You should be refilling that popcorn bucket right about now. While we thought the next round of the Pre / iTunes syncing fiasco would probably be something simple like Apple releasing another quick patch, Palm has stepped it up a notch by complaining to the USB Implementers Forum over what it sees is "improper use of the Vendor ID number" by the gang at Cupertino. What the company means is that when an ID is applied for, a form is signed that states:
"Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited."
The implication here is that Palm believes Apple is violating this stature by disallowing certain Vendor IDs -- namely, Palm's -- from using iTunes. So how'd Palm manage to "fix" that syncing hole Apple managed to fill? From the looks of it, by misrepresenting its own Vendor ID, so that the Pre now shows up as a iPod / mass storage device made by Apple (ID 0x05ac) as opposed to one by Palm (ID 0x083) -- hence the complaint. Of course, lying about your own ID would seem to break with the aforementioned rule, too, so what we're left here is some muddled grey area and Palm apparently being okay with fudging some data to correct what it sees is an injustice. If anyone's curious, DVD Jon points out that the root USB Node is still identified as "Pre," so we very likely could see another round of these shenanigans in the not-too-distant future.

Finally, now's as good of a time as any to take a look at some of the peripheral casualties from this war of attrition. In an essay on his personal site that's been circulating the interwebs, Marc Deslauriers outlines the pangs he and the Linux community have felt over the years trying to use iPods on the open source platform, surmising that Apple is intentionally and repeatedly seeking ways to block non-iTunes programs from syncing in any way with its devices. This story is far from over, and as ugly as it looks now, it's probably only gonna get worse.

[Via Digg and Pre Central]

Read - Marc Deslauriers, "Goodbye Apple"
Read - Palm's lodges complaint with USB IF
Read - USB Vendor ID application
Read - Palm Pre USB hack confirmed