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Comment: Re:Nope they are clever (Score 1) 272

by Skater (#47935853) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Here in the US, I've done it once, and that was to confirm the chip in my card worked before I flew off to Europe with it. Turns out it's a chip-and-signature card, so it was as useless there as any other non-NFC card...perhaps even more useless come to think of it, because it ACTED like it was working. (From reading Slashdot, I knew this was likely the case before leaving, and I'd asked my banks about a chip-and-PIN card and got back, "Wuuhhh?", so I was prepared for this problem.)

So, for us, the Apple pay is actually a nice leap forward - as others said, right now it's a very fragmented market. I've had an Android phone with an NFC chip for two years now, and I've used it perhaps half a dozen times, just playing around to see if I could scan a credit card, my passport, or my cat's RFID chip (no go on the cat). Until I saw the Apple Pay announcement, I didn't care whether my next phone (which I had already decided was going to be an iPhone) had an NFC chip or not. I get why people in other countries wouldn't care as much about it, though.

Comment: Just one question... (Score 1) 200

by Skater (#47929777) Attached to: iOS 8 Review
I have an iPhone 6 on order, and I plan to use it either way, but I couldn't find the answer to this in the article: Can I use a playlist for an alarm, or can alarm apps work correctly in the background? Since the built-in alarm app only plays one song, you had to use another app if you wanted to wake up to a random song off a playlist. iOS 7 and older versions required that app to be in the foreground for it to play the song. Normally not a big deal, but if you answered a text message in the middle of the night or couldn't sleep and did a little websurfing and forgot to switch back to the alarm app, your alarm wouldn't go off. This isn't an issue with Android, and I'm hoping Apple has fixed this serious limitation - either by allowing the alarm app to use a playlist, or by allowing 3rd party apps to play a song without being in the foreground. It's my biggest pet peeve about iOS, especially after having an Android phone without this limit for the last two years. (If you read reviews in the App Store for alarm apps, most or all of them have people complaining about the app having to be in the foreground - they don't realize it's a limit of iOS rather than a limit of the app. So, I know it's not just me that's annoyed by this.)

Comment: Re:"facebook", if your not paying for the ad... (Score 2) 61

by Skater (#47755419) Attached to: Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines
It has only gotten worse. I'm planning to close my account soon. The final straw for me was a group that a friend runs is now invisible to several of us in the group - there's nothing on his end that would seem to be causing it, and I (and several others) didn't block it, least three of us can't see the group (there are probably more, but you don't notice it's missing until you go look for it, and of course any post from the group doesn't show up on our walls). Even when he sends us a direct URL to the group page, it just takes us back to our own feed. Facebook is turning into Skynet. I just need to get a few family members to revert back to email for contacting me, clean up a few things, then I'm out.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 570

by Skater (#47562571) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'
Oh, yeah, I've been turned over to collections a couple times, because of old bills that weren't paid that I was unaware of. One was a medical bill for $100 that I thought had been paid but hadn't (an error on my part); another was a vehicle tax bill (in which my former state even HAD my new address but still somehow neglected to bother to contact me before heading to collections - and it turned out in fact I didn't owe them a cent; I was able to give three separate reasons for why I didn't owe that money) for $35. It wasn't a matter of not being able to pay it. Knowing what has happened to me makes me laugh at that 35% number - it's certainly artificially inflated with stupid debts in situations like mine - someone goofs (me or someone else) and the debt just sits there unbeknownst to you, until you check your credit report, apply for a mortgage, or get something in the mail about it. This reminds me, we haven't checked ours lately... last time I did, I found a credit card for Wal-Mart on my record, a card I've never had.

Comment: Re:Of course it depends... (Score 1) 163

by Skater (#47317889) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

I recently flew from the east coast of the US to Austria, a time change of 6 hours. I didn't sleep well on the plane over, got perhaps an hour on the first flight, followed by another half hour or 45 minutes on the second flight (woke up just in time to get food). Then my luggage didn't make it in, so I was awake until midnight Vienna time waiting for it - so I think aside from those naps I was awake about 36 hours straight. That was pretty rough - I've never pulled an all-nighter - but the next few days I did fine, actually. I also had an extra day in the schedule to let myself recover.

Coming back, I couldn't sleep on the plane so it was a really long day, but I woke up at 3:30 a.m. or so the next few days despite trying to keep my regular schedule and going to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. Then, my luggage arrived at 3 a.m., three days later. (Yes, British Airways delayed my luggage in both directions; fortunately the longer problematic delay was on the way home where I had other clothes and toiletries I could use.)

The hassle was definitely worth getting to visit Vienna. I didn't get to see everything, unfortunately, so I'll have to go back later.

Comment: Re:No. Simply No. (Score 1) 522

I've not heard anyone describe functionality added to MS Office since Office 2000. Excel has it's uses, but what have they done to it since, except forced people to learn new places for buttons?

Exactly! And they didn't really even do that - they just converted the drop down menus into the "ribbon". They didn't rethink the logic. For example, it still throws me - after using Word for at least 15 years - that page numbering is on the "Insert" menu/tab. I can see "inserting" page numbers the first time I add them to a document, but most of the time I need that control, it's because I'm editing page numbers that are already there, so "insert" is not the menu I think of when I want to do that. It should be a "page layout" option - it's something that's usually fixed on every page, in a defined layout, regardless of what else is on the page, like headers, footers, margins, etc.

In short, Microsoft didn't take the time to rethink how people use Office and see if they could perhaps improve efficiency, with a cost of a learning curve while people learned the new way. Instead, they just converted the menus to buttons and sold it as a huge upgrade, at the cost of the learning curve for the ribbon with no net gain in the end.

Comment: Re:Grammar (Score 1) 329

by Skater (#47000653) Attached to: Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

Ever seen an older Airstream? Think that's dust?

The shells aren't, but often the frames are, or are close to it - they're just steel. (Airstream owner here, although ours is a relatively young one, built in '95. I do have quite a few friends with vintage units from the 60s and before, though. Some of them had to do shell-off restorations, starting with the frame, to get them usable again.)

Comment: Re:America is *finally* implementing chip-and-pin (Score 1) 210

by Skater (#46881291) Attached to: Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security
I'm going to Vienna, Austria (from the US) in a few weeks for work. My work-supplied credit card doesn't have the chip, so I asked about getting one with it. The area that handles the cards in my office said, "You're the first to ask about them," and called the credit card issuer. The CC company came back and said, "No, we don't issue them." Oddly enough, I have a personal CC in my wallet with the chip, issued by that same company. That card will be going with me to Europe.

Comment: Re:Mass transit (Score 1) 398

by Skater (#46817439) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

i'm all for mass transit and use it almost every day, but i'm in NYC a lot of cities in the US aren't dense enough to support the costs of the system

I'm not sure mass transit is self-supporting anywhere in the world. But people see the build cost + maintenance costs and flip out, ignoring that roads also have a build cost + maintenance cost + police cost + etc.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra