Intel PR takes it on the chin

Accuracy. It's important to you, so it's important to us.

Accuracy. It's important to you, so it's important to us. No detail is too small to count.

So when we published the interview Intel chipmeister Pat Gelsinger gave us last week, we were stumped for an illustration. The picture of the man on his Intel PR website was of a smooth man, whereas I had beholden an hairy man. I've reported the full story of Gelsinger's Beard in depth before, so I was delighted to note on our renewed acquaintance that it was still in very good nick. In fact, Mike Magee of L'Inq and I discussed this at the event, with approval.

So, we ran an old and not very good photo we had that, while lacking much artistic merit, at least reflected reality.

Now, it came to pass that our sister site in the US saw the interview and thought they'd like to run it. Understandably, they fancied a better pic, so asked Intel. "Use the one from the PR website", said an Intel representative. "But it has no beard, and our sources indicate that Gelsinger is currently sporting chin obscured", said our American confreres.

"He's shaved it off", said the Intel PR.

Blimey. When I discussed this matter with Gelsinger some time back, he'd intimated that any future removal may mark some sort of internal target hit, as a motivational factor to his troops. Clearly, something was up. I decided that matters had come to a head, and it was time to escalate the matter to Defcon 1.

I would have to commit journalism.

Reader, I emailed him. Had the beard gone, I asked, and if so, was it a matter of industry importance? I pulled up the Intel stock price, and monitored it closely for signals.

Within minutes, Pat - who always plays an impressively straight bat - replied.

"I am clearly with a hairy face today and I have no plans to change this anytime soon (according to my wife, it is here to stay)."

We stood down the troops and wired San Francisco: "BEARD CONFIRMED AT HIGHEST LEVEL STOP INTEL PR MISTAKEN STOP DO NOT REPEAT DO NOT SHOW UNFURRED MANDIBLE STOP".

There are times in history which transcend mere events. The Cuban missile crisis. Armstrong on the Moon. Steve Ballmer selling Windows 1.0 -- in that jacket. And now you'll be able to tell your children and your childrens' children that you were there when the Matter of the Beard was finally laid to rest.

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