Note from the Executive Editor:
This article was originally published on October 12 on Medium by Derek Ross. The article has since been taken down by Medium after the subject of this article filed a DMCA complaint on the images. We believe that this was an abuse of the DMCA process and decided to republish the article on behalf of Evan Blass/@evleaks. We will only take down the article if we get a court order to remove this article.
Throughout the mobile technology world fans and enthusiasts either love it or hate it when an upcoming device leaks to the public. They love leaks for giving them a glimpse of the future and of course the accompanying hype that comes with the territory. Others hate leaks as they tend to steal the show from upcoming product manufacturers. In the world of leaks one name stands out amongst the others and that name is Evan Blass, also known as, @evleaks.
When Evan retired from the mobile leaking game he was asked where the world should turn to for device leaks and tech news. In an interview with The Next Web, Evan recommended someone by the name of TK Tech News, a virtual nobody. Since then, TK Tech News has been causing a lot of drama throughout the mobile tech community from supposed leaks, to personal attacks, and even questionable journalism. Let’s take a look at this unfortunate saga and expose TK Tech News for the person that he truly is: a fraud.
If you follow TK Tech News you’re probably familiar with this phrase: “Hi this is TK from TK Tech News.” It’s the opening line from all of his YouTube videos, where he has the largest following. “TK” has told the world numerous times on social media accounts that he is TK O’Connor, a former NHL player and coach. During an interview he stated that he’s played hockey and coached in the NHL, IHL, and even coached in Japan. He stated that he played for the New Jersey Devils and the Anaheim Ducks. He claims to have also coached for the Portland Winter Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, Providence Bruins, and last year for the Los Angeles Kings.
The only person that has played for the Ducks and the Devils and has the name O’Connor would be Myles O’Connor. Last month I reached out to TK Tech News to confirm his identity. He told me that he was Myles O’Connor and that he legally changed his name to TK O’Connor back in 2007. However, according to the LA Kings web roster, no one by the name of TK O’Connor or Myles O’Connor was listed as a coach in the last few years.
The question then turns into is TK Tech News really Myles O’Connor? Sadly no, no he is not. Say hello to the real Myles O’Connor.
Myles O’Connor lists on his LinkedIn page that he played Professional Hockey in the National Hockey League from 1989 to 1993. After his hockey career, he went back to his hometown in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to work at his families prosperous retail clothing store. O’Connors Men’s & Women’s Clothing & Footwear has been in the Myles O’Connor’s family for over 50 years where he is now a full partner.
Why would TK Tech News lie about his identity and try to portray himself as Myles O’Connor? Possibly credibility? TK Tech News often posts pictures of his hockey rings, the Tesla Model S, often speaks of flying all over the world, and even paying off a Motorola employee with a large sum of money for a Moto X leak. These are all feats that might be hard for the average person to accomplish, but seem more probable for someone that was once famous to be able to obtain.
When it comes to being anonymous online, especially when you’re supposedly leaking information, being anonymous is understandable. However, the constant betrayal of those that follow you is not commendable. Especially when you’re stating time and time again that you’re a once famous hockey player and using that influence to produce leaks.
Sadly the TK Tech News saga of lies and deception doesn’t end here, this is only the surface. So, who is TK Tech News really? He’s Thomas Connors or Thomas Kelley Connors — see where the TK from TK Tech News comes from? Let’s take a look at the many businesses of “TK”.
TK’s venture into tech news reporting didn’t start with the name he’s currently portraying. In 2012 Thomas Connors, his wife or girlfriend Patricia Pizer, and Wendy Despain started a company called Way Too Far Games. The company seeked to raise capital on CrowdFunder.com, stating that the team was composed of a mobile guru (Thomas), a game designer (Patricia), and others.
If the name Way Too Far Games sounds familiar, that’s because it’s listed in the official URL of TK Tech News’ YouTube channel and used to be the official name of the channel before changing it to TK Tech News. Way Too Far Games and TK Tech News are clearly linked here and used to be the same persona.
Way Too Far Games and the domain name waytoofargames.com, owned by Patricia Prizer, can be found elsewhere on the web too. Patricia lists herself as the CEO and founder on LinkedIn as well as Facebook. Thomas Connors also links waytoofargames.com as his website on his personal Facebook account, further linking the business name and person together, besides being Facebook friends and faving dozens of photos with Patricia.
To further link the couple together, Patricia was once listed as the owner of tktechnews.com. The whois data has changed, but thanks to whoisolgy, we can see the goods below.
Way Too Far Games seems to be a real company though, having various titles available on Amazon’s Appstore available for download and even posting for job listings back in July of 2012, claiming to be a mobile development company focusing on Android and ran by former hockey players.
In fact, both Patricia Pizer and Thomas Kelley Connors were listed on the Downtown Orlando Global Game Jam site. Thomas is listed as the CTO for Way Too Far Games.
As a quick recap, the above shows that TK Tech News used to be called Way Too Far Games on YouTube. A man by the name of Thomas Connors worked for and links to Way Too Far Games, which is owned by Patricia Pizer, a game developer.
While browsing the TK Tech News YouTube Channel, which is listed user WayTooFarGames, you might notice that the Twitter account name @PrePaidNerds is listed under the about section. Well, that’s because TK Tech News used to be called PrePaidNerds too.
TK used to introduce himself as ‘Hi this is TK from PrePaidNerds’ and has cross posted YouTube videos from ‘TK Tech News’ for awhile to the @PrePaidNerds Twitter account. Some of his early YouTube videos reference this as well. You can even visit PrePaidNerds.com and see that the site is even titled TK Tech News. It seems that PrePaidNerds wasn’t as successful as hoped and the owner morphed into a different persona, but evidence of the old business name and linking them are still easily found.
Next we have The Gaming Post TV, which is a business that once again, was ran by Thomas Connors. The Gaming Post goes back to early 2013, which focused on mostly gaming news from console games and mobile games. Almost all of the web site content has been removed, except for one post which states that in August 2014, The Gaming Post was acquired by TK Media.
Let’s backtrack a little with The Gaming Post, before they were “acquired”. TGP was listed as the sole media outlet to report on Way Too Far Games seeking funds on CrowdFunder.com. If you remember from above, Way Too Far Games is the company that Thomas Connors works for and is the original name for the TK Tech News YouTube channel. TGP also posted links to an Instagram account which showed a photo of an iPad browsing thegamingpost.com from April 2013. That Instagram account, thinicegames, also contains a selfie of someone that looks identical to Thomas Connors portrayed in the Facebook photos above. Said Instagram account has the name Thomas Kelley T.K. listed as the owner.
Once again, who is TK Tech News? Well, he’s Thomas Kelley Connors, a former owner of PrePaidNerds, a former owner of The Gaming Post TV, and has a stake in Way Too Far Games. The above showed that TK Tech News claims to be Myles O’Connor, which is clearly not the case after seeing the real Myles. A man by the name of Thomas Kelley Connors has ties to every company, website, and social media account listed above. They’re the same person.
Back in October 2013 TK Tech News posted this video on his Google+ page. For the first time in video we can see TK’s face when he says: “This is TK from TK Tech News” during his introduction. The man portrayed in the video is clearly the same man shown on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the name Thomas Connors or Thomas Kelley Connors.
TK Tech News has used various profile photos over the years on his Twitter, Instagram, and even Disqus accounts that seem to corroborate his story of being a former NHL player. A quick reverse Google Image Search shows that the profile images used by TK are of New Jersey Devils legend Ken Danekyo.
Could TK actually be Ken? Here’s a picture of Ken, which clearly looks nothing like the man in the video above stating that he’s TK from TK Tech News nor does he look like Thomas Connors, the man linked to TK Tech News and his previous businesses and affiliations above.
If he’s not Myles O’Connor and he’s not Ken Daneyko, then who is he and why does he portray himself in this manner? TK is clearly a hockey fan, from looking at his Facebook page, so he can definitely talk the talk. TK has also shown various pictures of him with a Tesla Model S, spoken about it in a video, and even gone as far as posting pictures of his Stanley Cup ring on Instagram. Well, anyone can go to a Tesla showroom and take photos or even take the electric vehicle for a test drive and you can buy a fake Stanley Cup ring on Amazon for $80. Thomas Connors clearly has has put a lot of time and effort into upholding the images of a former NHL player over the past couple years. Pretty shady, but not the end of the story.
To make matters worse, whenever TK Tech News is confronted on any of the above findings or any act that may prove to dig into his past, he threatens legal repercussions. These so called lawyers contact the said individuals stating that something has been filed and they’ll be contacted in the future or the so called counsel asks for a range of personal information. Normally, lawyers don’t send email as a proper way to serve legal papers. Lawyers and legal papers are served via USPS, generally with a signature required. Besides, every time so called counsel contacts someone on TK’s behalf, it’s a different individual from a different firm. Sounds fishy, right?
At the beginning of this article Evan Blass / @evleaks was mentioned for a reason. When Evan announced his retirement, he announced that part of the reason for his retirement was due to medical reasons. Evan has multiple sclerosis and leaking devices just wasn’t paying the bills. TK Tech News took this news and setup an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for Evan and his ailment. Evan, touched by this seemingly generous act, even shared the campaign to his followers, helping the campaign grow in awareness.
TK setup the campaign himself, was in charge of it’s received funds, and even offered some pretty extravagant perks related to the NHL and Fox Sports. The campaign ended on September 12th and raised $9,275. The next step would be for TK to send the money he raised in Evan’s name to Evan.
It seems that Patricia Pizer, the game developer that owns Way Too Far Games and is pictured with Thomas Connors on Facebook, is involved in his mess as well. According to Indiegogo, the funds were disbursed from Indiegogo to Patricia’s bank account on September 24th. Evan has contacted TK Tech News regarding the matter, but has received the run around when questioning funds that were to be delivered to him. If you donated to Evan’s fund set up by TK Tech News via PayPal, those funds were safely received by Evan. However, if you paid by credit card, those funds traveled through Indiegogo and directly into Patricia’s account.
Thomas Kelley Connors from TK Tech News not only lies about his identity and has shady business operations, but he commits fraud. What kind of human being are you that you steal thousands of dollars from a fund for someone with multiple sclerosis? This situation is clearly going to get worse before it gets better.
If you’ve followed TK Tech News up to this point, you probably feel cheated- and you should. His name is fake. His history is fake. His persona is fake. As if investing all of this time into inventing a make-believe image wasn’t enough, he used this manufactured trust to defraud his followers out of money, while figuratively spitting in the face of a tech industry insider who earned his following the right way.
In the very least, we hope exposing TK will levy upon him the karma justice he deserves. Whether that means an exodus of followers, legal proceedings, or something else we don’t know… but we hope you’ll play your part in righting the wrongs of this terrible human being.
Derek Ross is a writer for Phandroid.