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Comment well duh (Score 1) 122

Well duh, of course you're an easy target
Apple is one of the most profitable companies on the planet (if not THE most profitable)
They earn millions or even billions of Euro revenue each year and pay less tax than a jar of Marmite. So yeah, it was pretty obvious Apple was doing a massive (moral, if not also legal) tax dodge.

Comment But what's the point (Score 2) 37

I'm quite conflicted by this:
On the one hand, if it works as advertised, this is incredibly cool and insanely clever.
Yet, on the other hand, I ask myself, what on earth is the point?
In reality, how often would you ever have a phone (or video) call with someone who doesn't speak your language, nor your speak theirs? I mean, maybe if you have that burning need to talk to your young Russian/Thai/Vietnamese etc.bride you bought on the Internet who doesn't speak a word of . Just to ensure she's still patiently waiting to get her green card in the mail, then sure, I can see that being a thing. But I can't think of another reason.

Comment Really? (Score 0) 191

To be a real alternative to Windows 10 I would say any OS needs:

Seemless integration with Active Directory
Ability to be remotely managed easily:
Software push/update
Some kind of user restriction for permissions
(possibly) something equivalent to AD's roaming profiles
Easy management of remote drives and folders (both from a sys-admin and user perspective)
Seemless integration with groupware email/calendar services (e.g. Microsoft Exchange)

In all honesty, I haven't checked if Zorin has all these, if it does. Amazing. However, in my experience Linux (sadly) doesn't yet provide the same ease of use/manageability in a networked office environment that windows does.

Comment Re:This disaster is entirely of your own making (Score 1) 675

Not necessary Euro; It's a global standard that has (almost) literally been adopted by every country in the world.

Futhermore it's a standard that was created by the (then) 3 major players in the card payment process
The last 2 being American by the way.

So the fact that America hasn't adopted a global standard that was essentially created by Americans is, I think you'll agree, somewhat ironic?

Comment Re:This disaster is entirely of your own making (Score 1) 675

The time it takes to get authorisation from the bank is actually the same amount of time for chip+pin as mag stripe. The authorisation message is pretty much exactly the same. With Chip and Pin the PIN verification is done by the terminal. In Europe, if you enter your pin 3 times it writes a block to the chip and you can't then use your card again without going to an ATM (and using the correct pin) [this then DOES send a pin verification message to the card issue who sends back a PIN UNBLOCK message to the card) The bank doesn't (in a POS redemption transaction) authenticate the card PIN. (It does with a withdrawal at an ATM or for transactions done over web authentication (typically)) but even in a web authentication message the authorisation should take the same amount of time.

It "may" take a little longer to insert your card and enter a pin than swiping and signing (although I personally think that's somewhat debatable). The reading of the chip by the POS takes fractionally longer but there is also potentially a huge amount more information that a chip can store.

This all becomes a non-issue of course when you start to use contactless payments, which (as far as I'm aware can only occur with chip/pin or virtual card PANs from NFC phone payments e.g. Apple/Android pay). The authorisation still takes the same amount of time but the contactless part of that is almost instant.

The EMV chip and Pin standard has been adopted globally to significantly reduce fraud, which it has. I've really no idea why the USA went for chip and signature as the signature part had been shown to be insecure for years. Like the parent poster said, if the USA does a half-arsed adoption of a global standard that has been proven to work pretty well (it's not perfect, but was a huge step up from mag-stripe) then it really only has itself to blame if it doesn't work out.

Comment ..and the penny drops (Score 4, Interesting) 161

When I did my Degree in HCI 20 years ago, this was the touted as the way to get the best results when building usable, user-centric systems. Sadly in the two decades since, I don't think I've ever come across a system - hardware, software, app, or anything else for that matter, that actually develops this way. Which is a shame because if they had, my elderly mother could have probably been able to use a PC by now, intead of "What you mean I have to move that little arrow thing All the way over there and press what?"

Comment Ballooning as space launch vehicle (Score 2) 104

I've always wondered why, if we can send balloons to the upper reaches of our atmosphere why we don't use ballooning as a 1st stage launch platform for reaching space? Granted, you'll need big balloons to life satellites or people, but surely getting stuff even 1/3rd or half way there by gentle gas lift balloon would be cheaper, easier, safer and more environmentally friendly way of launching into space. For launching people it's got to be a far less physically stressful way than strapping them to a giant firework as it pulls x number of Gees to reach high altitude and hoping it doesn't explode on the way.And far less risky for satellite launches, it a rocket fails it's a fireball, it a balloon sprouts a leak it's a slow and gentle drop with a parachute) Obviously you'll still need some form of propulsion to reach space, but until we get a space elevator it's surely a going to require far less fuel than the massive amount currently needed to get off the ground in the first place?

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