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Why would anyone give SSN to AT&T? Do they also process your taxes? If not, they have no place asking or retaining this information.
When I first got my iPhone, the Apple Store reps could not figure out how (or wouldn't admit to knowing how) to sell an AT&T contract without a social security number. They sent me down the way to the AT&T store who also couldn't figure it out without calling in to a customer service line and escalating to a supervisor. It took over two hours to buy the damn phone without a SS#, but would have been five minutes if I had given it up. Eventually, they admitted that they have a placeholder number they can use instead of the SS# and we completed the transaction.
Granted, this was a few years ago, but I don't see why they'd be any more cooperative today.
So that's why people give it to them. Is it required? No. Do people have several hours to waste and the stubbornness to jump through the hoops? Not usually.
Hey, where did all of those people who say anonymity on the Internet isn't necessary run off to?
So it's basically Netflix, with the exact same shortcomings of Netflix.
One advantage over Netflix: Amazon streaming plays movies on non-Intel (well, G5) Macs, which Netflix won't do because the required version of Silverlight is Intel-only. It never hurts to have one more system that can stream movies, especially since I was paying for Prime anyway.
Of course, this is somewhat offset by the fact that Amazon can't stream through Wii as Netflix does. Oh well.
we upgraded the old G5 iMac to Leopard for the speed boost (which it did) but we weren't having crash issues. I for one won't be in a hurry to upgrade to Snow Leopard
Just so you know, the Snow Leopard specs say that an Intel processor is required, so no G5 support.
I have one G5 system and one Intel system, so they'll be out of sync for the first time after I upgrade to Snow Leopard (which I will do immediately after it arrives, since I do nightly backups and therefore upgrade without fear, or less fear, anyway). The speed increases and MS Exchange support are enough reason for me to try it, but my G5 will have to stay on Leopard forever, I guess.
When my cell phone was stolen as part of a neighborhood-wide crime spree, I contacted the police about using my phone, with my full permission and cooperation, to help track the criminal. Whenever I called my phone, the thief (or someone who did business with the thief) was answering. And yet the police declined to take me up on my offer, and never did recover my phone. If my privacy is (potentially) being compromised by how trackable my phone is, where's that "benefit to society" I keep hearing about?