Last month, Popular Mechanics named TechCrunch's CrunchPad 'Product of the Year." The unreleased tablet computer was, of course, promptly beset by delays, infighting and a legal dispute. Now it's been aborted by its parent.

"The CrunchPad is now in the DeadPool," writes TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington. "The entire project self destructed over nothing more than greed, jealousy and miscommunication... I'm enraged, embarrassed, and just…sad. "

It seems Arrington's supplier on the project, Fusion Garage, decided to cut TechCrunch out of the project, save for an "evangelism" role, and just sell the tablet itself. Arrington now says "multiple lawsuits" are a near-certainty. There's a lesson here for all the media companies looking to jump onto the tablet computing bandwagon: When you yourself know nothing about tech manufacturing, you will tend to get pushed into the backseat on any tech manufacturing project. Also: Never accept an award from Popular Mechanics.

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