When Apple recently booked the cellar dining room at Pranna for a talk with 50 top executives from the New York Times, even restaurant higher-ups didn’t know who their VIP guest would be. But last night, Jobs came strolling in wearing what our source calls “a very funny hat — a big top hat kind of thing.” Jobs, who is recovering from a liver transplant last year, requested a mango lassi and penne (neither of which are on the Southern Asian restaurant’s menu, but with a shiny new iPad maybe in it for him, it’s not like the chef was going to say no). Our source says Jobs, who sat at the head of the "intimate, family-style gathering" with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, demonstrated the iPad and its functions, and spoke about how it could serve the future of media. As we've reported before, Times executives are wary of forging an exclusive contract with the Apple tablet, though they are moving forward with finding ways to charge for online usage. Jobs, who no doubt did his best to assuage their worries about a deal, confessed that, although he reads the Times online every day, even he likes to hold the Sunday edition in his hands. So there’s hope for print yet! On the weekends, anyway.
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