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Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 257

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48374273) Attached to: Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

Only if you live in one of the states in which they have a physical presence. This refers to someone like me, who pays no sales tax to Newegg because they don't have a presence in my state.

Or if you live in a state like I do that has no sales tax. I don't want a new federal tax imposed on my purchases, which is one of the ideas floating around. Having the feds collect a tax and redistribute it is a tempting angle to avoid certain sticky issues of state tax collection across state lines. People who already are used to paying sales taxes might be ok with this, but what about states like mine that are quite opposed to a sales tax? Would my state have an exemption along with due recourse to fight the collection on merchants who might falsely collect it?

Comment: Re:Get rid of the electronic voting machines. (Score 1) 388

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48315209) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches


Your stated advantage is loss of paper ballots.

Your stated negative is "to get electronic voting done securely and properly"

I think paper ballots win. More security staff is a much larger payout than developing a fully trusted and accountable complex computer system.

Comment: Re: Marked Paper Ballots FTW (Score 1) 388

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48315167) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

So how does that let a blind person vote unaided (the original reason electronic voting machines were "invented")? And how does that fix the large number of people that don't fill in the bubble completely or otherwise spoil or partially spoil their ballot? And what happens when someone stuffs the ballot box with extra votes?

How does a blind person see the touchscreen? How is this an improvement over a paper ballot with fixed braille next to each option?

Comment: Re:Marked Paper Ballots FTW (Score 1) 388

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48315131) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Great, so how does that stop someone stuffing ballot boxes? Anonymous paper ballots are vulnerable to stuffing and loss.

Ballots must be anonymous to guarantee an uncompromised election. Preventions against stuffing the ballot box is a local check and balance. It's hard to lose a paper ballot once they are in the lock box.

Comment: Re:Finally.. (Score 2) 130

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48313419) Attached to: American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens

Verified by VISA and similar programs for online shit that did everything we needed but there was one critical flaw - no one used it because they didn't have to. The only site I've ever used that actually implemented it was Newegg. And when I accidentally closed the Verified by VISA popup (I assumed it was a shitty 3rd party offer popup and closed it before it loaded), I discovered that failing the Verified by VISA challenge still let my transaction go through because the merchant never wants to miss out on the sale.

Verified by VISA didn't succeed because:
1) It looked like a scam site complete with redirection to a 3rd party asking for personal details like portion of social security number. Nowhere does it display security credentials.
2) Real phishing scams exist using the name and similar form layouts.
3) Yet Another Password. Hopefully not the same one used to log into the shopping site.
4) If you forget your password, all you need is the card information to reset it, plus a birthday. Not exactly a big secret.
5) It never worked for me because I disable third party cookies, run ABP, disable javascript, etc. I had to use IE the one time I tried to use it.

Here is a paper that describes the flaws in Verified by Visa. Gross Domestic Product Implicit Price Deflator for State and Local Government Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 5, Insightful) 445

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48282551) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

I am glad not everyone shares your viewpoint. This is an entire industry still in its infancy. Using a strategy like selling rich people seats so they can be the first ones up there is perfectly satisfactory to get the technology developed and bring costs down an open it up to a wider audience. It's not a zero sum game.

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 5, Insightful) 445

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48282309) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

No offense, but "the goal" was achieved decades ago. These people died for the profit of shareholders, not some "goal" of space flight which has been going on for half a century.

The goal of commercial manned spaceflight was already achieved decades ago? Odd. I seem to have missed it.

Comment: Re:This is a special kind of stupid. (Score 1) 558

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48237877) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

CVS is giving up less than 2% of it's total sales by dropping tobacco while they are growing sales overall by 10+% a year.

It does not have a significant effect on their corporation.

Is that loss just the tobacco sales, or does it include the loss of all sales by smokers? There is a difference.

Comment: Re: Good luck with that. (Score 2) 558

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48237779) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Yeah, that is so much easier.

There must be something wrong with me. Not once have I ever purchased something in a store and thought, "Gee, conducting that transaction was incredibly difficult. I wish someone would make an easier way to pay for this bag of groceries than this complex and difficult process of swiping a credit card."

In the name of progress:

In the beginning people counted out change in chickens and goats, or other favors.
Then came currency, where change was counted out in pennies and dollars.
Then came bank checks, which were convenient, but took time to write out.
Then came credit companies with a mechanical swipe tool in carbon copy. Too slow: add convenient swipe and sign. Gosh, who uses checks, they take forever!?
Finally comes touchless. Precious seconds are saved! No swipe, no sign, no finding a pen - just touch phone/device and authenticate with it.

This probably saves a few seconds, and potentially adds important network security. Hopefully your phone doesn't run out of power or criminals don't find a loophole through the extra third parties.

Personally, I still prefer cash wherever possible with credit card as secondary. Lots of small companies give a cash discount if you ask...

Comment: Re:Good luck with that. (Score 1) 558

by Goetterdaemmerung (#48237597) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

7) In the US, at least, a credit card company provides certain financial protections that banks do not. Generally it is far easier to recover funds stolen by theft if a credit card was used than a bank account debit. A credit card expenditure is not your money and federal law prohibits companies from passing on unauthorized transactions to you (there is a minimum that may vary depending on credit company no more than $50, I believe). Fully-paid credit accounts generally have zero fee/interest, as well.

Credit theft has happened to me a few times (one stolen and used at a gas station, another series of foreign transactions, incorrect charge at a restaurant, etc) and I paid $0 of the contested amount, without any reduction of my existing/liquid funds. If I had used a debit card, I don't even know the recovery process but it certainly wouldn't be free in the short term. Liquid money at a bank is spent until refunded, unable to be spent on other things in the interim.

In several ways

1)Debit cards don't build credit history. This makes it hard to get a car or house loan at good rates.

2)Credit cards have 0% interest if you pay at the end of the month every month.

3)Debit cards do not earn you interest. If you have an interest checking account (rare, and usually such a low rate that its a joke, sub 1% in most cases), you earn that money regardless of if you have or use a debit card.

4)In the US, many purchases such as hotel, rental car, and gas put a hold on your account for more money than the actual charge. This hold goes away once the car is returned/hotel is checked out/a few days (for gas), but in the meantime that's additional money you can't access.

5)Emergencies/hard times. Sometimes shit happens. You may lose your job and run low on cash. You may have a series of car and house repairs. Its always a good idea to have an additional emergency fun you can call on for short term cash.

6)Your bank may put a hold on your debit card for suspicious activities. In that case, your card is useless. Having a backup is always a good idea. There's been several times this has saved my ass when traveling.

Comment: Re:Stick with Win7 (Score 1) 545

by Goetterdaemmerung (#47923319) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

Why upgrade, Windows7 does everything I need.

Good for you. However, you won't be too happy when you get a new machine that doesn't come with anything other than 9. Or when your windows 7 drivers need an update to fix a bug or add a feature and the only available ones are for Windows 9. Or you want that snazzy new program and it's minimum requirements are Windows 9.

Like it or not, the world moves on. If standing still works for you then more power to you.

XP still works for me. There is no downside. Snazzy new features don't improve my efficiency at work.

I agree, when a computer breaks and we have to get Windows 7 because we are forced to, a painful upgrade period occurs because the software never seems to work on the new OS. There is no advantage except for the newer hardware computation power. Who cares about Windows 9?

Comment: Already? (Score 1) 545

by Goetterdaemmerung (#47923155) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

What about industrial businesses? My company is just finally minimizing XP to only a handful of lab computers and ones necessary for legacy support such as our single remaining Windows 2k system. We are struggling to get one more system moved to Windows 7 (under the guise of a faster computer and therefore less time waiting on the computations) and the application just doesn't work on that OS yet. The vendor is working with us to find a solution, but it may take several months (if ever) because they licensed the software from someone else.

The computer is a tool to do RF measurements and calculations and prepare presentations. I just got my first VNA with no floppy drive and more than one USB port! That is a big event.

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton