It turns out that Fake Steve Jobs is a senior editor at Forbes named Daniel Lyons. Surprisingly, this was broken by the NYT rather than some obsessive tech blogger. Maybe we do need old media after all.

Update: FSJ himself says the same thing. Also, on the NYT's tech blog, Brad Stone (who broke the story) asks "Are you happy that the mystery has been solved? Or did we just ruin the fun for everyone?" In the comments, 21 out of 23 commenters pick the latter. "Ruined it completely. Sux big time!" writes MS. Obviously, this is a biased sample set but these folks are, not to put too fine a point on it, total morons. Dennis O'Connor takes the prize for perverse logic with:

Regardless of your infantile need to expose FSJ, we will continue to enjoy his comments if he chooses to continue. He should quit and let the scorn of thousands be heaped around your ears for ruining a good thing.
But he has some stiff competition from Matthew J, who says:
with all of the real news that needs to be slethed by a talented reporter such as yourself, isn’t it more than a little sophmoric to cover this at your paper AND, at the same time, ruin a perfectly good bit of sport?
(Um, how is this ruining a bit of sport rather than participating in it and winning?)

I sympathize with these morons on one point: it was kind of neat when FSJ was anonymous, because you could pretend he was a real person, like e.g. the Earth-Two version of Steve Jobs or something. And now we know he's a fictional construct, created by a guy who happens to have a vendetta against the open-source movement. That's kind of a shame, because the pleasure of FSJ is the plausibility of its insights into Steve Jobs's head. I had thought, Yeah, I bet Steve Jobs really does think that the Free Software people are losers. And I still think he probably does, but the fun of speculation is dampened by the fact that this is obviously the author's POV too.

Still, that same observation reveals something interesting: it makes sense that a guy who engages in a long-term ventriloquism project like this one, who spends more than a year thinking "What might Steve Jobs have to say today?", will wind up writing about the topics that interest him, even if he does so through the point of view of his subject. Like if I decided to write a blog in the voice of Fake Steve Martin or Fake Stevie Wonder or Fake Stephen Hawking, I'd end up writing about that fake person's perspective on comic books and Apple. Something like this happens in most fiction, I suspect, although I have so far kept references to comics and Apple to a minimum in my own novel-in-progress.

Plus more: Daniel Lyons's personal blog, the one in his own voice that mostly covers open-source shenanigans, is a funny and interesting window into a world about which I know very little. Most of it is straight reporting/opinionizing, but here's a satirical entry that could have appeared word for word on FSJ.