Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Media Businesses Censorship Apple

Think Secret Shutting Down 240

Posted by kdawson
from the settled-out-of-existence dept.
A number of readers are sending in the news that the Mac rumors site Think Secret will be shutting down, as part of the (secret) settlement of a lawsuit Apple filed in 2005. Apple had claimed that the blog, published since 1998 by college student Nick Ciarelli, had revealed Apple's trade secrets. The only other detail of the settlement that has been revealed is that Think Secret was not forced to reveal any sources.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Think Secret Shutting Down

Comments Filter:
  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:04AM (#21764666)
    I really hope Nick got some money in exchange for agreeing to terminate his site. In any case, thank you for your years of work on behalf of the Mac community, Nick.
    • by electricalen (623623) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:18AM (#21764838)
      IMO, this is not a win for Apple. They have killed a very pro-Apple website which was read by Apple fans and customers. This was not some site that was trashing them, spreading damaging lies, and promoting non-Apple stuff. They were getting the fans excited and trying to sell more products, which is exactly what Apple is trying to do. If you kill off your friends, you are shooting yourself in the foot.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by falcon5768 (629591)
        You can be pro-Apple yet severely damage them at the same time. Anytime you expose secret projects that the company does not feel is ready for prime-time, you risk losing any forward momentum that you would have had over opposing companies in development. This is why corporate espionage is considered a serious problem. As it stands now, the "leaked" project that started this whole mess has been to most peoples knowledge, canned.
        • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @01:02PM (#21766258)

          Anytime you expose secret projects that the company does not feel is ready for prime-time, you risk losing any forward momentum that you would have had over opposing companies in development.

          Yeah, it makes it ever so much easier to keep selling the old stuff to the cluele<<<<<< faithful, instead of the much improved, better performing, cheaper gear coming out in only 2 months - which you can then sell them as well. An Informed consumer is a Bad consumer.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mstone (8523)
            The Osborne Effect: [wikipedia.org] what happens when consumers are so 'well informed' about upcoming products that it puts the company out of business.

            Let's also consider Microsoft's long-standing "Real Soon Now" policy for killing competing products. 'Inform the consumers' that MS will release something "just as good" in the near future, and that it's silly to go with another vendor when all your business software is currently from MS, and you can pretty much wipe out a company with a good product.

            Beyond that, consumer
        • by necro2607 (771790) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @06:47PM (#21771918)
          "As it stands now, the "leaked" project that started this whole mess has been to most peoples knowledge, canned."

          Are you sure you're talking about the right project? According to this article [wired.com], the "leaked project" that provoked Apple's lawsuit was the Mac Mini [apple.com], which was presented two weeks later at MacWorld Expo, and needless to say, has most definitely not been canned...
      • by Yvan256 (722131) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:51AM (#21765238) Homepage Journal

        This was not some site that was trashing them, spreading damaging lies, and promoting non-Apple stuff.
        I'm not so sure about this one. When rumors of unbelievable Apple products get around the net, people's expectations get too high. And when Apple finally releases their new product, people are shocked that it's not as amazing as the rumors.

        See also: dumb share traders who buy on rumors and sell when the real products arrive and aren't up to rumors specs.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by catbutt (469582)

          See also: dumb share traders who buy on rumors and sell when the real products arrive and aren't up to rumors specs.
          Why is this a problem? If it's true, all you have to do is notice when they are stupidly selling, and buy, and notice when they are stupidly buying, and sell. Easy money.

          Either that, or they aren't as irrational as you think.
          • by Yvan256 (722131)
            As an outsider, then yes you can almost always be sure their shares will go up right before a keynote (on expectations from false rumors) and down right after that (from the true products that are still usually pretty great but not as good as the false rumors).

            But you have to see it from the company's viewpoint. False rumors fluctuate the company's value in harmful ways, and then the aftershock articles on how "Apple missed their own target" adds to the damage... well, that's easy to see why it's bad.
      • I absolutely agree, although the truth is, taking these types of sites down is equivalent to playing "whack-a-mole". Another will just pop right back up. If it had good readership/popularity before, there's no way that void will remain unfilled when it disappears. Someone out there is *always* looking for a popular topic to build a new web site around and get visitors.

        Already, this new "9to5mac" web site seems to be coming up with an awful lot of fairly accurate rumors and informative facts. I imagine a
      • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:06PM (#21768124) Homepage
        Apple's success and failure are caused by their beyond-anal control-freak-mentality. It's to their credit because the extreme control over the quality and consistency of their products are directly related to their popularity and good reputation. (That wireless network sound device, though, should be recalled. It simply can't play music well enough without skipping!) But their control-freak-ness is also a tremendous inhibitor of their progress in the business world which affects how many homes Macs are found in. People often get the stuff for home that works like their stuff at the office... 'thinking different' is too risky when it comes to business needs.

        While I have made numerous predictions about Apple in 2008 and in 2009, I also assert that the results of 2008's observations of Apple will determine if Apple gains a much more significant market share. And among the things that could prevent their growth and success in 2009 are Apple's attitude to customers both new and old and Apple's ability to handle a cultural change brought on by new consumerism and a surge of newbies -- in short, it depends largely on whether or not Apple can keep up with their public-perceived reputation and deliver on it.

        A big part of what keeps Apple level in its market is the fact that their user base has little growth and little attrition. So for the most part, the same group of people using Apple 5 years ago are the same people using Apple today. But with the iPod breaking through that closed-culture barrier and heavy demand for iPhone, Apple's popularity surge will prove to be quite a trial for Apple in 2008. Are they prepared to handle it? Will they handle it? If they fail, the public will not forget it for another 10+ years... they won't lose their long-term base, but they will have lost credibility in the eyes of the general public. On the other hand, if they manage to deliver in 2008, 2009 will see a tremendous amount of market share for Apple.

        The reality is that people have always know about Apple and have always had a kind of interest in it. But the part that always kept people a few steps away has always been the commitment necessary to make that change. But if more people make the change and are successful, that will bring the masses closer to doing the same... for the moment, much of those masses are still waiting and watching.

        Apple will have to get over their control-freak nature, though. Their carefully managed culture will get utterly trashed by the public stampede they've been trying to generate. If they try to control that mob, they will be risking utter failure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PriceIke (751512)

        Correct, this is not a win for Apple. It IS a win for all the other Apple rumor sites though.

        "Seweeeet, one of our competitors--a particularly GOOD one, good enough to get Apple mad enough to shut them down--bites the dust! More Web ad revenue for me! Merry Christmas boys, iPod nanos all around! See you at MacWorld, Nick! Ha ha ha!"

  • nice tags...not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:05AM (#21764686)
    Since when is "protecting trade secrets" the same as "censorship". I think it's time for /. to abandon the tag feature.
    • by aussie_a (778472) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:11AM (#21764762) Journal
      Wouldn't that be censorship?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by niceone (992278) *
      Maybe it's the "Sorry, comments have been disabled for this story" at the end of TFA?
    • by mstahl (701501)

      Just tag it "!censorship" if you disagree.

    • by Ngarrang (1023425)

      Since when is "protecting trade secrets" the same as "censorship". I think it's time for /. to abandon the tag feature.
      I completely agree. Companies have the right to have their technology projects remain at whatever secret level they wish. But, the people who would call this censorship probably also don't think that sharing songs off their CD for free with the internet is wrong.
      • Not only do they have the right to do so, they MUST do so to survive. My company has a leading software package used the Department of Defense. If our source code and trade secrets weren't protected, the "big dogs" like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrup Grumman (to name a few) would put us out of business in the matter of weeks.
        • by edmicman (830206)
          You couldn't do something like, say, make a better product than the competition?
          • It would be hard to make a better product if they are reverse engineering our code and using their much bigger capital to push through our ideas faster than we can. Apple is in the same boat. Anytime Microsoft gets a whiff of what Apple is doing, they can get it to market faster than Apple. Thus the Apple secrecy. Fortunately, the past 15 years have shown that Apple keeps their stuff under pretty good wraps because it usually takes Microsoft about a year AFTER the Apple product has been for sale for Mic
          • Do you know what the big dogs do to the little guys when things don't go their way?
            I'll give you two words you might have learned
            Hostile Takeover
            It's pretty exciting to watch one, as I was an observer to one a long time ago.

            In the end you have the same problem that ma and pa shops have against dell. I'll try and be brief here. You see dell buys large quantities of components. VERY LARGE QUANTITIES. So the vendor says Look if you by x we'll give you y% discount.

            Ma and pa shops can't afford to keep inven
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *

      Since when is "protecting trade secrets" the same as "censorship". I think it's time for /. to abandon the tag feature.
      I expect same sensitivity from you if any Non-Apple company causes such thing to happen. For example if MS lawyers manage to get betanews.com closed down.

