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Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 337

For my web purchases, when the authorization goes from the merchant to the Bank, the Bank pauses the reply to the merchant and presents me with a question that only I can answer (from a list of question/answers) that I completed at their card enrollment.

When I respond correctly, the transaction is approved. If I err in the response, the merchant gets a rejected transaction notice.
Eg. I approved my own real-time purchase to Newegg this way.

Comment Re:Engine control firmware is tightly controlled. (Score 1) 153

I've worked as a partner for some car companies in both the US and the EU, and I know for a fact that the firmware that goes into their control systems is very tightly controlled, requiring sign-offs from senior execs for design and feature changes.

There's no way code this critical could have simply been dropped in by some R&D leads. No. Way.

On a test bed, the front wheels are positioned onto rollers, and the back wheels are stationary. All the software needed to know is if the front wheels are in motion and the back wheels are not. Perhaps as well, some other sensor for when the vehicle is idling. (0 km/hr or 0 mi/hr). That logic bypass could be active when the car is idling.

Comment Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 565

How many times around the equator of the earth does the end-to-end placing of water bottles stretch? Some say 3 and others say 4.

And most of these bottles are ingested by marine life and these marine animals die. The plastic bottles are not biodegradable. If separated out from recycled trash they can be melted down and the ensuing plastic reused.

Comment Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 565

bottled water is now on track to overtake soda as the largest beverage category in two years.

Everyone should note that for the most part bottled water is just "tap water" that has been filtered. At $1 plus a bottle (plus the almost always not recycled plastic bottle), why don't people just get a Britta filter for home or office? Filtered tap water is now more expensive than soda!

Two comments
Our city tap water has a lower bacteria count than does bottled water. In fact, there should be a "Use before" on the labels of each bottle.
And our city tap water has low chlorine counts. In the 1950's the old cast iron water pipes were replaced with copper, and this has meant that iron(rust) in our water is also very low.

But in regards to Soda. We bought a Soda Machine (as it is called). Each cartridge provides enough co2 for about 10 "one litre water bottles". Thats a fifty percent savings over the large store purchased club-soda bottles. If we want flavouring, we add it after we bubbly (carbonate) the tap water.

Where we do use the store bought water bottles is when we are out doing sports at/on the soccer or football fields.

Comment Re:Only if you use App Cards with APPS! (Score 1) 317

I am not sure this is common but... My Visa provider, for internet purchases where I present the code on the rear of the card, as part of their validation,
intercepts my transaction and asks me a personal question. I have to respond with a matching answer. And if I do, the transaction is allowed to pass through to the rest of the validation routines (amount balance under limit, etc.). If validated, the vendor gets an approval. With some vendors, the transaction times out, but it works fine with other vendors.

Is my Visa provider unique, or is it uncommon practice.

Comment Re: Without government... (Score 1) 470

Actually the Dutch taxi market is pretty open nowadays, with several thousand not affiliated taxis in Amsterdam only. But the Netherlands is a pretty regulated country. For driving a taxi for example you need a license (easily obtainable) and there are fixed tariff regulations. Obviously Uber drivers have no such license and don't comply with the tariff regulation. I don't know any democratic nation where an organization which actively organizes and supports activities which don't comply with the law is not seen as a criminal organization.
Doesn't mean that Uber won't be seen as a kind of emancipationary club somewhere down the line. But now...

In Québec, Canada, taxis are a service and services are taxed. As well, for income tax purposes, incomes of drivers are recorded, as well as their expenses. And taxi's have compulsory insurance for passengers. Drivers are vetted to insure they are healthy (no recent DUIs and no health problems that can cause accidents or infect passengers).
Majority of taxi drivers work split shift... 5am to 10am, and 5pm to 10pm. -- when people travel to and from...
So, I don't mind paying the going fare. Its about 1/3rd more than Uber's. And yes, Quebec wants Uber to collect income tax from Uber and from the drivers, who it sees as Uber employees.

Comment Re:good (Score 1) 164

As a Canadian, I have to agree with the statement, "The US is becoming less relevant daily" Where we used to buy our electronics from the USA, we no longer do. Where we used to watch American TV, we no longer do as much, and we rarely buy an American made vehicle. Even our stuff from IKEA is in metric, for metric built homes (Our new home ceilings are 3 meters high, which is about 3*40 inches or 10feet.

The USA is now a huge service oriented country. Manufacturing and even software engineering is done off shore from the USA, and the USA pays for service. By the way, which Apple or Android product is American made? How many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Say thanks to Regan economics that allowed for job exporting to the far east.

Its sad, because my older Stereo and high tech equipment oncewanw bore my "Made in USA" sticker on them. Now it says "Made in China", or Assembled in Taiwan.

Comment Re:/facepalm (Score 1) 142


"More than 4 billion people don't have a voice online."

Translation: "More than 4 billion people are currently ineligible to give me their personal data, so I can sell it and become even more immensely rich". (Why???) "I would like governments (or anyone) to pay for those people to be connected to the Internet, so that I can start making money out of them".

After all, that's what governments are for - making the immensely rich even immensely richer. Isn't it?

It is not greed that drives these people, particulary Zukerberg. Connectivity may actually stop conflict. With connectivity, I am hoping that the third world will obtain access to on-line learning, knowledge about democracy, medicine and other information that will stop famine and wars.

Comment Re:what difference... (Score 0) 348

"What difference, at this point, does it make?" I mean, sure, she lied, she exposed sensitive government information to foreign spies, and she may have covered up some "private" dealings. But, hey, doesn't she deserve to be president? She is a woman, after all, and she only really cares about us, the people! She can't save us if we don't cut her a little slack?

I would say "Lie is a very strong and undeserving insult". According to all known investigators, those letters to the general may have been on a personal level. Secondly, He, Bill Clinton, on CNN's Fareed Zakaria's interview stated that she gave her lawyers the right to hand over the computers to investigators.

So why are we not investigating the Bushes for 9/11. I am willing to bet a thousand dollars to your one dollar that the president was warned about the Islamic extremist conspiracies. Was it poo-pooed because the USA was on this side of the Atlantic/Pacific? And by the way, look at the loss of American lives in Iraq and the middle east, and the horrendous profits by Haliburton (Bush and Cheny holdings) for war materiel. That is what needs investigating and digging into.

More than 4000 overseas American lives lost, and more than 3500 on US soil losses to terrorists. And as we say, "Bush was proud to stand on the rubble". Shame, he was responsible for the rubble. The Republicans should look inwards at was the wasting American military lives. Timed email news about Hillary are a distraction and an attempt to boost Republican candidates like Trump. I would not boost Trump, but remove the "s" from boost and concentrate on "representation in government by the people for the people". Isn't it time to limit in dollars or barter, what any human can contribute to an election? (Check out Canada and the rest of the world regarding election contribution ceilings).

Comment Re: there is no (Score 1) 403

While saying there is no agw is presumptuous you make a very good point.

One of THE key tests of a scientific theorem is that it can predict.. And yet these 'state of the art' models have so far had a dismal record of prediction.
And yet their 'findings' are treated as science.
Global climate change is obvious, inevitable, and continuous as it always has been of course. There is no static climate.

However AGW is a very different proposition.. And there is a wide continuum of possibilities within in from minor self adjusting changes to serious positive feedback.
However so far no model has shown any actual predictive capability.. Therefore all we can say is no model is useful yet.
That's the problem with complex iterative models.. They need to be close to perfect or their output is complete junk as the errors compound.

THIS is the big issue always swept under the carpet.. If we are going to believe the models they need to demonstrate predictions.. Not in daily weather but in ongoing climate. As yet they cannot.

Until they can anything based on them is politics. In either direction.

If and when they can let's hope people can turn their energy to a true solution.. The obvious ones of course being nuclear power in its more modern versions.. And cut through the red tape and bs that a generation scared stiff by iron curtain nuclear Armageddon propaganda hammered in to their children.

Oh course most are all far to addicted to rampant consumerism to actually change.. So that is pretty much the only solution if there really is a problem.

So, with natural global warming, the ice at the poles will melt, raising the sea/ocean levels. The plus side is that we will have a smaller land mass to polute, and possibly, with the higher water levels, new water tables will appear, allowing for food preparation in what we now call deserts. The American, Egyption, and mid-eastern deserts could begin to reflourish.
Or will that band of latitude across the earth be too hot for humans to live normally? I would like to see countries act pro-actively against AWG. But... its not gonna happen until it is too late.

Comment VW was not alone, every manuf cheated. (Score 1) 618

As time goes on, we discover that every diesel powered car manufacturer was cheating and undermining emissions testing.


Diesel was 30% less expensive for the car owner and that meant that (in Europe), diesel powered cars were 50% of all car sales.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener