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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Surge Protection for International Travel?

gaiageek writes: As someone who has lost a laptop power supply (and thus use of the laptop) due to a late-night power surge while traveling in a developing country, I'm acutely aware of the need for surge protection when traveling abroad. While practically all laptop and phone power adapters these days are voltage auto-sensing 100V-240V compatible, most so-called "travel" surge protectors are restricted to either 110V or 220V. Given the space and weight constraints of carry-on only travel, I'd like to avoid having to carry two separate surge protectors knowing I may go from Central America (110V) to Southeast Asia (220V). Strangely, laptop specific surge protectors typically are 100V-240V compatible, but this doesn't provide protection for a phone or tablet that requires the original power supply (can't be charged from a notebook USB port).

Is there really no solution out there short using a 110V-240V notebook surge protector with an adapter to go from a "cloverleaf" notebook plug to a 5-15R (standard US) plug receptacle?

Comment Re:Don't speak for 'all of europe' (Score 1) 460

Once Uber has driven its competition out of business, anyone will be able to offer a service like Uber.

No, because this type of service is a natural monopoly, especially when operated by a large multi-national. Nobody wants to use a different app for every city. It would be just like trying to compete against eBay in the online auction market.

Not really. eBay has a monopoly in that, if you're a buyer looking for something rare or unique at auction, eBay is where you're going to look first, and thus as a seller, eBay is where you're going to look at selling first. But it's not like a ride is anything unique, it's not like Uber's customers have brand loyalty, and AFAIK it's not like an Uber driver can't also work for a competitor (that's an interesting question actually). Plus, I'm guessing the majority of Uber users are only using Uber in their home city. I'm guessing all it would take for anyone to try a competitor is hearing "they're cheaper than Uber". And a competitor could do that if they're giving a higher percentage to the drivers.

Time will tell, but what may be more telling is what happens once autonomous taxi services enter the picture. If Uber doesn't get on that themselves, I could see that putting them out of business.

Comment Re:Amazon App tablets let you app apps! (Score 3, Informative) 200

If you're ok with a smaller form factor, you could get a YotaPhone. Android phone with a 5" AMOLED screen on one side, 4.7" e-Ink screen on the other.

Given the trend in larger and larger screen sizes on phones (which I'm not a fan of but whatever), I wouldn't be surprised if the next iteration of their devices is 5.5" or higher.

Comment Re:hmm... (Score 1) 176

You have two options. 1) Agree with what they do and pay more 2) Say it is a breach of contract and drop out

With 1) the company gets what they want However with 2) the company gets what they want.

While it makes sense in situation you describe (the company you work for losing money every week) for them to cut their loses, I'm doubting that Verizon is in that desperate a situation -- which means that if you take option 2 and drop out, switching to another carrier, no, Verizon isn't exactly get what it wants. They've lost a customer and whatever their monthly profit was on that customer, plus they'll have to spend money trying to get that customer back (which may not succeed).

Comment Re:I don't like this at all (Score 1) 176

Sure there's inflation, but the price per gigabyte over the past several years has definitely gone down, as have the cost of monthly contracts in general (thanks to companies like T-Mobile). This does seem like a brash move by Verizon which will piss off a lot of their long-term customers. It would've been smarter to raise the price $10 now and another $10 in 2 years. Or if this is really a problem of trying to eliminate users who are using way too much bandwidth, just keep the price the same and start throttling after a certain amount.

One has to wonder though: when are we ever going to see data caps that are in line with the speeds that LTE and the already-being-discussed 5G allow? It's kind of ridiculous that many users have broadband speeds on their phones which surpass the speeds of their home internet connection, yet they can only use a few GB before being essentially cut-off.

Comment I thought upgrading to 16GB would help (Score 2, Interesting) 209

I upgraded my Thinkpad X230 from 8GB to 16GB because it was cheap enough, and because I was occasionally getting slowdowns in Chrome on Linux from so many windows and tabs open.

It fixed the slowdown problem, until recently, when Chrome on Linux decided to simply start crashing after so many (not even that many - maybe 40) were open.

Summary: Latest version of Chrome is total shit on Linux.

Comment How it should work. (Score 1) 345

- Immediate call if a charge is suspect. I had this happen recently making a big purchase at Home Depot. Card got declined; I was confused. Then my phone rang with the card issuer on the line. Confirmed my identity (smart, phone could've been stolen) and that the charge was legit. Re-ran the transaction and it went through. Catch: For this to work smoothly, the call really needs to come in within 60 seconds, otherwise I would probably try another card for fear of holding up the line.

- Instant notification for ALL charges. Notification by text message and additionally email. If your card is compromised, the thief will often try a small charge as a test to see if the card is still valid. This happened to me recently: I had email notifications setup for charges made, but the bank only sent the notifications for charges over $10, so i didn't see the first fraudulent charge and only found out later when they called me about a $300 charge at nikestore.com in the Netherlands (US-based card). Each text message should be appended with a message like "If you did not make this transaction, reply 'NO' to this message." A reply would freeze the account until you can call in.

- App-based 2-tier authorization - You make a charge and a notification pops up on your phone with the details requiring you to confirm the transaction before it gets approved. I'm wary about this one because it would require having your phone and a working connection at all times, and it could leave you screwed if that isn't the case.

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