Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Businesses News Apple

Apple Sues Think Secret 451

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the plugging-the-leaks dept.
Isaac Newton writes "Reuters is reporting that Apple Computer has sued website Think Secret for allegedly divulging trade secrets relating to its upcoming sub-$500 Mac desktop and office suite. The lawsuit is apparently giving legitimacy to the rumors."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Sues Think Secret

Comments Filter:
  • Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:36AM (#11273907)
    This would certainly help more people hear more about Apple's new sub $500 Mac ;)
    • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ford Prefect (8777) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:50AM (#11273957) Homepage
      The rumours were even the subject of the non-computing Pass Notes column in yesterday's Guardian [guardian.co.uk]. I'm definitely interested in whatever it is Apple are going to announce, but there is always the possibility that it's, say, a $600 Mac, or just a new word processor.

      The rumours might be accurate in part, but perhaps terribly inaccurate in other ways - and could significantly undermine the true products if they're seen as inferior to the imaginary ones. If that's the case, I can see why people at Apple would be upset...
      • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:4, Informative)

        by term8or (576787) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:59AM (#11273981)
        The rumours might be accurate in part, but perhaps terribly inaccurate in other ways - and could significantly undermine the true products if they're seen as inferior to the imaginary ones. If that's the case, I can see why people at Apple would be upset...

        IANAL but I always thought that the purpose of Trade Secret law is to protect a company against people informing competitors of TRUE information (i.e. Trade Secrets) not FALSE information. The legal defence against false information is Libel or Slander...
        • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:34AM (#11275680) Homepage Journal
          Let's pretend Squiggleslash Corp is about to release the MicroSquiggle 6000, a dual 2.8GHZ 970 based desktop computer with a built in LCD monitor that's 2"x20"x14". Price hasn't been determined yet, but our marketing people are pretty sure the sweet spot is about $2,000. We'll decide in a meeting this week so we can announce the complete package at SquiggleExpo.

          ThinkSquiggle then publishes a leaked story, clearly coming from someone with an NDA, who claims that Squiggleslash Corp is about to release a new computer, probably part of the MicroSquiggle line, a dual 970 based desktop computer, probably 2GHz or better, with a built in LCD monitor. The dimensions are about 20" across, it's about 2" thick, and it's sub-$1,000.

          The specs are largely right. The price (and clockspeed) is almost certainly wrong. Does Trade Secret law apply in this case?

          Changing the specs a little, supposing SquiggleInsider has also got a friend working at a factory in Taiwan. He reports that the device doesn't actually have a built-in LCD (that's 'cos the factory ships units with a plate in place of the LCD, the LCDs being inserted in another factory three blocks down the road. Hey, it was cheaper that way. At Squiggleslash, we're always looking for savings we can pass on to YOU the customer. Besides, these LCDs are sweeeeeeeet. We didn't want the first factory to install them because they're actually quad-colour, so those women with the reverse colour blindness thing can now see photo-realistic pictures. We're also coming up with three models of two colour LCD too, for slightly less, for colour blind users. Anyway, that's all a major trade secret, so don't tell anyone) So SquiggleInsider then publishes:

          Squiggleslash Corp is about to release an entirely new machine at SquiggleExpo! Sporting two 2.8GHz G5s, the machine is headless, and according to other rumour sites, is priced at $999!
          So has SquiggleInsider also published trade secrets, despite getting the story wrong?

          The answer is: probably. And from Squiggleslash Corp's point of view, we're fucked. Since SquiggleInsider and ThinkSquiggle published these rumours, sales of the MicroSquiggle 100 - our current lowest price MicroSquiggle - have plummetted, even though the MicroSquiggle 6000 will cost nearly twice the price and be aimed at a completely different group of people. So, given the chance, we want to take action.

          Which, when Steve Quiggleslash owned Squiggleslash Corp, would probably have meant we'd have sent out a few angry letters and announced the product early so there are no false expectations. Unfortunately we were taken over by Steve Jobs last week so lawsuits are pending...

          • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:3, Informative)

            by Your Anus (308149)
            This kind of thing has happened before [blueovalnews.com], and the site publishing the trade secrets was not liable, because they did not steal the secrets themselves.
          • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:3, Informative)

            by gl4ss (559668)
            however... thinksquiqqle didn't steal that information and neither was thinksquiqqle under nda that would have forbidden them from giving that information on.

            the responsibility is on the person who leaked the data, HE is the one who breached the contract he had. now, think* might be sued to reveal their sources, they could of course claim that it was an anonymous email from what seems like a webkiosk, or a post to their mailing list, or forums, or wherever - in which case they're not more responsible for t
      • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DenDave (700621) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:27AM (#11274081)
        The sad thing is that in the mail list of stinkthecret.. um thinksecret the details of the machine were elaborated upon to such detail that it is undoubtedly a case of industrial espionage. Details on the construction and design... I have to say that, being a stinkthecret reader nonetheless, Apple has a point. I personally would not divulge that level of detail about a product on a internet community and I hope the guilty party is happy with the result.

        Of course lawsuits are bad press and one can question the efficacity of such a lawsuit but most likely it will be about strong-arming the community maintainers into divulging their sources so that Apple can take measures against the staff members who broke their agreement.

        I don't believe for one second that Apple's Legal dept. has a grudge or is out to stiffle the community which so much loves the products their company produces.

        Stinking differently every day...

        • Really ridiculous! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:46AM (#11274161)
          "Apple has a point"

          No they don't.

          This happens in any other field. Cars, designer clothes, politics, entertainment, everthing.

          And sometimes that information is inaccurate. And sometimes it puts that company is a really poor light.

          And nobody sues. Oh. Except apple.

          The real joke is that Apple only sues little guys... the guys who are hard pressed to defend themselves.

          If these guys had a decent budget, they could sue the hell out of Apple. I'm hoping someone does, because Apple only bullies little tiny websites. They stay clear of anybodhy their own size.

          And then people like you defend them. I just bought 3 new Macs, but honestly, people like you are the least enjoyable part of the Macintosh experience, because you'd defend Apple no matter what. You sicken me.

          • It's easy to guess how the lawsuit happened. Some Apple marketing person wanted to create a buzz about a new product, so he or she gave the information to someone sure to publish it.

            Then, some Apple managers said to themselves, "This is our chance to act like Arnold Schwarzenegger! We will pretend that it's the end of the world, and only we can save it. May we'll even get on Slashdot, for free! We secretly believe that open source hardware is better anyway, so let's sink the company. We can always get jo
          • The real joke is that Apple only sues little guys.

            You consider Microsoft little?
        • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hype7 (239530)

          The sad thing is that in the mail list of stinkthecret.. um thinksecret the details of the machine were elaborated upon to such detail that it is undoubtedly a case of industrial espionage. Details on the construction and design... I have to say that, being a stinkthecret reader nonetheless, Apple has a point. I personally would not divulge that level of detail about a product on a internet community and I hope the guilty party is happy with the result.

          Of course lawsuits are bad press and one can question

        • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by clifyt (11768) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [rettamkinos]> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:59AM (#11274207) Homepage
          "Of course lawsuits are bad press and one can question the efficacity of such a lawsuit but most likely it will be about strong-arming the community maintainers into divulging their sources so that Apple can take measures against the staff members who broke their agreement."

          You know it also says a lot about the fucktards that run Thinksecret.

          Personally, I see nothing wrong with the suits. I run a music site based for a big part around Apple computers and their software (Emagic's Logic Audio, a wholely owned division of the company). Occasionally I get insider knowledge about whats going on inside the company as well as companies that make synths and other goodies. Sometimes I'll post a rumor about it that is so vague that no one will ever guess (but be completely obvious when its released), but never any details. Sadly, the details are never from the guys that work there (I'm very good friends with a few upper management types as well as the lowly cubicle jockies) -- its always from contractors or beta testers looking to make their mark.

          You have to ask yourself if you care about the products and the people that work at these companies when you start releasing wholesale details. Out to stiffle the community which loves the products? Not the community -- the idiotic sites that love to ruin the surprise. Or kill business.

          The thing with Apple is that if something isn't right, more often than not they will pull it 24 hours before its supposed to be released and never be heard of again (though there have been a few stinkers). Or maybe the next year at the same convention. In that time, they retune the product and make it right. In this same time, companies that don't care about quality and only care about being first to market get there and end up conquering the area leaving companies like Apple with little chance. In this market, its a rare occasion when a better made product like the iPod (which for the most part serves as the best example of what it does, and nothing more -- no extra features just because it can -- the horrible iPod Photo excluded) actually comes out ahead of the original market leaders.

          So does this company really love Apple or love the attention -- and if Apple didn't exist, the same people would be running a rumormill for some other company.

          This isn't to say I don't visit the site on occasion, once or twice of a dozen times a week. I just wish they weren't so explicit about their rumors.
        • by SilentChris (452960) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:14AM (#11274297) Homepage
          "stinkthecret"

          Penality! Illegal use of misplaced alliteration by a Mac zealot wanting to disparage a 3rd-party! Only acceptable uses are "Windoze" and "M$"! 10-yard penalty! Repeat the down!
        • I think it's more about nailing the informer than squashing the rumor. Apple knows that they are confirming DrinkSecret's rumors by doing this, but they willing to do that to squash the source of the leak.
      • ...came from The Register in the U.K.:

        "Apple confirms MacWorld rumors with fresh lawsuit"

        And indeed, when you read the specifics of what they are complaining about, you wonder why they bother at all. I mean, if they really wanted to deal with this more effectively they'd wait until AFTER the 11th. As it is now, they are simply confirming the rumors.

        • > I mean, if they really wanted to deal with this more effectively
          > they'd wait until AFTER the 11th.

          I think this is more than squelching a rumor so as to not blow Steve Jobs' "oh, one more thing" that he uses to introduce whatever is the centerpiece of the show. Investors and competitors pay attention to Apple's offerings, too.

          If investors (or potential investors) hear a rumor of a possible Apple product, the price of AAPL can be affected (either positively or negatively). What if the rumor is mor
      • Also in the UK, the rumours actually made the news pages of The Independent - about a half a page long story on the subject in fact.
  • by igorthefiend (831721) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:38AM (#11273914)
    Well, it worked for the MPAA and RIAA.... ;)
    • Apple Computer has sued website Think Secret for allegedly divulging trade secrets

      Where do you read "Apple Computer has sued a 19 year old iMac owner and an 80 year old PC user"?
      • That's why it's "funny" rather than "informative". But seriously, suing people who are effectively giving you free publicity could come back and bite you in the future, perhaps when you *want* to leak something.
  • by BobPaul (710574) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:38AM (#11273915) Journal
    Apple really needs to start spreading their own rumors. That way the correct to false rumors ratio could be kept in their favor and the effect leaked truths have on product launches would be lessened as fewer people would believe them.
    • by agent dero (680753) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:00AM (#11273987) Homepage
      how do you know they haven't been spreading their own rumours... ;)
      • > how do you know they haven't been spreading their own
        > rumours... ;)

        I think they've done this before.

        Back in 1998, rumor sites started talking about a new product Apple was going to launch dubbed "Apple Media Player", with a code name of "Columbus". Eventually mainstream news outlets picked it up. For example, C|Net wrote an article "Apple stakes future on new device" [com.com].

        Apple Computer (AAPL) is working on portable and TV set-top entertainment devices that offer Internet access and play everything

    • I believe ThinkSecret keeps track of informants and doesn't publish things until the informant has proved reliable a few times. Apple would have to actually give away some `trade secrets' for every false rumour they planted. Of course, they could only leak things they knew had already been leaked...
    • Wanna bet that when something finally comes out from M$, battered and bruised, it'll just be NT warmed up again with a new 'gadget' look.

      When Apple sues the rumor mill is because they broke cardinal rule #1: They got *specific* about features for value.

      M$ USES the rumor mill to pre-empt and choke off the competition (whatever's left) by claiming something *changed*. Apple can't do that.
  • Bad Apple. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by onion2k (203094)
    Apple couldn't find the internal leak, so they're shooting the messenger.. Not the nicest tactic ever.
    • by BobPaul (710574) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:44AM (#11273939) Journal
      Apple couldn't find the internal leak

      Companies often provide information about product launches ahead of time with non-disclosure agreements. Perhaps it was a member of the press or some other non-Mac employee.......

      And then paragraph 3 of TFA... claiming that Think Secret had induced these individuals to breach confidentiality agreements that they had signed with Apple. Perhaps that's what it was...
      • Think Secret had induced these individuals to breach confidentiality agreements
        fishing expedition
      • Wonder what the level of inducement is that's needed for a crime to have been committed.

        I know ThinkSecret has a very prominant "Anonymous Tips Hotline" on their front page, encouraging people with secret information to call them anonymously. But, at the same time, that's the only obvious extent of the encouragement. No other enducements (no cash rewards, etc) are advertised, at least, none that I've ever noticed.

    • Re:Bad Apple. (Score:2, Informative)

      by m_dob (639585)

      Apple couldn't find the internal leak, so they're shooting the messenger.

      Yeah they have. Those are the unnamed individuals named in the suit

    • Re:Bad Apple. (Score:3, Interesting)

      Or, they begin a lawsuit and the discovery process through which they can acquire much more information than they could otherwise. If the judge decides there is a case, then Apple is free to request (and must be provided) a lot of information it would not otherwise be privvy to...including ThinkSecret's source(s). Once they have the source I am sure the lawsuit will be dropped, since ThinkSecret itself is not under NDA. However, the source(s) will likely be terminated and/or sued themselves.

      Unless, of cour
      • Or, thinksecret can do what real journalists do and refuse to reveal their source and get thrown in the poky for a little while for contempt of court. We have freedom of the press but no one ever said it came without cost or strings attached. Personally if I was a journalist I would NEVER give up a source because doing so would mean you aren't very likely to ever get another one.
        • Re:Bad Apple. (Score:3, Insightful)

          There are limits on free speech. Contractual agreements are one of them. ThinkSecret may be free to express anything they like (and are), but their source is not.

          Besides, this is not some human rights violation or political scandal. Apple seems to be trying to prevent damage to their business from stock price inflation and consumer disappointment, which in my opinion is a worthy goal. In any case, if someone signed an NDA and spilled the beans then they should be punished.

          Furthermore, ThinkSecret is profi
          • Re:Bad Apple. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Vellmont (569020)

            ThinkSecret may be free to express anything they like (and are), but their source is not.


            Then why sue ThinkSecret? Oh, for the skeevy legal maneurvering of discovery. ThinkSecret isn't guilty of anything, but sue them to get information.


            Furthermore, ThinkSecret is profiting from this secret information, so it's not as if they are some altruistic, pro-consumer reporter. If Apple can demonstrate that ThinkSecret profits from information that ultimately causes damage to Apple's business, then they may
        • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:32AM (#11274413)
          > Or, thinksecret can do what real journalists do and refuse to reveal their source

          Christ man, you're talking about a computer rumor site relaying information from people with NDAs. This isn't exactly Valerie Plame. If a "journalist" gets involved in a lawsuit regarding sources, the question becomes one of ethics based on the public trust/greater good not some absolute, "I wont tell you who murdered that couple because I'm a journalist!!!" If you can't see the difference betweeen Watergate and Think Secret its time to step away from the computer for a long, long time.

          Like the grandparent posted lawsuits like these are started to help the discovery process to find those who did break the NDAs. The manufactured outrage of "Big company goes after little guy" is paper thin and on par with the false outrage of the RIAA actually suing people for giving away their songs.

          I'd much rather see a system which goes after unethical people because the alternative is to go after the technology itself. What I dont need is bittorrent made illegal or having special licenses to run a web server because a few rotten apples are ruining it for everyone else.

          Not to mention Think Secret is a commercial site (it serves at least three ads on its pages) and its business model is to coax people to break NDAs and post them on the web soley for profit, not for greater good or whistleblowing, but for money and ego inflation. Not exactly Woodward and Berstein here.
  • by buro9 (633210) <<moc.9orub> <ta> <divad>> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:40AM (#11273923) Homepage
    It's not as if anyone else is allowed to produce a cheap Mac to compete with Apple (thus beating them to it), as Apple hold all the cards for that.

    Cheap PC's already exist... so where is the competition that they are afriad of? Who can take advantage of this "trade secret"?

    As far as I can see (not far having not RTFA) this is just good journalistic work, and good promotion for Apple.
    • I generally agree, but just to play devil's advocate:

      Say a lot of people who wanted to buy a lot of eMacs won't do so now and wait for the cheaper "cheapMacs"?

      No sorry it does not make any sense to me either. You must be right.

      Or maybe it's just that Steve Jobs is an exhibitionist and wants the crowd to oooh and aaah even louder when he unveils the new products?
      • According to TS, this iMac was supposed to be for Windows users who had a previous Apple experience with the iPod. My Apple-fanboys friends always show me how OSX is the best OS ever and Apple is a great company. I never thought of buying a Mac before, but MAYBE this cheap Mac would have been a good introduction. It can be the Windows XP killer we've all been waiting for.

        But all I see of this Apple world is Steve trying to sue its customers and most loyal fans. I don't think I'm intersted anymore...
    • Maybe they were about to release a $600 Mac. Now, there will be great disappointment when they charge more than the rumours said, and they will have to defend themselves by saying "We never said we'd release a $500 Mac", but the damage is already be done.

  • Bad Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:41AM (#11273925)
    I really like Apple. Though I had my share of problems with Apple products I generally think they make fine products and I definately prefer OSX to Windows.
    But things like this really piss me of (excuse my language).

    Doesn't Apple recognize, that sites like Think Secret actually help Apple? Just think about how many stories there are on the web about rumours that immanate from these kind of sides and how much exposure these stories give to Apple.

    Ah well, but judging from experience, the Apple advocates on /. will soon tell us why Apple is right in doing something that would certainly be considered evil by the /. crowd if any other company did it. Talk about a loyal followin.

    • I'm in the "apple advocates" camp, sort of.

      I think this reinforces two lessons of the early 21st century:

      There is no such thing as a "nice" company.

      There is no such thing as a responsible legal department.

      (Companies, after all exsit to do _nothing_ but make money, legal departments can only demonstrate their performance in "amount of litigation participated in" - Its a brave new world, friends!)
    • Re:Bad Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ford Prefect (8777) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:59AM (#11273986) Homepage
      Doesn't Apple recognize, that sites like Think Secret actually help Apple? Just think about how many stories there are on the web about rumours that immanate from these kind of sides and how much exposure these stories give to Apple.

      Yes, but if the rumours are wrong, they can damage how any real products might be perceived.

      Okay, I'll invent the next iPod rumour - it's going to have full video capability, an 18 hour battery life and the top model will have a 220GB hard disk. You can connect up a digital camcorder to its Firewire port, or a camera to its USB port, and use it to store all your photos and video, for syncing into the next-generation iLife suite.

      If someone picks up on that rumour, and if it gains legitimacy, people may be disappointed by the next real iPod.

      I've got an iBook, and while it's a great machine I still look on with bemusement at some of the more fanatical followers of Apple. As, I imagine, do some of the levels of Apple management - why, when Fred Smith worked at Dell, he didn't have www.DellSecrets.web posting distorted rumours about the latest products... ;-)
      • Re:Bad Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

        by julesh (229690)
        Yes, but if the rumours are wrong, they can damage how any real products might be perceived.

        Okay, I'll invent the next iPod rumour - it's going to have full video capability, an 18 hour battery life and the top model will have a 220GB hard disk. You can connect up a digital camcorder to its Firewire port, or a camera to its USB port, and use it to store all your photos and video, for syncing into the next-generation iLife suite.


        You see the problem here, though? Because that rumour isn't accurate, it is
      • Re:Bad Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nighty5 (615965)
        Who gives a shit - Movie Critics do this all the time.

        They will blast a movie even after $250 million has been invested.

        Audience listens to critic, half the amount of people end up seeing it, affecting the bottom line.

        Apple need to wake up. Think Secret did not sign any NDAs and the right for free speech will prevail.

      • Okay, I'll invent the next iPod rumour - it's going to have full video capability, an 18 hour battery life and the top model will have a 220GB hard disk. You can connect up a digital camcorder to its Firewire port, or a camera to its USB port, and use it to store all your photos and video, for syncing into the next-generation iLife suite.

        Wow, I was about to buy an Ipod, but I think I'll wait until this one comes out. I know, it might be a week, a month, maybe even a year, but I can keep my plastic in my
  • Amusing... (Score:4, Funny)

    by loyukfai (837795) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:43AM (#11273933)
    Sometimes I find it amusing that while Apple has been constantly frightening the likes of Think Secret (enthusiast sites?), even with lawsuits, its supporters keep on supporting Apple, more than ever.

    Try that with another company.

    Also, whenever Steve Jobs is on the stands and giving a presentation (sometimes with questionable accuracies...), the audience seem to clap their hands every so often.

    Maybe these are explained in the book "The Cult of Mac"?
  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:43AM (#11273935) Homepage Journal

    I'm a fanboy as well. But Apple are right in doing this to one of the best rumour sites on the net. What if this information is false but because of it, their share price goes up and there is a geniune interest from investors. Only for the rumour to be false and thus they get hit by it.
    Thats not to say however that they will succeed, I think they are after the people who leak information to TS. Im not up to date on american law, but wouldn't TS be protected by some sort of freedom of speech law.
    In any case, I don't think Nick Depulme is bothered, he's still posting rumours on his site, even after the lawsuit! TS have just confirmed the ipod micro rumour.
    • I'm a fanboy as well. But Apple are right in doing this to one of the best rumour sites on the net. What if this information is false but because of it, their share price goes up and there is a geniune interest from investors. Only for the rumour to be false and thus they get hit by it.

      Surely if the rumour was unfounded, it would leave the lawsuit without a basis, and Apple would still lose out?

      I dare say that the litgation would cost Apple less than some more conventional advertising. But I'm cynical

  • by Anonymous Coward
    about our legal system being used for advertisement?
  • More to discuss... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mirko (198274) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:59AM (#11273985) Journal
    MacSlash [macslash.org] covered this before, check the comments there where the s/n ratio is lower.
  • by weave (48069) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:01AM (#11273991) Journal
    I can imagine something like this.
    1. Jobs tells crew to make a $500 iMac.
    2. Apple personnel set out to design and produce a cheap iMac with that goal in mind
    3. Rumor leaks to press
    4. Everyone gets excited
    5. Financial people sit down to figure out how to sell it without going bankrupt based on current costs to make it
    6. Find out they can't sell it cheaper than $750 and set a price there
    7. Jobs announces it at macworld, the audience boos, the press rip them a new ass, all the while missing the fact that it's a damn good computer for the price
    8. Stock goes down in flames
    • I was thinking along the same line. They probably have a problem with the price. I seriously doubt they'd sell a Mac for around the price of an expensive ipod.

      They could, but they won't. I'm betting the price will be between 700-800 dollars also.
    • take a look at imac g5 prices.
      then take a look at apples monitor prices.

      subtract the equivalent size monitor price from the g5 imac.. and think WTF??

      (obviously, if they didn't have the astronomical markup on their lcd monitors the sub 500$ mac could be done easily)
    • Slight variant on the above:

      My guess is they've gone and built a computer that they can make a comfortable profit on at $500.

      And now they're currently trying to work out how much extra they can charge for the first 6 months or so while demand is high.

      $100 extra x 1 million units buys a lot of black polo neck shirts.
    • How bout these two scenarios.

      1. Jobs tells crew to make a $500 iMac.
      2. Apple personnel set out to design and produce a cheap iMac with that goal in mind
      3. Rumor leaks to press
      4. Everyone gets excited
      5. Apple sues a website for publishing the rumour.
      6. Everyone gets pissed.
      7. Court rules in favour of Apple
      8. Everyone gets scared to post bleeding edge material.
      9. Only strong and financially viable media have the finacial backing to be able to risk reporting news that is not sanctioned by large coope
  • Partiality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by northcat (827059) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:03AM (#11273999) Journal
    Instead of Apple, if Microsoft had done the same thing, all slashdotters would have tied MS to a stake burned it by now. In fact, if any other company had done the same thing, it would have attracted a lot more negative responses from slashdot and everyone else than Apple. This is not the first time Apple is doing something like this. I remember some guy creating that OS X panel thing (whatever it's called) for windows (without taking anything from OS X) and Apple making him take it off the web because it infringed on their IP. I think it was called Yz dock. I guess Apple bigots are the worst.
    • Re:Partiality (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CrackedButter (646746)
      Maybe, but thats your opinion and I think you are generalising the slashdot crowd, a lot people here are actaully sick of the anti-MS stance here because it clouds discussion. We would have to wait and see the next time MS comes into the limelight.
    • Microsoft has itself the tendency to 'leak' information for products that are not at all marketable. Wasn't WinFS announced for Chicago? Apple does the complete opposite; when Steve announces something you can find it in the shops within a couple of weeks. Apple does not want information on their products out in the open, unless these products are (almost) ready for sale.

      So, while there is a fair amount of anti-MS feelings here on /., your what-if-MS-had-done-this analogy fails.

    • Re:Partiality (Score:2, Informative)

      by Goffee71 (628501)
      You can still download YzDock from some places, http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=2790 [majorgeeks.com] it was neat but not rock solid as you'd expect for a version 0.8. Why would the mighty Apple be offended by such a thing? A) A threat to their IP B) It showed PC Users a cool Mac feature C) Some laywer had a few minutes to kill
    • 90% of the comments here seem to be against Apple. I agree that criticism of Apple tends to be dealt with negatively here (hell, I've suffered the mods for that myself), but I think most people are against the suing of ThinkSecret.

      FWIW, I think the rumours have harmed Apple, though given the timescale involved, not a great deal (hurting eMac sales at a time when eMac sales were going to be low anyway, for a couple of weeks), but, you know what? I don't care. That's Apple's problem, not ThinkSecret's, and

  • Just a heads up. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Blapto (839626) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:03AM (#11274001)
    It's not quite a sub $500 mac. It's headless for a start, so users are going to need to spend $100 for a half decent CRT, probably more. I don't know what the target market is, as Apple has always sold headless macs to the professional arena (PowerMacs are headless as a rule) but lower priced macs have been aimed at the home user. I hope for Apple's sake that they work out they need to bundle in a cheap Apple branded 17" CRT for $100 or so (Dell style).
    • I would expect its headless so that the purchaser can choose for themselves whether they want CRT or LCD. Or to reuse an existing CRT from the machine they're upgrading away from (which is what I do with about 50% of my upgrades).
    • Again, this is a 'switcher' box. Most people already have a crappy PC monitor that will do fine. Over time, HDTV's will become more ubiquitous and perfect for this as well (DVI out).

  • In other news... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davidoff404 (764733) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:03AM (#11274002)
    In other news from the carousel of litigation, Apple are being sued [bbc.co.uk] by an iTunes user who says that the lock in of iTunes to the iPod and iPod Mini is a violation of competition laws.

    Good to know that karma still works in this universe...
    • Re:In other news... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Except that Apple has a somewhat legitimate gripe about people breaching their NDAs, but any sane judge will tell that iTunes user to go buy a different portable player, use another online music store, and shut the fuck up. The guy has NO CASE. Apple never made a secret of the fact that music downloaded from the iTMS won't work on any other portable player except the iPod. For that matter, neither do the other online music stores.

      That guy is either a complete moron, or he's just looking for a quick buck an
    • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:31AM (#11274405) Homepage Journal
      The iTunes suit is a farce, IMO. Apple permits burning to CD, and you can even use that CD in iTunes to "import" the tracks as MP3. There you have it, two ways to play a track on nearly any portable audio player.

      I still question the idea of purchasing music as a pre-comressed data file, DRM'ed files at that. I'd much rather patronize my local used CD store, that way I don't get rights that might disappear if the computer or iPod crashes and I can't revoke its authorization. The files I can back up, sure, but if I hit my authorization limit then I'm screwed.
  • by dasunt (249686) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:03AM (#11274003)

    An Anonymous Coward posted the following [slashdot.org] in regards to the rumored Apple office suite on January 3rd, 2004:

    As with all rumors, there's no need to believe it until Apple starts taking legal action against the rumor sites. Until then, you can assume that they probably missed the mark.

    The posted was modded +5, Funny (60% funny, 20% insightful, 20% underrated).

  • by JTunny (653851)
    Shouldn't the trade partner (or even the Apple employee) that let the information leave the company be held ultimately culpable ?

    Maybe this is why IANAL
  • Where's the damages? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spleck (312109)
    Doesn't Apple need to prove that the leak somehow hurt them?

    I thought the rumors were helping... I had decided to hold on to my money in case these were real instead of building a video edit station for my home movies. I love my old B&W G3, but its just too slow to use on a daily basis for video editing. I would rather use iMovie on a $500 G4 at 1.25 GHz and I'm hoping it happens. Otherwise I've got stuff to order from newegg.
    • Have you ever heard of Osbourne computer [wikipedia.org], and what happened to them?

      The final blow occurred in 1983, when Adam Osborne boasted about an upcoming product months before it could be released, killing demand for the company's existing products.

      The rest of the computer industry learned that lesson very well - especially Apple.

  • LiveJournal Buyout Confirmed Posted by CowboyNeal on Thursday January 06, @02:10AM Your Rights Online: Apple Sues Think Secret Posted by CowboyNeal on Thursday January 06, @06:35AM
  • by jbrw (520) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:48AM (#11274170) Homepage
    Interestingly/amusingly/somethingly, ThinkSecret has posted more "rumours" since the lawsuit was announced:

    $149 1GB iPod is coming [thinksecret.com]
  • Is Apple really that stupid, or is this just a clever marketing tactic from them in order to boost advertising for their new product even more?

    And since when am I not able to speculate on technology?

    Here's a secret for you all...nVidia is working on a top secret graphics card right now. Rumor has it, it will cost around $500, and will be 30% faster than the top of the line cards on the market!

    You heard it here first...I have insider contacts and know all of the secrets! No wait, I made that up. Can
  • by reallocate (142797) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:29AM (#11274396)
    Think Secret has every right to publish that story, and every right to retain the identity of its source. Apple has every right to to sue them.

    Being prepared to defend your right to keep your sources secret and to defend your right to publish is a cost of doing business of any new publication. Think Secret and other online publications don't get a free pass, but neither should they be exempted from the same standards that apply to and protect traditional publications.
  • Rumour sites (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mark (495) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:34AM (#11274426)
    Some people here reckon that "if it were Microsoft" suing rumour sites, then we here at /. would be ripping them a new bunghole. These people say that, because it's Apple doing the suing, we're letting them off with nary a flame.

    But... MS rumour web sites must be pretty boring. Not only do most rumours come from Microsoft themselves... most of them /revoke/ previously announced features from previously announced products whose previously announced shipping dates have just been slipped by two years!! While Apple fansites try to guess what Apple will release next, MS fansites are left to try to guess what announced features might be left out!!
  • That is, Apple could have absolutely no plans to market a cheapo iCrap. And some webby out their saying otherwise could actually screw with their suppliers and technology development partners who might feel blindsided.

    As I said before - Apple is a high margin low volume company. They make $400 iPods they are probably not going to make iCraps for a 100 bucks more.
  • About Think Secret (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adzoox (615327) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:53AM (#11274527) Journal
    I have thought for a long time that Think Secret had the sole intention of harming Apple.

    Their rumor accuaracy is amazing and it seems they like to steal any thunder they can from Apple.

    They take any good news and put a negative spin on it such as; iPod sales. It is predicted that Apple will sell 4 million+ iPods this quarter ... Think Secret's spin is - small Apple Reseller's weren't getting enough and the two hard drive suppliers probably wouldn't be able to keep up.

    I have also believed that Think Secret's knowledge of the reseller lawsuit brought on MacAdam & Elite Computers is a little too intimate. It's almost like THIS is who's running the show there.

    I think Apple should go after them for more than just "trade secret revealing and developer coercing" but also libel and malicious intent.

    By The Time It Got To The Other End Of The Room: Notes About Apple Rumor Sites [jackwhispers.com]

  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOsPAm.Gmail.com> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:47AM (#11275858) Homepage Journal
    "Apple, in the complaint filed on Tuesday, sued Web site Think Secret and other unnamed individuals, claiming that Think Secret had induced these individuals to breach confidentiality agreements that they had signed with Apple."

    Ummm, so what? We're not dealing with government secrets, only private enterprise. The press "induces" people to spill secrets all the time. And thinksecret is the press here. If Apple has the right to sue anyone, it's the people who broke their confidentiality agreements. Not the press. I hope ThinkSecret gets a good legal team and shoves this right up Apple's ass. One wonders if free speech organizations will get involved with this, such as the ACLU (or do they only deal with the goverment? I don't know...). What we have here is a corporation trying to intimidate a news outlet. Pure and simple. Of course, Apple can do no wrong...

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

Working...