      BTW, tags are considered a joke, turn them off via Preferences.

      This "community" will make me give up Apple somehow, one day.
    • Look at the front page. As I write this, Slashdot seems to have lost its stories from Wednesday and Thursday.
      • Never mind, stupid pilot error here. Sometimes poor color-blind Bruce can't tell what page he's on.
  • by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:05AM (#21764692)
    It sounds like the creator of Think Secrets is pissed off but trying to act otherwise. He alludes to being "pleased" with the result, saying that he is now able to focus on his "college studies". Had college studies been important to him in the first place, he wouldn't have spent so much time on other projects like this. Most likely this statement is just a weak attempt to save face.
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:11AM (#21764760) Homepage Journal
      I wonder if he's "pleased" in the sense that he has a "big fat Apple check" to "deposit."
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gnasher719 (869701)

        I wonder if he's "pleased" in the sense that he has a "big fat Apple check" to "deposit."
        Maybe in an alternative universe, but not in the one where Steve Jobs runs Apple.
        • Yeah. And most comments are relieved the source hasn't been revealed. But it's too soon to say. The terms were secret.

          If in a month we haven't heard about an Apple lawsuit against an ex-employee, then we'll be able to say.
    • by Minupla (62455) <minupla@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:38AM (#21765042) Homepage Journal
      I expect that what you see on the website was carefully vetted by the various legal teams involved.

      MIn
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:50AM (#21765222)

      Most likely this statement is just a weak attempt to save face.

      No, most likely this is a statement as part of the legal agreement. It might contain something like "ThinkSecret will not make any deragatory or defamatory remarks regaring Apple Computer Inc."

      I on the other hand am under no such legal obligation. What Apple fans need to remember is that Apple is a big corporation that'll do whatever they like to defend what they see as their interest. That includes silencing critics when they're able to. In many ways Microsoft has been a better player in terms of free speech. I don't recall them suing anyone over spoiling the CEO's "big surprise". (Which is really what this is all about, Steve Jobs personal vendetta). That doesn't mean Microsoft doesn't exert the same controls over their product.. they just tend to take the "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" approach.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cmacb (547347)
        I think the day will come when Apple marketing people will BEG for publicity such as they got from ThinkSecret.

        The company seems to have no common sense when it comes to a sense of proportionality. Microsoft my be an incompetent bully when it comes to its competition, but Apple is downright schizophrenic when it comes to dealing with its friends.

        This will go down as a milestone in the company's history and whether they continue to be successful it will remain an unsightly incident.
    • by cowscows (103644)
      It's probably more along the lines of all this extra scrutiny has scared his sources away from providing him insider information, so at that point he just becomes another speculative website, of which there are already a bazillion. Even if the lawsuit had just gone away, losing your exclusive sources probably would've taken some of the fun out of it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MrPerfekt (414248)
      Priorities certainly can change over 8 years, don't you think?
  • by RandoX (828285) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:10AM (#21764742)
    Don't give up your source and shut down, or give up your source and don't shut down. You won't be getting any more "insider tips" either way.
    • by Selfbain (624722)
      The site has been essentially dead for a while now anyways. I haven't seen a single interesting update there in months and what stories they did have were repeated from other sources. Now hopefully AppleInsider can hold out.
      • by Ilgaz (86384) *

        The site has been essentially dead for a while now anyways. I haven't seen a single interesting update there in months and what stories they did have were repeated from other sources. Now hopefully AppleInsider can hold out.
        How can he post breaking news or anything he learned while being in court with a Fortune 500 giant with army of lawyers after him?
    • option 3: open a new site called "Think Secreter"

      4. PROFIT!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by daveywest (937112)
      Nick now has an established and proven reputation for keeping his sources confidential. Even with TS shut down, I have to imagine he will be a coveted corespondent for mainstream Apple press.

      I can't think of a publisher that wouldn't want a staffer that has exclusive stories dropping in his lap.

  • by Bruha (412869)
    So now corporations will determine what independent press is able to say or shut them down? Our news is already skewed enough as it is by the various corporate news outlets who cater to this and that political party.
    • So now corporations will determine what independent press is able to say or shut them down?
      Corporations are now and have always been able to take someone to court who publishes - like in this case - their trade secrets.
      • by Chelloveck (14643)

        Corporations are now and have always been able to take someone to court who publishes - like in this case - their trade secrets.

        I was under the impression that trade secrets, unlike patents, have no protection under the law. That's the trade-off a company makes when it decides whether something will be patented or be a trade secret -- If you patent, you get exclusive use of the invention for 20 years, but the patent becomes public knowledge and after it expires anyone can use it. A trade secret, on th

        • by samkass (174571)
          I was under the impression that trade secrets, unlike patents, have no protection under the law.

          It varies widely by jurisdiction, but in the US this is not entirely true. The difference is that with a trade secret, if another company independently re-invents it, the other company can use it. However, a trade secret has legal standing in that employees cannot legally reveal them or take them to another company.

          Although I don't recommend using Wikipedia to base legal decisions on, they have a description of
        • by ubernostrum (219442) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @12:33PM (#21765856) Homepage

          There are two issues people tend to go after here: the "I thought trade secrets weren't protected!" issue and the "OMG First Amendment!" issue. Both objections have serious problems.

          Let's deal first with trade secrets. The revelant federal law [cornell.edu] is quite clear, and lays out some pretty stiff potential penalties for both Think Secret (who almost certainly knew they were receiving an inappropriately-disclosed trade secret, and thus would have triggered the statute) and the person who talked to them (who almost certainly misappropriated a trade secret or improperly transmitted one, and thus would have triggered the statute). 10 years' federal imprisonment or $5m fine is nothing to sneeze at, so we're talking about something that -- from the standpoint of the law -- is a pretty serious offense.

          Now, as for journalism and the First Amendment: Think Secret originally attempted to claim the traditional right of journalists to protect anonymous sources, but there's serious doubt about whether they ought to receive it. The traditional protection afforded to journalists' sources exists to ensure that information which is important to, or which impacts the public good will be brought to light. But in this case the information does not serve any high and lofty public purpose: this isn't Watergate or the Pentagon Papers, it's some company's product lineup. And while we have freedom of the press, that's not the same as carte blanche to break the law: if you're going to wrap yourself in the Constitution, you need to go to the judge with something better than "Well, we really only did it because we can, and because we thought it'd be cool." Think Secret didn't have anything better to tell the judge than that, and so the judge (rightly) laid the smackdown on them.

          The result is that they've been backed into a settlement which puts them out of business. Whether this means Apple is the next Google is the next Microsoft is the next IBM is the next Dark Lord Sauron, I don't know. But Think Secret basically screwed themselves, and have no-one to blame but themselves.

        • by xero314 (722674)

          If someone who is not under a non-disclosure agreement finds out the secret and publishes, there's pretty much nothing the company can do except whine at him. They can sue whoever broke the non-disclosure, but the guy who publishes is in the clear.

          This is not entirely true from my understanding of US law. NDAs and other contracts are protected by legal statute. Violation of a legal statute is illegal. Making an agreement with someone to break the law is called conspiracy and is also illegal. Finding out something is one thing, but asking, or enticing, someone to break the law is another.

        • IANAL, but this is how corporate lawyers have explained it to me in the past.

          You'd better talk to the boss about hiring better lawyers, since they are completely wrong if you're talking about US law. This one falls under both Federal and California law and both have trade secret laws and California's Whistleblower statutes don't apply in this case. 60 seconds with Google will provide the relevant laws.

    • Most corporations aren't as secretive about their projects as Apple is for some reason. Intel publishes road maps of their upcoming technology years before it ever hits the consumer market, yet Apple keeps a lid on their "secrets" until the day the hardware is marketed in the Apple Stores or announced at a MacWorld event. Ridiculous.
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:44AM (#21765134)

      So now corporations will determine what independent press is able to say or shut them down? Our news is already skewed enough as it is by the various corporate news outlets who cater to this and that political party.

      Journalists are no less obligated to respond to subpoenas than anyone else. In this case, TS was obligated to name the source who had illegally leaked trade secret information. He chose not to do that.

      Note that he actually was not barred from printing the information. It was not giving the guy up that was the problem.

    • Or maybe "Think Secret" was really more tabloid than journalism. I'm not a big fan of the big money machine, I'm rather neutral about Apple Inc. itself, and I'm also a big believer in free flow of information but I'm not sure "Think Secret" was acting in the public interest as much as their self interest to see sensational information generate clicks. I'm all for journalists protecting sources from reprisals to continue to reveal new information but it must have some intrinsic value and it must be backed
  • by shorti9 (307602) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:20AM (#21764868)
    It's sad that this came out the way it did, but kudos to Think Secret for taking the cyanide pill for us. At trial, this case could have resulted in a terrible outcome. If Apple had won in court, it would have set a harmful precedent: you must reveal sources. By agreeing to some (probably less-than-ideal) conditions, Think Secret and their legal team has saved us all from that precedent. Thank you!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aussie_a (778472)
      A harmful precedent being that encouraging people to break their NDA and then publish what they is actionable? I'm guessing that precedent has already been set.
  • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan...jared@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:21AM (#21764878)
    was when he got a hold of anti-reality distortion field unit. I hear got a look at Jobs' real face. All I can say is... he's lucky he's not dead. Count your blessings and move on man.
  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:28AM (#21764958) Journal
    I work for a large Telecom corporation, and I had to sign quite a bit of paperwork regarding trade secrets. My training material, which did not include any usernames, passwords, server paths, etc., was not allowed to leave the building. We were granted access to quite a bit of information that was not intended for anyone outside of the company.

    That being said, this is an excellent outcome for the Source. As the Source does not have to be revealed, something within Apple, perhaps at a significant level, will not be losing their job for divulging information that he had probably signed agreements to not disclose but felt the information should be shared anyway.

    The person who wins this is the Source, as he most likely violated enforced company policy and came out of it free and clear.
    • by CODiNE (27417)

      As the Source does not have to be revealed, something within Apple, perhaps at a significant level, will not be losing their job for divulging information


      You must be thinking the same thing I'm thinking... that Apple has an artificially intelligent cluster of Octo-core Macs working at the executive level! And it's not happy either...
  • by radiotone (629610) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:29AM (#21764970)
    Wow. That beats my record.
  • by ThatbookwritingWheel (553383) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:29AM (#21764972) Homepage
    But since the "issues" he had with Apple, the content on thinksecret wasn't really much beyond what someone with an Apple Developer Connect membership could access. To many articles on the latest seed of this or that. Before that ThinkSecret sometimes had some real gems every now and then (and was plain wrong lots of times also)
    • But since the "issues" he had with Apple, the content on thinksecret wasn't really much beyond what someone with an Apple Developer Connect membership could access. To many articles on the latest seed of this or that. Before that ThinkSecret sometimes had some real gems every now and then (and was plain wrong lots of times also)

      In addition to this there are still plenty of other sites providing this sort of information, including appleinsider.com
  • by ahoehn (301327) <andrew AT hoe DOT hn> on Thursday December 20, 2007 @11:35AM (#21765018) Homepage
    Before I begin my first real anti-apple rant on Slashdot, I should note that I have and love an iBook, a 4th Gen iPod, a 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle, a Hackintosh, and an iPod Mini.

    Now, to the rant. Perhaps I'm just paying more attention, but it feels to me that Apple is becoming more and more of an Evil Empire(tm). Suing a site that is completely devoted to Apple Fanboys out of existence seems pretty anti-customer. The "You installed bootcamp beta and now you must upgrade to Leopard if you ever want to boot your computer again" fiasco a few weeks ago reeked of the same.

    My most recent bout of self-righteous indignation came when I went to Apple's online store to buy a new nano as a gift. I wanted to buy one of the 4gb nanos, and I wanted it in green. Sadly, this is impossible. The 4gb nano only comes in silver. To get a colored nano, you have to pay the extra $50 bucks for the 8gb model. It's a little thing, but it pushed me over the edge. Part of Apple's appeal has always been, "You pay a bit more to get something a bit cooler", but this is a bit too blatant for me. It's enough to kick me out of the fanboy camp. I'm sure Apple-product-lust will still rise in my greedy heart from time-to-time, but I'll do my self-righteous best to suppress those longings in favor of less restrictive fare.

    In a related story, are there competitors to the nano that are as elegantly designed and easy to use?
    • by MrPerfekt (414248) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @12:14PM (#21765566) Homepage Journal
      I'm with you that the whole suing a fan-site thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth but really the site was more than that. If ThinkSecret got word of a product a few months away from launch and it seemed credible enough, that really does give the competition an opportunity to get an early start on a similar product. That could have an effect in the millions of dollars range. I'm not saying everything ever printed does that but then again Apple doesn't sue for every rumor every printed, in fact, they've done so only a handful of times. Presumably when a 'rumor' report hits far too close to home to have come from anywhere but inside of Apple.

      Apple certainly isn't the only company to use the 'upgrade to a higher model and get X' tactic. It's grossly common in the Auto industry as well. Take Audi, for example, sales of the A4 with the 3.2 engine were suffering because everybody wants a 2.0T engine, which is not a terrible amount slower, much cheaper and more upgradeable. What's Audi to do? Well, cut out options from the 2.0T and make convenience features like 'memory seats' only available on the 2.0T. And the engine upgrade option is much more than $50.

      The point is that if you really enjoy the product, you'll dish out the extra cash to get more of it. More memory, more engine. The concept is definitely not unique to Apple.
      • by mihalis (28146) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @01:58PM (#21766962) Homepage

        Dell also uses similar bundling tactics, or did last time I checked.

        I have no objection to them doing this, by the way, it's up to them, but it dissuaded me from buying from them a couple of times.

        The issue seems to be Dell's desire (or perhaps Intel's desire) to hide the cost of top-of-the-line CPUs, so any PC that has one fitted tends to be bundled with a lot of other high-grade options which (presumably) are intended to enhance the purchasers perception of the value they are getting.

        what this means in practice is it's very difficult to get a Dell with their nicest case and motherboard, great speakers, all the frills, but put a Celeron class cheapie processor in the machine. Their website wont allow cetain combinations that should be valid in the sense that the motherboard in the model selected could accept certain cheaper and slower processors.

        Understandable but sucky. They may say they only validate a limited range of combinations and "everything nice but the CPU" is not one of them, but one could say "but did you ever TRY?"

    • And how long have you been using Apple products again? This isn't new. They did the same with Xgrid. The Technology Preview of Xgrid back on OS 10.3 had a couple slick GUI's that made it easy for joe user to create a render farm. (It was a better looking Qmaster interface but...). When OS 10.4 shipped, gone was the GUI and the controller features (needed OSX-server for that). [Caveat, the features were there, but turned off. If you knew the least bit of how to navigate and use Unix, you could enable t
    • I really like the Sansa e280 [amazon.com] running Rockbox [rockbox.org]. The stock Sansa firmware is gimpy and Rockbox is so easy to install and customizable. The 4GB version is the e260 [amazon.com] which you should be able to find easily for under $100. Pros: the best sound quality I've ever heard from a portable (though you need Rockbox to get the best sound); about the same dimensions as the Nano but thicker (it feels very comfortable) and is significantly cheaper. Cons: not an iPod; scrollwheel is not touch-sensitive, but rather a piece
  • ...Coming soon.... Secret Think! Get all your rumors here!
  • I know I certainly don't care one way or the other. I know the Macbook was upgraded recently without so much a whisper from Apple or the enthusiast community. Leopard seems at best to get a lukewarm welcome. I have lost my enthusiasm for new tech toys especially since they are longer designed for quality but rather planned obsolescense and limitation. I getting the feeling that the novelty of Apple is wearing off.
  • As a huge OS X fan I must say that I think this is a bad move on Apple's part.
    For me, part of the excitement about Apple is all the hype and "can they really manufacture that?" attitude that comes in the months preceding a product launch.

    Thinksecret was a major part of the hype machine, for better or worse, and I'm sure Steve realizes that all of us fanatics enjoy the hype and wonder.
    I understand they need to protect their trade secrets and should do so, but it would be nice if the site could have stayed in
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot: Apple is closing a website! Apple are against freedom of speech! The horror!
    Truth: That website was leaking company information, that's illegal.

    Slashdot: Apple aren't supporting BootCamp for Tiger users in 2008! The bastards!
    Truth: Apple said that BootCamp on Tiger was a Beta,since the beginning. Also, it won't stop working in 2008, you just won't be able to re-install it.

    Slashdot: Apple is forcing me to pay $50 for a green iPod nano! How greedy!
    Truth: Nobody is forcing you to get a green iPod nan
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by nqz (778393) *
      Truth: Nobody is forcing you to get a green iPod nano, and that $50 also gets you twice the storage capacity.

