* Posts by Charles 9

7466 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Want a better password? Pretend you eat kale. We won't tell anyone

Charles 9
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And what if you have a BAD memory? That's the biggest problem with passwords: we need to remember too many of them that you end up asking yourself, "Now was that 'correcthorsebatterystaple' or 'paperclipreactordonkeywrong'?"

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Google-backed solar electricity facility sets itself on fire

Charles 9
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Re: Gas-powered solar...

Most large-scale solar-thermal plants use a salt core which retains heat even when the heat source isn't there (meaning it can still generate electricity at night, when you need the lights).

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Charles 9
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I don't know about the hundreds of men with polished shields. I was thinking a single mechanism mounted atop a tower.

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Charles 9
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Re: Thank You

"Yes it is an expensive endeavor but we learn from our failures as well."

Not always. The thing about failure is that, sometimes, you don't survive them.

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Charles 9
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But we're talking triremes. Those are still some pretty big things, and the amount of sun you'd need to concentrate on them to get them seriously alight (especially if they're MOVING in three dimensions--think waves) would take a serious level of coordination: a level they might not have available. Plus one has to calculate the current angle of the sun in the sky and figure out how to reflect everything just so. Plus the angle could be wrong to allow for a good reflection (say the sun's coming from the north and the fleet's to the south, in which case you want to refract, not reflect). Or it could be raining: a double-whammy for such a plan. And what about the state of mirror art in Archimedes' day? Can you get enough reflectivity? Finally, something that big would essentially become a big fat target for invading forces: they would likely find a way to neutralize it first before engaging in force. The Greeks had plenty of other tech at their disposal which would be both more familiar and more reliable.

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Charles 9
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No, Archimedes as the myth goes (the MythBusters tried this out...TWICE). Supposedly, he designed a solar anti-ship weapon using an array of mirror similar to what is used today in solar thermal plants. Thing is, it's rather cumbersome to fit on a mobile frame, which you would need to make it an anti-ship sun-tracking weapon.

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Charles 9
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Re: Supply commitments?

"When an article says "power for 'x' homes", it means it makes 'x' times 3kW or so. (in this case, 2.8kW) This power will not power the heating system, so the house's heating needs to be 'powered' some other way."

For a place like LA County, it's the cooling, and for LA County that's saying something since they have pretty intense cooling needs: torrid climate, frequent heat waves, on the coast so it's moist heat that can't be sweated off easily, AND it's in a thermal inversion zone that traps the heat at ground level, keeping it from rising out of the way and allowing sea breezes from the Pacific to cool things down.

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Charles 9
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Supply commitments?

Sure, 100,000 homes sounds dandy...until you realize that according to the 2010 Census, Los Angeles County has 12 million homes...by itself. And California is the largest state in the union population-wise AND has another major metropolis further north in San Francisco, where conditions for renewable power generation are less ideal (at least Los Angeles is close to a desert).

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SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

Charles 9
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Re: Vit A rice - meh

"And in that sort of scenario then vit supplements acn be added to rice, flour, etc. taht is provided by aid agencies."

Unless supplements can't work as well as the stuff in the rice. The whole "synergy" business.

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Charles 9
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Re: Sterile Seeds

No, there's one way to prove your claim. Show one sponsored for the purposes of banning GMO crops and showing just the opposite. Sorta like an Altria-sponsored study that proves cigarettes kill. The only endorsement stronger than an independent one is one from your enemy.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why all the negativity to GM foods?

Both. Imagine being able to plant in more arid areas so you don't have to clear-cut forests for farmland.

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Charles 9
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I'm inclined to withhold judgment about this until some of the more salient claims are thoroughly sorted out, as the article only seems to cover things in broad. How about we look over those points in particular. For example, I think one concern was cross-pollination, either among non-modified crops or among weeds. Another concern I recall was long-term effects the food may have on the bodies of the eaters (a concern shared with long-term radiation exposure). Can someone name a few others and/or cover those issues?

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Now even EUROPE is slapping down ICANN in internet power struggle

Charles 9
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Re: bemused outsider question

It's the ICANN bods themselves. They don't want to cede power, and since many of them have connections, they know how to game the system. They also have most of the Internet (such as the critical DNS root zone) by the wossnames. They can make any forced transition away form ICANN a very inconvenient affair.

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AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

Charles 9
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Re: Cloudflare

They'll just find a way to make the ads inextricably part and parcel with the content. Break the ad, break the site. And once that's everywhere, you end up with a Hobson's choice. Either take the content and the ad or abandon the Internet.

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Modular phone Ara to finally launch

Charles 9
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Re: Reminds me of my old Handspring Visor Deluxe.

True, but one I quickly latched onto was a Compact Flash drive. Expanded its potential enormously and provided for a handy backup when I was away from the sync cradle.

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Charles 9
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Well, due to the ARM architecture and the fact the bootstrap needs to know what's there, I suspect modular memory and baseline hardware like the screen are a bridge too far since each new module would change the bootstrap, and ARM hardware isn't (at this time) well-geared for dynamic internal hardware.

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The Windows 10 future: Imagine a boot stamping on an upgrade treadmill forever

Charles 9
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Re: Does anybody remember?

Custom AND EXPENSIVE proprietary hardware involved. WINE-incompatible and NOT VM-friendly. Yet you're being pressured to upgrade for compliance reasons, but the only way to do so is to replace the custom hardware that goes into six or seven figures...

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Charles 9
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Re: Most people

But there are so many users out there that "One leaves, get another." Plus the one you lose may come crawling back once they find the alternatives (if any) are no better.

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Charles 9
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Re: Dependency Hell

Well, that's life. Order and stability vs. chaos and evolution. Choose one. They're mutually exclusive with no middle ground. The former means you can get pwned, the latter means you can end up breaking yourself. Either way, you risk destruction, meaning the risk is unavoidable.

IOW, Pick your Poison.

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Charles 9
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Re: Basically, Microsoft is shifting its responsibility to you

"This is a big change in the supplier/customer contract - and it's no surprise where it comes from. It is the offspring of a mentality where those up the ladder can throw s**t at those below without consequences."

And they can, because you don't matter that much anymore. You disappear, someone else will take your place. And if all else fails, they can saw off the ladder or close off the walled garden and finish the war amongst themselves.

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Hacked in a public space? Thanks, HTTPS

Charles 9
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Because it was likely made by a hostile power that has the protection of sovereignty.

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Boffins achieve 'breakthrough' in random number generation

Charles 9
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Problem is if the sources secretly correlate, you could be making your situation worse, not better.

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Charles 9
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You forget the Million Monkeys principle. ANY random bitstream can be altered (say an XOR) with just the right bitstream to return intelligible information. That's one reason why the One-Time Pad is considered the only cryptographically strong system: because it relies on the principle that the end result depends completely on the key: another key can result in another cleartext of equal probability.

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Charles 9
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Re: so basically...

Then you don't go by sum but by permutation. That way each possibility is both unique and equally likely. The odds of a 34 are the same as a 52 as a 43 or a 11 or a 66.

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Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

Charles 9
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I was actually dabbling in 6510 assembler using the C-128's ML Monitor. It was perhaps my first real trip into machine language and assembler and I actually did some pretty decent things with it. It was something I didn't think I would use again when I then went to Intel 80486 assembler in the mid 90's and actually got the hang of it pretty quickly after skimming an x86 assembler guide.

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Charles 9
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I don't think Pong needed a CPU to run. As for Pac-Man, I think it's just a touch out of reach unless someone perhaps made a tigher-coded version that ran on a B&W monitor. A better target I think would be Space Invaders.

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Motion Picture Ass. of America to guard online henhouse

Charles 9
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Re: MPAA and RIAA can kiss my analog hole!

Once a consumer buys a pair of the jeans, that's considered exhausted since it's normally kept and used. But since Tesco is a retailer, a "middle man" (which is significant since things like VAT come into play when you're a "middle man"), they're under trade restrictions. In this case, they can't "second source" brand-name products to resell without the say-so of Levi Strauss. That's part of the protection of trademark under EU law and the law has to be changed to alter those protections.

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Charles 9
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Re: MPAA and RIAA can kiss my analog hole!

That was a matter of TRADEMARK protections, which in the EU are more stringent and not subject to exhaustion. Copyrighted materials don't have that protection.

