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Print 54 comment(s) - last by Ryanman.. on Dec 22 at 5:29 PM

Apple shuts down one of its greatest supporters in the online news industry for saying too much

From the iPod rumor mill buzz, to the ever-expanding plethora of Apple wares, since its founding in 1998, Think Secret has always been a top source of breaking news from Apple Inc.  While the site dealt chiefly in unreleased and uncertain realms, it scored many scoops that validated its claims of "inside sources" at Apple Inc.

Now in another draconian move, Apple has managed to slay this beloved site, which its executives including Steve Jobs, always saw as an annoyance.  Ironically, the site was chiefly frequented by Apple fans, but Apple has always maintain a closed box policy to some extent which seems to hurt the ones who love it. 

Apple had sued Think Secret for trade secret violations in 2005 after it revealed an unannounced "headless" Mac for $500 and the new iWork office suite.  Apple planned to announce these products at the Mac World that year and virtually confirmed the leak with its lawsuit.  The suit centered on putting the squeeze on Think Secret's sources -- likely so Apple could wish them luck in finding a new job.

Think Secret remained loyal to Apple, its fans, and most significantly its sources to the end.  Site publisher Nick Ciarelli (aka Nick DePlume) settled with Apple, but went down fighting.  Ciarelli refused to betray his sources and instead paid the ultimate price -- losing his beloved website. 

Ciarelli was happy he could at least save his friends from harm.  He sent an email to Engadget stating, "I'll just say that I'm very satisfied with the settlement, and that I'd like to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation and my attorney, Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky, for their support." 

In the end, Apple's latest move does not sound unfamiliar.  After all, this is the company that bricked thousands of users phones for switching networks and for years sued Mac clones out of existence, despite destroying its own market dominance in doing so. 

However, many will see this latest move as a new low for Apple and Steve Jobs to sink to.  After all, Think Secret was one of the stalwarts of the online tech news industry and a loyal supporter of Apple. 


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Suck on this steve jobs
By omnicronx on 12/20/2007 12:37:19 PM , Rating: 6
*******************/--\*********************
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*****************/-\|---|/-\..***************
**************/-\|---|---|---/-\*************
************/----[@]---|---|---\*************
************|---|---|----|---|---\***********
************|-~---~---~---~---/*************
************|--------------------/************
*************\-----------------/*************
**************\---------------/**************
***************\------------/*****************
****************|--//''`\--|*****************
****************|-((-+-))-|******************
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Hey Jobs!! Who do you think you are!! your product has yet to cross 10% marketshare, why on earth would you treat your current customers/fans like this?

I have no problem with Apple! I have a problem with YOU!




RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By Fenixgoon on 12/20/2007 12:59:39 PM , Rating: 5
i had to rate this up simply because of its attention to detail:

fingernail, knuckles, ring, and watch. impressive ASCII, sir!

hopefully i don't get rated down


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By omnicronx on 12/20/2007 2:02:59 PM , Rating: 5
I can't take the credit, i didnt make it I just formatted it so it would work with this forum haha. You would not believe how hard it is to line things up when you are not allowed to have white spacing ;)

15 minutes of my life I will never get back


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By onwisconsin on 12/20/2007 8:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
Still a piece of art...


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By Ryanman on 12/22/2007 5:29:01 PM , Rating: 1
wait, so Apple forms its whole market plan on selling grossly overpriced hardware to techinically challenged idiots, and now they're screwing their customers over?

I'm suprised. I don't know about you guys.


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2007 3:27:11 PM , Rating: 4
If anything has ever deserved a 6, this is it. Well done omni.


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By cochy on 12/20/2007 3:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
Ya though, I don't think DT wants to "officially" support Jobs bashing :P


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By cochy on 12/20/2007 4:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
or maybe not hehe


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By Gul Westfale on 12/20/2007 8:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
wouldn't a simple (-_-),,l,, have been enough?
still, "A" for effort, that 6 is well deserved!


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By Etsp on 12/21/2007 12:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think kirby agrees with you... look at him---> t(•?•t)


RE: Suck on this steve jobs
By Etsp on 12/21/2007 12:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
bah, his mouth displayed correctly when I previewed it...


