Second Mac clone maker set to sell systems

It's ready to duel with Apple over EULA, as spokesman blasts 'sharks'

He also said Open Tech was "sympathetic" to Psystar's situation. The Florida clone maker, which began selling Intel-based computers with Mac OS X pre-installed starting in April, was served with a lawsuit earlier this month. In that lawsuit, Apple charged Psystar with multiple copyright, trademark, breach-of-contract and unfair competition violations. All stemmed from Psystar's practice of preinstalling Mac OS X 10.5, a.k.a. Leopard, on the desktop and server systems it sells, Apple said.

In its requests for relief, Apple demanded that Psystar recall all machines that it's sold with Leopard pre-installed, a move that would probably bring down the company, a noted intellectual property attorney said last week.

Tom declined to give the physical location of Open Tech. "For legal and jurisdictional reasons, we're not going to divulge that," he said. "There are so many ways to track people down, someone will track us down sooner or later."

When asked why potential customers would have confidence in the company's ability to provide products when they don't know where it's actually located, Tom responded: "We'll just have to overcome those concerns."

He would not provide an on-sales date for the Open Tech computers. "You'll have to stay tuned to the Web site," Tom said.

Open Tech's site is hosted on a domain belonging to Tokelau, a South Pacific island territory of New Zealand that has in the past been widely used by cybercriminals and scammers. Last year, McAfee said that more than 10 per cent of all sites with Tokelau's .tk top-level domain were potentially dangerous to visitors, serving up malware or phishing attacks, or the source of spam.

"Tokelau gives out domains for free," the security vendor said in its March 2007 report. "Scammers, particularly those employing phishing, exploit or spam tactics, are subject to frequent blacklisting and so they must register and discard many domains very quickly. Registration costs, minimal for one or two domains, become significant when the number of registered sites becomes large."

In its most recent report (download PDF), however, McAfee said that only 1.4 per cent of the sites with the .tk top-level domain were risky to visit, an improvement that put it No. 28 on the list of dangerous domains compared to its No. 1 ranking in 2007.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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