My intentions in this article
This article has been circulating for awhile now and I'd like to clear a few things up. The majority of the responses have been positive, that the article cleared up confusion and re-set the problem in their minds. There have also been some negative responses notably saying that the article is too one-sided and that it misses the point for not addressing terms of service changes, and hardware modification done by Netpliance.
Stop, you're both right! I'll admit, I didn't spend much time talking about the way that some people felt they were mistreated by Netpliance; looking back at it I guess there could have been a more balance within the article. The reason that it didn't seem necessary at the time was because I wanted to provide more balance in the discussion overall. There had been very few friendly statements made about Netpliance since this whole thing started, and wanted to give a perspective on what the company was all about. I saw this as being "meta" to a lot of the questions and confusion that had been developing up until now.
Shine light on an area and you start to expose things that weren't visible to people before. If you want dialogue, it helps to be one the same page.
So my intended audience and response is something like what was evidenced in this post, "Kalin writes about a completely different company from my original perception. This is probably fairly common among us commoners also. Reading about i-opener on the web and the full page ads (had) lead me to understand the thrust of the company was the hardware and we want you to use us as your ISP." That person went on to say some very constructive things.
I wanted to explain why things had developed the way that they had by giving the circumstances as I perceived them and as they had yet to be addressed. Delving in to the morality or legality of TOS changes was simply beyond my scope and interest.
I had no intention of producing marketing or PR for Netpliance, and I don't think that I did. One of my main motivations was to help try to set the groundwork for the company and the open source community to work together-based on, at least, recognition of market and corporate realities. The response of the two groups is up to each.
As I stated in the article, regardless of the circumstances, a company being brought to its knees by a group labeled "the Linux developer community" (whether representative of actual Linux developers or not) would have been a bad thing for all of us. And I do see massive potential in Netpliance providing support for making diskless appliances more pervasive and open-it also makes sense given their actual market.
PS. It's my understanding that Netpliance has started a mailing list on their developer's corner and will also be posting updates to the page on Monday.