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November 7, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Nov. 7, 2012

Apple Asks Court to Exempt Online Retailers From Act

Apple is requesting California’s highest court exempt online retailers from a state law limiting data collection by merchants who accept credit cards.

Forcing online retailers to follow the Song-Beverly Act’s requirements “threatens to produce unintended and absurd results,” Apple wrote in legal papers it filed with the court.

The 21-year-old privacy law prevents retailers from asking for and storing the street addresses of customers who pay by credit card.

Apple has said it does not make sense to apply the Song-Beverly law to online retailers, because they can’t confirm identity by asking for a photo or comparing an in-store signature to the one on a card. California’s Supreme Court was slated to hear arguments this week.

The issue came to light after a potential class-action lawsuit was filed against Apple last year. David Krescent claims Apple violated California’s law by requiring him to supply his address when he bought a product from the company.

Apple May Eliminate Intel Chips from Macs

Intel chips may, in the near future, no longer be part of the makeup of Apple’s Mac computers, ending a seven-year partnership between the companies.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple may replace Intel’s product with chips similar to those in the iPad and iPhone.

Apple engineers believe the chip designs used for its mobile devices will be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops in the future, three sources told Bloomberg.

Although Apple is unlikely to switch from Intel too soon, some engineers have said a move to its own designs is a virtual certainty because the features of mobile devices and PCs are likely to become more alike, Bloomberg’s sources said.

Amazon Prime Testing Monthly Payment Option

Amazon Prime is offering a new payment option — $7.99 a month rather than a $79 annual membership fee.

Amazon is currently testing the new payment option, which is similar to those offered by Netflix and Hulu Plus, for its movie and TV viewing service. It is also offering the first month for free.

An Amazon Prime subscription includes instant streaming of about 25,000 movies and TV shows, a monthly Kindle e-book rental and free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases, according to the website.

PCMag.com confirmed with an Amazon spokeswoman the company is testing the new plan.

“We are always looking at ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” she told PCMag.com. “We are testing a monthly Prime subscription. Beyond that, we don’t have anything further to offer.”

 

 

 

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