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back to article Hackintosher goes titsup

It's official: the Florida-based Hackingtosher that Apple's legal team has been hacking at for over a year has finally thrown in the towel. "We respect the robe," Psystar lawyer Eugene Action told Dow Jones Newswires, referring presumably to US District Court Judge William Alsup, who issued a ruling earlier this week that …

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YES!

Now I get to cackle with delight as I dance on the ruins of the craptastic junk makers at Psystar? A Chorus of "Ding Dong The Witch is Dead" anyone?

Do I get two more wishes? :)

A Merry Christmas indeed!

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Grenade

What there is to dance?

Apple, the most dangerous monopoly on the planet, illegallyt shutdown a competitor. FORCING million of peoples to buy extreml low quality, crap Apple hardware at extremly high price.

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FAIL

Ahh Mectron old boy

Normmaly Im totally against Apple and their monopoly but I generally type up my comments without typos (or atleast ovbious typos anyway) to avoid looking like an idiot. Might want to proofread for posts you make in the future.

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WTF?

@Mectron

"Apple, the most dangerous monopoly on the planet,"

I have two Macs and even I have to say that has to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen, usenet included. Apple, the tiny competitor of Microsoft is "the most dangerous monopoly on the planet????

What are you drinking? I want a pint. What you are saying is Apple has a monopoly on building Apple computers, next thing you will be telling me Ford has a monopoly on building Ford cars.

And the court did it, so I don't see where it is illegal either.

Nobody is forced to buy Macs, Most people STILL choose to buy PCs and Linux is free. So who is "forced" int buying a Mac? If you want a PC, Dell, HP and Acer are ready when you are. If you think Apple hardware is so cheap, when is the last time you actually opened a Pro series Mac? You think Apple has bad hardware? look in a Mac Pro, then look in a Psystar!

The price of a Mac has dropped 100-150% in the three years since i switched. My Macbook Pro has been going strong almost three years, My Dell went back to Dell SEVEN times before it was exchanged, Sorry I like ball bearing fans and aluminum chassis and frames, keep the plastic fantastic. I fix laptops, tell it to the Marines.

My MBP is three, and I expect to retire it at five, "and sell it to another user" the working life of the average Dell before the PS goes and the sleeve bearing fans start to howl is about 18 months.

Its easy, If you don't like Apple buy something else, lots of choices. Monopoly? Bullshit.

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WTF?

wtf?

And *I'M* supposed to be the loony? WTF have you been smoking, Mectron? I'm not sure I want any.

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WTF?

Wow! Apple force people to buy stuff?

How do they do that exactly? Hold your family hostage whilst you go and buy Cupertino-originated hardware.

I don't deny that some of it looks good and performs well, but it all comes at a higher-than-it-should-be price tag because it's got some fruit on it.

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Troll

OK, I'll bite....

1. Apple is _not_ a monopoly in the computer market (you can't have a monopoly in your own products).

2. How is the shutting down of Psystar illegal when the decision was obtained through a court of law?

3. "Forcing people"? That's the best one yet. No-one _has_ to buy an Apple computer.

The quality/price stuff is personal opinion so I'm not going to counter those.

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NO!

What's so good about a company preventing their operating system from being used more widely?

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Anonymous Coward

Actually

Im pretty sure any other outcome would have opened door for anyone to violate a EULA on the grounds that they dont agree with it...

Probably for the best to be honest.

If I write some software that I want to limit to a certian type of hardware and put restrictions in place to enforce that, and put it in the licence. Id expect my users to comply with that. Why should it be different for any other company?

Apple *Could* release OSX for generic PC hardware if they wanted to but I suspect that they simply dont want to, for what they charge for the OS.. Im pretty sure the hardware sales are subsidising the OS...

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Anonymous Coward

Erm...

"Apple, the most dangerous monopoly on the planet, illegallyt [sic - Bit upset at this point? Angrily stabbing at the keys?] shutdown a competitor" Erm, they did it by using the law in a court. How did you figure that Psystar were shut down illegally? Are you suggesting corruption on the part of the court? That's a very serious allegation! Hate to point this out to you, but Apple don't have monopoly. <rant>Seriously, high up on my wish list for 2010 is that journo's/bloggers and commentards alike learn what a fucking monopoly is and what anti-trust means. Whilst I'm at it, can we stop with the x-tech killing y-tech stories, it's hackneyed journalism/blogging...</rant>

"FORCING million of peoples to buy extreml low quality, crap Apple hardware at extremly high price." FORCING? REALLY?! Last I went into an Apple store, no-one came up to me to demand or force me in to buying anything! I could have walked over to Currys and bought a Windows based PC had I wanted too. The price bit has been debunked so many times it's untrue. I'm not suggesting that Apple kit is in any way cheap - merely that like for like comparisons are more often than not within £50, and Apple come out cheaper more often than you'd like to think!

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Forcing?!

If you don't want to buy a Mac, then don't. If you want to run OS X on non-Apple hardware, you can do that too. Apple won't stop you.

What you _can't_ do is _sell_ non-Apple hardware with OS X.

But you knew this.

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WTF?

Re: What there is to dance?

"Apple, the most dangerous monopoly on the planet, illegallyt shutdown a competitor. FORCING million of peoples to buy extreml low quality, crap Apple hardware at extremly high price."

I seen to have missed the biggest tech story of 2009 - the one where Kim Jong Il took over from Steve Jobs at Apple!

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Jobs Horns

@mectron

I was in tears this morning as the Apple employed black-suits dragged me down to their store and FORCED me to buy their wares. Now I have a house full of Macbooks and iMacs and I have no clue how I'll ever pay my credit card bill.

I have rebelled though and am posting this on my PC. They can beat me and FORCE me to buy their stuff but they can never FORCE me to use it.

(I'm actually using my Macbook to stream the cricket while I use my PC to play computer games because my rugby game was called off and I'd rather play computer games than go shopping with the wife)

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Not sure you've understood

I think you might need to look up the word 'illegally'.

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Jobs Halo

At least OS X includes a spell checker

Pretty useful.

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Jobs Halo

James, James, James...

Wrong with your first word (N-O-R-M-A-L-L-Y by the way)! OS X has the ability to check your spelling in *every* application, perhaps you'd be better off with it - on a Mac, obviously. "Im" is *actually* written as "I'm", note the apostrophe, "atleast" is actually written as "at least" and it should be "ovbious" that you misspelled "obvious" (see what I did there?). I can guess that you're going to come back with "I was being sarcastic!" or "I was being ironic", you weren't, you just made yourself look more stupid than 'Mectron'. When you've got a spare moment over the next few days, have a look at what **monopoly** means as well, ignorance isn't an excuse. Too easy...

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Black Helicopters

But

But through this all, we never found out what big guns were funding them.

I'm sure a company with only 8 employees could not fund all the legal costs of what transpired.

They were in the wrong from the start, and they knew it.

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Low-rent Miami Cowboys

Welcome to South Florida, boyz'n'grrlz. The further south you go, the worse it gets. Mark 'turn over the page' Foley was born here in Palm Beach County and represented a district from just north of here. Here in Palm Beach County (a.k.a. Corruption County) multiple former county officials are currently guests of the Feds after being caught pulling fast ones. Lots more Broward County officials, including the previous Sheriff, either are or up until recently were, guests at Club Fed. Pretty much the entire Dade County government, especially including Miami city management, were with them. Bermie Madoff lived in Palm Beach. Since ol' Bernie came to light it has been revealed that he was merely the biggest Ponzi operator around, multiple others including one ol' boy who tried to skip town for Morocco in a private jet (no, I'm not making this up, look up Seth Rothsteien in Fort Lauderdale...) having been pulling similar, though smaller, schemes for years. (The ol' boy who tried to skip town in the jet was also the ol' boy who hired the ex-Sherrif once he got out of Federal stir...)

Pikers, they were. Small potatoes.

My only question: who was bankrolling them? My money's on a certain chair-throwing gentleman who really likes his developers.

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I never understood their business model

Despite being a mac user, I actually think this is a shame. Whatever you think of Pystar and their products, this kind of restriction on what people can sell is worrying. Remember, Pystar was selling legit OS X copies, just installed on none macs.

However I never understood why they didn't just sell PCs which were Mac compatible, with all the tools needed to get it running. Then the buyer could pick up their own copy of OS X and install it themselves (it's very straightforward).

Doing things that way would have made it much more difficult for Apple to take them down. They have largely stayed away from the hackintosh community, leaving most of the main websites alone, which is why there is so much info out there. I think that's because it would be a much harder case to make.

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Anonymous Coward

Legit Copies of OS X...

That's the whole crux of the case, they *weren't* selling legit copies. For it to be a legit copy, it has to be either sold pre-installed on a Apple manufactured machine *or* as an upgrade to be installed on an Apple manufactured machine. Apple Mac PCs are sold as appliances, in much the same way as XBox, Wii, PlayStation and your washing machine are. Selling "Mac compatible PC's" would have ended with the same result. The judge ruled that commercially enabling a third party to install OS X on a pre-configured machine was as bad - "..."or part thereof that is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure".

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Not Possible.

The EULA states that OSX can only be installed on apple hardware.

What they were installing was Paid for, but as soon as it was installed on anything other than Apple hardware it ceased to be legit.

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@But

Conspiracy theory - they were funded by Jobs.

By having a rather colourfull bunch of characters lose in court Apple got a judgement that says that first sale doctrine doesn't apply to software.

So you buy something and the maker gets to say what you can do with it afterwards.

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Jobs Horns

@Martin 6

Oh my god. Oh my god.. Now THAT makes total sense.

Why else would anyone do what these Psystar guys did...

Ok.. we got a good hypothesis here, El Reg. Can you prove it?

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Legal arguments

I would have liked to read about the legal arguments of the case, and perhaps some quotes from the trial. It's nice to know the outcome, but what about substance?

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Lou

Try this :-

http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=Psystar

enjoy.

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see Groklaw

Lou - want the legal details? Go see Groklaw. They've been covering it and have as many of the legal documents that they could get/afford.

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Anonymous Coward

Groklaw...

http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=Psystar

With translations from legalese to English as well...

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Flame

They didnt invent the EFI Utility - they stole it

do a search for netkas - he was the real author of the EFI utility.

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Stop

Good question...

Who were funding these Psystar guys?

El Reg, we want to know. Please do a nice spot of reporting and go find out? Be a good story to be sure.

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Paris Hilton

oh...

And.. it really, really doesn't make any sense.

I mean, what did these Psystar guys expect from the outset but some conclusion like this?

Unless they expected a different outcome because someone really big was behind them?

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time to dig

El Reg - how about some real investigative journalism and finding out who was bankrolling these guys? Me and thousands of others are really, really curious.

Oh, and I see you missed the bit about what's happened to the Florida court action they started when they started losing in California. What's happened there?

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Heart

Boo

Psystar should come join us in Europe, set up shop in a nice law abiding country like France (after nintendo's failed attempt to block distribution of DS R4 flashcards)

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what next?

Do apple get the 2.7 mill they agreed with these people a fortnight ago, or have psystar evaded that by folding?

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Refresher course

Just a few reminders -

1 - Apple are not a monopoly - there are many competing PC brands and operating systems

2 - Explain how anyone, in the world, ever, has been 'forced' to buy a Mac

3 - Only Apple can make commuters branded as Macs. Only Kellogs can make cereal branded as Special K. This does not make them monopolies.

4 - Going via the courts and following due legal processes to shut down an infringement is not illegal (d'uh)

5 - Just about every PC manufacturer in the world is currently selling Hackintosh-capable devices. They don't advertise this as a feature. Hence no lawsuit from Apple.

6 - Anyone can buy a retail 'upgrade' copy of the Mac OS. What they then do with that disk in the privacy of their own homes - well…

7 - Psystar were selling modified versions of the Mac OS. Coders out there, try this on - someone hacks your app to run on another platform, sells it as such, and doesn't cut you in, or ask permission. Feel OK about that? Inclined to handle support calls from the folks that buy it?

8 - Psystar bought one copy of the OS and cloned it onto their machines. That's piracy

9 - Conspiracy theorists - if a competitor really wanted to establish the viability of selling Mac clones via a shall company, expect them to go about in a less obviously illegal and incompetent way. That's still possible.

10 - For those brave rebels who want to 'beat the system' (coz this is SO much more important than other global injustices and inequities), go ahead and make your own Hackintosh. Just don't expect your friendly banker to back this activity as the basis of a viable business plan.

In conclusion, get a PC, or get a Mac but whichever you choose, get a life and get over this.

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Pirate

Legal details

Anyone looking for the legal details of this case should check out Groklaw.

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091215225827172

There's only one outcome this case was ever going to have. Psystar were insane.

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WTF?

Don't even try to access Psystar.com

Don't even try to access Psystar.com - it has disappeared into the digital darkness.

http://www.psystar.com/

Works for me.

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Flame

>>headdesk<<

Oh for f*ck's sake...

Seriously? After umpteen articles EXPLAINING why what Psystar were doing was wrong, some of you STILL don't understand? How the hell do you even manage to breathe?

Here, let me try and explain. I'll type slowly, so you shouldn't have any trouble keeping up:

1. OS X is ONLY sold as an UPGRADE version. Your OS X License comes with the *computer*. Installing this on non-Apple hardware *violates the terms of the EULA*. Don't like it? Don't buy OS X. (It's just another UNIX clone with a fancy GUI, after all. Given that GNU / Linux is apparently so f*cking awesome and is also a UNIX clone with a bunch of fancy GUIs to choose from, why couldn't Psystar just pre-install that?)

2. Psystar were selling machines which *Apple* would end up providing customer support for. They knew this damned well and this utterly overrides every other criticism: this is stealing, plain and simple.

Apple do not make a profit on OS X sales; applications are essentially seen as "mods" for their hardware, to let it do stuff people want it to do. The software is entirely secondary to the hardware. That's kind of the *point* of Apple gear.

3. Modern software development—thanks to the archaic tools developers still have to use—is insanely complex. The more complexity they have to deal with, the harder it gets, the more expensive it is, and the less stable the results. That's why PCs have a reputation—deserved or otherwise—for being temperamental. That Microsoft's Windows works *at all* is a miracle of engineering.

Apple's approach is to control as much of the platform as possible to reduce the complexities, allow for better integration with the hardware, and a more reliable system.

EVERYONE did it the Apple way in the beginning. In some market sectors, it's still the case: try installing Windows Mobile or Android on a Symbian phone.

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Flame

ARGH! IT MOVED!! I swear I saw the corpse twitch!

Quick, kill it with fire, it's not properly dead yet!! I told you we should have removed the head or destroyed the brain!

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9142494/Contrary_to_report_Psystar_i_not_i_shutting_down_lawyer_says

WHY WON'T IT DIE?

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Bronze badge

undead zombies

The site's still up 'cause while they were stealing the tech behind the Rebel EFI (still available for $0, oops, out of stock, but a great value for the money) they also stole zombi tech from local Haitian immigrants. Which means that they're about to have _much_ bigger problems than Apple's lawyers.

I wonder how many $15 tee-shirts they have in stock? That's the only other thing available on the site. Hmm. I mean, the only thing available...

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Always the same story

Consumer doesn't have to choose, only to buy.

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FAIL

Psystar NOT gone; just been neutared...

...The reports of them shutting up shop have been exaggerated.

It looks like it will be Business as usual for them in the New Year. (well without the "selling OS X" bit that is.)

Reports going around is that they will be "redesigning the site" to remove all mentions of their OSx pre-installing services.

You'll still be able to buy "Hackintoshes" Desktops and Server, from them but without the Mac OS install option... you'll still get the "Rebel EFI" on every box though....

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@ Dana W

"The price of a Mac has dropped 100-150% in the three years since i switched. "

- O Rly? They're paying you to take them now? Where do I get one?

"My Macbook Pro has been going strong almost three years"

- I should f*****g hope so as well! My Dell is, enjoyable and rapid as they day it was switched on...very and very before any smart arse replies.

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Happy

@Simon Buttress

Entry level Macbook Pro three years ago, $2800. Entry level Macbook Pro now $1100.

Deal with it, the prices of Macs are declining, and the performance has improved.

Only thing I'd be missing on the new one if I bought it would be the fire wire port I never used. And the newer cheaper Mac spanks my old one, and at less than half the price. What was hard to understand about that?

And if your Dell is still good after three years congrats. I had THREE Dell laptops before my Macbook Pro. The one before last wore out five sets of cooling fans. Seems actual gaming made the gaming laptops run too hot and shut down. You had to overdrive the fan, or no game. Kind of kills the fun at the LAN party, no?. Enjoying your Bangalore India customer support? Or shipping your computer "somewhere" to be repaired? And having it come back in a week or two?

And again, I don't want a plastic computer with a plastic frame and cheap sleeve bearing fans. If that works your wheels, fine. But I repeat, my lappy has an aluminum case, an aluminum frame, and fans that keep taking punishment no matter how hard I pound on it. And I'm not even going to go as far as the Mac OS. Oh hardware alone I'm better off, even if I used it "why?" to run Windows.

Please don't buy a Mac, keep buying Dell. Nobody is forcing you. Windows users used to snicker at Mac, now that are scared and lashing out. I wonder why? I was Windows from the beginning till three years ago, I'm done. You like Windows? Enjoy! Just don't be surprised now that we get to laugh as well. I've switched everyone I know, and nobody has gone back. Who needs the hassle?

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Anonymous Coward

Re:@Simon Buttress

Sorry Dana W, but his reply is perfectly accurate, you need to get a little better at maths. A 100% reduction in price means, you pay 0 for a product, if something was £1000, and it has a reduction of 100% you pay £0. If that same product was reduced 150%, they will pay you £500 to take the product away from them.

If a product was $2800 and was reduced to $1100 it was reduced in price by approx 60%

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Thumb Down

EULA SUCK !!

EULA's are a joke, I'm trying to get money back from HP for Windows 7 Home Premium OEM and they refuse to honour the EULA, insisting that they can only offer my money back for the hardware.

Even pointing out prior refunds from various companies and themselves leads to a brick wall, taking this to Trading Standards as unfair trading practices and see if it holds up in court.

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Anonymous Coward

Simply

sell computers with that EFI thing pre-installed.

The buyer can then go to a local store. Buy the cd of os-x and install. Simple .. no ?

Psystar is not doing anything illegal at that point.

what am i missing ...

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Anonymous Coward

You're missing...

from Groklaw.com;

'Psystar also can't manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, "or part thereof that is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure"...'

So essentially the ruling states that if Psystar do *anything* to enable someone to pirate OS X (yes, that what it is) they are breaking the law. As you put it, simply selling computers with "the EFI thing pre-installed" would be in breach of that. Also individuals that go on to buy OS X with the express intention of not installing OS X onto Apple hardware are breaching the terms of the EULA and essentially the law. Hackintoshing *isn't* legal!

@those that continue to support Psystar; Microsoft's business model *is not the only way to sell software* nor hardware. It has already been pointed out that Apple's was the way that ALL computers were originally sold. Government instructing private sector business on how their intellectual property is to be sold and distributed is a step in the wrong direction politically for us all. Apple *do not* in any way have a monopoly in desktop or laptop computers, to suggest this is at best naive. I don't buy that *that* many people are *that* naive. Apple were *not* behaving in an anti-competative way. They were protecting what was theirs *the right way*. They took action through the courts, which was a small, but not insignificant risk because they could have lost. They did not leverage their dominant market position in an effective monopoly by coercing or threatening any of it's "business partners" with the removal of the license to sell and distribute their product if said partner distributed *any* competing products. I think we all know who I'm talking about, don't we...

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Bronze badge

that looks legal

Seems to me that not only would that be legal, but it would be impossible for Apple to stop without putting something into the OS X installer that looked for something specific on Apple hardware.

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FAIL

I beg to differ....

"Also individuals that go on to buy OS X with the express intention of not installing OS X onto Apple hardware are breaching the terms of the EULA and essentially the law. Hackintoshing *isn't* legal!"

Doesn't the EULA specify "Apple labelled computer" ? Apple have made it ambiguous in the past and note as far as I know have not clarified this. They also sell ipods with apple stickers.

Apple could have been more specific, if they so chose.

Interpret this as you will.

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Flame

Enough Already

Can we please have no more of this over-blown coverage of an insignificant group of idiots?

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