By Josh Quittner

The Macbook Air notwithstanding, the most interesting part of this year’s Macworld was that all the interesting stuff was leaked well in advance. This has rarely happened before.

Steve Jobs takes secrecy at least as seriously as he does clean design. I remember being rousted out of bed by an irate phone call from Jobs at midnight, the night before a Macworld where he was to launch the snowball iMac. I had written the cover story on that Mac for Time Magazine, and it was inadvertently published overseas on a website. Ooops. We got it down, but the damage was done, and I was told later that Jobs was so upset, at one point, he wanted to call off his Macworld address.

Jobs couldn’t be happy that Wired had the high points right about the world’s thinnest laptop yesterday. And I’m sure he was displeased that details about Apple (AAPL) getting into the movie rental business had begun slipping out a month ago.

In fact, if you read any of the top Apple fanboy sites, it was pretty clear that the Good Ship Apple was leaking all over the place. Naturally, as is typical in such cases, bloggers were taking great pains to claim that their predictions were based on intelligent “tea-leaf reading,” as opposed to reliable tips. Given Apple’s track record of shutting down unauthorized fan sites, I would, too.

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