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Comment: The Cell Phone Diet (Score 1) 191

by techwreck (#35291038) Attached to: Cell Phone Use Tied To Changes In Brain Activity
You know some quack is going to pick up on the "increased metabolism" bit and within weeks we will be seeing infomercials and kiosks at the mall pitching the new "cell phone diet", clinically proven to boost your metabolism (and lighten your wallet). Why eat right and exercise when you can talk your way thin?

Comment: Re:Fabulous! (Score 1) 192

by techwreck (#35206742) Attached to: iPad 2 Rumored to be in Production
1. I own an iPad. 2. Most of the video content on YouTube is served up in Flash which the iPad does not support. While I was being somewhat sarcastic with the 90% figure, the actual number on the percentage of video content on the web delivered in Flash is quoted by many sources to be over 75%. This has been one of my biggest frustrations of owning the device and while some may see it as a trivial matter. What you call "stupid", I believe it is a legitimate concern.

Comment: An Open Door for Manipulation (Score 1) 345

by techwreck (#35206662) Attached to: Google Goes After Content Farms
I would think it would be much faster and considerably more cost effective for those who intend to manipulate search rankings to pay someone to block out sites than it would to create content. This just seems like it would be opening the door to making reverse SEO a more viable business. The high quality sites that currently rank well for competitive terms would become huge targets for "blocking" attacks. At that point, how would it be possible to distinguish legitimate votes from malicious ones?

Comment: Re:FINALLY... (Score 5, Interesting) 461

by techwreck (#35170828) Attached to: Court Says California Stores Can't Ask Customers For ZIP Codes

The credit card company is assuming the risk, not you. Since when did Master Card have the power to deputize you and turn you into a mini police detective? They set up a system, it's their responsibility to ensure that their business model works. For that they earn billions of dollars, and you don't.

While it would be nice if that was the case, it isn't. If someone walks out of my store with a $500 laptop computer paid for with a stolen credit card, I'm out the merchandise and the revenue when the actual card owner issues a chargeback. Think all I have to do is provide a signed charge slip to get my money back? Then you probably have never experienced the joys of attempting to do battle with a credit card company. Part of the reason that they earn billions of dollars and I don't is because they have entire departments dedicated to putting the burden of risk on the merchant and not the card issuer.

Comment: Re:No, no they do not.. (Score 2) 461

by techwreck (#35170778) Attached to: Court Says California Stores Can't Ask Customers For ZIP Codes

read an actual merchant agreement some time (the one between the business and visa)

merchants are FORBIDDEN to ask for ID as a condition of using a credit card...

if the signature is good, and the card is present, you may NOT ask for ID just because its a credit card.

if you require ID of all purchasers say, for a hotel, you can ask for ID.. but not just because it is a credit card.....

doing so violates CC agreements.

(merchants aren't even supposed to accept cards that say CID or SEE ID)

if it is UNSIGNED, we are to request ID, then get the card holder to sign the card before accepting.

(I have a merchant agreement, I've read it, and I've read the merchant operations PDF's at the major sites)

Keep in mind that I said they have the right to "verify identity" not ask for I.D. My point is simply that most merchants will ask customers for I.D. regardless of what the merchant agreement says. Once the privacy balance is shifted in favor of crooks and those who make a living from fraudulent activity, it won't take long for businesses to stop accepting credit cards. It would make much more sense to me to focus on creating legislation aimed at those who improperly use or fail to secure personal data.

Comment: Re:Does that really solve the problem? (Score 5, Insightful) 461

by techwreck (#35170686) Attached to: Court Says California Stores Can't Ask Customers For ZIP Codes
As a business owner, I can tell you with 100% certainty that the day I am unable to validate the identity of a card holder and protect myself against fraud will be the day I stop accepting credit cards. While some of you think that fraud only falls on the shoulders of the credit card company, it is often the merchant that ends up on the losing end. Instead of restricting the ability of a merchant to request personal information, the legislation should be designed to penalize those who improperly use that information such as the company cited in the case above.

Comment: Re:FINALLY... (Score 1) 461

by techwreck (#35170616) Attached to: Court Says California Stores Can't Ask Customers For ZIP Codes

Why does it take so long for someone to finally challenge crap like this? Every time someone asks me for this kind of information at the register it just makes me mad... with so many other ways to validate my identity there is zero excuse for exposing this kind of data to retailers.

Here's to hoping this cascades to other states... who am I kidding, somewhere a lobbyist is talking with a CA state senator about when and how quickly they can amend the law.


So how would you suggest that a merchant validate your identity without revealing any personal information? As a business owner, I have no interest at all in seeing this type of information but I still must have a way to protect my business against fraud.

Comment: Does that really solve the problem? (Score 2) 461

by techwreck (#35170542) Attached to: Court Says California Stores Can't Ask Customers For ZIP Codes
While that makes sense in theory, merchants do have the right to verify the identity of a customer attempting to use a credit card. Won't they just request to see a driver's license instead? Then they would have access to much more personal information than just a zip code. I don't really see how this law ends up protecting anyone.

Comment: Fabulous! (Score -1, Troll) 192

by techwreck (#35152174) Attached to: iPad 2 Rumored to be in Production
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!!!! Now I can pay ANOTHER $800 to buy ANOTHER device that STILL won't let me watch 90% of the videos on YouTube or allow me to click and scroll through any text or data in a form. Should I leave work to go get in line now or do you think I might still be safe if I wait an hour or two? Don't forget about the highly touted "Unlimited Data Plan" you can subscribe to for $30 a month! Oh wait I forgot, that was just a bait and switch scam. Sorry Steve! #NotGonnaFoolMe

Comment: Negative attention (Score 1) 316

by techwreck (#35147654) Attached to: Feds Settle Case of Woman Fired Over Facebook Posts
It blows my mind that so many employers take such a heavy handed approach to attempting to control what people have to say about the company. What they fail to understand is that shutting down one medium just drives it to another or puts it behind closed doors. Instead they should focus on understanding what critics have to say and figuring out ways to improve. One of the most valuable tools any business owner can use to grow a business is unbiased feedback. If they put half the time and effort they do in attempting to silence opinions into creating an environment that breeds more positive buzz than criticism, they would have much less to worry about.

Comment: Where have they been? (Score 4, Insightful) 213

by techwreck (#35145534) Attached to: MPAA Sues Hotfile for 'Staggering' Copyright Infringement
Did they somehow miss what has happened to every other site that has attempted to use that same business model over the the past several years? Am I missing something or is this kind of like jumping off a boat to go for a swim after a shark has just devoured every other member of your party that got in before you?

"No job too big; no fee too big!" -- Dr. Peter Venkman, "Ghost-busters"