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Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

GrahamCox Elsewhere in the world (245 comments)

It seems that the hoo-hah about CurrentC is local to the USA; I'd never heard of it until this week. Here in Australia most retailers have installed paywave terminals in the last 18 months - it's now almost ubiquitous alongside chip and pin terminals. In fact, it's so ubiquitous that it's becoming a minor annoyance when a retailer hasn't got it yet. I do think that it has reached the point of maximum convenience really - getting your card out and waving it at a terminal is probably about the minimum effort it's ever going to be. Even getting out your phone instead is slightly MORE effort, as it involves (in the case of the iPhone anyway) the extra step of authenticating using the fingerprint scanner. That additional step might be acceptable as it adds a layer of security that your card doesn't have.

However, from what I've read about CurrentC, there's no way that it's going to get any traction. It's nowhere near as convenient and it seems it's nowhere near as secure. It's also conflicted in that it's trying to be attractive to the retailer as well as the consumer - those things can't be easily reconciled. But the killer is that paywave is already here and people are already getting used to that degree of simple convenience - anything that goes backwards now is never going to be popular. The horse has bolted, CurrentC is trying to close the stable door. The fact that some retailers have been forced to turn off paywave because they signed up to support CurrentC betrays their thinking: we know paywave is far more convenient and we haven't got a hope in hell if people get used to it, so let's pretend it never happened.

If I had anything to do with CurrentC, I would be packing my things.

yesterday
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

GrahamCox Always amusing (596 comments)

It's always amusing to watch religious people tying themselves into knots trying to fit reality into their various belief systems. The problem with that (and why it's sorta fun to watch, for a while) is that the ONE thing that cannot be allowed to change is the belief system. Those who would argue that science is just another belief system need to understand that if true, then it's at least the only belief system that is flexible and willing to change in response to reality, rather than vice versa.

Anyway, it's pretty easy to logically disprove the concept of god as most religions seem to define him/her/it. Most religions, especially the abrahamic ones, state that god is all-loving, omnipotent and omniscient: he knows all, sees all and is all-powerful (and he loves us all too!) Wow, pretty cool god there. But, says a five-year-old child, if god's so great, why does he allow bad things to happen? Either he is omnipotent, and chooses not to do anything about "bad stuff", like preventing a flood that kills thousands, showing he's not all-loving, or he would do, but didn't know it was happening, showing he's not all-knowing, or did know about it, and looked on helplessly, showing he's not omnipotent. Or maybe god's just an asshole. Or maybe he doesn't exist. I know which conclusion I tend towards.

yesterday
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Tetris Is Hard To Test

GrahamCox One line? (169 comments)

If anybody wrote code like that for me, they'd be made to sit on the naughty step and think very, very hard about what they'd done.

4 days ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

GrahamCox Re:Sheep (489 comments)

Free speech is about haveing the right to express your opinion without fear of retaliation

Express away, you overprivileged cunt with an overinflated sense of self-worth. You are the scum of the earth and deserve nothing less than to be horribly beaten and raped by a gang of spanner-wielding bikers.

Here's the thing. Free speech does not trump the other basic principle I mention, to do as you please as long as it does not harm others. There is no doubt that in some cases, your free speech can harm others. And I mean harm, not just offend. I agree about not having the right not to be offended, but it's not black-and-white. And if what I wrote above did have some small effect on you, then think about that. Imagine if you were on the receiving end of something like that day in, day out and it really affected you? Some people might not be as robust as you.

Just have a little compassion. Is it really too much to ask?

about two weeks ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

GrahamCox It's not censorship or more government control (489 comments)

I think a lot of people are misinterpreting the intent of this. Much as I despise the current UK government, and am deeply concerned about surveillance and censorship and erosion of privacy and free speech generally, I think in this case it's not what's being proposed at all.

