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Comment Re:I have a twitter account (Score 1) 105

It's useful as a glorified RSS feed and to get company's attention when you have an issue with them that needs addressing. For a lot of businesses (airlines, phone companies etc.), tweeting at them or DMing them your case ID seems to be the quickest way to get real action happening. Why that is I'm not sure, but the few times I've been caught in a circle trying to get some problem resolved with a company via phone or email, I've tweeted at them and very quickly I've got someone senior that knows what they are doing on the case and my problem fixed. Maybe its the threat of bad publicity or something...

Comment Re:Simple = Mass Communication (Score 3, Interesting) 105

Well for me and many others who don't really tweet anything ourselves, Twitter is effectively just a replacement for RSS. I follow a bunch of news and tech sites etc. and when they post an article, they tweet it, and I click to take a look. I rarely use it to see people's textual tweets/opinions ... it's basically just a feed of interesting URLs brought together into one list that I can browse and click if I want.

Why not just use RSS? No real reason ... this just seems to work well for me, particularly on mobile.

Comment Re:Turkey... (Score 2) 69

That not how I would characterise the difference between Australian TFNs and US SSNs (I have both).

In Australia, the TFN is a very sensitive piece of information and the only people who would ever ask for it are those you would expect to ask for a tax number: the tax department, your employer, and your bank/financial institutions. There are strict guidelines governing its use and it is explicitly defined as identifying information:

On the other hand, the US SSN is used for freaking everything. I had to prove my SSN to sign up for cable TV! I'd say the Australian TFN is far more 'secret' than the US SSN...

Comment Re:Heh, if only it worked (Score 4, Informative) 225

I would suggest getting a chip card from a local bank wherever you are. The technology works great in most places I've been (Canada, Europe and yes even the US), but then, my home bank is in Australia where chip + PIN has been established standard for well over 10 years. The US cards are kinda 'frankenstein' because they have the chip but generally no PIN (i.e. the US went with the weird hybrid approach of having a chip but still requiring signature).

Comment Re:WTF is EMV? (Score 5, Informative) 225

Well unfortunately the US took the half-assed approach of moving to chip, but still requiring signature. Everywhere else it's chip + PIN. By the time you've typed the 4-6 digits of your PIN, the chip reading part of it is generally done and the whole transaction is generally quicker than the whole 'cashier hands you annoying piece of paper and a pen and you sign' rigmarole.

Even better, most places outside the US these days have contactless payments available at most merchants. For smaller amounts ($100, $50, varies by country), tap your card on the reader and you're done. Takes literally 1 second.

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 225

Hm? I've been regularly using contactless (PayPass/PayWave) for close to decade here (Australia). I haven't had it fail, or been told 'sorry, you can't do that because the equipment has failed' once. It's super convenient and fast and virtually every retailer has it now (noting that contactless is limited to transactions $100 or less ... anything higher requires the usual chip + PIN arrangement).

PayPass and PayWave are the main two standards (Mastercard and Visa respectively). Since the vast majority of cards in the (Western) world are one of those two companies, I don't think it's accurate to say the standards are really 'in flux'.

Comment Re:11.6 MBps over 3G ??? (Score 1) 164

Nope - single phone tethered to his laptop apparently. He was using Telstra's 4GX network which can easily give in the range of 200-300 Mbps downstream if you're close-ish to a tower. So averaging 11.6 MB/s is perfectly doable.

Here's another article with some more info on this guy and some speedtests etc:

Comment Re:Maths? (Score 1) 164

Yep, that sounds about right. Telstra's 4GX network (which this guy used) regularly gives in the range of 200-300 Mbps downstream if you're close-ish to a tower. 10 MB/s average is quite doable on this network.

Australia's wired broadband isn't particularly great by global standards, but it does have some of the best/fastest wireless out there.

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