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Comment Re:US (Score 1) 294

All cards support chip only transactions. The problem is that not all self service unattended machines will support it, some are set up to require a PIN in all cases. But not all American cards support PIN.

Visa has a mandate that self service unattended kiosks support chip only, but I have little faith that they'll be able to enforce that mandate, or at minimum, that changes will be made promptly (the mandate was supposed to have gone into effect this month).

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 1) 294

It's not a legislative mandate in the United States. The liability shift is a policy change by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover to entice merchants and card issuers to switch to EMV.

I have heard some speculation that the US is doing a phased migration and will eventually to a switch to Chip and PIN, but nothing definitive. I know Chase had said they would change, then put that off after customer testing supposedly showed a preference for Signature over PIN.

Comment Re:If visiting Europe, card should have chip AND P (Score 3, Informative) 294

There are, at the moment, three issuers of PIN-preferred cards in the United States: United Nations Federal Credit Union, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and Harvard University Employees Federal Credit Union. The first two anyone can join by first becoming a member of a particular nonprofit association. Given a choice, I would go for First Tech (or the Harvard Alumni card if you qualify) since they offer no foreign transaction fees and support all PIN variations (where the PIN can either be verified by the card itself or over the network by the bank); UNFCU only offers no foreign transaction fees on a card with an annual fee (you'd have to decide for yourself if the annual fee is worth the other additional benefits).

There is one other PIN-preferred option, the Diners Club MasterCards issued by BMO Harris Bank. However, they stopped taking applications several months ago and haven't resumed, so they're not an option at present if you don't already have it.

Two other fairly large issuers, USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union, were offering PIN-preferring cards but switched to Signature preferring.

But one question to consider is if you need a PIN-preferring card, or merely one that supports PIN? In the latter case, you'll still sign most of the time but if you encounter a situation where a PIN is required, it will work. Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Synchrony Bank (they issue a lot of affiliate branded cards like Walmart and Banana Republic) all fall into this category. A PIN preferring card would allow you to more easily blend in in Europe, but for now would actually be harder to use in the US; particularly in restaurants since even those that have switched to EMV card readers are still doing the thing where they take your card away from the table, so you'd end up having to go with them to wherever they have the terminal set up to enter your PIN, rather than being like Europe and Canada where the waiter has a portable credit card reader that they bring to your table.

Comment Re:Very much unfinished (Score 1) 107

Though if you think about Amazon's use case for it, this makes sense. Amazon's main business involves running web servers, not clients so much. I could see them writing a server-only TLS library, though they certainly could make use of the client side as well (in Kindle, for instance), so it makes sense that they'd start out with the server side and add the client functionality later.

Comment Re:IMAX sucks (Score 1) 190

That's true that the mainstream movies on IMAX, even on a real IMAX screen, aren't the same. I saw one of the Matrix sequels on a real IMAX screen in San Francisco and there was a good amount of unused space on the screen since the film was shot widescreen and the traditional IMAX screen's aspect ratio is closer to square. Mainstream movies, at best, have a few key scenes filmed with IMAX equipment.

Now, real, made for IMAX films on a proper IMAX screen (whether flat or domed), that's something else. I grew up going to IMAX at what's now called the California Science Center and that was the real deal. Space Station 3D (which I saw at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida), for example, was impressive. That's 3D and IMAX worth paying for, not the postproduction conversion 3D crap that Hollywood has been putting out. I want to see Living in the Age of Airplanes but the closest theater showing it is over 700 miles away.

Comment Re:IMAX sucks (Score 1) 190

Sounds like you have things a bit backwards. IMAX is known for really big flat screens. As in, 5 story tall screens. Then, what was then known as the San Diego Hall of Science, went looking for a large format projection system for their dome planetarium, and wound up working with IMAX to redesign the system for the planetarium. The result was initially called OMNIMAX and is now known as IMAX Dome.

IMAX's real downfall was the introduction of their digital projection system into retrofitted multiplex cinemas. Sure, IMAX makes the projector and improves the sound system, but it's not the huge screen that people associate with the IMAX brand. And since there's no distinction in the branding between traditional large format IMAX and the new thing, people might not know what they're getting. Ticket prices are the same, and there are multiplexes out there that have real large format IMAX screens (Edwards Irvine Spectrum in California is one).

Comment Incomplete comparison (Score 1) 36

At least in the summary. So a 3D video game is better than a plastic card. Which nobody ever looks at. How about useful comparisons, like comparing to a prerecorded video demonstration and to flight attendants doing a live safety demonstration in the cabin.

Comment Re:Ironicly, some older OSes are easy to "patch li (Score 1) 117

That's how BootX (one of the Mac OS 8/9 Linux boot loaders for PowerPC Macs) worked. Mac OS would start loading, then a dialog would come up and you could select Mac OS or Linux. You could also run the application from Mac OS anytime after the OS was fully booted. In either case, when you selected Linux, it pushed Mac OS out of memory and Linux would start up.

Comment Re:Not going to disappear quickly.... (Score 1) 293

The 747-400 is rapidly disappearing from the long haul passenger travel market. The A380 is being used on some high demand routes and on the longest flights (the current world's longest nonstop flight is Dallas-Sydney, operated by a Qantas A380). Virtually everything else is going to twins, with the 777-300ER proving particularly popular by providing near 747 capacity and range on two engines.

Comment Re:Singapore Airport (Score 1) 168

True about showing ID and tickets, but as far as I know, they don't record that information, they just inspect it. (I could be wrong on that one too).

TSA don't need to record your information at the checkpoint, because they already get it from the airline as part of the Secure Flight program.

Comment Re:Chip and PIN (Score 1) 132

A PIN is not required to use a debit card today. The vast majority of them support running the transaction either through the debit networks, where you use a PIN, or through the credit networks (Visa or MasterCard) where, today anyway, you sign. So the thieves can still steal the card number off a debit card and use it just like a credit card. The only difference is that your checking account is the money that gets tied up in limbo until it's sorted out, instead of the the bank's money (in the form possibly of your credit limit).

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly

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