It was odd enough for Apple to slip 802.11n chips into its recent Core 2 Duo systems without really letting on about it, but now they've gone full-out loony by charging $4.99 to download the 802.11n enabler patch on your system. If you purchase one of those new 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Stations with your hard-earned $179, Apple will throw in the enabler software for free, but if you happen to already own an 802.11n base station or just wanted to feel like a big kid with an 802.11n wireless card of your very own without buying the Airport Extreme Base Station, you'll have to fork over the annoying 5 buck fee. The folks at iLounge dug into the story a bit, and it appears Apple is blaming accounting for the odd fee: "the company believes that if it sells a product, then later adds a feature to that product, it can be held liable for improper accounting if it recognizes revenue from the product at the time of sale, given that it hasn't finished delivering the product at that point." Yeah, crazy. We know. Until we get a better explanation than that bookkeeping hogwash, we're going to go with our first impression of the situation: this is just that tried and true "wear them down with micropayments" part of Steve Jobs' inevitable path to world dominion.

Read - AppleInsider
Read - iLounge

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Apple holds 802.11n capabilities hostage