* Posts by Clive Page

3 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Net shoppers bullied into being Verified by Visa

Clive Page

Prevents international use

One of the worst side-effects is that Verified by Visa makes international use of credit cards much harder. A relative of mine in the US tried to buy a train ticket in Peru - the company handling this turned out to be based in the UK, and required Verified by Visa. His US Visa card would not work. In the end we bought him the ticket, and he paid us back.

A little later I tried to buy an airline ticket from a US website, but they would only accept credit cards from the US, Canada, Australia, and the Phillipines. Apparently our cards are so much less secure than from these other countries. Once upon a time a Visa or Mastercard would work almost anywhere - but the system is breaking apart rapidly.

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Evesham Technology goes into liquidation

Clive Page

Spamming *may* have affected them

I suspect that their spamming emails may have had an effect. I have bought Evesham PCs and other stuff, and recommended them to others who have also been customers. Until I got the series of spam emails (on an address which was not one that they could possibly have known from my earlier purchases). From that point on I did no more business with them, and told other people the reasons. If they sent out millions of spam emails, maybe millions of us did the same. I suspect that had some part to play in their downfall. A pity that it takes so long.

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Can we have a proper study of Wi-Fi, please?

Clive Page

I'm pleased to see a sensible take on this latest scare

Thanks for providing some sense on this at last. One factor that even you didn't mention: the inverse square law.

I'm not convinced about the health risks of mobile phones, but it's possible that putting a transmitter a few millimetres from your brain does it no good. But the effects must be quite small and rare, or else lots of heavy users would have noticed by now, or even be dead.

However one can be quite sure that mobile phone masts are harmless, as one never gets nearer than a few metres from them. The transmitter power is not much more than that of a single phone (no more than 100 times at most) yet the received strength must be millions of times lower, simply using the inverse-square law.

Wi-fi systems use even lower powers than mobile phones: the main risk must come from the transmitter in a laptop, but that's typically 300 to 500 mm away from the sensitive bits of the body, so again effects must be pretty small. The effects from the base stations, typically metres away from the nearest user, must be even smaller.

So let's have some common sense on this. Or does nobody learn even elementary physics any more?

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