Questions abound over Mac cloner Psystar's legitimacy

Following its announcement of a $399 Mac clone earlier this week, problems contacting the company, a sudden failure of its online store, and changes to its Web site have raised some eyebrows.

A simple search of Florida's registered business listings indicate that the company filed with the state on July 6 of last year. The registered address is 10645 SW 122nd Street in Miami, with the apparent contacts Rodolfo and Roberto Pedraza.

This is where the issues begin. A search via Google maps using the satellite function indicates that the above address appears to be in a residential neighborhood, not the place where one would expect a business to reside.

It gets stranger from here. A reporter with the Guardian noticed that while he was researching to cover the story, the address had changed. Now, Psystar claims to be located at 10481 NW 28th Street in the city.

There's a problem there too. That location was found by a Gizmodo team to be home to USA Koen Pack, which produces packaging for floral bouquets.

That location appears to be within an industrial park of some sort, but it still raises more questions. Why would the address change, especially while the company is under such heavy scrutiny? And on top of that, why hasn't anybody heard of the company before?

Neither the Better Business Bureau nor the Chamber of Commerce have any information on Psystar.

So what do you do when you've been caught again with a suspect address? Change it. They're now down the street, at 10471. Psystar's choice of new location is plainly listed in the Yellow Pages as Logistic Solutions, under the headings "Self-Storage" and "Warehouse/Merchandise."

It appears one of the few press outlets so far that has been able to navigate the tangled web of Psystar is Tom's Hardware, whose reporter on Wednesday talked to Mr. Pedraza, apparently the company's president.

Pedraza remained defiant and said the OpenComputer (whose name was likely changed to prevent some type of trademark lawsuit) will happen. He also addressed claims from the OSx86 project, a group which has no apparent business connection to Psystar.

While Pedraza says he couldn't comment because his lawyers were in negotiations with the OSx86 project over using their work, one of its lead developers, Netkas, has called the company "liars."

Doing a bit of research on either Roberto or Roldofo Pedraza through the Florida government Web site indicates the two are involved in a host of companies, including Dade Elevator Corporation, FloridaTek, Deco Motors Corporation, Expressi Networks, and Foreceed Corporation.

Most of these companies are now inactive, save for FloridaTek. But there, clicking on some links brings up an executable, called floridatek.exe. It is not known whether this could be a possible phishing scam.

Certainly at this point, there are many more questions than there are answers. Apple has yet to comment to the press on the situation.

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