Can they really do that?
By glenn8 on 12/20/2007 11:55:04 AM , Rating: 3
Is there really such a law that requires reporters to reveal their sources? It seems kind of wrong that they can go after the messenger.




RE: Can they really do that?
By cochy on 12/20/2007 12:03:49 PM , Rating: 3
Depends. I've heard of Journalists going to jail because they didn't want to reveal their source. I guess it depends if it's a criminal investigation and they are in court.

In this case it didn't get to court he just settled. But even if it did, he's not an accomplice to any illegal activity as the only illicit activity going on here were Apple employees violating Apple policy. Which isn't illegal, it just gets you fired.


RE: Can they really do that?
By cochy on 12/20/2007 12:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
accomplice to any illegal activity


Maybe the proper term would have been obstruction of justice.


RE: Can they really do that?
By omnicronx on 12/20/2007 12:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
I am guessing in this case he just wanted to protect his friends from further investigation. I really doubt he would have been charged with obstruction for this. The only cases I have seen where a member of the media has been charged, is with a serious offense such as murder.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 12/20/2007 3:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
If a judge orders you to reveal your sources and you do not, its contempt. A DA can charge you with obstruction of justice, but that's only for a criminal case. This is entirely civil.

A journalist going to jail for failing to reveal sources is generally a badge of honor -- and it's technically not even a criminal charge.

It's very rarely used. This guy just caved under the financial pressure from Apple; our justice system at work.


RE: Can they really do that?
By afkrotch on 12/20/2007 1:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
NDA is a legally binding document. So trying to get the information and spreading it out seems like being an accomplice to an illegal activity.


RE: Can they really do that?
By cochy on 12/20/2007 1:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sure but it's not criminal.


RE: Can they really do that?
By Polynikes on 12/20/2007 3:07:52 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. Breaking an NDA doesn't mean you've broken a criminal law, it just means you broke your contract and can have your pants sued off in civil court.


RE: Can they really do that?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 12/20/2007 3:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
NDAs don't stand up in civil court even. We've been contested a few times already in just two years and haven't lost a case yet.

They're virtually unenforceable for media.


RE: Can they really do that?
By cochy on 12/20/2007 3:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Right. But if he gives up his sources at Apple they can be fired and sued.


RE: Can they really do that?
By Polynikes on 12/21/2007 10:13:21 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting. You naughty boys, you.


WAIT WHAT?
By rdeegvainl on 12/20/2007 11:45:06 AM , Rating: 1
So the AT&T policy thing was Apple's fault? How so?




RE: WAIT WHAT?
By omnicronx on 12/20/2007 12:45:25 PM , Rating: 2
Its part of the contract in which Apple chose to agree too. Any smart company would have done the same, its nobody's fault but apple's that they choose to be an exclusive wherever they go to get extra money from the carrier.

If apple chose to sell their phone to everyone this would not be a problem. So yes, it is apples fault. Why make money just selling phones when you can make money selling phones, and money from contracts that would usually go solely to the carrier.

Otherwise AT&T probably loses money for every Iphone sold that is not activated by AT&T. Apple probably gets paid on a per phone sold basis, not a per contract signed up;)


RE: WAIT WHAT?
By rdeegvainl on 12/20/2007 1:12:52 PM , Rating: 3
No, they removed it now. but when the article first appeared, the second to last paragraph
"After all, this is the company that bricked thousands of users phones for switching networks and for years sued Mac clones out of existence, despite destroying its own market dominance in doing so."
had listed the story about AT&T changing their user policy, and linked to this story.
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=9116


RE: WAIT WHAT?
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2007 1:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
That text is still there.


RE: WAIT WHAT?
By rdeegvainl on 12/20/2007 1:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
the text i quoted was just so you would know which paragraph i was refering too. trying to say it had the at&t part in that sentence before it was changed.


RE: WAIT WHAT?
By omnicronx on 12/20/2007 2:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
You could have just said the link was wrong :) would have saved you the trouble. It sounded like you were talking about unlocking iphones.


RE: WAIT WHAT?
By rdeegvainl on 12/20/2007 2:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
it was that there was a whole other link, to the at&t thing, in addition to the ibrick thing. it was intentional, but it has been removed.


RE: WAIT WHAT?
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2007 1:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
Apple makes a healthy profit on every iPhone sold not even counting the money its gets from AT&T. The cost of it is only estimated at around $250.


LOL
By michal1980 on 12/20/2007 11:50:24 AM , Rating: 5
apple and cesnorship. no way.

kind of how like on their forums they dont allow disccusion of problems because that would paint them in a bad light?

bsod threads? locked/deleted.

LCDs with bad color banding? locked/Deleted.

Moving files just dissapear? Locked/Deleted.

Apple: see no evil, hear no evil. There is no evil.

Yet people will hate microsoft and think apple is the nice company.

IMHO MS is much more open and honest then apple, and thats not saying much.




RE: LOL
By Inkjammer on 12/20/2007 11:58:18 AM , Rating: 5
It's only a matter of time before Apple starts shipping their applications with a new program called iConcede.

When your purchase your new Apple product, you instantly and willfully surrender all rights to use competitor products and bind yourself to their proprietary hardware. And in doing so, give up your right to have an opinion on Apple products other than "OOH, it's shiny!" and "Jason Long is Lord.".

I say this as I order an iPhone, too. I'm not a hypocrit, just a consumer whore.


RE: LOL
By Inkjammer on 12/20/2007 12:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Err, blah. That should be "Justin Long". Lack of edit button is sad. Lack of my proof reading skills are even sadder.


RE: LOL
By Shida on 12/20/2007 12:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
From a business point it kind of makes sense: Microsoft has a huge market share and has proven to survive even the worst moments where it's products have been pointed to have a fault(s). Now Apple on the other hand, they don't have that much market share (yeah it's true, they shot themselves in the foot in the early days). But nonetheless, for a company that seems to do a fine job at wowing most of the general consuming public (mind you most in this forum are anything but part of this group just by coming hear to simply read articles and/or post something) so of course they are going to try to keep being so uptight about stuff like that.

Don't get me wrong. Sure I like Apple but I have some qualms here and there. Some of the borderline-shady stuff that Apple does from time to time. This on the other hand. I could somewhat sympathize as to it being a strictly business move. But the question as to whether it actually is a good move or not (remember times have changed since back then when Apply shut those Mac clones so that site could have been a much needed compliment and free PR).

So I don't know...


RE: LOL
By Shida on 12/20/2007 12:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
From a business point it kind of makes sense: Microsoft has a huge market share and has proven to survive even the worst moments where it's products have been pointed to have a fault(s). Now Apple on the other hand, they don't have that much market share (yeah it's true, they shot themselves in the foot in the early days). But nonetheless, for a company that seems to do a fine job at wowing most of the general consuming public (mind you most in this forum are anything but part of this group just by coming here to simply read articles and/or post something) so of course they are going to try to keep being so uptight about stuff like that.

Don't get me wrong. Sure I like Apple but I have some qualms here and there. Some of the borderline-shady stuff that Apple does from time to time. This on the other hand. I could somewhat sympathize as to it being a strictly business move. But the question as to whether it actually is a good move or not (remember times have changed since back then when Apply shut those Mac clones so that site could have been a much needed compliment and free PR).

So I don't know...


RE: LOL
By michal1980 on 12/20/07, Rating: 0
Apple on it's way down?
By 306maxi on 12/20/2007 12:19:57 PM , Rating: 3
One of my workmates who is a proud Macbook and iPod owner said this last week "I love their products but as a company I just hate them". Kind of says it all about Apple. You do have to admit that they do make some good products but as a company it's very hard to support them when they start treating their fans like this. Somewhere down the line people will stop seeing Apple as that alternative to the evil empire that is Microsoft and more as Microsoft with a BS veneer.

I do hope if Apple takes another dive they stay down for good this time.




RE: Apple on it's way down?
By PandaBear on 12/20/2007 1:12:55 PM , Rating: 5
True:

iPod = Nice but overpriced
iPhone = Nice but overpriced
MacBook = Nice but overpriced
Airport network equipment that look like a clamp shell = Cute but overpriced
MacMini = Nice but overpriced

Except:

AppleTv = crap but still less overpriced.


RE: Apple on it's way down?
By Hieyeck on 12/20/2007 7:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
Eh... Apple products aren't even that nice, just... shiny and different. I've never really even wanted an iPod, since I'm a proud Apple hater, and having one only makes it worse. The headphones they ship with suck (and official replacements are $40 - thanks, but I think I'll get cheapo Sennheisers for infinitely better sound), you HAVE to encode videos to mp4, and the screen is so bleeding tiny you can't watch ANYTHING on it. Good thing I got it as a gift.

You buy Apple to differ from the norm, that's about it. The rebels of the 80s still trying to be rebellious in their 30s and 40s.


RE: Apple on it's way down?
By 306maxi on 12/21/2007 4:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I have a G4 iPod which is connected to the Pioneer stereo in my car. It plays music and that's really all it needs to do. I just don't see the point of watching videos on a small screen. Yes the headphones do suck. I bought some cheapo Sony earphones and they gave far better sound. But you can't fault the clickwheel as an interface. But a good interface doesn't make the company great.


one bad Apple spoils the whole ...
By pjs on 12/20/2007 11:57:46 AM , Rating: 5
Apple once seemed to be an alternative to the big, unfriendly corporate monsters (i.e. Microsoft et.al.). In actuality, they have become much more venomous than many of those corporate monsters. The only good thing is that they have such a small market share. Can you imagine their arrogance is they had Microsoft's market penetration. Free speech ... you don't get no stinkin free speech. We don't like what you say, we sue!

Paul




By FITCamaro on 12/20/2007 1:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
The Apple vs. Microsoft argument is like the AMD vs. Intel one. Microsoft has the lead by a wide margin in its market. Apple does many of the same things as Microsoft, sometimes far surpassing them in their quest to sue for anything they don't like, but since they're the little guy, they're praised or ignored.

In my mind, Apple is far worse a company than Microsoft. Microsoft at least gives me choice of what hardware I want to run their software on. Apple tells me what I'm going to use and charges me a premium for the privilege. Not to mention Apple tries to lock you into their little sphere of influence far more than Microsoft does.


By MonkeyPaw on 12/20/2007 5:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Apple has gone the way of Fruitopia--brewed by hippies, but distributed by a heartless, multi-national corporation.


Sigh
By Belegost on 12/20/2007 11:42:39 AM , Rating: 4
Good to see the freedom of the press being upheld by our courts.

</sarcasm>




RE: Sigh
By 306maxi on 12/20/2007 12:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
Oi! Don't say anything bad about the holy holy Apple! You must be a M$ fanboi!

/sarcasm


RE: Sigh
By onwisconsin on 12/20/2007 8:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, he's against our courts, which means he's against our government...he's a terrorist!

</bad joke>


C'mon
By cochy on 12/20/2007 11:42:40 AM , Rating: 1
On a scale from 1-10 how much do you hate Apple Jason ;)




RE: C'mon
By Doormat on 12/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: C'mon
By JackBeQuick on 12/20/2007 11:53:28 AM , Rating: 3
Give me a break. Yesterday you were just ripping into him for being pro-Apple in the other thread.


RE: C'mon
By Doormat on 12/20/07, Rating: 0
RE: C'mon
By BladeVenom on 12/20/2007 12:32:05 PM , Rating: 4
From the late 70's with the Apple II through the early 80's Apple had a strong market share and looked like the could be the dominate system.


Its all about the money..
By boobot on 12/20/2007 11:41:11 AM , Rating: 2
anyone telling you else-wise is lying.




RE: Its all about the money..
By BruceLeet on 12/21/2007 6:19:21 AM , Rating: 2
*otherwise


Oh no!
By Proteusza on 12/20/2007 4:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
Theres a wart on my foot, I better shoot it off with my howitzer.




"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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