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Comment Re:Awful? (Score 1) 106

Fees on the back end, what company transports the charge, and what authorization is used to authenticate it are all different.

With Credit, the money is not debited immediately. It is authorized immediately and held in pending until it is batched. It is only then that it is taken from the account.

When you use your PIN, it comes out immediately. The processing fees are lower on the back end, but the cost of entry is higher for the merchant and the level of risk to a consumer is greater (reference PIN sniffing routers that have been found).

It is only with the advent of cards that can be processed as both credit and debit (Visa's revenue is made up of mostly Debit processing fees from bank cards now, not credit) that this confusion has arisen.

Comment Re:Deeply Skeptical of Iranian Cries for Help (Score 1) 838

It could be they wanted to prevent a distraction like the Kuwaiti Oil Fires, an environmental disaster after the First Gulf War. The oil wells would be key in funding the emerging government, and they were the easiest part of the country to protect in the aftermath.

The insurgency only emerged and become a threat a few weeks after the invasion, on the vulnerable spots the military set up near the cities.

Comment Re:The USA: Developing Country (Score 2, Interesting) 1385

300 mile radius rough outline with reasonable margins for schedule changes and delays with highly integrated transit system: train = arrive at station, security (+40min), ride 300 mph (+60), hop on subway/bus (+10). Total of 1 hr 50 min plane = arrive at airport, security, board (+90min), ride 300mph(+45), taxi and deplane (+30) hop on subway/bus (+10). Total of 2hr 55min

Comment Re:planes rule, trains drool. (Score 1) 1385

When you have a highly integrated public transit system like Japan, you can lower the cost of high speed rail to make traveling cheaper and/or less of a burden. It is a combination of economy of scale and integrated public transit: provide a way to for a lot of get there fast and provide a means of getting around once you get there.

If lugging your car into the city is your only choice (western cities like LA with decentralized urban centers), then you will drive 4 hours to get there. If you have an efficient and safe subway/bus system like NY, Boston, etc, then you can either fly or ride the train. High speed rail will match planes for speed of transit (after security and boarding are taken into account) and provide direct access to the transit system once you land.

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