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Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 1) 226

by TWX (#47446005) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills
Yup. It's also common to get discounts for cash. Some places like pawn shops, used bookstores, junkyards, and other businesses will always offer discounts over published or listed prices for cash, and those discounts are often much steeper than just the cost to the merchant of a credit card transaction, and sometimes are quite a bit more than the choice by the merchant to under-report taxable transactions would account for too. I suspect that in part it's a matter of the business having the money now, as opposed to having to wait until the end of the month to get paid. Plus there's always a possibility of messing up a credit/debit transaction, which can result in having one's account (and all outstanding revenue) put on-hold until the processor chooses to release it.

Credit/Debit works best for large companies where there's little to no haggling, and where the sheer volume of transactions allows that merchant to negotiate good terms with the processor, but they're still at the mercy of the processor as far as account and transaction fees are concerned, and then there's the other issue of security. Target, Neiman Marcus, and PF Changs are all going through that right now, and I don't doubt that it'll get worse as time goes on, and while "pin and chip" cards may help, I expect that someone will figure out how to steal through those too, and the cycle will just continue.

And then there's the personal sale angle. I'm not going to take paypal or have the ability to process credit cards for a yard sale or some crap that I'm selling through the classifieds or craigslist. Given how I'm mainly just trying to recoup something in the process of a sale, adding more hoops or steps will just result in my not bothering to sell junk anymore.

Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 1) 44

by TWX (#47425853) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC
I wasn't saying that old smartphones were in any way comparable to modern ones. My point was that smartphone development has been occurring far longer than most people realize, and is in-parallel with PCs in that the performance characteristics of the device have outpaced the capabilities of the software and user experience to the point that there's not a whole lot of benefit in upgrading without an external reason to do so.

And as to your analogy of GPS vs maps, I can use a map without any electrical power, and I can identify on the map, if it's a good one, which roads my low-ground-clearance car can traverse, versus which roads my 2wd small pickup can traverse, versus which "roads" I'll need a 4x4 or truck with significant ground clearance to use. Most of the time the latter aren't even noted on GPS systems.

Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 1) 44

by TWX (#47425461) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC
Smartphones well predate the Apple and Blackberry options. Palm and Qualcomm developed the pdQ-series in the nineties and they were on sale by 1999 and were direct variants on the Palm Pilot series of personal organizers, which themselves date back to the early nineties, and had many of the components that a phone-based device would want like an address book, a calendar, a tasks list, a calculator, etc.

And that's not even going into the other companies that built personal organizers around this same time.

Comment: Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 5, Insightful) 44

by TWX (#47425199) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC
I suspect that a good part of Samsung's slowing sales is consumers that are tired of spending more money all of the time to do the same thing. I've got a Galaxy SII. It does everything that I need it to do. It's paid for. I don't foresee any needs that a newer phone would fulfill, so short of a broken phone or a paradigm shift I don't see a need to shell out several hundred dollars to have essentially the same functionality.

Geek-chic likes to talk about and to chase the latest gadgets, but the hype really isn't as widespread as reports would indicate, and even those that have chased the newest have often gotten tired of doing it without any real, tangible improvements.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 586

by TWX (#47421309) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
Heh. I expect that the 'normal people' as referred to in the original article would find their use for the hammer in this analogy to be more on-par with their needs. They need to occasionally program something so that creation will do something for them.

To your other point, I had to do some maintenance on some 10+ year old perl today on a legacy system. I used vim, and while I'd never worked in perl before it was enough like C that I was able to make do. The script just does some network monitoring and presents an up/down list on equipment and is only about 150 lines long and reads from a 1500-entry flat-file, but that I was able to just jump-in and work on it without experience and that it needs little more than mod_perl says a lot for basic, normal-people languages and development environments.

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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