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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. 




"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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