Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Electronics and microcontrollers? (Score 1) 167

Wow, this is Slashdot. Isn't somebody going to suggest a healthy supply of arduinos and/or raspberry pis with lots of accessories and computers to program them? How about an Oscilloscope and a fully stocked electronics workshop.

I would have all kinds of material on hand that people check out with a form of some sort that is then used to prepare an invoice to the users as well as an order list for replenishment.

Set up some kind of library of how-to documents to get people started quickly using the resources you've made available.

For popular resources you'll need to set up a reservation system of some kind.

I would think a quiet library would be incompatible with loud construction activities.

Comment: Re:Not a Piece of Shit (Score 1) 128

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) 622

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.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton