copying the iPhone and iPad? How does $5.7 billion sound? That's how much Apple spent on buying up parts from Samsung last year, according to the AFP, which cites the Cupertino company as Samsung's second-biggest client after Sony. Given the breadth of Samsung's component manufacturing, these expenditures can and probably do span everything from flash storage and RAM to processing chips to displays. What's fascinating here -- and illustrative of the psychopathic nature of corporations -- is that in spite of this massive interdependency, Apple's lodged a broadly worded patent assault on a major prong of Samsung's business (smartphones and tablets) and now Samsung's been quoted as saying it has "no choice but [to] respond strongly." A company official has apparently expressed the belief that Apple may be infringing on some of Samsung's wireless patents, which means we can probably look forward to another fat batch of papers being submitted to the Northern District of California court. Lovely.