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Comment Re:Tiny? (Score 2) 165

1500 pieces, mostly bricks but enough windows, wheels etc. And lots more colours than there used to be.

That's the largest, but there are a few sizes of the same thing, and in a Lego shop you can buy individual bricks by volume. I don't see what more they could do — there'd be no point having 50 no-particular-theme sets.

Comment Re:Yes, it's time. (Score 1) 702

There's nothing wrong with different colours. Most European currencies have different colours, and they don't tarnish like the Sacajawea dollar does.

Odd-number polygons are better, so the coins can have constant diameter. That's easier for a vending machine to detect.

Changing the metal can be useful for more valuable coins. The £1 coin is quite thick, and makes a satisfying "clunk" if you tap it on wood, which the "copper" [plated steel] 1p and 2p don't.


Comment Re:Nothing to do with American Tech Industry (Score 1) 460

"That said, the city is considering bringing in new rules to prevent Uber from fairly competing with other types of taxi drivers."

Name these mysterious laws specifically targeting Uber, because you are talking rubbish.

There's a proposal that a booked car may not arrive within 5 minutes of the booking, to keep the black cab's 'instant' appeal.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with American Tech Industry (Score 1) 460

Ticketing is, indeed, the hardest part.

In some countries it's simple. The bus looks like it's 25 years old, and the driver (or conductor) takes cash. This worked for me in Vietnam, Georgia, Albania and Ecuador. (Only Vietnam had understandable maps and signage, and then only for the trains.)

In London, you can pay with any contactless debit or credit card (or phone). It's not especially clear what the cost will be, unless you look it up on a website or in the guide book. There's a disadvantage as some foreign banks charge per foreign transaction, but it certainly makes things simpler.

Comment Re:Not the best examples (Score 1) 428

You could argue that commercial plane passengers deserve some kind of check (there have been hijackings etc), but for a train? They already know who the driver is, why does it matter who the passengers are?

I'm amazed that travelling by Amtrak requires id. That's like China, the only other place I've been where I had to show id to buy a non-local train ticket — and I've been to a few former-Soviet or communist states.

Comment Re: What about the fees for a EFT? lot's of small (Score 1) 440

Electronic transfers are "instant" in the UK (which guarantees within 2 hours, and is usually within 5 minutes if between banks, or instant at the same bank). This was introduced about 6 years ago.

Wikipedia says the system was introduced to increase competition, so it sounds like something every country should have.

Comment (Score 1) 440

The only reason the rest of the world thinks 1-3% is normal is because VISA/MasterCard/AmericanExpress/DinersClub have tons of extras in forms of "free" credit, kickbacks, insurance and so on.

I think by "rest of the world" you mean "at least the USA", because much of Europe has cheap debit card transactions — the EU has limited it to 0.2%, for example.

Comment (Score 1) 440

I think you've added a 0:

"We can see that cash payments are less expensive from society’s point of view for payments below SEK 20" so that's $2.50. In Sweden, that's really only going to buy a large candy bar.

I never said that it was, but the Institution here is already paid for, and all that remains are recurring costs, such as printing Notes, minting Coins, and Five-Finger Discounts.

As the Riksbank points out, these costs scale in proportion with the use of cash. But card transaction costs decrease as their number increases.

So I will look with Interest what happens in Sweden; maybe the fact that they have just one National Bank will make it work.

Riksbank ~= federal reserve.

A final comment: the two Gas Stations that I regularly go to offer me a 5% discount for Cash. They aren't doing this because they like me.bork.bork.bork

They are probably doing it because it makes it easier to fiddle the books, and pay less tax...

Comment Re: (Score 1) 440

Cheque-books, that's something people over 70 uses in Sweden, rarely used by anyone else these days. If you are young and shows up with a cheque you could as well come from Mars - and many shops may even refuse to cash it today to avoid fraud risk.

Britain is slightly behind, but no shops will accept a cheque since a few years ago (when it was already rare).

Old people still use them for paying workmen or donating to charity.

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