Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:They also stopped the monorail to airport (Score 1) 136

Unfortunately, the terminal is on the opposite side of the airport from the rail lines. A trolley spur along Harbor Drive to the terminal was studied in the 1980s but there were several problems.

The current plan is to improve pedestrian access between the Middletown station and a stop on the new shuttle service between the parking and rental car facility being built on the north side.

Comment Re:Come on US (Score 1) 317

Actually, Barclay's cards are still Chip and Signature, in that they are programmed to prefer the signature and will only prompt you for a PIN if the location is unable to accept a signature (like a European train ticket kiosk). But that's still better than some issuers (like Chase and Capital One), which don't support PIN at all (other than for cash advances like they always have).

There are a couple credit unions at least that are issuing PIN-peferring cards.

Comment Re:None of my cards have a chip! (Score 2) 317

Different banks are taking different approaches, with some proactively sending out new cards, most at minimum accepting a request for a new card with a chip, and some waiting until cards expire before sending out new chip cards. Stores like Home Depot will continue to accept your valid magnetic stripe card; the only time they'll decline the swipe is if you swipe a chip card, it will prompt you to insert the card into the chip reader.

Comment Re:You are right for the wrong reason (Score 1) 317

Verified by Visa isn't widely used among US online merchants. The only time I can recall running into it was with Ticketmaster, and at the time it was a hassle (some redirect to my bank's web site, not a code via text) such that I cancelled out of it, let the authorization decline, and tried again using Amex which didn't have an equivalent to Verified by Visa.

Comment Re:Change the name and it's new! (Score 1) 105

Softcard + Google Wallet = Android Pay (kinda sort of, at least in spirit).

Samsung Pay is basically LoopPay + NFC. The big deal about Samsung Pay is the LoopPay technology that lets it transmit a magnetic field that emulates a magnetic stripe, so it works at nearly all credit card terminals that support a magnetic stripe, not just those that have NFC enabled (which is what is required for Apple Pay and Android Pay).

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).

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller