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Comment Re:The worst was in Europe with a non-chip card (Score 1) 415

Yes, stroppy teenage shop assistants tearing up perfectly valid slips and saying that my money was no good and no I could not feed my family waiting in the restaurant (etc) was annoying. But a few precise and strongly worded complaints up the management chains coupled with a few long long chats with VISA and MC scheme HQs in the UK seems to have got the "do what the terminal tells you to" message across. Finally, mainly.

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 415

My (old) bank would not promise to reimburse contactless payments even if I told them that I had not made them and would not make them. They refused to even confirm this is writing. They also refused to turn off contactless.

That bank no longer has me as a customer.

To me, especially for business transactions, I don't want any payment made that I have not explicitly authorised. My old bank would not listen to that simple requirement.

I have a formal complaint in, which I fully intend to escalate to the regulator when it is ignored. As an ex-banker I feel a little twinge of pleasure in pointing out their poor behaviour.

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 415

I refuse to have a card with contactless / tap / NFC / PayWave for this reason, especially for business accounts.

I have had to move banks to avoid contactless, and have shopped one of my old banks to the regulator for claiming that it was *impossible* to issue a card without it. Unlike by personal and business banks. Duh. If a bank can't tell the difference between "won't" (or "don't want to") and "can't" then they shouldn't be in charge of other people's money IMHO.

The card schemes and banks do care about security in general, but this seems to me, in combination with some other features, an abdication of their fiduciary duties.

I think that the 'chip' element is good, the PIN (and the complete refusal to accept any responsibility for fraud when a PIN is enabled) less so.

I speak as the ex-CTO of a small credit card company.

Rgds

Damon

Comment Re:Windows 10, Windows 10, Windows 10! (Score 1) 469

That doesn't seem like a particularly believable reason. ARM SoCs that might end up in tablets and phones all have at least moderately competent GPUs and the requirements of Aero Glass are pretty trivial even by modern mobile GPU standards (compositing, a token amount of pixel shader). More importantly, offloading rendering to the GPU is more power efficient (which is why Apple pushed as much as possible there starting when laptop sales began to outnumber desktops and continued when iDevices started to become popular).

Comment I unlocked it without upgrading (Score 1) 469

I used instructions online to install Windows 10 to a VHD file on one of my external disks so it would be activated and valid in the Microsoft database and then kept using Windows 7. So I have a working copy of Windows 7 and if I ever want to upgrade to Windows 10 in the future (at least on my current PC which was upgraded to a Skylake chip, new Motherboard and 8GB RAM 6 months ago) I have the digital activation thing that will get me Windows 10 for free.

So I can install Windows 10 any time I want with no cost but I dont have to install it until I want to.

Comment Re:dark patterns huh? (Score 1) 126

Is it any wonder that UX designers are getting a horrible reputation among some segments of the tech-savvy crowd?

The main reason for this is that people who self-describe as UX experts, as opposed to HCI experts, tend to be the ones that favour form over function and ignore the last 40 or so years of research into how to design useable interfaces. Most of them wouldn't know Fitts' Law if it dragged them to the corner of the screen and made them infinitely long.

Comment Re:Amazon fire is more locked down (Score 1) 107

Which is IMHO actually a great selling point of the Fire line, they are the best devices for young children going, especially as they now sport a microSD slot so you can load them up with video content.

I'd just go for Kodi to my NAS... which is what I actually do. Runs great on the Fire TV Stick so far. AFAICT the Fire TV stick is the cheapest reliable platform for Kodi which comes with a halfway decent remote, and I do mean it's only about halfway decent. Still, it has enough buttons to drive the interface.

Comment Re:Why encourage them? (Score 1) 180

why is anyone entitled to anything others produce?

Why are you entitled to go on breathing if you have something I want and you're standing in my way? What makes you think you have the right to life, liberty, or personal property?

because I do. you can personally try and take any of those from me, but you will pay with your life.

