With thanks to Daring Fireball's JotW.

I like The Register because they cover the stuff I'm interested in, and their leanings correlate reasonably well with my own. But they don't edit their stuff, and have no shame about being wrong or just lost in left field. Today's example:

Android: developer dream or Google cash machine?

By Phil Manchester

Published Friday 16th November 2007 18:49 GMT

However, it will take more than a $10 million "incentive" (http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=030002Y7BBKU) to truly galvanize people and generate a powerful and self-sustaining grassroots developer movement and ISV community. Some of the open source technologies changing today's market, after all, built up critical mass because they were good, useful or employed a community friendly license - not because early developers got huge cash dongles.

Um, no. People write free and cheap Palm, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Google Maps, and (now) iPhone apps all the time. You don't need to pay them $10,000,000 to do so.

Google's Android agenda is far from clear, but it seems money is a driving factor, rather than a genuine desire to liberate developers and phone users from the nasty old telcos with an open platform. After all, Android's backers include some of those very carriers that liked to lock you in (http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/oha_members.html) and have proved nothing more than an anchor on software and service innovation, but who just happen to be lagging the US market leaders.

See, the logical fallacy here is more subtle, but still big enough to throw a phone through. Google has never claimed that money wasn't a driving factor. There are lots of people who are interested in Android for primarily non-commercial reasons. Nobody who's awake ever thought Google (or the other Open Handset Alliance members) were among them. It's "Don't be evil.", not "Liberate developers." Whether or not you think Google is evil (I think they're scary and cool, but not evil), they never pretended Android wasn't supposed to make much money. Is there anyone, aside from Phil Manchester, who didn't know that Google likes to make money and is quite good at it?

Enlightened capitalism maybe - but capitalism just the same.