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Comment: Re:someone explain for the ignorant (Score 3, Interesting) 449

by stevel (#49084117) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Yes, in fact they can, and this has happened in Europe. One problem with C&P is the "offline PIN" mode which doesn't exchange data with the bank. In the UK, at least, the consumer is liable for any fraud with a C&P card as it is assumed that if the PIN was entered correctly it was by the cardholder. In the US, all the card issuers assume liability for fraud, no matter what, so there is less incentive to require a PIN.

The article you linked to is informative, but as the US transitions to EMV, it will become harder for thieves to use magstripe cards.

As I noted earlier, the biggest benefit of EMV, with or without PIN, is that merchants and payment processors aren't holding on to vast quantities of card numbers, and card skimming becomes far more difficult.

Comment: Re:someone explain for the ignorant (Score 4, Informative) 449

by stevel (#49083975) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Chip yes, PIN, no. In the US, "Chip-and-signature" is what we get, with extremely rare exceptions. It is more secure than the magstripe to stop massive hacks such as Home Depot and Target, but does nothing to stop stolen card fraud. Note that if your card does not support chip-and-PIN (it can support it even if it's not the default, but US banks aren't doing this), then you can't use the card at many automated kiosks (train stations, etc.) outside the US.

I disagree with the summary that contactless goes along with the chip - it doesn't. There are some banks offering contactless payment cards, but this is not common right now.

Comment: Re:Use FairPoint, avoid Comcast (Score 1) 214

by stevel (#49007087) Attached to: Verizon Sells Off Wireline Operations, Blames Net Neutrality Plans

I agree 100% with Okian Warrior here - I'd do without rather than buy service from Comcast. I have the FairPoint fiber service that used to be FiOS and it works well, but if it's not already run on your street you'll never get it. For TV go satellite - I use DirecTV.

One, hopefully temporary, hitch is that Fairpoint workers have been on strike for several weeks, slowing down installs and repairs.

Really, FairPoint nowadays isn't a bad company to do business with. They're focused on staying in business and aren't interested in meddling with your Internet content.

Comment: Been there, done that (Score 5, Informative) 214

by stevel (#49003365) Attached to: Verizon Sells Off Wireline Operations, Blames Net Neutrality Plans

This is not new for Verizon at all - they have been shedding their landline and FiOS business for years. Back in 2007 they abandoned Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, selling off the business to FairPoint Communications, a tiny North Carolina company that struggled for years to overcome billing system issues. FairPoint announced then that they would not be expanding the fiber Internet service (FiOS TV never got started here) and the service has been static since then. (On the positive side, my bill hasn't increased since 2007!)

Even in Massachusetts, where Verizon still operates FiOS TV, they announced a couple of years back that they would not expand service to more areas. This tripe about Net Neutrality is just a convenient smokescreen for what they've been planning all along.

Comment: Re:I am a spamcop user and didn't get that e-mail. (Score 1) 44

by stevel (#47649905) Attached to: Memo to Users: SpamCop Winding Down Webmail Service

I am also a SpamCop user - have three accounts with them. All three got the email. You are quite correct that there's nothing on the web site, but this doesn't astonish me as the email service has been running on autopilot for a few years now. Note that the blocklist and reporting system are now owned by Cisco, but the email service was not part of the purchase and has been increasingly unreliable. There is discussion on the SpamCop user forum at http://forum.spamcop.net/forum...

I moved my main personal account to Gmail quite a while ago. The other two accounts will also move to Gmail. It was nice while it lasted.

Comment: Yet another bogus theory, in my opinion (Score 5, Interesting) 72

by stevel (#47043067) Attached to: Mysterious Disease May Be Carried by the Wind

My son contracted Kawasaki Disease in 1987 when he was 4. It was a terrifying experience as the doctors could not explain what was causing his symptoms, including a fever of 104. The poor kid underwent spinal taps and more. Eventually he was transferred to Boston Floating Hospital for Children where they concluded he had Kawasaki. There was no test for it - it's one of those "process of elimination" diagnoses and not all who have KD have all of the symptoms. At that time, there was no known cure but my son was enrolled in a random trial of gamma globulin infusion and, thankfully, the dosage he was assigned turned out to be the one that worked the best. He recovered and tests showed no lasting heart damage.

At the time, there were many wild theories as to what caused it. One of the more prevalent notions was that it was triggered by carpet cleaning chemicals, since debunked. This paper smacks to me of "correlation does not equal causation". I'm especially dubious about the supposed geographic origins given that incidents, while clustered around metropolitan areas, were not confined to the west US coast (we live in New Hampshire.)

Over the years I have read many articles and research papers about Kawasaki Disease. I don't think we're any closer to an explanation than we were in 1987.

Comment: Re:ARM is the new Intel (Score 5, Interesting) 110

by stevel (#46772585) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

It's done in software with hardware assist - Intel calls this technology "Houdini". Most Android apps are Dalvik which Intel has an X86-optimized implementation of. The translated apps run quite well for most purposes, but yes, there is a performance penalty. I did run some games but probably not the really compute-intensive ones. I found the performance overall quite good - at least as good as my iPad 3 - and to most users the choice of processor would be transparent. For apps which are ARM binary, a growing number are also providing X86 binaries.

Comment: Re:Not true. (Score 5, Insightful) 243

I agree - I've downloaded the movie twice from Flixster. Anyone who thinks that a DRM-free download would be provided is dreaming. WB is offering to pay for downloads from other services such as Amazon and iTunes. The OP reads to me like a lame excuse to justify piracy.

Yes, some number of KS backers are having trouble. I know at least one who hasn't received her code. But it reads to me as if WB is trying to do the right thing, on top of this unprecedented same-day digital release.

Comment: Re:Coffee Joulies in a mug (Score 1) 145

by stevel (#45675891) Attached to: Engineering the Perfect Coffee Mug

Yep - as jcochran says,it's just a repackaging in a dedicated mug. The Joulies web site says:

"Their polished stainless steel shells are full of a very special phase change material (an ingredient in food) that melts at 140F. When you put them in your coffee this PCM begins melting, absorbing a LOT of heat in the process and cooling your coffee down much faster than normal.

"Where does all that heat go? It’s stored right inside your Coffee Joulies. When your coffee reaches 140F (the perfect drinking temperature) the molten PCM begins solidifying again, releasing all that energy back into your coffee to keep it at a comfortable and delicious drinking temperature. The more heat you feed your Joulies, the longer they’ll keep your coffee warm."

Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn't deliver it.

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