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New Apple suit confirms forthcoming products

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
In its latest lawsuit seeking to clamp down on leaks, Apple Computer has added credibility to several hot rumors, including plans to offer a cheaper Macintosh and its own line of office software, reports CNet News.com.

The computer company on Tuesday sued the publisher of Mac enthusiast site Think Secret and other unnamed individuals, alleging that recent postings on the site contain Apple trade secrets, according to court documents seen by CNET News.com.

"The suit, filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Calif., aims to identify who is leaking the information and to get an injunction preventing further release of trade secrets. However, in filing the suit, Apple identifies specific articles that contain trade secrets, indicating that at least parts of those reports are on the mark."

"Apple has filed a civil complaint against the owner of ThinkSecret.com and unnamed individuals who we believe stole Apple's trade secrets," Apple said in its statement. "We believe that Think Secret solicited information about unreleased Apple products from these individuals, who violated their confidentiality agreements with Apple by providing details that were later posted on the Internet."

This latest suit is believed to be in response to recently published reports disclosing information on a forthcoming headless iMac, as well as the purported Apple-branded "iWork" productivity suite.

The lawsuit also represents the company's third intellectual property suit in less than 3 weeks. In December, Apple filed suit against unnamed individuals it claimed leaked details about a forthcoming music device code-named Asteroid. A separate action filed shortly thereafter accused two former Apple developers of distributing prerelease versions of its next-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger."

Apple is slated to kick-off next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco with the announcement of several new products, which may include an iMac sans monitor, new iPods, and an office productivity suite.
post #2 of 81
Haha, that's so ironic. Their lockdown on rumor mills just proves the rumors.
post #3 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Haha, that's so ironic. Their lockdown on rumor mills just proves the rumors.

Ah, but the key here is to put the smackdown now, because of not what's coming in January, but to keep hush-hush that which will be coming in May/June. And that, I must say, is going to be so big, and so unbelievable (for Apple), that even you all are going to be floored.
post #4 of 81
Hey, wouldn't it be funny if, in the middle of Steve's keynote at MWSF, Apple legal goes on stage and serves Jobs a summons for disclosing Apple's IP!
post #5 of 81
*shooting self in foot*

WHat is up?? They could just do this lawsuit stuff later could they not ?? I tink it is building hype... hmmmm :?
post #6 of 81
Sadly, this could also indicate they are not ready to announce these products and that the letdown when they don't could bring the stock value down. So many "news" agencies reported the headless iMac as a fact. Still hoping for some exciting products to be unveiled at MWSF though. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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post #7 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Ah, but the key here is to put the smackdown now, because of not what's coming in January, but to keep hush-hush that which will be coming in May/June. And that, I must say, is going to be so big, and so unbelievable (for Apple), that even you all are going to be floored.

{voice of dirtbag politcian} WHAT DO YOU KNOW AND WHEN DID U KNOW IT? IS THIS INFO RELIABLE?...YOU HAVE TEASED, NOW SPILL! {/voice of dirtbag politcian}

But really, expand on that, enquiering minds must know
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post #8 of 81
First, I think that Steve J is a little irritated that his big surprises have been leaked - takes away the excitement of "one more thing".

Second, I believe the effort is to find those that are breaking the NDAs in order to take action that will ensure it won't happen again. Some one (or a few) are gonna be outta there.

I doubt that there will be any products pulled because of the rumors - there is too much effort required to release a product for that to happen.
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post #9 of 81
Like most of us, I enjoy speculating about what's next for Apple, but I think Apple is doing the right thing in trying to clamp down on people leaking their secrets.

It's fun for us but it hurts Apple, in terms of competitors getting confidential information.
post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Ah, but the key here is to put the smackdown now, because of not what's coming in January, but to keep hush-hush that which will be coming in May/June. And that, I must say, is going to be so big, and so unbelievable (for Apple), that even you all are going to be floored.

You are going to be held accountable in June. I am bookmarking this thread.

Can't you give a small hint?

Eric
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post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by ct77
Like most of us, I enjoy speculating about what's next for Apple, but I think Apple is doing the right thing in trying to clamp down on people leaking their secrets.

It's fun for us but it hurts Apple, in terms of competitors getting confidential information.

Yeah, it may have been fun before, and was probably more of an irritant for Apple more than anything, but with what's happened over the last year, the stakes are much higher.
post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by ct77
It's fun for us but it hurts Apple, in terms of competitors getting confidential information.

Not really. Most of the time, these rumors come right before product announcement and the competition can't do anything at this point.
post #13 of 81
The lawsuit doesn't prove it is true. It may only prove that Apple was considering these concepts. When Steve announces, they may be different from what the leaker reported or they may have changed their minds and decided to not release the rumored products.

It's like a poker game. Apple's move doesn't necessarily mean ThinkSecret is right on all counts. Now the drama is on to see whether any, some or all of the data is accurate. It's great theater!
post #14 of 81
So Apple's employee breaks his contract and deplume won't disclose his name, and suddenly deplume gets sued? What if nick didn't know who it was?

I hope they burn the employee who screwed up, but why sue Nick DePlume?? This is a freedom of speech issue! Just because some corporation says this information is confidential, all of a sudden talking about it becomes illegal?

Me: HEY APPLE, YOU'RE MORONS!
Apple legal: That's a trade secret! see you in court!
Me: Nuts.

I for one will not purchase any products released by Apple this January for at least 6 months, no matter what they release. This is crap, screw their strong-arming tactics.

Edit: I'm going to e-mail apple and tell them of my decision, for all those who would do the same:
http://www.apple.com/contact/feedback.html
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post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
It's great theater!

And that's why we're here!
post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I for one will not purchase any products released by Apple this January for at least 6 months, no matter what they release.

Dude, you won't be able to buy the products they announce at this MacWorld for at least 6 months!
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by foshizzle
Dude, you won't be able to buy the products they announce at this MacWorld for at least 6 months!

Good call, but they like to let that fact escape slowly, through delaying orders multiple times like with the DP2.5 G5s (!$#@).
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post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
So Apple's employee breaks his contract and deplume won't disclose his name, and suddenly deplume gets sued? What if nick didn't know who it was?

I hope they burn the employee who screwed up, but why sue Nick DePlume??

Who the fuck really cares? Nick new what he was getting into. And now he's fucked, wheither he's right or not, there is no way he can afford a lawsuit with Apple legal. Maybe now he'll get a real job. Editor in Chief - my ass.
post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
Who the fuck really cares? Nick new what he was getting into. And now he's fucked, wheither he's right or not, there is no way he can afford a lawsuit with Apple legal. Maybe now he'll get a real job. Editor in Chief - my ass.

OK, now let's change the situation:
"Apple insider is sued for damages after revealing secrets about M$ longhorn that were not previous released."

I support nick, and anyone else who stands up to these corporate bullying tactics. Think secret has always been reliable and one of the more balanced and less fanboy-ish rumor sites.
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post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
I support nick, and anyone else who stands up to these corporate bullying tactics. Think secret has always been reliable and one of the more balanced and less fanboy-ish rumor sites.

With all due respect - don't be so short sighted. There are regular everyday people, with lots of money invested in Apple. Thinksecret story's are a threat to those investments, period.

In the computer world, it's basically Apple vs. everyone else. Apple has the advantage right now, being practically the only one coming up with new products, and if they have to shut down Think Secret and ruin Nick's life in the process - in order to protect their advantage, then they should. This isn't about sueing Mike Rowe, this is about protecting their IP.
post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
So Apple's employee breaks his contract and deplume won't disclose his name, and suddenly deplume gets sued? What if nick didn't know who it was?I hope they burn the employee who screwed up, but why sue Nick DePlume?? This is a freedom of speech issue! Just because some corporation says this information is confidential, all of a sudden talking about it becomes illegal?

Just because X sues Y doesn't mean anyone's done anything illegal, or even wrong. This is a hardball tactic, plain and simple, to get Nick to talk. It might even have some basis in trade secret law (i.e., if the law requires the company to actively defend them, as with trademarks) but I don't know that for sure.

Apple is alleging that Nick actively tried to get someone at Apple to break an NDA, and therefore this isn't just printing something that just happened to wind up on his doorstep one morning. But that could very well be a legal fig leaf. I still think the point is to intimidate him into squealing, and if he does Apple will drop the suit. Their real target is the leaker, not Nick.

FWIW, something like this did happen to AppleInsider a few years ago. The company suing them was Adobe, and the outcome (since AI couldn't afford to defend against the suit) was that AI can't publish anything about Adobe applications, no matter how they come across the information.

My sympathies are with Nick. Yeah, protect trade secrets, etc., but suing people because you're much bigger than they are and you can win no matter what is lame, and is pretty much guaranteed to leave me rooting for the little guy.
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post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph

My sympathies are with Nick. Yeah, protect trade secrets, etc., but suing people because you're much bigger than they are and you can win no matter what is lame, and is pretty much guaranteed to leave me rooting for the little guy.

Nick a "little guy"? Please. He makes pretty good money selling ads on his site. And since he requires "insider information" to drive traffic to his site, I think takes some of the sheen off his innocence. I don't think he could be defended as the poor little lamb and Apple as the big bad wolf in this particular situation.
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Just because X sues Y doesn't mean anyone's done anything illegal, or even wrong. This is a hardball tactic, plain and simple, to get Nick to talk. It might even have some basis in trade secret law (i.e., if the law requires the company to actively defend them, as with trademarks) but I don't know that for sure.

Apple is alleging that Nick actively tried to get someone at Apple to break an NDA, and therefore this isn't just printing something that just happened to wind up on his doorstep one morning. But that could very well be a legal fig leaf. I still think the point is to intimidate him into squealing, and if he does Apple will drop the suit. Their real target is the leaker, not Nick.

FWIW, something like this did happen to AppleInsider a few years ago. The company suing them was Adobe, and the outcome (since AI couldn't afford to defend against the suit) was that AI can't publish anything about Adobe applications, no matter how they come across the information.

My sympathies are with Nick. Yeah, protect trade secrets, etc., but suing people because you're much bigger than they are and you can win no matter what is lame, and is pretty much guaranteed to leave me rooting for the little guy.

I know all this (aside from the AI & adobe thing) and I agree.

to emphasize this : Yeah, protect trade secrets, etc., but suing people because you're much bigger than they are and you can win no matter what is lame, and is pretty much guaranteed to leave me rooting for the little guy.
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post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
Apple has the advantage right now, being practically the only one coming up with new products, and if they have to shut down Think Secret and ruin Nick's life in the process - in order to protect their advantage, then they should. This isn't about sueing Mike Rowe, this is about protecting their IP.

To point out this: if they have to shut down Think Secret and ruin Nick's life in the process - in order to protect their advantage, then they should..

It's OK for corporations to ruin people's lives and infringe on their free speech to protect their stock price?... not to me.

Actually it's not about protecting their IP, it's about shutting down the rumor sites so Apple can better manipulate its stock price better, since they can't seem to enforce their confidentiality agreements.

If Nick were releasing stuff before Apple had patents, or distributing Apple's OS, THAT would be hurting their IP.

Actually, M$ suing MR was protecting its MP. The brand-name "microsoft" is IP. That was because MR stood to gain from using M$ IP.

If Think secret is hurting Apple's stock price by printing LIES, then it's liable, but if it did that, nobody would believe them anymore anyway.

"We can suppress freedom of the press, as long as we make a buck" is generally a bad philosophy.

How about "individual rights FIRST, corporate rights SECOND." No, it's NOT a corporate right to keep the press from publishing stories about them or their products.
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post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
If Think secret is hurting Apple's stock price by printing LIES, then it's liable, but if it did that, nobody would believe them anymore anyway.

Libel, not liable. If you are likely to do something, you are liable to do it; and if a debt can legitimately be charged to you, you are liable for it. A person who defames you with a false accusation libels you.
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post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead

It's OK for corporations to ruin people's lives and infringe on their free speech to protect their stock price?... not to me.

If there is just cause, then sure. Try putting some of your life savings into Apple stock, and lets see how you feel then. Like I said, Nick is making good money by publishing broken NDA's.

Actually it's not about protecting their IP, it's about shutting down the rumor sites so Apple can better manipulate its stock price better, since they can't seem to enforce their confidentiality agreements.

Well, it looks like their inforcing them pretty good now, doesn't it?

If Nick were releasing stuff before Apple had patents, or distributing Apple's OS, THAT would be hurting their IP.
If your not an IP lawyer, then I don't think you can comment on that.

Actually, M$ suing MR was protecting its MP. The brand-name "microsoft" is IP. That was because MR stood to gain from using M$ IP.

That's a trade mark dispute, entirely different.

If Think secret is hurting Apple's stock price by printing LIES, then it's liable, but if it did that, nobody would believe them anymore anyway.
Think Secret has absolutely no idea if their printing lies or not - where does that leave your arguement?

"We can suppress freedom of the press, as long as we make a buck" is generally a bad philosophy.

Think Secret is _NOT_ the press, it's a fucking rumour site.

Obviously, there are people who feel sorry for Nick, and that's understandable, although I don't agree with it. He has brought this upon himself. How many years has he been doing this? How much money has he made? How many letters has he gotten from Apple to pull down content? Apple has shown great patience by letting Nick's shinanigans go on for so long - and to be blunt, Nick has to rank pretty high on the idiot scale to keep pissing of a company worth billions of dollars - one run by Steve Jobs no less.
post #27 of 81
i think it's pretty funny that the stories are still up.....8)
nick has probably been waiting for this! he's gonna generate more traffic than ever now...
post #28 of 81
No matter how you slice it, Nick is doing his job as a journalist. A journalist's job is to dig out information that the public doesn't know and publish it. If it's a 'secret' then Apple's job is to keep it secret rather than suing a journalist who found out. And if the info on ThinkSecret turns out to be accurate and he can corroborate the info with multiple reliable sources then Nick's done a fine job. His circulation goes up and hopefully so does his ad revenue.

The problem might come however if Nick has signed any kind of NDA with Apple that he's broken. Then Apple might have a case against him if he's been given info by Apple and subsequently released that info. It's perfectly legal to talk to Apple employees and weedle info out of them but not if you're under an NDA.

Nick now has to protect his sources otherwise he'll get no further info 'anonymously' as nobody will talk to him. No journalist worth their salt signs an NDA as it effectively gags you from releasing stories on your terms. I've worked on publications where we've known 3-6 months in advance of a product release but been gagged by an NDA only to see it leaked onto the internet weeks after the NDA was signed. I never sign NDAs personally myself and never have.

The problem then is, that often, unless you agree to an NDA you don't get invited to the press launches, don't get on the review lists, don't get advertising, the marketing dept never talk to you and you never see a product come your way and you're left with nothing if the company has managed to keep it secret up until the day of release. Something that's getting rarer and rarer because of the net but companies still stupidly adhere to.

It's a fine line - integrity or easy stories, even if they are spoon fed. You have to work damned hard to keep up a steady rate of stories to interest your readers if you're not taking the spoon feed, especially if you're a one story site like an Apple rumour site.

Still, even if Apple are wrong, the cost of a legal battle for Nick must be something of a challenge to your principles.
post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
Sadly, this could also indicate they are not ready to announce these products and that the letdown when they don't could bring the stock value down.

This point is right on the mark. It has been mentioned by at least one stock market analyst.

People are now expecting Apple to do wonderful things on a consistent basis. If we get a giant goose egg at MWSF, then there is the very real possibility that Apple's stock will drop dramatically.

Of course let's not forget the investors who are hoping to get a substantial boost after a significant product announcement. This has rarely happened, but a hint of things to come spoils the drama and a possible subsequent stock surge.

As for ThinkSecret...yeah, I sympathize with them. There's probably no way they can come up with the funds to defend themselves and will have to acquiesce to Apple's demands. But those Apple employees who are constantly spreading leaks probably deserve what they get. They are having a profound negative effect (possibly measurable) on Apple's business.
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
So Apple's employee breaks his contract and deplume won't disclose his name, and suddenly deplume gets sued? What if nick didn't know who it was?

I hope they burn the employee who screwed up, but why sue Nick DePlume?? This is a freedom of speech issue! Just because some corporation says this information is confidential, all of a sudden talking about it becomes illegal?

Me: HEY APPLE, YOU'RE MORONS!
Apple legal: That's a trade secret! see you in court!
Me: Nuts.

I for one will not purchase any products released by Apple this January for at least 6 months, no matter what they release. This is crap, screw their strong-arming tactics.

Edit: I'm going to e-mail apple and tell them of my decision, for all those who would do the same:
http://www.apple.com/contact/feedback.html

I wont buy anything either IF apple wins the case.
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post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
OK, now let's change the situation:
"Apple insider is sued for damages after revealing secrets about M$ longhorn that were not previous released."

I support nick, and anyone else who stands up to these corporate bullying tactics. Think secret has always been reliable and one of the more balanced and less fanboy-ish rumor sites.

I hate MS, and I'd have no problem with MS suing. I understand I HATE Microsoft.

As for your second paragraph, give me a break. Apple is not some big unethical company picking on the little guy. This is not an Erin Brokovitch situation.

The guy made money running a web site publishing Apple's trade secrets. And don't forget he made money at this. This was not a charity.

And after warning him for years, Apple says enough and is going to put an end to it.

This is a pretty simple situation:

1. Guy starts a business
2. Business solicits & discloses information known to be owned by Apple
3. Guy makes money
4. Apple warns and asks that they stop. For years.
5. Guy still seeks out and publishes confidential information
6. Apple sues to stop since the letters are clearly not working

And 7, TS is done. Guys behind this will be out at least $250K to defend himself. Probably a lot more. People who leaked the info will be out even more money and will need to find another career.

-----
Look, I like reading rumors and posting them as much as the next guy.

But I do it for fun, not for profit. And Think Secret was a business which broke the law and stole IP and trade secrets from an amazing company.

Apple did nothing to TS. Nothing. In fact, they went out of their way to ask them to stop without suing.

If anyone is the good guy here it's Apple. TS is screwed, and they deserve to be.
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
Think Secret has absolutely no idea if their printing lies or not - where does that leave your arguement?

How can you possibly know that?

If Nick's done his job properly then he's checked and double checked his facts before publishing. If he's wrong, and someone is just yanking his chain, then he'll lose credibility and people will just dismiss any story from him as easily as they do stories from macosrumors or Grady's Powerpage.

Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
"We can suppress freedom of the press, as long as we make a buck" is generally a bad philosophy.

Think Secret is _NOT_ the press, it's a fucking rumour site.

Right, because putting it on paper makes all the difference as a journalist. Perhaps I'll send an email, sorry no, write a letter on paper with a quill pen, to the BBC telling them that all their online stories are a pack of lies and have no validity as writing it online just can't be taken seriously. Get a life.

Quote:
Originally posted by the cool gut
Obviously, there are people who feel sorry for Nick, and that's understandable, although I don't agree with it. He has brought this upon himself. How many years has he been doing this? How much money has he made? How many letters has he gotten from Apple to pull down content? Apple has shown great patience by letting Nick's shinanigans go on for so long - and to be blunt, Nick has to rank pretty high on the idiot scale to keep pissing of a company worth billions of dollars - one run by Steve Jobs no less. [/B]

I don't know Nick personally at all but 'pissing off' a company by digging out it's secrets isn't illegal and Nick's quite possibly doing a good job of it if he's on the mark. Perhaps journalists shouldn't go digging around in big corporation's bins. What were those journalists thinking of when they went digging in Enron's bins - the cheek!

Perhaps you should also go bitch at Woz for boxing the phone company.
post #33 of 81
couple of thoughts:

1. wouldn't it be better if apple doesn't respond to rumors? does it do them any good to address this.

2. what law is broken?

3. the san fransico news papers printed grand jury testimony about the balco case. it is a criminal offense to release the contents of the grand jury testimony. were the papers forced to reveal their sources or retract or stop printing information which was obviously obtained illegally?

is there a lawyer on these boards that can shed some light on this.

if a news paper can prints transcripts of sealed grand jury testimony then why can't this website print information about possible future computer harware?

chung
post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by whoami
i think it's pretty funny that the stories are still up.....8)
nick has probably been waiting for this! he's gonna generate more traffic than ever now...

TS was stalled out a few hours ago. He hasn't mentioned the suit yet, unlike all the other sites (that means he is probably getting legal help).

Oh, and cool gut, if i had anything invested in Apple right now, I'd sell out of protest.
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post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by chunglee
couple of thoughts:

1. wouldn't it be better if apple doesn't respond to rumors? does it do them any good to address this.

I suspect they are trying to scare the pants off their NDAd employees or sub contractors such that nobody does this again in the future rather than scare the pants off Nick. I doubt it does them any good and I doubt, if the story is accurate, it'd do them any harm either with only a week to go before MWSF. You can guarantee the press will be paying attention now.


Quote:
Originally posted by chunglee
couple of thoughts:
2. what law is broken?

No law has been broken. It's a civil suite, not a criminal one. Obviously the information was under NDA and someone has broken that so Apple have a right to sue for breach of contract. Apple have asked the court to ask Nick to cough up his sources by the sounds of it. As I said above, Nick isn't the one in the wrong probably but Apple doesn't want leaks.
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Perhaps you should also go bitch at Woz for boxing the phone company.

Ha! Great point. Weren't both of the founders of a certain popular company in the somewhat illicit business of making blue boxes, which circumnavigated the hassle of paying for phone calls?

Notice my convoluted text. I just don't want to be sued.
post #37 of 81
well this story made drudge

http://www.drudgereport.com

"APPLE Slams Rumor Site with Lawsuit..."
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post #38 of 81
In other news, Apple are also being sued this week by someone who is being 'forced' to use an iPod to play their iTunes bought songs.

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle...toryID=7249515


Oh, the hardship some people face.
post #39 of 81
[QUOTE]Originally posted by aegisdesign
How can you possibly know that?
If he's wrong, and someone is just yanking his chain, then he'll lose credibility and people will just dismiss any story from him as easily as they do stories from macosrumors or Grady's Powerpage.


No, if he's wrong (this time) Apple investors will lose their shirts.


Right, because putting it on paper makes all the difference as a journalist. Perhaps I'll send an email, sorry no, write a letter on paper with a quill pen, to the BBC telling them that all their online stories are a pack of lies and have no validity as writing it online just can't be taken seriously. Get a life.

So I guess what your saying, is that anyone who publishes something on the net automatically qualifies as a journalist? Try again. Thanks for the insult - certainly an admission that my arguement is far stronger than yours.



I don't know Nick personally at all but 'pissing off' a company by digging out it's secrets isn't illegal ... What were those journalists thinking of when they went digging in Enron's bins - the cheek!

Hmmmmmm - linking a person who publishes IP given to him by a snitch, to reputable journalists who uncover illegal activity by a corporation is certainly something you have failed to do.

Weither his actions are illegal or not have yet to be decided - but they certainly where pretty dumb.

Bye bye Nick.
post #40 of 81
My sources say....

APPLE WILL RELEASE A 3GHZ G5 WITH A 6800 AND 9 GIGS OF RAM INSIDE OF A 3 INCH CUBE AND WILL SELL IT FOR $45, AT A 99% PROFIT MARGIN.

Please don't sue me if I'm wrong, Apple.
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