MacRumors, one of the many sites which cover Apple's annual Macworld product launches, has had its live coverage infiltrated, with someone adding the false news of Steve Jobs's death to the blow-by-blow reports.

For a small, Apple-obsessed website like MacRumors, the annual Macworld keynote is like its Super Bowl. And having its site hacked is like activists infiltrating NBC's satellite truck and telling the audience the quarterback kicked the bucket.

What makes the stunt all the worse: Jobs, the quarterback in question, isn't even giving the speech, having cancelled his appearance in an attempt to regain his health. And there have already been false reports of his death circulating.

The usual talking-head blather on business-news cable networks about these incidents: Why, there must be short sellers behind this, trying to manipulate Apple stock! That strikes me as unlikely. Users of the 4chan bulletin board, known for their obnoxious pranks, took credit. Since Jobs returned to Apple over a decade ago, the company has saturated the airwaves with ads. Technology-soaked teenagers, looking at an authority figure to strike back at, naturally gravitate to Jobs, knowing an Apple-obsessed media will pay attention. (See? It worked!) A juvenile stunt doesn't require a financial conspiracy theory to explain it.

MacRumors' hacked page: