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Issue: "Beyond the nightly news," Oct. 11, 2003

The heavily hyped Segway scooters hit a speed bump. Every unit sold-all 6,000 of them-was recalled after three people were injured. Apparently, the futuristic vehicles sometimes throw riders off when the batteries get low.

America Online settled an unfair billing dispute with the Federal Trade Commission, promising to fix its method for accommodating customers who cancel their accounts. The agency charged that America's largest Internet provider kept billing people after they asked to drop the service. AOL vowed "exceptional customer service" and neither admitted wrongdoing nor paid a fine.

Visa is trying a new service that allows cell phones to store credit-card information. About 10,000 people in Japan can use their handsets instead of plastic to make purchases. If successful, the system could be available to the public as early as next year.

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MusicMatch, the maker of popular song-playing software, jumped into online music sales, offering 200,000 tunes for 99 cents a pop. Tracks can play on up to three computers at once and a playlist of favorites can be burned onto a CD five times. The store at musicmatch.com is expected to push Apple toward making its iTunes service available to PC users.

Microsoft is retreating from the DSL business. The software giant decided to stop leasing lines from BellSouth, Qwest, and Verizon and reselling them under the MSN name. Remaining customers have until mid-November to transfer their accounts.

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