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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
Eurocard
Mastercard
Visa
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?
Media

Submission + - Over-50s invade the social networking scene (telegraph.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The Telegraph newspaper reports that over-50s are invading sites like Facebook and MySpace in massive numbers. A recent study showed that nearly one third of Facebook users are aged between 35 and 54, and that this group also made up 41 per cent of MySpace users. Looks like dad just turned up to the party.

From the article: "Because the mind of an over-50 is likely superior to that of a drink-addled undergrad, at first there was uncertainty about whether older users would find the Facebook-led social-networking phenomena attractive. You might, for example, question the broader demographic appeal of Facebook applications like "Marry Me, Sex Me, Kill Me" in which your friends decide whether you're "sexy, marriage material, or dead"...Given that technology icons like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Tim Berners Lee are all well over 50, the market for sites with old-appeal can only grow.".

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