Rumors Roll On Despite Apple Suit

Tiger-related releases apparently got early exposure thanks to reports from the very sites Apple is suing.

As Apple Computer Inc. prepares to release its latest operating system at the end of the month, the same Web sites that the company is suing for publishing details of its products are continuing to reveal more of its upcoming product plans.

The company is currently embroiled in two cases against several Mac news Web sites, including Think Secret, AppleInsider and OGradys PowerPage.

However, the legal actions have so far failed to stem the tide of reports revealing details of Apples future product plans, with both AppleInsider and Think Secret giving early reports of preparations for Tigers release, as well as publishing details of forthcoming upgrades to the Power Mac and iMac range.

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According to Think Secret, Apple is preparing to release updated versions of its professional Power Mac G5 range "within a few days" of Tigers 29 April release. The updates, code-named Q87, will feature PowerPC G5 processors running at up to 2.7GHz, according to a report on the site. The top-of-the-range machine will reportedly include two 2.7GHz processors, dual 1.35GHz front-side buses, a Radeon 9650 graphics card with 256MB of memory, and a 250GB Serial ATA hard drive. All models will ship with DVD-RW drives with dual-layer DVD+R support.

Think Secret has also reported that an updated iMac G5, clocked at up to 2GHz, will also be released in the near future. The site claims that the new iMac G5 range will feature three models: a low-end model with a 17-inch LCD-based 1.7GHz processor, a 17-inch 2GHz midrange machine and a high-end model that sports a 20-inch screen and larger hard drive. Last month, AppleInsider also reported that the high-end iMac would receive a boost to 2GHz before the end of April.

In one of the cases against the Mac news Web sites, a California judge recently ruled that AppleInsider and Think Secret must reveal their sources for information on a product code-named Asteroid—an audio breakout box designed to complement Apples GarageBand music software.

In the second case, against Think Secret, Apple is claiming that the Web site broke Californias Uniform Trade Secrets Act—a law that makes it illegal to publish or leak trade secrets—by publishing stories that included details of iWork, iSync 1.1 and the Mac mini prior to their release.

Support for the so-called rumor sites has come from a wide range of sources, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation defending AppleInsider and PowerPage, while news organizations including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News have filed amicus briefs supporting the sites.

The media companies have argued that, if the ruling to reveal sources is upheld, it will have a chilling effect on the ability of reporters to uncover stories in the public interest, and that Apple should "exhaust all alternative sources" before seeking information from the sites.

/zimages/2/28571.gifThe EFF claims the decision in favor of Apple is a threat to journalists. Click here to read more.

In a recent filing, Think Secret sought a dismissal of Apples case against it under Californias Anti-SLAPP law, on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, supported by statements from both a leading professor of journalism and Dan Gillmor, a 24-year veteran reporter.

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