      Consumer truth: He *wanted* a green, 4GB iPod nano. Not a silver one, not an 8GB one. This is a case of Apple forcing the customer to the extra $50 just for a different color. In the manufacturing process, it doesn't cost Apple a single penny more to slap on a green case versus a silver case. It'd be one thing if the faceplate was interchangeable, but I don't own an iPod nano so I wouldn't kno
  • by seandiggity (992657) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @12:37PM (#21765902) Homepage
    There are free operating systems that will run well on your Mac hardware and do not shut down websites for revealing "trade secrets". In fact, there are no trade secrets and you are invited to join in on the development process. Begin here [distrowatch.com].
  • by mrbill (4993) <mrbill@mrbill.net> on Thursday December 20, 2007 @12:51PM (#21766108) Homepage

    Back in 2000, I got a letter from a Sun attorney threatening me with a lawsuit [sunhelp.org] over some material on the "Rumors" section of my web site [sunhelp.org]. They didn't like the fact that I'd copied documents (blueprints/engineering drawings) from their web server to mine and those documents were marked "Proprietary and Confidential". They also disliked the fact that I used the color purple on my web site and had a logo that was vaguely reminiscent of theirs.

    I countered with the fact that I got the documents from a search on their publicly-accessible web server, and that after AOL, the next six top visitors of the site were Sun employees themselves hitting it from internal Sun proxy servers, and that no one had ever expressed concern over the logo or the purple color since the site was created in '97.

    After a couple of weeks of negotiations, we came to an agreement and I made this public statement:

    "I'm happy to announce that I have amicably resolved my situation with Sun regarding SunHELP.org. The site will function much like it has in the past, but in a manner that protects Sun's trademarks. In fact, although I will continue to operate independently of Sun, Sun has offered to help me provide you with better information about Sun and its products. I am pleased with the outcome and the manner in which this situation was resolved. I now consider this matter closed."

    A couple of weeks later, I got a FedEx delivery of a brand-new Ultra 10 workstation as a "thank you" for "resolving the dispute in a friendly and speedy manner that avoided litigation". Since then, I've had good relations with the company. I was a member of the Opensolaris Pilot Program and have talked in email with both Scott McNealy and Jonathan Schwartz. Sun has greatly improved their relationship with third-party supporters since 2000; in fact, in 2006 they donated a fully-loaded T1000 system to SunHELP.

    Nick at ThinkSecret probably ended up with some free Apple gear in exchange for shutting his site down - after all for Apple, "no publicity is bad publicity".

  • the blog, published since 1998 by college student Nick Ciarelli,

    Well, maybe now he'll have time to finally graduate.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @01:57PM (#21766938)

    I probably have a different take on this development, having done a lot of research at one time into trade secret laws and whistleblower statutes in the U.S., as well as this case in particular. What I find really interesting about this agreement we know so little about, is the only two things we do know are exactly backwards from justice. It seems to me that both Apple and ThinkSecret lost here, since neither was given what they wanted. Let me explain.

    First, ThinkSecret had no right to protect the confidentiality of their sources. Apple sued ThinkSecret asking for the identities of those people who had committed a criminal act against them. (Note, whether revealing trade secrets should be a crime, is another discussion). According to the filing, that is all they wanted and it is the one thing they did not get. Despite having no legal right to keep these sources secret, ThinkSecret managed to make a deal to do that, probably out of personal loyalty or a perceived ethical obligation on the part of Nick Ciarelli. He seems to have walked away from this with his reputation as a journalist intact, which is a valuable asset if he's planning on asking sources to trust him in the future. It also speaks quite well of his character.

    Second, Apple had no right to shut down this publication, and it was probably in their best interests to avoid doing so. And yet, in a deal to protect those sources, that is exactly what happened. Why and how did such a thing happen? We can only speculate. My best guess is that after dealing with the public relations aspect of this for a while and with mounting court costs that were unlikely to ever be repaid, someone at Apple made the decision that this should "go away" and ham-fistedly ordered the legal team to settle it one way or another and make sure it didn't happen again. As a result, Apple failed to get what they were out for, and stupidly got an agreement to shut the site down instead.

    I think my perspective on this is probably a little less reactionary and a little more realistic than what I've seen in other posts here. ThinkSecret was aiding others to break the law and clearly in the wrong on this lawsuit, but having done something wrong, Nick Ciarelli took all the responsibility for other's criminal acts (which he helped incite) upon himself and shielded them. Apple, fumbled the ball, failed to get the leaks identified, and made a typically corporate and shortsighted decision. Everyone lost.

  • This wasn't an apple fan site. They were profiting from corporate espionage. As it is, everything apple does is watched/imitated by companies like Microsoft and Dell. If say something like the iPhone was leaked a year earlier, someone could have beaten them to the market. The point is Apple has a right to not have its company secrets told to everyone. It is not your right to know that information. It will never be your right to know that information. It's just plain arrogance (and stupidity) to thi

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein

Working...