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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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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 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!


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.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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