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Comment: Re:Surface: the only Hope (Score 1) 379

by orlanz (#47068791) Attached to: With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market

We are a pretty globally gigantic company w/ a couple of IT vendors. All are Microsoft heavy. We got MS everything. None are really looking at the Surface Pro. Primarily cause we don't want to be the first testers* and the price point is about 2x higher than we would like. We are looking at very light weight laptops and the users want shiny iPads.

If MS would drop the price to the iPad, integrate the MDM, policy, cellular, vpn, and office network systems, and provided a stable roadmap... I think business would look at it. But that's going to be atleast 4th or 5th gen at this point... with the business world buying the 5th or 6th gen.

* = This is the 3rd, but the first two are different enough that you can say that they were abandonware.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the New Oligarchy (Score 1) 174

by orlanz (#46865085) Attached to: SCOTUS Ends Novell's Anti-Trust Cast Against Microsoft

Corporate taxation is the most efficient form of taxation we have. On one side you have a ruthlessly efficient system that tries to pay as minimum as it can and on the other we have a system that has cataloged every tax payer & tax rules. There aren't a lot of moving parts. Both sides understand the ever changing & complex tax rules defined by a multi-sided chess game. It is a very good balance. You eventually end up with the corporate world paying for what is required in the social world.

If you tax the end users and consumers, you have a ton of collection costs, lots of moving parts, and even if everyone was good, incorrect collections. Plus the population as individuals have no power to change their taxation rules.

Comment: Re:Customers may benefit... maybe (Score 1) 455

by orlanz (#46606611) Attached to: Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

When people mean that a company is good at marketing, they mean the Apples, Tivos, Automakers, and Microsofts of the world. Walmart isn't in this group. Most grocery type retailers aren't. Pathmark, Kroger, SuperFresh, Walmart, Whole Foods, Aldi.... these guys don't really do what is commonly thought of as "marketing". They do general advertising. And until about 5 years ago, Walmart didn't even do that!

Comment: Re:Customers may benefit... maybe (Score 2) 455

by orlanz (#46601889) Attached to: Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

First, lawsuit damages always mostly go to a third party. Class action lawsuites the actual end users get pennies on the dollar.

And what Walmart is saying is that the extra costs from Visa were maintained through market collusion between competitors (which is illegal in the US). They were forced to artificially inflate their prices to their customers which resulted in reduced sales and direct damage to Walmart.

Comment: Re:It's about time. (Score 1) 731

by orlanz (#46223115) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

Lets say that the user's PIN was known (socially engineered), user was targeted, and that is why it was stolen.... With a credit card in the US, I have nearly zero risk. With a debit card, I have risk, but it is minimized cause I don't use it (and thus my PIN) often. While I have a CC, most times, my debit card isn't even with me. My primary bank account doesn't even have a debit card feature.

As the consumer, what benefit do I have with the PIN vs a swipe system in such a case?

Comment: Re:It's about time. (Score 1) 731

by orlanz (#46223007) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

This is one of those "not always".

Its a risk assessment and balance. Credit transactions in the rest of the world are riskier and are thus accommodated with more controls, but this causes constraints in volume. The US has a LOT more volume in credit transactions than any other country. This volume is due to the ease, flexibility, and insecurity (for the lender) of the credit system here. Volume is the entire purpose of credit cards (vs debit). If the volume (thus profits) lost are greater than the fraud prevented... then it isn't a better system. However, if the fraud is too high in the system, then you need more controls. In the rest of the world, credit fraud would be rampant if setup as the US. So they need more controls in place to lower that fraud. Although lowering volume, due to the high amount of fraud that is curtailed, it will increase profits.

Think of it like this: There are places in the world where you can put a glass jar in a church/temple and people will donate. Other places will need an armed security guard. The number of donations coming in will be higher with the glass jar. Of course when someone steals the jar, a lot is lost. But depending on the location, that loss will be less than the amount donated vs the security guard. In others it will be the other way around.

You can also think of it like opening a tab at a bar or your small town grocery store (swipe system). They do this cause it increases volume & sales (US). If people didn't pay tabs the store will certainly stop offering tabs (politically unstable countries - cash based economy). Converse, if the owner wanted your fingerprints & government ID on file, less people would open tabs (PIN & CHIP).

As for security, to over simplify, a credit card has 25 numbers on it. Pin & chip has 29. The assumption is that the last 4 aren't written anywhere and thus people think they are more secure. In general, it is kind* of true. However, for the instances where it isn't, there is a much greater burden of proof on the innocent with the PIN system than with the swipe system. Thus more risk for them.

Its not necessarily about the amount of fraud but rather the impacts of it on profits. Everyone does win when fraud goes down and doesn't negatively impact profits.

* = Social engineering will always beat tech engineering. People are usually the weakest link.

Comment: Re:Economic viability is the reason (Score 1) 731

by orlanz (#46218495) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

Well said. Only part that I disagree with is that it is no longer viable. Even with the recent spat of issues, they are still very very small compared to the overall economy. Individually they probably reach as high as pump&dump, madoff, and insider trading fraud. But overall, they are pennies. Reality is that the economy might miss Target if it goes bankrupt, but will recover from it within a few months if not a year.

If we go to the pin & card system, fraud _might_ get lower (depending on how you quantity it and if you take into consideration the human factor) but the utility of the system will severely drop. Today people have a lot of cards with various amounts of credit & balances on each. This is big money for the industry. If you force people to memorize pins... either they will memorize ONE or decrease their cards. Former sucks for the user, and the later is horrible for the industry.

Credit cards already have a generally negative stigma. To tell the general consumer that their credit card is the same as their debit... the industry will severely shrink!

Comment: Re:It's about time. (Score 1) 731

by orlanz (#46218391) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

"For online I got a small app that I got from my bank that I can generate a new card with."

We have a similar thing in the US. Not as efficient, but similar. Credit cards. If something looks off on the monthly statement, we send an email and get a new one within 2-3 business days. It does suck that we can't "instantly" get a new card, but we can live with our other 3-4 cards during that time. If a merchant has issues, the CC vendor has all the incentive to send me a written notice and a new card... well before it even hits the news.

Comment: Re:It's NOT about time (Score 1) 731

by orlanz (#46218339) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

Yes. Only reason it hasn't been deployed is because of the sunk costs and people's resistance to change. I don't think pin & chip will make it here. The former two are too heavy to move. Unless you get someone like Walmart to do it (and they won't, fraud is too small of a write off) it won't fly. Honestly, I don't understand how Target has the capital to make this investment. It would cost them far less to put in the preventative & detective controls in their current systems. Not to mention their shopping base will drop.

The person who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.