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Comment: As someone who travels I need an unlocked phone (Score 1) 77

by greggman (#47539607) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

I can either pay AT&T $150 for 800meg roaming data. Or I can pay $7 in Singapore for a 1gig on a local sym. $30 in Japan for 1gig local sim. Etc.... I forgot the price in Italy but it was in a similar range. TMobile has their free international roaming but it's 2G which is really really slow.

Unlocking the phone isn't just about switching carriers

PS: So far I've just bought uncontracted unlocked phones.

Comment: Re:They work great when done right. (Score 1) 272

by greggman (#47001171) Attached to: Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed

That's exactly my point on why the US systems suck

I see the fact that there's no anti-theft as a feature not a bug. The fact that it's the same as cash is why it's useful. Just like cash, if you lose it it's gone. But, just like cash you don't usually carry much. I'm pretty sure the Japan cards have a limit of $200 on them max.

Conversely, all the crappy systems like Square Wallet and Google Wallet are tied to a bank account. That means if they were hacked you could lose more money than just what's on the card. In top of that it means they need authentication, in other words, they become inconvenient because you have to type a pin or in some other way access the phones whereas the Japanese cards need no authentication (just like Clipper cards, Oyster Cards, Charlie Cards need no authentication)

Comment: They work great when done right. (Score 1) 272

by greggman (#46996217) Attached to: Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed

I've always been curious if they can reproduce the NFC style wallets in Japan (Asia?) in the USA.

Here in Japan the train companies have NFC cards. The cards act mostly as cash. You put money on the card itself. I don't know exactly how the accounting works but AFAIK there's no server being contacted when you make a purchase. The system some how instantly deducts the money from your card and updates your history on the card.

This makes them super convenient unlike stuff like Square Wallet or even Google Wallet. You tap the card/phone on the machine and you've paid in under 1 second. No need to press anything, type any passwords, nothing.

The chips were later added to feature cell phones around 2006 so you could tap your phone instead of a card. You can also add more cash on them from your phone. Some Japan only Android phones also have them. Of course iPhone does not.

Trains, busses, many taxis, vending machines, convenience stores, some restaurants have the readers next to their registers.

Transactions are stored on the card and many laptops in Japan have built-in readers. My 2006 Vaio did. Touch your card to some spot on the surface of the laptop and get instant expense report for work/taxes. You can add credit to the cards on your laptop as well.

I have no idea how they prevent fraud given they can be updated locally (filling them with money without going through the proper channels). As for theft, scanning people as they walk by, they do seem to need to be within 1cm or so to read/update. I haven't looked into it though. On the other hand they aren't tied to any other money meaning they're basically like carrying cash. If you lose it all you lost is your money on the card and your purchase history. There's no "account" and it's not connected to any bank or credit card so the damage is minimized.

I have no idea if those would go over anywhere in the USA except maybe NYC, Chicago, SF. They arguably work in Japan because so many people commute so even if you never purchase anything they're super convenient for commuting (no need to buy tickets). Once you have one they end up being convenient for other things.

At the same time, I don't see anything less ever taking off in the USA. Google Wallet etc aren't more convenient than credit cards. Felica cards are.

I realize I think in SF the Clipper card and in London the Oyster cards are the same tech? But I don't think either can be used for anything other than trains/busses.

Also the chips don't need batteries so even if your phone battery dies you can still pay with the chip in your phone.

Comment: Re:Doomed? They Were Never Viable. (Score 1) 272

by greggman (#46996195) Attached to: Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed

That's how they started in Japan and are still available that way. The basic system is Sony's Felica

The chips were added to phones around 2006 so you could just swipe your phone instead of your card. The advantage to the phone version (1) no separate card needed (2) can add funds on the phone, no need to go to a machine. Now-a-days tyhey're integrated into Japanese made Android handsets but of course not the non-Japanese made ones nor the iPhone.

Many Japanese laptops have readers. My 2006 Vaio has a reader. I can also add funds through it.

Comment: Be there done that? (Score 1) 53

by greggman (#46302581) Attached to: Zero Point: The First 360-Degree Movie Made For the Oculus Rift

Hasn't there been 360 movies before? There's "America the Beautiful" that used to be at Disneyland and I guess was at a world's fair before that. There were also plenty of 360 videos from things like go-pro and attachments for iPhone/Android etc...

It seems to me (but maybe I'm missing it) like it's not going to be cool until it's actually a 3D movie and by 3D movie I mean rendered in real time so that you can not just look but also translate, at least a little, through the environment. That seemed to be what Abrash was mentioning in his talk. Movies are old, "Presence" is new. "Presence" requires real time rendering.

Comment: Any US banks offering One Time Passwords? (Score 1) 731

by greggman (#46219250) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

Here in Singapore my friend's back sends a SMS/text/msg to her phone/tablet anytime she makes a purchase online. She has to type that number into the web page form (or whatever) for the transaction to be approved. I think I wish I had this option. Though as I'm traveling right now I can imagine a few times when I might need the number and not have a signal.

Similarly, why not switch to an (optional?) system like for non-online purchases. Msg me the number. That way there's no PIN for anyone to steal. That number is only good for that transaction.

Comment: Re:Lesson from this story...don't be a glass hole! (Score 4, Insightful) 1034

by greggman (#46024119) Attached to: AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer

So you're going to tell blind people who have cameras for eyes they have to turn them off?

Maybe it's time to face the future instead of being stuck in the past. People are going to have digital eyes instead of biological eyes. First those with bad site, then soldiers, then the public. They're also going to have digital memory instead of biological memory. You have no more right to tell me how to use my digital eyes and digital memory then you do for my biological eyes and biological memory. That fact that there is a distinction today is irrelevant and will have to change in the near future.

Comment: Bloat vs Flexibility (Score 3, Interesting) 84

by greggman (#45309511) Attached to: A MathML Progress Report: More Light Than Shadow

I'm sure this will get modded down but why does MathML need to built into the browser? It's only used on some very small percentage of pages so why bloat the browsers with something almost no pages need. Especially since the JavaScript implementation works just fine. Even better the JavaScript implementation can be updated and modified at any pace the MathML proponents want where as that's not true with built in implementations. The markup is the same regardless so what's the need for it to be built in ?

Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.