Apple Pay gets more US, Canadian & French card issuers, new app- & Web-based promotions

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Apple on Thursday updated its roster of banks and credit unions with Apple Pay, adding more entries for Canada, France, and the U.S.
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Badly implemented AI could ‘jeopardize democracy,’ says French president Emmanuel Macron

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France has announced a new national AI strategy, including government funding worth nearly €1.5 billion ($ 1.85 billion). But the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, is worried about the damage this technology could do if not properly guided. In an interview with Wired, he said there was even a risk AI could “jeopardize democracy.”

Macron is worried about unaccountable “black box” algorithms being introduced into society and making decisions formerly entrusted to humans. He gave the example of an algorithm used to sort students into universities, and said that if its workings were not easy to understand, it could destroy trust and encourage people to “reject” innovation. “I have to be confident for my people that there is no bias, at…

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French App Store macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 listing suggests imminent release with official eGPU support

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The French app store let the High Sierra release notes slip a little early, suggesting that the most recent beta is extremely close to release and will include official support for external GPU technology.
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Apple denies French government’s ‘abusive commercial practices’ accusation

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Apple has responded to accusations by the French government that it is taking advantage of the country’s developers, dismissing claims of ‘abusive commercial practices’ by highlighting the funds paid to the nation’s iOS app developers and the support it provides to both application producers and their users.
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French activist group banned from protesting in Apple Stores wins legal fight, gears up for next event

Last month, news broke that Apple was suing the French activist group, Attac, to bar it from future protests and asking for €3,000 in compensation. Today, the ruling is in. Not only can Attac continue to peacefully protest in Apple Stores, but the group will also be awarded €2,000 for legal fees.

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French court denies Apple injunction against tax protests

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A Parisian court has blocked Apple’s attempt to prevent Attac — the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizen’s Action — from staging protests at the company’s French retail stores.
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How a French 16-year-old is teaching the world to build VR headsets for $100


Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus and the inventor of arguably the most successful commercial virtual reality headset, was only 17 when he completed his first prototype for the device. Fast-forward to the present day, and Luckey is now worth roughly $ 750 million at the age of 25, having sold his company to Facebook. 16-year-old Maxime Coutté’s story has something in common with Luckey’s beginnings, in that he set out at an early age to build the hardware needed to enjoy VR experiences, and appears to have the same sort of tenacity and passion for technology as the inventor whose…

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Apple Goes to Court With French Tax Activist Group That Paints Company as The Empire From Star Wars

Last month, Apple sued French tax activist group “Attac” for occupying its flagship Parisian store during a protest of what Attac called “wide-scale tax evasion.” Today, Apple has asked the court in Paris to ban the group from its French stores and prevent any further stunts from happening.

In response to the court filing, Attac today mobilized in front of the court in further protest, sporting a Star Wars theme that equates Apple to The Empire and Tim Cook to Emperor Palpatine (via The Guardian and MacGeneration).

Image via @attac_fr

The court will rule later in February on the case, and Apple is said to hope for a full ban to prevent any Attac members entering or being near its Apple retail locations. Apple said the group “vandalizes” its stores and potentially “endangers” staff and customers. One protest in November 2017 saw Attac write “Apple pay your taxes” on a window at Apple Aix-en-Provence. Following Apple’s claims, the group said its protests are “good natured.”

At the height of the Christmas shopping period last December, about 100 Attac volunteers arrived at Apple’s Paris store at Place de l’Opéra. Some danced the conga, others unfurled a huge banner saying “We’ll stop when Apple pays” and some brandished huge cardboard cheques in reference to the European commission ruling in August 2016 that the iPhone maker must reimburse the Irish state a record €13bn (£11.5bn) to make up for what it considered to be unpaid taxes over a number of years.

In the case filing, Apple said that it has “a long tradition of supporting individuals and groups that peacefully express their opinions,” but the company believes the vandalism of its stores and potential danger to its customers are steps too far. In addition to the ban, Apple France has asked the court to fine the activist group 150,000 EUR, and 3,000 EUR in commercial damages “if they break the ban.”

Images via @attac_fr and @Soltrumbo

An Attac spokesperson denied the vandalism reports from 2017 and said the group “simply went into Apple shops in a festive and good-natured way with music and theatre.”

Attac’s lawyer Julien Pignon told France Info: “These demands are totally out of proportion with regard to the superior principle of freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate which is guaranteed by French law and the European convention on human rights.”

Attac’s ire is focused on tax avoidance claims lodged at Apple over the past few years. In August 2016, the European Commission ruled that Apple must repay 13 billion euros ($15.46 billion) in back taxes dating between 2003 and 2014, which it reportedly avoided with the help of sweetheart tax deals from Ireland. Now, Apple will begin paying the back taxes owed to Ireland around March, expected to continue through September.

The French court is expected to announce its decision on the case on Friday, February 23.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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[Update: Pricing] French music service Qobuz bringing 24-bit streaming audio to the US later this year

Streaming music is usually dominated by large names like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, but there are some smaller services out there. Tidal might be having a tough time recently, but it’s popular among those looking for higher-quality music, and now another name is entering the US audiophile-grade streaming market.

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[Update: Pricing] French music service Qobuz bringing 24-bit streaming audio to the US later this year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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French officials investigate Apple for iPhone slowdowns

Last month, French organization HOP (which stands for Stop Planned Obsolescence in French) filed legal complaints against Apple after the company admitted to slowing older models of iPhones. Now, Bloomberg reports that French authorities have begun a…
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