has been approached by the Russian secret service, the Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации (or FSB for short).
“Although it was top secret, they had discovered that I’d recently applied to join MI6, and been rejected,” said Simons. “They suggested that I join the Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации as a mole, under the codename Sloppy Seconds.”
Although he did not say so directly, Simons intimated that the approach by the Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации mirrors their attempt at recruiting a young David Cameron in 1985. “Cameron was approached by a sexy couple on a beach,” said Simons, “but he was able to resist their allures. Personally, I was approached by a chap calling himself Steve, who was wearing a trenchcoat and smoking a cigarillo. It amounts to the same thing. David and I are men of a similar calibre.”
Speculation surrounds the question of whether or not Simons accepted the Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации’s offer. “To be honest, I’m not allowed to say either way,” he said. “My controllers have forbidden it. MI5 have ears everywhere.”
He confirmed rumours that he had started to study Russian, but said that this was “just a hobby.”
“Don’t forget, President Dmitri Medvedev said that Cameron would have made a very good agent,” Simons stressed. “I’d like to think he would say the same of me.”
A Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации spokesperson, however, denied that they had any interest in the writer. “We have never heard of him,” he said, fondling a vial of polonium-210 in his trouser pocket. “What could we do with a novelist anyway? We don’t recruit writers. It just doesn’t make sense.”
All Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации agents are young and good looking, anyway, he added.
Simons was trawling through the Wikileaks dossier, just to see if he could find any details that other people had missed. “A cable of May 2003 shows that before he was famous, David Cameron played the role of Igglepiggle in In The Night Garden,” he explained. “Thinking about it, it was just so obvious.”
Although the claims are hard to dispute, Downing Street has been evasive. “We are unable to confirm or deny that the Prime Minister either did nor did not play Igglepiggle or any of the other characters on children’s television,” a Spokesman did not say. “He may or may not, or he may not or he may. We neither have, no do not have, any further comment.”
According to Simons, further revelations include the fact that Cherie Blair once auditioned for the role of Upsy Daisy, and that Cameron once played the roles of all three Tombliboos when the regular actors didn’t turn up.
“He was a very versatile actor,” Andrew Davenport, one of the producers of the popular children’s series, did not say. “We could tell he was destined for great things.”
Sources close to the Prime Minister confirmed that Cameron still has his blanket from his Igglepiggle days, and has told close friends that he “thinks of his time in children’s entertainment fondly.”
In an unexpected development last night, Jake Wallis Simons (32), a writer, had a dream of himself wearing a suit. “It’s not that I’m particularly against suits in general,” he told reporters at a press conference this morning. “I myself have several different suits which I have been known to break out from time to time. This is no bare-footed hippy you’re looking at here. But this was different. It was a proper, pinstriped, double-breasted, silk-lined business suit. It even had a hankie in the breast pocket. I’ve never owned a suit like that in my life.”
But was he wearing a tie?
“Yes,” he replies without pausing for thought. “A tie that perfectly matched the hankie.”
Professor Steven Freud, a psychoanalyst from Belsize Park, London, said that interpreting the dream was an easy job. “It’s clear that Simons is regretting his career choice,” he explained. “His unconscious mind is screaming at him, give up the wordsmithery! Become a banker! Train as a lawyer! Before it’s too late and you go bankrupt! Either that or it is representative of his oedipal complex.”
Simons, however, disagreed. “That’s just a load of cock,” he said. “I am so glad to be an impoverished writer. So fucking glad.”
The problem, he said was taking one expert view in isolation. “You need to build a consensus on these things,” he said, “or else it’s not honest reporting.”
He waved his hand and Mystical Margot McGuinness, a soothsayer from Co. Tyrone, emerged from behind a curtain. “This dream fortells great success for Simons,” she told the press conference, “great success. The suit is a symbol of luxury and riches, which shall soon be attained through his writing. That psychoanalyst doesn’t know what he’s carping about.”
With that, Simons and McGuinness walked off the stage, leaving the press conference in the hands of Simons’ lawyer.
“I can’t really comment,” he told reporters, “as the process is top secret. Suffice to say that I was approached at a cocktail party by a chap called Steve, who asked me to attend an interview at a secret location in Connaught Place, London, just opposite the Mayfair Conference Centre, in one of the upstairs rooms. Number 314 I think it was. At the interview I was asked about my views on Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, extraordinary rendition and the legality or otherwise of targeted assassinations. I was also asked in what circumstances I believed that international law did not apply. Then I was subjected to extensive psychometric testing, and a rigorous physical examination. I was exhorted not to breathe a word of this to anyone, and told I would receive my next instructions within ten working days. At the end of the interview, they asked me if I had any questions. I asked if the code name 007 was taken in real life, and if not, could I bagsie it? They said they’d factor it in. I’m actually really excited.”
When asked what prompted the sudden career change, Simons was candid. “It all comes down to my deep-seated sense of patriotism, which was magnified following the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks,” he said. “Also I could do with a steady income. And a license to kill would be not unwelcome.”
MI6 sources, however, have dismissed the writer as just one of hundreds of fantasists they face every week. “Nobody has ever approached the man, and if he contacted us, we’d certainly never take him seriously,” they said. “What use could a hapless novelist ever be to us? Connaught Place? What? Simons has just written a thriller, don’t forget. We think that speaks for itself.”
Simons responded with characteristic disdain. “They would say that, wouldn’t they?” he said.
When Jake Wallis Simons (32), a British writer, received news of the Booker Shortlist, he reacted with an unprecedented display of elation. “I couldn’t contain my joy,” he told reporters today. “I had zero stake in it, personally. I wasn’t even longlisted. Yet I felt spontaneously happy. It was weird.”
Pundits have speculated that Simons’ outburst of emotion was due to a vicarious sense of celebration on behalf of Alison Pick, whose novel Far To Go shares many common themes with Simons’ own The English German Girl. One analyst even described it as “displacement euphoria.” According to Simons, however, the real reason is rather different.
“It came to me in the middle of the night,” he told reporters this morning. “I dreamed that a grapefruit on the table started speaking to me. It told me that the reason for my cheerfulness was that whereas before there were thirteen titles highlighting my inferiority, now there are only six. In a way, since the Shortlist was announced I’ve become 46.15% better as a writer. The grapefruit’s insight struck a chord with me. I think it was saying sooth. Now I’m really looking forward to the winner being announced.”
Alison Pick, who is rumoured to be appearing alongside Simons at Jewish Book Week 2012, was unavailable for comment.
It has emerged that Jake Wallis Simons (32), a British journalist and novelist, has been under sustained attack by unscrupulous newshounds. A chain of slanderous reports have dominated the headlines, lifting on his personal hygiene, spelling abilities, culinary tastes, and business plans. Now, in an unprecedented step, he has begun what he calls “a Cameronian fightback.”
“Enough is enough,” he told a group of reporters who were camped outside his home in what has become known as the Simons Village. “This intrusion has gone on long enough. It’s time for me to protect myself and my family.”
According to reports, Simons responded to a Spam email entitled “Reputation Repair – Get Negative Search Engine Results Removed Fast.” He contacted Tiffany Xangreb at Fivestar Services – a startup company based in Lagos, Nigeria – and in a single conversation a deal was agreed. He emailed his credit card details to Nigeria immediately.
“Let’s face it, this is not going to be cheap,” Simons admitted. “But Tiffany assures me it will be worth it. Apparently, Fivestar Services will remove negative content about me, boost ranking of ‘positive’ content, and fix online reputation problems fast. It will be the best twenty thousand pounds I’ve ever spent.”
Simons’ family remained sceptical. “That boy,” said his grandmother, shaking her head sadly. “That boy.”
Simons, however, said that they “just don’t understand” the cut-throat nature of the online world.
“It’s a digital jungle out there,” he explained. “For weeks now, a rogue site calling itself jakewallissimons.com has been producing libellous blog entries, all of which are completely untrue. They have even been imitating my writing style. I’ve never known anything like it.”
A reporter armed with a nightvision telescope has revealed that as a result of this malicious website, Simons has been finding it difficult to sleep. While Simons has neither confirmed nor denied this, he admits that jakewallissimons.com has been “disturbing my peace of mind.”
“All this will change when Fivestar Services get going,” he said. “Those bastards will wish they had never been born. I’ll fight for as long as my credit card lasts. I’ll either be a martyr or a victor. Like that Libyan chap, what’s his name? Gadaffi. Steve Gadaffi.”