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Comment Re:ACA - More Affordable Healtcare (Score 1) 591 591

But this was always the case! And it drove much of the costs - anyone could go to the emergency room and be treated, but they were not guaranteed to pay so everyone else was already bearing the cost.

All the ACA does is make the cost explicit. Now everyone (mostly) has insurance of some form or other the cost is levelled across the whole country - and the cost of care has fallen slightly as a result.

Comment Re:FFS (Score 1) 412 412

And this is somebody that the world sees as a scientist?

Yeah, I mean, being awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, being made a Fellow of the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as being awarded a Royal Medal and knighted for his contributions to the field of medicine doesn't make you a scientist at all. So some (poorly judged) comments meant to poke fun at himself (you DID know that he married a female colleage from his lab, right? She divorced her husband to marry him) should totally negate all that.

Comment Re:Less than 50% reduction in fraud, more liabilit (Score 1) 449 449

Yes, it's easy to manufacture and attach fake ATM fronts....

EMV means that card present fraud effectively disappears overnight. The liability shift is not to you, it's to merchants that do not accept Chip and PIN, or Banks that do not issue it. Your position is exactly the same as it was before the shift. The difference is that payment networks will no longer accept liability for insecure card-present payment methods which is not unreasonable.

Online/card-not-present transaction fraud is entirely different and EMV is not designed to deal with it, so it's no surprise it doesn't. For THAT all the networks are implementing payment token support which I expect to see become mainstream over the next couple of years. The tokens will be limited time use alphanumeric strings that have specific values - basically "ApplePay" is re-branded Visa Tokenization. Mastercard already have PayPass Online but that is a digital wallet and their newer solutions will abstract the path to the cardholder's account, Discover and AMEX are also implementing something similar, as are the regional switches in the States.

Comment Re: This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 328 328

The problem with this

The game plan for the Greexit would be to convert everything, both assets and liabilities, into Drachma. Euro bonds issued by the Greek government are controlled by Greek law. Or any debt issued under Greek law.

is that it was gamed out quite a bit during the first crises and the consensus is that it is not legal to unilaterally change the currency of the bonds. That means that Greece would have to get its creditors to agree to re-denominate them in Drachma which would effectively be writing them off.

Greece has a massive merchant marine (or at least Greek flagged merchant ships). Argentina, in a much less compromising situation, has had ships seized. This is not a situation the Greeks want to be in because it's a signifcant part of their economy.
Greece also runs a food deficit - it buys in a significant percentage of its total food production. They won't be able to afford it with the Drachma.
Lastly, Greece will not be able to pay their army and given that it was a military dictatorship until 1974 this is also making people nervous.

The pace of reforms can be debated, but the need for them will not be. Greece is something of a mess and needs to continue with sorting out the crazy tax-evasion problems that they have. If the govenment wanted to, it could use the resentment that is being directed outward to force through some increased taxation on their oligarchy.

That said, the European banks that lent recklessly to banks in Greece and the likes of Ireland, Italy and Spain will have to take the medicine sooner or later. Nothing else is going to work to get the debts to manageable levels. Germany is going to have to start spending too - I'm surprised that they haven't taken the opportunity for some larger infrastructure projects.

Comment Re: This doesn't sound... sound (Score 2) 328 328

However, I would tend to agree with you that a clean bankruptcy is better than a messy partial default. Expect that there is no real mechanism to Greece to default. If I understand correctly, it would be easier for Greece to exit the EU, convert to the Drachma, and devalue the currency.

Except that all those debts are denominated in Euro, so exiting and devaluing makes things worse. So they need to exit and default. This means that they've lost the advantages of being in the common trade area, their currency will be worth very little (which might boost tourism to a point) but no-one will lend them money so they will either inflate at a very high rate or be forced to do their own austerity and either way it does not improve their prospects.

Comment Re:Environmentalists is why we still pump carbon (Score 1) 652 652

That Japan Times article is hilarious

The latest report from Fukushima revealed that more people have died from stress-related illnesses and other maladies after the disaster than from injuries directly linked to the [triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown]

So your own link reveals that stress was a greater killer than any combination of a massive earthquake, massive tidal wave AND nuclear meltdown, which only shows how dangerous irresponsible reporting is (like the headline in the article, oddly).

Comment Re:To America? Yes. To the GOP? No. (Score 1) 247 247

While I don't disagree with you about the need for equality, the quote

Men still earn far more than women in the workplace

is a canard.
For the same roles with the same experiences any differences between male and female employees looks like statistical noise. The variation only appears if you consider all male and all females regardless of age, experience, role or any other consideration.

It appears that the major barrier to equal earnings is still that females tend to take extended maternity leave and career breaks to raise children which leaves them with less experience at a similar age to their male counterparts. So later in her career the female employee will earn less, but then so will the male who started the career later in life.

Comment Re:anyone who has your 16-digit card number (Score 2) 130 130

This is a little confusing - each card has 3 Card Verification Values (which, depending on the type of card can be CVV, CID or CVC - lets use CVV)

CVV is stored on the track data.
CVV2 is the one on your card. It is transmitted as a separate field for non-card-present transactions (eCommerce, for instance).
CVV3, also known as dCVV (dynamic card verification value) is an EMV thing.

Most people use CVV to refer to CVV2.

This whole token thing is not AMEX only, Mastercard and Visa published specifications on this already and are certifying their acquirers. AMEX are late to the party :) The specifications are transitional at the moment, so the acquirer sends the token, and what's called the Token Service Provider (TSP, yay for TLA's) de-tokenizes it, then the real values are sent to the issuer for authorization.
The TSP can be the Switch (AMEX, Mastercard, Visa, etc.) or the card issuer, or a separate provider somewhere else that does only this.

Comment Re:Hate Nixon (Score 1) 125 125

That's a fair enough point. When you say "playing in that sandbox" I was thinking beyond casual meddling, which is what I think the post I was responding to was referring to. Ike absolutely refused to put combat troops on the ground, even at a high cost to the US-French relations. The advisors, observers and intelligence people I was putting to one side.

Comment Re:Hate Nixon (Score 1) 125 125

Ike point blank refused to get involved in Vietnam, both when it was French Indochina (which indirectly led to NATO becuase the French vetoed a European Defense Force as a result) and afterwards. He was, as I recall, quoted as saying something along the lines of "if we go in there it will be difficult to get out". He was not, however, against giving the French tactical nuclear artillery shells until the British asked him if he was insane.

Ike was most definitely not playing in that particular sandbox.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen