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SCI/TECH: Student Seeks Legal Aid in Apple Case

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posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 07:41 PM
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Nicholas Ciarelli, Harvard University student and publisher of www.ThinkSecret.com, is looking for free or low-cost legal representation. Ciarelli has been sued by Apple for publishing information regarding their new $499. computer. The suit alleges that Ciarelli illegally published Apple's trade secrets.
 



story.news.yahoo.com
The 19-year-old publisher of a Web site facing a lawsuit over an article about a top-secret $499 Apple computer said Friday he can't afford to defend himself.

Apple Computer Inc. is suing Harvard University student Nicholas Ciarelli's Web site, www.ThinkSecret.com, alleging it illegally published company trade secrets. The Jan. 4 lawsuit also targets the Web site's unnamed sources for the leaks.

Ciarelli, whose identity as the site's publisher and editor was only published this week, is not named as a defendant. But he still needs a lawyer, and said he is hoping to find free or low-cost legal help to argue that he deserves First Amendment protection and used proper newsgathering techniques to break news about the Mac mini computer and other inside information about Apple.

"A lot of lawyers are interested in my case, but few are able to do it for free or low cost," Ciarelli, of Cazenovia, N.Y., said in an e-mail interview. "I'm seeking representation."




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Apple executives maintain that secrecy is essential for the company to continue to offer innovative products that surprise consumers. This, of course, makes sense, but, it would seem, that the fault lies not with the publisher of the information, but with those who leaked it. Of course, that information is being subpoenaed by the court and I'm sure Ciarrelli would require less legal representation if he would just "'fess up." Maybe you can "fight City Hall," but if you choose to do so, you should probably have a legal department in place before you decide to do so.




posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 07:53 PM
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Apple has positioned itself in the marketplace as the hip, creative, outsider in their battle against MS. That they would pursue these MS like tactics and that their legendary foresight has forsaken them in this instance is baffling. Initiating legal action against smart teens who are not hackers or crackers never works. Everybody supports a good computer geek kid against a Goliath computer company. This kid will become a cause celebre and Apple will have egg on its face.

Somebody email Bono. He'll set Mr. Jobs straight.



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 08:27 PM
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Sorry Grady, I beat ya to it about 5 this morning

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jan, 15 2005 @ 11:51 PM
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Well, you'd think Google would pick it up.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 05:31 AM
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The issue here is that, while yes he was creating extra media stir for Apple and hence free marketing, that free marketing was infact damaging Apples business. Plus this story doesnt have all the facts. This guy isnt just being sued because he revealed trade secrets, hes also being sued because he induced his source to reveal trade secrets forbidden under NDA.

How did this harm Apple, or how did it have the potential to harm them? Well, firstly you have the number of people who put off buying a Mac from the time of the ThinkSecret announcement because they heard a new cheap Mac was on the way. These people would have purchased higher cost Macs if this announcement wasnt made.

Secondly, what if ThinkSecret had got it wrong. Days after TS published their announcement it was all over the UK press, the Mac scene etc. Everyone was expecting something. What if it hadnt appeared? What if it had been a lesser machine than TS had announced? It wouldnt have been TS that would have gotten criticised, it would have been Apple.

A few things to thinkabout before you criticise this case.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 10:19 AM
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Mac users are fanatical about their Macs. Being a long time Mac user I think I have a good grasp on the Mac psyche. There are many Mac rumor sites, they've been around for a long time, and Mac geeks love to discuss upcoming rumors, machines, etc. The entire reason Apple even survived the 90s was because of the core of hardcore Mac users. Their customer base are the ones involved in the rumor mongering. Attacking your customer base because they've got nothing else to do than be obssessed with the Apple brand is absurd.

The miniMac is not really a machine that would appeal to most experienced Mac users. At least I haven't heard anyone clamoring for it. It was made so Apple could be competitive against and make inroads into the Windows world, trying to get cross-over users who are already using iTunes and iPods. These people are not the sort of geeks that read ThinksSecret or other Mac rumor sites.

The other absurdity of this case is that everyone knew Jobs was having a press conference. And everyone knows Jobs always has something new at these things. And the date of the conference wasn't a secret. So you'd be dumb to buy a Mac before the Macworld conference anyway because Jobs almost invariabley has something new--if only upgraded models with faster processors.

Apple didn't loose any business because of this, and, if anything, they ought to be rewarding sites like ThinkSecret that keep the hardcore of Mac users going and obsessing over Apple 24/7. Dell users never sit around obsessing over the next product. You want to harnass that sort of power over your market, not prosecute them.



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 01:49 PM
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You know, I have very little experience with Macs. When I was a graduate student at Tulane University in '94-'95, the computer labs had PCs and Macs, and, I'm not kidding, hybrid machines that ran both OSs. When I started grad school, I had no experience with Windows, but knowng the PC and not the Mac, that's the one I always chose.

I once had a student lab worker tell me that Mac was the way of the future and that in a decade, Macs would bury the PC and Bill Gates with it. It hasn't happened yet.

It has always seemed to me that if the Mac is the superior product, it should be the dominiant product and I'm not judging, but what I am saying is this: If Apple produces such a good product in a world of basically only two products, why have they only been able to capture a miniscule portion of the market?

Again, I don't want to make broad generalizations, but even if this lawsuit has merit legally, it does seem to be biting the hand that feeds it and a poor strategy for maintaining the rabidly loyal user base that it has. So, it would seem that the problem with Apple has never been its product, but rather its management.

I still have to wonder how a compact bare-bones machine is going to revolutionize the PC market, especially when it is a product of the halo-effect of the i-Pod and the trend is toward ever more flexibilty and efficiency packed into one box. Are i-Pod users, who have already paid a large premium for that product, going to let the frustration of compatibility issues lead them to rush out to spend even more money? I rather doubt it, in the long run.

I think that the market will produce ever more competitive mp3 players and and Apple will lose out again because, even though they have the superior product, compatibility, flexibility, and convenience have always won the hearts and minds of the general public.


[edit on 05/1/16 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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It has always seemed to me that if the Mac is the superior product, it should be the dominiant product and I'm not judging, but what I am saying is this: If Apple produces such a good product in a world of basically only two products, why have they only been able to capture a miniscule portion of the market?


Well from my corner of the computer world it would seem Mr. Jobs is TOO innovative, TOO foward looking and way ahead of his time for his own good. History is repleat with brilliant inventors who never made it into the big time, or if they did it was long after the patents expired. Apple invented the "Windowed" Computer interface, they also invented the Mouse. Thier graphics and sound capabilities will always make them the Platform of choice for artsy people. But for the regular joe, dick and allice upgradability and versatility is more important then reliability. It's sad really, as MACs could've taken over the PC world but they didn't. Oh well gotta put my hopes on Linux now..



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by rg73The miniMac is not really a machine that would appeal to most experienced Mac users. At least I haven't heard anyone clamoring for it. It was made so Apple could be competitive against and make inroads into the Windows world, trying to get cross-over users who are already using iTunes and iPods. These people are not the sort of geeks that read ThinksSecret or other Mac rumor sites.

The Mac Mini is already selling like hot cakes, and I'll betcha that die-hard macusers are buying 2/3 of them.

Seriously, many mac users have been waiting for a cheap mac, to put into the living room.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 07:12 PM
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How do you know they are selling like hotcakes?



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
How do you know they are selling like hotcakes?


Yeah, they are not even on the market. Just as an FYI o brag, i have met Steve Jobs twice. One in 1979, and a few years back at work. I had to recover one of his daughters and spent several hours talking to the man. Asked if I had a mac and I said no and he asked why. I spent a good hour discussing the issue with him. Nice guy, not snotty or pretentious at all. Lives here in Palo Alto.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
How do you know they are selling like hotcakes?


Yeah, they are not even on the market. Just as an FYI o brag, i have met Steve Jobs twice. One in 1979, and a few years back at work. I had to recover one of his daughters and spent several hours talking to the man. Asked if I had a mac and I said no and he asked why. I spent a good hour discussing the issue with him. Nice guy, not snotty or pretentious at all. Lives here in Palo Alto.



Maybe not snotty or pretentious but clearly cheap!! He asks you if you have a mac, you say no and he doesn't SEND YOU ONE? It would be like you or me flipping someone a nickel.

Although I don't know what you mean by "recover(ing) one of his daughters" it seems that decency would dictate he owes you more than a sales pitch.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 06:48 PM
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I can vouch that there are a lot of people that will be buying the Mac Mini's, people are calling our store all day asking when they will be available. I've also heard at least 5 people that work at my work (Seattle Mac Store) say that they will be buying one. My dad who is 76 years old, and sick of using crappy Windoze based machines, is getting one for him and one for my brother who is 42 and has never owned a computer. Apple is slowly but surely gaining more of the personal computing market, and for a good reason.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by headcheck
Apple is slowly but surely gaining more of the personal computing market, and for a good reason.


You base this statement on the phone calls you get at a Mac store, your co-workers and your father?

The Mac may be a wonderful machine, I don't know, but one thing is for sure, I'm not going to get rid of the machine I have so that I can have a Mac that has less than half the flexibility of my PC. You know, when I didn't own a PC and worked only with University or State computers, I cursed Bill Gates name a lot.

Now that I own my own and have flattened out the learning curve a little bit and keep my machine maintained, I don't have that many problems. Some problems, yes, but not that bad. Even if the Mac Mini only cost $100., I would go to the trouble of unhooking my computer and hooking up the Mac to find out what it can and cannot do.

Even if it does everything it does better than my PC, I don't think it can do everything my PC can.

[edit on 05/1/18 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Grady, no one is asking you to switch computers, take it easy. You're probably right, the Mac Mini may not do everything your PC can do, I'm sure your PC is an excellent machine for you.



posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 12:08 PM
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I don't think Apple has the intention of having the Mac Mini being a supercomputer.



posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by headcheck
Grady, no one is asking you to switch computers, take it easy. You're probably right, the Mac Mini may not do everything your PC can do, I'm sure your PC is an excellent machine for you.


Well, maybe I want to t switch to a Mac. Maybe what I want is for Apple to offer me something that will make me storm over to their side. It just won't be the Mini that will make me do it. If that machine had been perhaps just powerful, a bit more flexible with a bit more memory and storage, I might be making serious plans to make that switch now.

My posts are not so much a rant as a lament. I want Apple to really compete, not just tease.


[edit on 05/1/20 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 01:44 PM
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I hear ya. I'm waiting for them to come out with the G5 tower in a smaller box, but is still expandable to at least 8GB of RAM. The current design is too big and bulky.



posted on Jan, 20 2005 @ 11:33 PM
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I just went to the Apple store and picked out a computer based solely on specifications and specs only. Price? Over $3500. Apple is a computer for the wealthy or the obsessed. The Mac Mini is a condescension of the most egregious sort. I may be wrong, but Apple will never be the computer for Everyman with products like those all in one packages and enigmatic tiny boxes.



posted on Jan, 21 2005 @ 03:49 AM
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Isn't the mac mini aimed squarely at the low-end market, as well as (I'd imagine) the media centre type market that require small machines dedicated soley to multimedia processing? I'm a PC man all the way, but don't Mac have a long held reputation for leaving PC's in the dust when it comes to pure multimedia processing power?

If they do it would make sense to me to start pitching low cost media center mac's for home users.



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