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In Dan Lyons's Fake Steve Jobs blog, he played the Apple CEO as a cynic who borrowed the cult-creation techniques of old-world and new-age mystics in order to more efficiently exploit a workforce and market products. But the actual Dan Lyons, now a bloggin' Newsweek reporter, has a heart. Speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo, Lyons apologized for not being as funny as his avatar Fake Steve Jobs since leaving Forbes and starting his new blog, Real Dan Lyons. So why did Lyons give up the ghost of Fake Steve? He confirmed for the crowd what Valleywag had reported:Lyons couldn't bring himself to mock a cancer sufferer who's wasting away.

Lyons says he had intended to bring The Secret Diary to Newsweek, but lost heart after Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in June, when it was apparent to all who saw him that the real Steve Jobs had lost a lot of weight.

So it wasn't because Newsweek ran afoul of Apple's top flack, Katie Cotton, in bringing Lyons on board, as the more conspiratorial rumors have suggested. Or it was, but then Lyons was introduced to Robot Steve Jobs and decided it was better to submit than resist the inevitable extinction of humanity at the hands of attractive, well-designed and verbally-abusive overlords from the Cupertino company. The reprogrammed Lyons now reports that Jobs looked better at the recent iPod Nano rollout event, and he may start blogging again. (Photo by Mark Coggins)