The gist of it is that - according to Garrett Murray, the aforementioned xPad developer - Brian Ball screwed him out of over $4,000 in a rather unprofessional and weasily way. There's a slight catch, however, in that the way Brian got out of honoring a gentleman's agreement was by using the loophole that Garrett himself put in the contract! Oops.
Read Garrett's side of the story in detail on his blog (ahem... before you comment, please?) and decide for yourself whether he got played or not. Despite the very stupid mistake Garrett made by having a loophole in his contract that clearly had so much potential for misuse and disaster, I'm still taking his side on this one. I think Brian played dirty pool and that kind of behavior really shouldn't be rewarded, whether it's technically playing by the rules or not.
The end result - no matter whose side you take on this one - is the xPad is now free for all and anyone who paid Garrett for it, since November '06 when it defaulted back to him, is getting a refund.
Something tells me Brian also just got added to MacSanta's "naughty" list.
UPDATE: My follow-up and comments from Brian can be found in "Ball responds to xPad developer's claims."
Thanks Chris and Ryan!