News.com's Michael Singer has blogged that AMD has managed to silence the paper shredders at some 30 companies including the biggest PC makers in the business. Wrote Singer, the companies "will be keeping all of their documents handy for the time being thanks to a court order issued this week." During one of my vendor interviews last week, when the subject of the AMD-Intel lawsuit came up, the interviewee suggested that this could be the moment that all the hardware vendors have been waiting for. The thinking goes like this: Before the antitrust lawsuit landed in the docket, out of fear of reprisals by Intel (eg: reduction of the coveted "new chip allocations"), the hardware vendors wouldn't dare speak out in defiance of the chip giant. But now that their records and their executives will be subpoenaed and forced to testify, those who get called to testify could end up singing like canaries. It could be what they've wanted to do all along, but couldn't until a court forced them to. Does this have all the makings of a Hollywood movie that includes witness tampering (ok, reduced chip allocations aren't quite the same thing as being thrown off a boat with cement boots) and a federal witness protection program.