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Comment Get a credit card which notifies on each charge (Score 4, Insightful) 385

The 16-digit system is ridiculous. If you're going to use your card online, or in restaurants, etc. your card number is quasi-public.

Two of my cards have an option which sends email and/or SMS and/or app-notifications upon every transaction, accepted or denied.

I caught a bogus attempted charge last month - this saved a lot of exposure & aggravation. It also informed me last week when my personal activity caused my card to be suspended ( several international charges, different countries in the same hour). CapitalOne, Discover, & Chase offer this, and I assume some other competitors do so as well.

Comment Re:In Seattle... (Score 1) 180

I live in Queen Anne, to get anything broadband-ish I have a choice of Comcast or Comcast. I won't go into detail here, but their business practices are... questionable. Century Link DSL need not apply, I have too many friends that have been screwed by them and their 'fiber' service.

In most places in Crony Capitalismland, a given location has a choice of identically one broadband provider. Thus you pay far more for far less than one does in regulated Europe, where the local last-mile proprietors *must* offer access to customers at a decent rate, so you get (trumpets blaring) competition. That is a scary word in the US, at least to corporate oligarchs and the politicians they buy so cheaply.

Comment Re:I would only buy a Keurig for Cats (Score 1) 270

The Kat-Keurig would need some intelligence.

There already are cat-autofeeders, which dispense a certain amount of kibble/gravel on a schedule.

My cat learned how to lie on its back, reach into the dispensing channel, and coax more food out of it. A lot more.

He's one of those spherical cats that almost won't stop eating.....

Comment Re:Mobile Data cant exceed capacity (Score 4, Interesting) 103

Totally correct; In Germany it's 3GB on a no-contract no-commitment prepaid SIM for €20/mo. (if you go over, you still get service, but 56k-ish speeds)
This is on the Deutsche Telekom network, probably the best in that market.

MORE importantly, in lower-use cases, you can get 200MB/500MB/1GB for €8/10/13 per month. Most users in the US really use little data, and have to pay out the ass for mandatory 'data plans'. This is where the real theft is in this FreedomLand scam.

Media

Submission + - Gizmo5 to Cease Operations 1

theNAM666 writes: I just received an email from Gizmo5, which begins:

"Gizmo5 is writing to let you know that we will no longer be providing service starting on April 3, 2011. A week from today, March 11, 2011, you will no longer be able to add credit to your account.

Although the standalone Gizmo5 client will no longer be available, we have since launched the ability to call phones from within Gmail at even more affordable rates."

For those who don't know, Gizmo5 is an intergrated SIP/online phone service, spanning Skype, GTalk, and other services, which allows users to call out or in from a variety of devices-- that is, a service which allowed me to call in or receive calls with a single or multiple phone numbers on a PC, a SIP-enabled phone, and other devices.

In particular, Gizmo5 allowed me to route incoming GTalk and other SIP numbers worldwide, back to my handheld (via SIP) or PC, in a single solution.

GIzmo5's purchase by Google, which closed it to new sign-ups, and ultimate mothballing is highly disappointing — as Google does not seem to have a commitment to maintaining the same service, and has provided next-to-no information until now.

What obligations to companies have to maintain services that customers have grown used to, besides a "thirty day notice?" And do readers have suggestions, for Gizmo5 alternatives?

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