You are such a trite and tedious brand of moron. First, let's just say you're right, and I can't possibly take any of those from you even those I have a scoped rifle in a high power caliber. (This is explicitly not a threat; we are discussing capabilities. I have no intention of killing anyone for any reason. ObDisclaimerWhee!) I and a few of my buddies clearly could do so.

which is why you cowards group together and have government do all your dirty work for you and think it's ok, "because democracy".

That's not how it works at all. In practice, you really can not keep any of your stuff without the system of law, or some other system of law. You would be forced to group up (like a coward, apparently) with other people who have stuff in order to protect all your stuff, both because you have to sleep sometime and because you are not invulnerable even when awake, whatever your personal Rambo fantasies might look like. And that's why others are entitled to a share of what "you" earn; they're helping you keep it.

If you don't like the entitlement argument, you can consider this alternative one, which I also consider to be valid: If you don't share your wealth with them, they will share their poverty with you. People with nothing to lose have no motivation not to take your stuff. You can help them better themselves, you can give them stuff, or you can watch them take everything you have because they have no other recourse and they have every bit as much right to life as you do. What's right doesn't even enter into it. This is basic biology. It's how the world works. You can put your hands over your ears and shout right up until the world shows up at your doorstep and eats your fingers.

we are a nation of laws,

HA HA HA HA HA

and Apple is doing nothing illegal or immoral.

Apple may or may not be doing anything illegal, but what they are doing is certainly immoral. Even if you don't care about the moral aspect, it's also unsustainable.

no one is obligated to pay the maximum taxes possible. avoidance is not the same as evasion.

And legality has never equaled morality.

Comment Re:it's amazing what you can accomplish (Score 2) 47

That is because Burning Man treats the land like it is theirs and theirs alone.

It's a fucking desert. One does need to clean up, but they have cleanup crews for that. That's where most of the non-permit money apparently goes.

Now it's just a way for 20-30 somethings to burn through mad amounts of cash, all while feeling like they're somehow counter cultural.

When was it anything else? The ratio of cool shit on fire to people just getting wasted may have changed. But I know many longtime burners. They went for entertainment, not to make a statement. Some of them have deluded themselves since about it, but it's bullshit.

When the event is over the land looks and smells like human waste and takes an insane amount of resources to reclaim, clean, and restore it to some remote resemblance of what state it use to be in.

Which helps explain why payroll is the single largest expenditure at burning man.

Comment Re:Time IS on Apple's Side (Score 1) 107

Actors are on the way out because of course as computers increase in capability so virtual acting bots become possible and they live forever

I was with you until you took a left turn into sheer fantasy. The most compelling stories are about humans (or analogies), after all, so I have a hard time believing we'll be discarding the human element entirely from story-driven entertainment.

Actually, I think he's right. I don't think they'll go away completely; it's really cheap to make a movie which mostly consists of some people doing mundane things. You can shoot on location (getting easier and easier as gear gets smaller) so you don't have to build sets. Your only big cost is talent. On the other hand, I think we'll see action movies without real humans in them eventually.

I also think we'll see more and more video games, and they will have digital actors. More and more of the public plays games now, and every time I watch an action movie any more I think "this would be better as a video game." Er, granted it was any good to begin with, but most of them would make great FPSes.

Comment Re:it's amazing what you can accomplish (Score 1) 47

It seems to me like this is what deserts are for. We should be trying to reclaim as much of them as possible, but we ought to use them while we have them.

Which reminds me... Not that I've ever gone or will go, but it's tragic what burning man has to pay for permits now, especially when it takes place on land that supposedly belongs to all of us.

Comment Re:pivoting (Score 1) 160

No, I don't know. What difference does that make?

It's not your mom and pop computer store up the road, where if it folds a couple of people lose their jobs. It's Microsoft, and when they lay a bunch of people off they're changing course and it affects the whole industry. It can have negative downstream effects as businesses who have [foolishly] depended on them have to change their course, as well.

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