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August 15, 2005
Why Wait for Apple?
Back in June I noted that people weren't waiting for Apple to enable listening to podcasts on the iPod device. Now a WIRED story by Mark Baard claims that the Apple Developer Connection preview of Mac OS X for Intel (nicknamed OSx86) has leaked out via BitTorrent and other shares and various hackers are working to get it up and running on various hardware and virtual machines such as VMWare (*).
There's even a semi-public project, the OSx86 Project. The entire affair would appear to be massively illegal, not least because enabling the OS to run has required explicitly bypassing a software module (kernel extension) and associated Infineon hardware chip called TPM that is explicitly designed to stop OS X from running on ordinary PC hardware. If that's not a blatant DMCA violation I don't know what is.
That said, Apple's response to date has been muted. It may be that they're considering their options, or they may calculate that, on balance, this kind of experimentation and publicity is going to help their bottom line more than hurt it. I have no insider info.
(*) Full disclosure: I work for EMC, which also owns VMWare; I have no direct connection with that subsidiary.
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