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US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

Charles 9
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Joke

Re: fer feck's sake - FFS. Trump? You will get all you deserve.

Well, whatever happened to "None of the Above"?

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Charles 9
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Re: Make Them Fair

"Oh, the irony - India and Japan studied and implemented current research into public education that US researchers developed but never successfully applied in American schools."

Because most Americans DON'T WANT to implement tough national standards. Indeed, many school districts feel each should do their own thing, not realizing this inevitably causes uneven education. Come on! You can't have it both ways! Either you're going to have uneven education or your kid could be left behind (and note, extreme social pressure is one reason Japan has such a high suicide rate; South Korea's even worse).

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Charles 9
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Re: Quality over quantity

Most unselective migration is the result of desperation. Take a look at what's happening not just in the US but in Australia and throughout Europe. Millions of people are basically fleeing a death sentence for just a chance elsewhere. With the Grim Reaper at their heels, they have the most powerful motivations to persevere. Put a wall up and they'll just find a way to get past it. In the US, they use tunnels or hit the boonies. In Europe, they cut fences. In Australia, they make mad dashes in overloaded boats. AND the UN's getting on everyone's cases to stop being so cruel to the disadvantaged.

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Charles 9
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Re: We are already there

Yeah, but that's a pretty loose thing there. Would you rather the soviets took over there in the 80's? The thing about the Cold War is that there's no real "good guy" here.

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Charles 9
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Re: We are already there

Didn't the Taliban of Afghanistan commit acts of atrocity BEFORE we came storming in, though?

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Charles 9
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Re: Good for competition?

Not quite because many jobs require physical presence. How do you offshore a construction job, for example? And offshoring a manufacturing job entails additional costs for transportation and perhaps tariffs and other customs fees.

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Charles 9
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Re: Good for competition?

And if there's NO ONE there who can do the job, and it's not the kind of job you can do on-the-spot training for?

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FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

Charles 9
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Re: Boo hoo

Not only that, like I said, a cop in such a situation has to deal with incomplete information. Meaning a perfect judgment is nigh impossible. Meanwhile, the first impression of a "safe" situation and an "imminent danger" situation may come out identical, and the cop has to think not just of himself but anyone else in the vicinity (including other officers that might appear). Plus you have to realize these police are not crack shots (that that show the talent end up tapped as specialists: sharpshooters and snipers), so they're given the most basic training with their guns, and rule number one is you shoot until the threat is down, and that means go for the body. Targeting limbs or the head raises the risk of a miss (or worse, a mishit) which can be fatal since, like I said, a determined crook can close distance in just a second or two. There are actual training courses about how an unarmed individual can equalize a fight with a gunman.

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Charles 9
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Re: MORE GUNS!

"If you can't handle it then you shouldn't get the badge."

But you said yourself some people have no alternatives. For many, this is the ONLY way to stay on the right side of the law. Otherwise, as you've said, they'll have no choice but to go to the OTHER side.

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Charles 9
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Re: Boo hoo

"Is it appropriate to draw a gun, if they have a taser or baton at their disposal?"

The problem with your idea is that a policeman has to work with incomplete information. Sure the suspect may have a less-lethal weapon, but if the suspect is skilled with it (or is simply a highly-skilled brawler who can operate unarmed), you find that a gun is not always effective even then as skilled assailants know how to dart and weave to throw off an aim, all the while closing distance quite quickly and taking the fight hand to hand where the gun is less effective. And if the suspect is better than the cop at close quarters, the gun can be turned against the cop, as has happened so many times, usually with fatal consequences not just for the original owner but anyone else who comes along since the suspect can always ambush. Plus there is a pervasive gang presence in America, probably worse than anywhere else in the Western world. We're talking a world where some people's reactions to a cop is to shoot first and forget about the questions. If you were a cop in such a "Sword of Damocles" environment, wouldn't you be at least a little overprotective since you don't want your fellow cops to be the one to tell your widow in the morning.

PS. In some parts of Latin America, there are less gangs and more paramilitary outfits, and these kinds of organizations DO take the fight to the cops. Police stations HAVE been bombed in the past. The US probably doesn't want things to escalate to that level.

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Charles 9
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Re: Comey for Idiot in Chief

Given the natural human tendency to try to weasel their way to an advantage, especially when already disadvantaged, I'd give it at least 50/50.

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Charles 9
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"Though the question is where should you end the recording of people."

Simple. Any person in a position of elevated trust in regards to society. That is, anyone whose job necessarily gives them power over their part of society. Police have this power because they enforce laws. Medicos have this power because of their knowledge of the human body and their necessary power to act in an emergency. Similar with firefighters who may need to damage property in the performance of their duties.

Frankly, all government facilities (or at least all official chambers) need to be taped while in session. And I also have to question whether a government really absolutely MUST have some degree of secrecy. I suspect there is for the fact that the mere existence of public knowledge of something could instantly jeopardize its very existence. Still, it should be absolutely minimized since, while so important, it's also so easy to abuse.

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Charles 9
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Re: Here's the thing...

"When small Cop Cameras were first invented, police actively desired them to 'protect them from false complaints'. It only took about two years for the police to realize that the video evidence was indicting their own. Perhaps not often, but very seriously on occasion."

So they lose either way. Having cams incriminates crooked cops while not having them leaves them open to staged claims like the guy who beats himself up when no one's looking and then claims police brutality, lying while the whole anti-cop block swears by it.

Look, it comes with the territory. This is one thing the cops can't win because haters gonna hate. Some people are culturally conditioned to be anti-authroitarian and you can't fix that at this time since the causes for that are longer-term with no easy fix available.

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Charles 9
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Re: People are funny that way

Trouble with that statement is that people can't physically have a state of morale while they're unconscious. Meaning at some point, in order to have a morale to improve, you have to wait for someone to wake up.

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Charles 9
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Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

Actually, no. Once you take up a martial role in society (martial in this case meaning you have the capacity to act with force to defend it), your status changes. You're no longer a civilian because you've taken up arms in an official capacity (that's why military and civilians are considered mutually exclusive--police as law enforcers are the former rather than the latter). As Vimes himself once said, that badge doesn't come off even when you're off duty. Anyway, martial power carries intrinsic power (including the ability to influence anything with the power to restrain them), and with it comes intrinsic responsibility.

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Boffins bust biometrics with inkjet printer

Charles 9
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So that still begs the question. How can you authenticate someone when the ONLY thing you can work with is a fingerprint, due to people having bad memories and not wanting to take anything else with them?

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Charles 9
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Re: Gravity...

Only if you can achieve the same thing in reverse and not crush it or its contents.

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IBM's Internet of Things brainbox foresees 'clean clothes as a service'

Charles 9
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Re: “just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should"

"If I have to spend more money on an appliance I want it spent on reliability and increased life."

But that's bad for business. No repeat pull. There's no profit in a one-and-done.

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Charles 9
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I don't know about the AC's, but mine is dead serious. Security has a necessary cost, yet it's tough to meet those costs when you're running on a lowest-bidder system.

And yes, we have a clear-cut example of an industry incapable of controlling itself. In a desperate search for something to make itself unique, they're deviating from the job at hand. It's basically a sign the industry is pretty much fully mature and out of new ideas barring some game-changer. At this point, you're right, it's kinda a no-win situation. In capitalism, steady isn't sexy, yet the only instrument capable of reining them in is government regulation proven prone to corruption and therefore untrustworthy. The status quo is bad, but no one trusts any solutions put forth. It makes me feel we're already in the handbasket and just waiting for the lid to come down and the descent to begin.

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Americans to be guinea pigs in vast chip-and-PIN security experiment

Charles 9
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"WHY is two-factor authentication not being used for something like this?"

Because of stupid. WoW players tend to be a technically-savvy lot so dongles are OK with them. Whereas Gran may not be down with this, could be confused with technology, yet banks have to cater to the least common multiple (particularly those with bad memories and no second factor to work with).

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Charles 9
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Re: Really?

So what. So does a paper receipt. The thing is that a signature in and of itself is useless against a skilled forger.

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Charles 9
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Re: The reason Americans don't like it..

"Whilst flawed, the chip and pin system does actually provide some level of extra security."

Not really when the hackers are already targeting the BANKS. Crims are smart enough to just look for points necessarily OUTSIDE the security envelope.

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