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Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 675

As I understand it, this is not the point of the chip and signature system. The point of the chip is to make it much much harder to clone the card. With the old non-chip system, all someone needs is your CC number. They can program that into the magnetic strip and start using it. Many places like fast food never even required signatures. Gas stations only required zip codes, and then only sometimes.

My biggest problem with chip and pin is that banks disclaim themselves of all liability for transactions that go through with a valid PIN, as they feel the chip is secure enough to prove that the card must have been real and if the pin was used, that's because you intended to do it. Nevermind that cards can still be cloned and pin numbers skimmed. This is also a problem if someone steels your card and knows your pin, you're on the hook for everything. Happened to a guy here in Canada when his ex girlfriend stole his card. Back when they were dating he shared his pin with her (big mistake... but what about marriages that end in divorce?).

I think that most people miss the point of this. I don't thnk the banks truly believe that chip and pin is more secure, what I think they do believe is that they can use it as an excuse to disclaim any and all liability. In other words it's all about making sure the account holder bears all the risk.

As to your second point (divorce); I've been married for 15 years and I have a joint account with my spouse but we do not know each other's PIN's. Never share your PIN with _anyone_.

Comment Re: Will apple change a 30% any toll usages will t (Score 1) 106

still better than my hp-drive, running ms-car. it went into hybernation at a railway crossing the other day and then got stuck in an endless update loop. pushed it to a hp-garage, but they told me it was microsoft's fault. had it towed to a ms-garage where they told me hp was to blame - but they installed the free upgrade they had already secretly put in my trunk on my last visit. now it's not as fast as it used to be but on the other hand the steering wheel is now back on same place it used to be before the last update.

apple car looks nice, but i've heard it mysteriously shrinks over time.

Posting to undo accidental mod.

Wasn't sure if it should be +1 funny or +1 insightful

Comment Re:Restaurants (Score 1) 940

I don't know about anyone else, but if I go to a real sit-down restaurant, I want an actual human server, not a robot or some other form of 'automation', and I sure as heck don't want a robot or some automation preparing my food, either. If that was my only other choice then I'd just as soon stay home and cook my own food.

Given the direction in which these "trade" deals are going I suspect it won't be too long before cooking at home becomes prohibitive.
Just imagine vastly expanded "Intellectual property" laws integrated with micropayments and the internet-of-things:

You'll have to pay royalties to everyone from Monsanto (base food stuffs), through Samsung (gotta pay each time you use the microwave) to whoever wrote the recipe (recipe's aren't currently copyrightable but lets wait and see).

Of course you could get some recipe advice via a cooking show that you watch on your IOT fridge.
You'll have to watch all the ads now of course as adblockers are a way of helping the terrorists.

Think I'm trolling? This scenario isn't a big stretch from where we're at now.

Comment Re:Restaurants (Score 1) 940

Wait staff works for tips, and I doubt a change in minimum wage will change this. If a restaurant turns $3K/night in income, an increase in back room labor costs from $60 to $170 shouldn't hit the cost of a $15 entree too hard, as you say: maybe $0.30.

However, in places that operate entirely on minimum wage workers, tripling the cost of labor is going to have a noticeable effect on the cost of served food - your $4 value meal might have to jump to $5.

Tips used to be a (literal) foreign concept here in Australia until very recently.
Why? Because wait staff were paid a reasonable wage and didn't need to rely on tips to get by.
Unfortunately it's changing due to the wholesale importing of all things American into our culture.

What I don't understand is it only with wait staff? Surely if it's such a great idea then everyone should be working for tips?

Comment Re:Ownership vs. Renting (Score 1) 729

If you didn't get in in the good old days of, hell, the 90s, buying is not really an option anymore. A house I was looking at sold for $360k. For a 450sq foot house. Just barely bigger than my apartment.

Rents and Housing are absolutely out of control all over LA, not just SFO. I have no idea how anyone affords it on anything less than tech wages unless they're shacking up with 3 people. What's the point of making good money if you're spending it all on rent?

Damn! $360K wouldn't buy you an outside toilet in Sydney.... I always thought that somewhere like San Francisco would be well into the millions... I know that the minimum wage is higher here but even by proportion property prices in California is insanely cheap by our standards.

Comment Re: John Oliver (Score 1) 954

You make some valid points but it's a shame you spoilt it with "ethnically-homogeneous...Confucian culture". You really should go and do some travelling or at the very least some reading.... your characterisation is profoundly ignorant.

While working on my undergrad I studied Mandarin for two years and picked up a Chinese Studies certificate. I'm an American who has been living in Japan for four years. I've also spent a year in Korea, and just returned from a month in Hanoi. Two weeks in Slovenia (a friend is a Slovenian Army officer) and two weeks in Siberia (way back when I had a Russian girlfriend) for some European exposure too.

So yes....Taiwan/Korea/Japan/Singapore largely conform to East Asian value/social systems, which stem from Confucianism. Go read some Mencius and get back to me. Filial piety runs deep out here.

The notion of filial piety, whilst expressed by confucius, is present in some form or another in _every_ non-western culture however it's the phrase "ethnically homogenous" that is troubling; japan alone has more than 300 differening ethnic groups, tawiwan has a significant aboriginal population and as for singapore whilst the chinese cohort no doubt have some confucian affectations I think it's more than a stretch to place that upon the indian, malay and aboriginal populations. Although you didn't list mainland china it's also worth pointing out the not-insignificant minority ethnic groups within its borders.

It seems that whilst you've obviously travelled extensively within asia given that you are a mandarin speaker I suspect that has lead you to viewing the region through an ethnic chinese prism.

Comment Re: John Oliver (Score 1) 954

None of the countries you list are viable examples of what we can implement for the United States. They are all small, highly-urbanized, ethnically-homogeneous, never had a large civilian proliferation of firearms to begin with, and are based on Confucian culture (with an emphasis on conformity and sacrifice for public order).

The United States is the size of a continent, possesses vast tracks of low-population-density wilderness (very difficult to efficiently patrol/police), ethnically-diverse (which, honestly, is the cause of some of internal divisions/conflicts/paranoia/crime), and with a culture of staunch individuality. We also possess ~300 million firearms, which is, IIRC, more than the rest of the entire PLANET combined.

Do you have any idea how many law enforcement personnel, how many total man-hours it would take, to have even the slightest chance of enforcing a firearms ban? Take a look at the German experience against partisans in the Eastern Theater of WW2. Too much territory to cover with too few people.

You make some valid points but it's a shame you spoilt it with "ethnically-homogeneous...Confucian culture". You really should go and do some travelling or at the very least some reading.... your characterisation is profoundly ignorant.

Submission + - Study finds that religion makes children more selfish ( 3

Enter the Shoggoth writes: A University of Chicago study that set out to determine if cultural background has an effect on empathy and a willingness to share has found that childen with an identified religious background are statistically more likely to be selfish. The journal article (Current Biology) can be found by following a link in the original source (Forbes) below.

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The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius