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Comment: Re:Not a Piece of Shit (Score 1) 127

by TomGreenhaw (#49539177) Attached to: POS Vendor Uses Same Short, Numeric Password Non-Stop Since 1990
That's why the payment card brands require PCI certification. Now that the rules are finally getting enforced with third party auditors checking such things, this crap is getting fixed.

The system works if the rules are followed. Take a look at the 30 page+ PCI assessment (https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/documents.php) and ask yourself - if all these measure were *really* in place, how could a breach possibly happen?

Comment: Other reasons (Score 1) 617

by TomGreenhaw (#49535217) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs
Its a shame people only think of the cost of gas when considering an EV.

Maintenance costs on EVs are dramatically lower than gas vehicles. No fluids, tune-ups and brakes last dramatically longer. For about 3% of the cost of the car, Tesla extend the warranty to 8 years - and that includes everything but tires. Factor in your time dealing with maintenance as well - that's a big cost if your time is valuable to you.

EVs are very convenient. Its takes 30 seconds to plug it in a few times a week when you park in your garage and you never have to visit a gas station again.

Gasoline is bad news in every way. Flammable, carcinogenic, poisonous and a train wreck for the environment is its production and use.

Comment: I'm sick of this (Score 1) 320

Why is the word science so insanely abused?

By definition - science can never be wrong - it is the definition of reality.

We need to defend the word because it represents an important idea. People who wrongly use the term need to be corrected.

And don't get me started on math - its a language - just because the grammar is correct doesn't mean the idea expressed is true.

Comment: Make it fun (Score 1) 215

Do small programs that a kid can do in one session.

Don't bother trying graphics and video games - when they realize how much time and effort it takes, they will become very discouraged.

Do something like an adventure game, magic eightball or eliza variation.

Why (just) BASIC? Mix in HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Better yet, do Arduino projects and get both programming and electronics.

Comment: Re:someone explain for the ignorant (Score 1) 449

by TomGreenhaw (#49086279) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV
>>>Presently mastercard/visa/amex assume most of the liability (and they very well better for the transaction fees they charge.)

I have no idea why everybody thinks this.

I've been in the card processing business for over 15 years. I have never seen a card brand take the hit on a fraudulent charge. Its always the merchant who pays with a chargeback, unless they can absolutely prove the real cardholder made the charge. Each merchant has an acquiring bank for their card processing merchant account, and the only risk these financial institutions take is the case of card fraud with a chargeback to a merchant who has disappeared with the money.

Also, most of the fees go to the card issuer Chase or Citibank for example. They are taking the risk that a card holder will not pay. The merchant pays these fees that are generally passed on in the form of higher prices.

The reality of the liability shift is more complicated than anybody really appreciates. Whoever the weakest link in the chain is will assume the liability. If a merchant sticks with the old mag strip reader and the consumer has an EMV card, the merchant will always assume the responsibility. If a merchant accepts chip & signature when the consumer is capable of chip & pin, again the merchant will take responsibility. The banks and processors will never be the weak link in the chain because they all support the strongest forms of the new protocols.

Certain card issuers already have a large number of chip & signature cards in the field - Citibank for example. The other issuers realized that if they all issued chip & pin, grandma would just start using her old chip & signature card because she wouldn't bother to get a pin number and use it. By the new rules, merchants who can take chip & pin, but issuers only offer chip & signature are not the weak link in the chain - the card issuer will be. I am sure there will be law suits making sure the card issuers are held liable for their making the decision to being the weak link in the chain.

This is where the law of unintended consequences will rear its ugly head. With EMV, counterfeit cards go away. This means that card fraud will require a real card. Ladies & gentleman - watch your wallets and purses - those cards will be like cash to a thief. You can bet that the rules for reporting lost & stolen cards will greatly tighten, and the consumer will totally be held liable for charges made on lost & stolen cards.

Comment: Sophos (Score 1) 467

by TomGreenhaw (#48890819) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?
We have excellent results with Sophos. It has not been a drain on resources and has blocked everything so far for a couple of years on over 250 windows systems and servers. Symantec became ineffective and ruined performance. Microsoft Security Essentials is much better than it used to be and if you only surf safe sites and run commercial software, it will likely be fine; it comes loaded on Windows 8 and is free for Windows 7.

Comment: Be careful what you wish for (Score 1) 219

by TomGreenhaw (#48839081) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism
When you're angry, the media is spreading fear, and citizens are demanding action from their government, its all to easy to swing wildly too far in giving up freedom and privacy. We've had more than a decade of that in the US and it isn't pretty.

We get mad when we hear about the Snowden revelations. We get mad when the government doesn't monitor "known" threats. We get mad when our government doesn't treat captured terrorist killers kindly. You cannot have it both ways.

The best answer is for each citizen to keep their eyes open and report suspicious people to authorities who are properly funded and equipped to handle these things in a responsible way. Come on, can't a gun shop owner selling two assault rifles and 800 rounds of ammo figure out that something other than deer hunting is planned? Why can't communities be prepared to help mentally ill people who have not yet committed felonies?

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Comment: The concrete industry creates twice that (Score 4, Informative) 232

by TomGreenhaw (#48721447) Attached to: Aircraft Responsible For 2.5% of Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions
There are a lot of industrial processes that generate *a lot* of CO2. A quick check on Wikipedia indicates that 5% of man made CO2 is from the manufacture and use of concrete. Steel production is another big one.

Industrial processes are something we can improve without unbearable cost increases in the foreseeable future.

In the transportation sector, marine shipping accounts for 14% of man made CO2 and mostly through the combustion of the dirtiest bunker fuel. Nuclear powered ships are an obvious solution.

Its hard to imagine any technology that we can realistically apply in the next decade to reduce CO2 from aircraft in any meaningful amounts. Why bother with aircraft when there is so much other obvious low hanging fruit?

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS