It's no secret that Apple loves secrecy, so it comes as little surprise when Business Week reveals the hoops those lucky developers with early access to iPad hardware have to jump through:
Would-be testers of the tablet-style computer, due to be released Apr. 3, must promise to keep it isolated in a room with blacked-out windows, according to four people familiar with the more than 10-page pact that bars partners from disclosing information about the iPad.
To ensure that it can't be removed, the iPad must also remain tethered to a fixed object, said the people, who asked not to be named because their plans for the iPad have not been made public. Apple (AAPL) won't send out an iPad until potential partners send photographic evidence that they've complied.
This, of course, after Apple has already unveiled the device in a Steve Jobs keynote event, released 5 beta versions of the iPad SDK, and put the device up for pre-order via apple.com. What exactly are they still hiding? And who are these few, these privileged, these no doubt monitored with a near Sauron-esque eye? Outside of "top developers" who Apple really wants to bring to the iPhone platform, no one is saying.
We know Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal have one under lock and key. Who else could there be? We're hoping for Hulu, of course! Which other major players would Apple -- and would you -- like to see on the iPad?