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Comment Re:SO can also lead to outdated answers (Score 2) 167

I have noticed this too.

For example security related answers date really badly, and I'm sure we all agree that we don't want developers coming along and developing something around what was common practice five years ago (e.g., SHA-1). I think there needs to be some form of expiration that can be set, so that people can see that an answer, or full set of answers, is not to be trusted.

Comment Clearly a massive breach of personal data. (Score 1) 109

Clearly a massive breach of personal data. All to get a few dollars by selling it.

Luckily restricted to 12 organisations, but who can guarantee that they will not abuse it or a member of staff hasn't leaked it?

The state should be providing free identity theft insurance to every citizen as a result.

Also, why the hell is a gun magazine buying these details (even the more restricted version), and why are they even allowed to?

Comment Re:I have no debt and a hefty savings account (Score 2) 386

They _want_ people who arn't completely broke but can't afford the credit so they'll keep making minimum payments forever.

Of course. It comes down to affordability, and they want people to max out their credit to the point where they can barely make the minimum payments. I bet they call this a "sweet spot of consumer debt".

For example, once you have a bunch of credit card debt, you will realise at some point that the minimum payments are weighing you down, and you will consider maybe getting a long-term loan to consolidate the debt to make things more affordable. E.g., 30K of credit card debt might have a minimum repayment of 700 per month, a 30K 10 year loan at 10% could reduce that to 400 per month (don't worry about the total repayable here, this is about month-to-month affordability). You'd be 300 per month better off, you could use that to clear other commitments.

However, you will not be able to get the loan, because they take your existing credit commitments (the ones you want to pay off) into account to see if you can afford it. I.e., "Can you afford X (700) + Y (400)" each month, when the reality is you would only be paying Y. This is all baked into the credit assessment system, it's all based on affordability (and not the amount of debt you have already). And they don't trust you to not blow the Y on hookers and gaming PCs instead of clearing X, yet they will not offer a service to directly pay off the consolidated debt themselves. If you're at your affordability limit at 700, there's no way you can afford 1100, so they fail you, consistently.

So it's a multi-year game to get out of a bad debt situation. You need to get any type of loan, over a long term, to reduce the monthly payments as I gave an example of above. But your low credit score means you get high rates. Regardless, once you have it and clear some credit card debt (settle the highest rate accounts in order, preferably), it theoretically increases your credit score because you can technically afford more debt repayments each month (!). Of course, you should use the improved score to get a lower-rate loan to pay off the first loan and any other credit card debt you have still. This takes a long time of juggling, and 0% offer credit cards.

On the other hand, they arn't forcing people to use their credit cards beyond their means. Personally I've managed to never pay interest on any of mine.

So yeah, a good lesson is to not get into debt in the first place, and never have to learn the above. But that doesn't happen all the time - debt can happen for any reason that's not necessarily the fault of the debtor (e.g., in the US - medical bills). So you max out three credit cards, and then you're in the shit, even if you have assets, a good wage, etc. And the system does feel like it's set up like a Sarlac Pit - easy to fall into, hard to get out.

Other rules: always pay secured debt (set the payment date to your wage payment date if possible) before unsecured debt. Always pay the highest rate debt off first, if you have to choose. Be proactive when you see a problem developing, sort it out before you hit the affordability ceiling detailed above. Any step to reducing monthly outlay is better than sitting worrying about whether or not to accept that loan offer that you feel is at a rather high rate (but don't accept one with poor early repayment penalties) but would still reduce your monthly outgoings significantly.

If you'll be in monetary pain for a year, noodles and pasta and rice all the time is a reasonable penalty for the short period of time. If you'll be in monetary pain for five years, etc, then plan in some contingency for regular fun and nice meals, drinks, etc.

Comment Re:No, it's not for playing games (Score 1) 111

Only because AMD stopped at 512 shaders on their APUs, because of memory bandwidth limitations making it pointless to include more. Additionally, being stuck on 28nm didn't help with scaling or power use (although Carrizo does a very good job to be competitive with 14nm Intel chips).

Intel bypassed that by including a very large on-die memory so they could expand their GPU further and get more performance. This comes at a cost - price.

Comment Re:Up to (Score 1) 111

In this case, running on a 22-core Xeon chip. You won't get 29x-51x faster on your quad-core Skylake.

I.e., most of the speed-up is from multi-threading and use of AVX. Which I'm a little surprised that LLVMPipe didn't have - but then again, it probably wasn't too important at the time, and correctness was most important.

Comment Only seen in specific benchmarks (Score 5, Informative) 262


As suspected from early results yesterday, the takeaway from Morrison and Evans' videos today seems to be that while intense cases like synthetic Geekbench tests designed to push devices to their limits can reveal significant differences in battery life between devices using the two chips, real-world impacts are much smaller and are likely to be unnoticeable to many users.

Submission + - Volkswagen Boss blames Software Engineers for scandal (bbc.co.uk)

hattig writes: Today VW's Michael Horn is testifying to Congress. A choice quote — "It's the decision of a couple of software engineers, not the board members," says VW US chief Michael Horn to Congress.

In addition, 530,000 cars in the US will need to be recalled for significant engine modifications, rather than a software fix. Only 80,000 Passats are eligible for the software fix. There is no word on the effects these modifications will have on the cars' performance, fuel consumption, etc.

Comment Given that this is an incrementing number (Score 1) 105

Then GIF is pretty much the worst encoding mechanism to use. Yeah, I know it's "art" or "pretentious wankery", but it's a poor showcase of technology.

Here's the Amstrad CPC 464 BASIC version (I should RENUM it). This has far far far denser information encoding. Yeah, I know the font is different. Maybe the font is the entire point of this piece of art.

10 N = 1 : REM 40-bit floating point number - probably should use a few integer numbers instead to ensure the count works properly - exercise left to the reader
20 GOSUB 100
30 EVERY 30000 GOSUB 100 : REM 50 Hz counter * 60 seconds * 10 minutes
40 GOTO 40
100 CLS
110 LOCATE 20, 12 : REM We could do something about the length of the number to centre it better
130 N = N + 1

Comment Re:The answer is a RESOUNDING **NO**! (Score 1) 317

Fact is that chip and pin has fraud at around 0.7p per £100, and other methods have about 7.5p per £100. It's far far safer.

Just because someone doesn't understand how it works and rants online doesn't make it a valid resource to link to.

If you write your pin on your card, you are a stupid idiot and deserve to lose your money.

Comment Re:Is this obsolete already? (Score 1) 317

Referring to something like this? http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/m...

Which is odd, because for Cardholder Not Present, you need to know the card's house number and postcode, as well as the CVV, for the transaction to be approved. That was put in place in the UK about 12 years ago. I know many online retailers only require the CVV once when registering the card (Amazon, Paypal, etc), but you would then also need to access the attackee's amazon account, change the delivery address ...

And for cloned cards, you need to know the pin.

Something isn't right with the story.

Comment Re:Open-source tool to read Chip and Pin cards (Score 1) 317

You can still be mugged for the card.

But the mugger will have to force the pin out of you. And hope you don't cancel the card before they get to use it.

Or forge a signature, as this system appears to be implemented in this case - I presume the signature is encoded on the card chip and only visible to the cashier? Dunno how that's meant to work if the user can forge the signature from a physical signature on the card.

A retailer can tell you they're charging $10 but actually bill $1000.

How hard is it to verify the amount on the screen when tapping in your pin? Or is the American system done by the cashier entirely, because it's too hard for typical Americans to cope with?

Comment Re:Online retailers (Score 1) 317

The cashier should have checked the signature on the paper, against the signature on the card. It's to prevent card theft purchases.

Something the contactless payment system completely bypasses, unless you are unlucky enough to get asked for a pin on your contactless purchase. However as there is a limit (£30 UK) you might get a free lunch, some beers and a couple of movies before the card is cancelled, but not much more.

At least chip and pin is something you have (the card) and something you know (the pin), which is fairly reasonable. Since introduction, card fraud has dropped massively in countries using it. I don't know what contactless has done for these figures however.

Make it right before you make it faster.