Basically, I believe in being free to do as you please unless it harms others. There's no doubt that trolling, in some cases, does harm, but right now the punishment isn't very harsh for the worst cases, and most people that indulge in trolling feel they have the "right" to do it (those were the exact words used by a recent troll who attacked the McCanns online and was called out on it by the news media; she later committed suicide. A pretty sad case for everyone concerned). This is confusing the right to free speech with a non-existent right to slander and libel with impugnity. If you are attacked, and it harms you (for some definition of harm) then you should have the right to prosecute the perpetrator to the extent the law allows.

All this is proposing is that harmful trolling is taken more seriously, and I agree with that. A judge will rule on the merit of any case brought, and hand down a sentence as he sees fit. This is merely proposing that the maximum available sentence is extended from 6 months to 2 years, and I agree with that. Note that this has nothing to do with the government having greater powers to monitor online activity - the judiciary have nothing to do with the government in the UK. If someone is trolled online and they feel it has harmed them, it is up to them to report it and press charges, and present their case in court. The government are not involved at all.

about two weeks ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

GrahamCox Re:So what qualifies? (489 comments)

Who gets to decide what qualifies as trolling?

A judge in a court of law? That's their job.

Presumably if you feel particularly aggrieved by something you've had directed to you online, you can complain to the police and press charges. When it comes to court, the evidence is presented, the defence puts its case and the judge decides.

about two weeks ago
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iFixit Tears Apart Apple's Shiny New Retina iMac

GrahamCox Re:Set the record straight (108 comments)

It's the software... do the alternative systems you talk about have end-to-end colour management built right into every use of colour on the system? Macs do. Maybe others do, I don't know - but if they don't then just having the same hardware isn't the issue.

about two weeks ago
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iFixit Tears Apart Apple's Shiny New Retina iMac

GrahamCox Re:how do SSD's compare to HD's? (108 comments)

I think the jury's still out - SSDs haven't been in the field long enough to know how they fare in the real world. In theory, they should be better, but there are some concerns.

I recently upgraded my older 2011 iMac 27" to an SSD - I had to drop to half the original capacity but it's far, far faster and a little quieter. So even if the lifespan ended up the same as the spinning disk, it would be worth it.

By the way, "to have it fixed" does cost a lot of money, but DIY and it's obviously only as expensive as the drive. I'm not sure abut the newer iMacs, but getting into mine to swap the drive was a cinch.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

GrahamCox Re:Yawn (355 comments)

Modern digital SLRs have higher res than this. e.g. my mid-range Nikon D5300 does 6000x4000, and that's not a top end camera by any means.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

GrahamCox Re:Maybe it's just me (355 comments)

I'm surprised they're calling it "Apple Pay". I thought it would be "iPay".

Or YouPay.

about two weeks ago
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Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

GrahamCox Re:On the Internet, nobody can hear you being subt (387 comments)

If people took the trouble to learn a little bit of basic punctuation, this phrase would be wrong. It's easy to be subtle using the written word, look at the thousands and thousands of published books by professional writers.

Only if you insist on using pointless shorthand and writing like a hyperactive 10-year-old is lack of subtlety a problem.

about two weeks ago
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When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

GrahamCox Re:oil discovery = terraforming (219 comments)

While I'm sure the oil thing was just thrown in there to be flippant, nobody seems to have realised that for oil deposits to exist, there must have once been abundant plant life...

about two weeks ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

GrahamCox Re:I like the English Beat (323 comments)

Or "The Beat" as they were actually called, in their home country.

about two weeks ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

GrahamCox Re:German illegal? (323 comments)

Are we perfect? No. But we are advancing closer to the ideal expressed in our founding document.

"Humanity can generally be relied on to do the right thing, once all other avenues have been exhausted". - Churchill.

about two weeks ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

GrahamCox Re:WWII proably didn't help much either (323 comments)

Werner von Braun orchestrated a surrender of his team to the US instead of the rapidly advancing Russian forces due to religious reasons

Citation needed? I'm sure he had plenty of good reasons. The Germans were very well aware of their likely fate at the hands of the Russians - they not only had a brutal reputation but the Germans knew that they felt justified in using that brutality in revenge. As the Red Army swept across eastern Germany, in some villages more people committed suicide than were left remaining afterwards. Thousands of women were raped. The Allied powers on the other hand were seen as the far "milder" enemy - in fact in the early stages of the war Hitler didn't even expect to have to fight the British and Americans, he expected a negotiated peace.

Von Braun was well aware of all of this and knew that if he was captured by the Russians, the worst he could expect was to be summarily shot. On the other hand the worst he could expect from the Allies was a fair trial. In the end he didn't even need to go through that.

about two weeks ago
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The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

GrahamCox What the App Store needs (229 comments)

I sell an app through the Mac app store. It's been fairly successful - certainly in terms of volume we would have struggled to match it if we'd only stuck with our own website as the sole means for a new customer to acquire the app. When Apple have helped us with promotion, we've seen sales skyrocket, at least for as long as they deign to put us on the front page or whatever.

But now we have an almost completely new version 2.0 ready to go, and the App Store has no provision for paid-for updates (all of our version 1 updates were free). Therefore we have to submit it as a brand-new product, which is really dumb, because it means all of our installed base of 1.0 users won't automatically get a notification that there is an update, and we can't build on any of our existing materials in the app store other than adding text to say "there's a new version over there". We have to start over from scratch, and it's a real cause for concern.

We can't offer quantity or educational discounts through the App Store either, which we've been frequently asked about.

I've also been on the receiving end of the sorts of developer-hostile treatment others have reported here, though on the whole it has been a mostly positive experience. The enforced sandboxing was exceedingly painful, and I definitely wouldn't want to go through that again, but having done it, it's an issue easily forgotten about. Apple eventually (in 10.9) included frameworks for getting media from other (i)apps which was the main thing we lost in the sandboxing, needing a hideous workaround.

What's annoying is that many of the issues pointed out in TFA are real, and have been a problem for a long time. Apple appear to have no interest in improving the store or canvassing developers about how it should evolve. The store staff appear to be a lawless disconnected bunch that don't seem to talk to other parts of the company, and seem arrogant and capricious. That may not be the case, but that's how it appears and so it's a problem they ought to be addressing.

about two weeks ago
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VeraCrypt Is the New TrueCrypt -- and It's Better

GrahamCox Re:You'll give them the password (220 comments)

So given that, the right thing is not to give them the password. Without it they cannot prove anything, however much pressure they apply. There may be the assumption that you have something to hide, but without proof, you're innocent, right?

about two weeks ago
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First Man To Walk In Space Reveals How Mission Nearly Ended In Disaster

GrahamCox Re:really? A fireball? (122 comments)

As the crew of Apollo 1 sadly discovered, or at least the accident investigation discovered. In hindsight it certainly seemed a really, really bad idea to have a near-pure oxygen environment at 16psi.

about two weeks ago
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The flying car I'd like in my garage first:

GrahamCox Mainair Blade (151 comments)

A Mainair Blade or similar. Easy to fly, not ridiculously expensive, can fly it in and out of my backyard (paddock, actually), nice for fairweather fun flying. It's not a car, but the flying car will never happen unless they are fully autonomous, and even then they'll be a bad car and a bad aeroplane. The flying car isn't just "a car + an extra dimension", it's a whole different engineering space. Never happen.

about three weeks ago
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Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

GrahamCox Re:Change is in the air (142 comments)

Queue the many certifications...

The word you're looking for is 'cue', meaning 'to set up, schedule', not 'queue' which is a list of items or objects to be processed in order.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Einstein thought religion "childish superstiti

GrahamCox GrahamCox writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GrahamCox (741991) writes "The Guardian is running a story about a private letter of Albert Einstein's which is about to come up for auction:
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." So said Albert Einstein, and his famous aphorism has been the source of endless debate between believers and non-believers wanting to claim the greatest scientist of the 20th century as their own. A little known letter written by him, however, may help to settle the argument — or at least provoke further controversy about his views. Due to be auctioned this week in London after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, the document leaves no doubt that the theoretical physicist was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as "childish superstitions"."

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