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The Standard: Netpliance Misses the Clue Train

Apr 11, 2000, 21:06 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Sims)

"The company's troubles began last month, when hackers discovered that with a little cable they could turn the company's cheap $99 Internet appliance, i-opener, into a bargain computer. Netpliance had planned on making up the cost of the machines (as much as $300) with subscriptions to its ISP service. But when people turn i-openers into PCs, they no longer need to connect to Netpliance's $21.95-per-month ISP. The machines sold out, but the business plan went out the window."

"Its share price having hovered below its March 17 IPO level, Netpliance decided to try Plan B. Last week, the company announced that those who had ordered an i-opener would have to sign up for ISP service for at least three months before they could get their box."

"Hey, Netpliance – here's lesson one of open-source development: When someone modifies your technology, don't break the fix."

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