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Submission + - Protecting anonymity of Paypal payments

jbrohan writes: We have a system which does a small (embarrassing) medical test. It is deeply anonymous, runs on a phone with no registration at all. Payment is for an email containing a jpeg of the results. We really do not want to know the email of the people who use our test, so we need a way for Paypal to make a payment without us having a database of emails and amounts owed. We stop giving the service if you don't pay.

The email is generated in our php website and contains a url to Paypal with the amount owed. When you pay, Paypal generates a payment record containing your email and the amount.

If we keep the "amounts owed" database with a hashed email address as key, then when we process the payments we can hash the payment's email and find the hashed email in the amounts owed database. Your email comes through the system both to send you the results email and bill but it is kept only as an unrecoverable hash.

This works OK except for the case where your Paypal account is for a different email from the one you use for our medical test. Any ideas?

Comment Why not punish the CEO of the hacked organization (Score 1) 216

There is a long tradition in UK of using horrific sentences to dissuade crime. Surely it is better to improve security by throwing a few CEOs or other well-paid company officers in Jail if they let their systems get hacked. "We should spend the money on MY BONUS not on the BORING computers"

Comment Do something that's interesting. (Score 1) 306

I'm very old, IBM 360 anyone! It's much better if the subject matter is interesting. I've worked on all sorts of problems from accounting (ugh) to robotics (Yea) in many countries in the world. Currently I'm working on a way to use computers to help seniors and their carers live better lives. The carers are busy and there are more seniors than ever before. It's called and runs on an Android tablet or a dongle. I have a specific need (apart from meeting a super salesman) to port some functionality to send pictures to grandma from an iPhone, from facebook, twitter and so on. We can do it from Android, of course. Work on your own and sell the apps. I provide the API. There is an infinity of projects in this vein. (Apparently this old programmer can't figure out new lines in slashdot!)

Comment Common problem for the Elderly.. please test this! (Score 1) 81 includes a "Hard-of-Hearing" function. It is text or speech-to-text at your end which comes through as text to "Grandma" She picks up the phone and speaks. Then you reply. Runs on an Android Tablet for Grandma and a web-Page for you! I'd love you to test this.

Comment How about one that works without him touching it? (Score 1) 370 is an app designed for getting older people started on using tablets. You can send him pictures of your life and they just come in a gallery. Videos and text messages too, Skype with no touch? When he has gotten some notion of what the wonderful world of teh web is all about, then he can use the other apps too of course. If you keep looking at Android tv dongles and can't think of what to do with one...try this app!

Comment I am actually 70 (Score 1) 625

I am the luckiest man still alive. I have a family whose members do interesting things. There are young ones growing up some well, others not doing so good. However long I live I expect and hope it will stay like this. I am not a burden yet (except occasionally) and at whatever point I die there will still be developments I would like to see how they turn out. Others will need my house, my space to live. On the other hand if I go to a shopping center and see the seniors walking slowly around not having nearly as much fun as the frazzled mother with two toddlers. I heard of a senior the other day who was an expert at Solitaire. I do not want to be like that.

Comment Try (Score 0) 165

This is pretty exactly our target demographic. We have a goal of zero user interface for the senior. At the moment the system plays a gallery of pictures of family events and runs youtubes, as well as a "phone your hard-of-hearing grannie" . We are aiming to be able to set up channels and have the son choose for his father / grandfather what he would like to watch. A new TED lecture at 3:00pm eery day for example. Not for everyone, but for people whose elders do not want to learn a new complicated computer system it's just the thing. The goal is to offer significant functionality without ANY user interface. Runs on Android Dongles ($50) attached to an LCD screen or modern tv. Of course if the elder is willing to learn to use a mouse it's more fun to control your own entertainement, but at the extreme end it's aimed at keeping him in hi own home longer. check out contribute your ideas!

Comment Nevil Shute worried about this problem in 1940's (Score 2, Interesting) 213

Nevil Shute worked on the problem of making sure that aircraft were properly repaired. When the engine cowling is closed who knows if the work was done properly? His solution is a new religion of aircraft mechanics. Ordinary people pray 5 times a day, but we are special people responsible for keeping aircraft safe, we need to pray 50 times a day, each time we start a task, and each time we finish a task. The book he wrote "Round the Bend" by Nevil Shute is widely available in the bookshelves of elderly engineers. The problem is still alive and dangerous today and we approach this with code walk-throughs and such like.

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