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Comment Re:So? (Score 2) 235

The article where I first read this news said the same thing:

All shares of Google will automatically convert into corresponding shares of Alphabet, which will continue to trade under the stock ticker symbols GOOG and GOOGL. Shares in Google soared 5% in after hours trading. The new structure is said to be similar to Warren Buffettâ(TM)s Berkshire Hathaway, which wholly owns a number of diverse holdings and has stakes in several others.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132

Hear, hear. I'm in the same boat as you. For what it's worth, a couple of years ago there was word that the BBC was considering offering their iPlayer (online live programming and catch-up service) to other countries (the US being one of them) for a subscription fee. I don't know if that idea died though, as I haven't heard anything about it in a while.

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 1) 294

That's funny, I just linked the same article above and had not noticed this point because I was looking for something else! Anyway, thanks - it's encouraging to hear that they seem to be planning to go all the way to chip and pin, and that some banks are already issuing cards for both signature/pin.

I hope that they won't eventually try to push fraud liability to the consumer, as apparently they do in Europe! I definitely wouldn't put it past the financial industry though.

Comment Re:Europe has also had wire transfers (Score 1) 294

Some banks do have some better facilities for this. Someone replied above me about Chase Quickpay (I'm not familiar with it), and I use the P2P transfer at Capital One 360 all the time. It does still use ACH so it's a two-business day wait for the money to become available at the other end, but it's very easy to use from the bank's website.

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 1) 294

That's interesting. I would like to learn more, if you have any references you can provide. I vaguely recall reading something to that effect, but I think I wrote it off as being either subtly implied, or just conjecture on someone's part, or it being dependent on some onerous pre-conditions. In other words, it seemed to me to be something that was not very likely to happen. I would love to get some confirmation otherwise.

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 1) 294

That's not always the case. Regarding the actual exchange rate, I had read before that the exchange rate on card transactions are more favorable to the traveler than doing a cash exchange (likely because of the volume that the banks do).

Regarding the extra fees that some banks charge on foreign transactions (many charge 3%), thankfully not all banks charge that! For instance, Capital One is one of the few that does not charge a foreign transaction fee to their cardholders.

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 1) 294

Thanks for the confirmation, and additional info about the bike rental stations. I don't think the Target breach had anything to do with the move to chip cards. There was a deadline established years ago for everyone to move to the new system by October 2015 (in most cases). This article has some pretty good information on this shift, and current progress.

Let us know which banks you've found so far that are issuing chip and pin cards. I've been following this for a while and looked a few months ago and they were very rare. However, someone commented further down that Wells Fargo cards are both signature and pin, which is pretty cool.

Comment If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND PIN! (Score 4, Informative) 294

In case you didn't know, the cards that most banks are now issuing in the US are chip and signature, not chip and pin like in Europe, and I understand that there are some spots that DO NOT accept chip and signature, like unattended tolls, unattended gas stations, and possibly some unattended transportation ticket purchases (trains, etc).

Pretty frustrating that credit card issuers decided to go this route in the US with some bullshit justification that people wouldn't know how to use the cards (WTF?).

While the chip and signature is more resistant to skimming and duplication, it is no more secure than the old magnetic stripe cards if your physical card is stolen. I think they did this to prevent an increase in support costs instead (people requesting to reset PIN numbers, etc).

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion