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Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

__Reason__ Re:Tin foil hats! (731 comments)

Actually, modern cards not only have the contact chip but also a "Contactless" mode that can be used for small payments.

So you can pay for your Starbucks or bus fare instantly just by tapping your Visa card, no need to swipe or insert the card and enter a PIN number. This is all still more secure than Swipe & Sign, because the cards can't be easily cloned and theres a relatively low transaction limit.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?

__Reason__ Re:Visas are going to be an issue (273 comments)

But often setting up your own company is allowed? I suppose it depends on what you mean by often; I certainly haven't done a survey of the world to find out who allows this and who doesn't. But the US? No, you'll get deported. Same for Canada (although Canada does have a startup visa process; see

I don't know about the US, but in many countries, you don't have to be a citizen/resident of that country in order to set up a company there. You can quite legitimately start a UK Limited company, for example, without having ever been to the UK.

Of course, if you were actually doing "work" for that company from inside the UK, that could be considered employment, you could be breaching the conditions of a visitor visa.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?

__Reason__ Re:Visas are going to be an issue (273 comments)

be a bit realistic. they won't know he is working, and most travelers do exactly that, leave after 6 months, go to some place outside the eu for a month, and then come back.

You don't have to leave the EU - just go somewhere outside the Schengen area. The UK and Ireland, for example, are outside the Schengen area and have their own immigration regime.

By spending, say, 3 months there in the middle of your adventures, you can (legitimately) extend your stay in Europe.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?

__Reason__ Re:Visas are going to be an issue (273 comments)

I only have refrence of UK which is a known hell hole for trains (the last train I took in the the UK was >3hrs late and missing 2 carriages, so packed.)

Last year, 90.9% of all trains ran on time in the UK. That figure may not be ideal, but to put it in perspective - it's far better than what most airlines achieve. I don't know how it compares to trains in the Netherlands, but I'd be surprised if it's that much worse.

This figure also varies widely between train companies, with commuter operations like London Overground, c2c, Merseyrail, and Chiltern often achieving >96% on time performance, while Long-distance routes tend to perform worse.

Since your journey was delayed by more than an hour, you may be entitled to a full refund of your fare. (Exceptions apply for situations outside the control of the train company, such as extreme weather)

about a year ago

Low Levels of Toxic Gas Found To Encourage Plant Growth

__Reason__ Re:difference with regular manure? (103 comments)

The only application I see is the hydro-culture vegetables/fruits here in Belgium and they already have no taste compared to real soil cultivated vegetables, and now they will get rotten egg taste?

The difference in taste you describe is probably due to varieties being bred/selected for fast growth (and shelf appearance) over taste, not the medium they're grown in.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?

__Reason__ Solar panels don't have to be on the aircraft (590 comments)

There's an assumption here that the Solar Panels / Collectors need to be placed on the aircraft itself. That would appear to be impractical. How about putting the solar array in _orbit_, and beaming down the power via Microwave power transmission or some such technology? This would solve the issue of night flight, as an orbital power grid could move energy to areas not shadowed by the earth. Clouds shouldn't a problem either.

about a year and a half ago

Aussie Telco Lays New Fiber For Microsecond Trading Boost

__Reason__ Re:More money from the real into the virtual econo (212 comments)

Perhaps we should allow trades only by hand-written, wax sealed forms submitted by hand every Tuesday at 10am on the floor of the New York stock exchange. This could well reduce volatility - but would it really make for a fairer market? HFT isn't a bad thing. If anything, it benefits the market by increasing liquidity - more shares are changing hands, so it's easier for long term investors to buy and sell them.

more than 2 years ago

Aussie Telco Lays New Fiber For Microsecond Trading Boost

__Reason__ Aussies proud of new fiber (212 comments)

Strewth! This new cable sounds Bonza! Betcha it'll get that financial data across the drink faster than you can say "A dingo ate my baby"!

more than 2 years ago

London Tube Stations Finally Get Wi-Fi

__Reason__ Re:ah, the free lunch (140 comments)

How were they paid?

I don't get it. This can't be right. The contract isn't free, Virgin doesn't supply services for free... yet apparently, no one is paying for it except "others" after the Olympics.

The only "payment" Virgin received was in the form of rights to access tube stations and install their equipment inside.

Although the service will initially be free of charge, it'll no doubt carry some form of advertising on the login screen. Virgin have stated that it will eventually be charged for like typical WiFi services. Also, it'll be free to existing Virgin Media users, thus making Virgin services more attractive to users and benefitting their business.

more than 2 years ago

Canada To Stop Making Pennies

__Reason__ Re:I say drop nickels too! (473 comments)

New Zealand already got rid of its 5c coin a few years back, making 10c the smallest coin. That doesn't mean *everything* is priced in 10c increments, however. You'll sometimes see prices written as "$1.3" or "$5.5" in things like restaurant menus, but not at things like supermarkets. Price increments less than 10c still exist, and are still used for card transactions - it's just that the final total is rounded if you're paying with cash.

more than 2 years ago

California Going Ahead With Bullet Train

__Reason__ Re:Time (709 comments)

No, this is not really true either. While European railways as a whole often receive some form of subsidy, High-Speed passenger services between major cities in Europe are usually very profitable. It is the less-busy regional and commuter type services that tend to receive subsidies, because it is believed that there are economic and environmental benefits in doing so.

It is true that taking the train is sometimes more expensive than flying, but this is simply because rail can command higher fares because it is more convenient. If you can save a couple of hours (and, lets face it, a lot of hassle these days with security checks and such), by taking the train then most people will.

more than 2 years ago

Hardware Running Android Fails More Than iPhone, BlackBerry Hardware

__Reason__ Re:What are the range of failures? (357 comments)

i don't feel like this is a super valid comparison, unless you mention that the iPhone ran like horseshit on iOS 2 onward, and the iPhone 3G always ran poorly. now my wife's 3GS runs like butt on iOS 5. the original iPhone used the current OS until it didn't get iOS 4, so from 2007-06 to 2010-06, three years, half of which it ran poorly. you have no options for upgrading for new features even if you wanted to. the iPhone 3G used the current OS until it didn't get iOS 5, so from 2008-06 to 2011-10, three years and some change, all of which it ran poorly. you have no options for upgrading for new features even if you wanted to.

This is nonsense. The 3GS runs just fine on iOS 5. Significantly faster, in fact, in some areas than iOS 4 - such as web browsing (particularly a HUGE improvement on Javascript scores thanks to the Nitro javascript engine), and loading time for the camera app.

You can see the iOS 5 on 3GS benchmarks for yourself at:

Secondly, the only iPhone which ever had serious performance problems with an upgrade was the 3G running on iOS 4. 1st gen and 3G iPhones all run just fine with iOS 3.x. The issue (which is admittedly very bad and a huge fuck up by Apple) with the 3G on iOS 4 is mostly due to a serious bug in Location Services which causes memory consumption to increase (and thus, performance decrease) over time. So a fresh iOS 4 install on a 3G starts out pretty decent but after a few weeks it gets slower and slower until, eventually, it becomes unusable.

more than 2 years ago

London Needs 70,000 Cells For 4G

__Reason__ Re:70,000 small sells according to small cell vend (124 comments)

In reality, many areas with relatively low population/phone density can probably be covered by a macro network and high density areas - shopping malls, apartment buildings, university campuses will need to be covered by femto or pico cells.

Sure - there'll always be a mix of small and large cells. But most of London is "high density areas". And it can be very difficult/expensive to find good sites to put full sized cell towers. If you can put many smaller cells inside buildings etc, just like WiFi stations, then it'll probably save the carriers a lot of money.

more than 2 years ago

AT&T: Meet the New US GSM Monopoly

__Reason__ Re:free market (189 comments)

AT&T is a bit like the liquid metal terminator from Terminator 2. You can break it into little pieces, but somehow, eventually, it'll find a way to reassemble itself and become a monopoly again.

about 3 years ago

Google Takeout Lets You Easily Export From Circles

__Reason__ Can export data from Google's social network? (102 comments)

    \ \
  ___> \
(__O)   \
(____@)  \
(____@)   \
(__o)_     \
       \    \

Facebook likes this!

about 3 years ago

C++ the Clear Winner In Google's Language Performance Tests

__Reason__ Re:Common knowledge (670 comments)

Compiler writers in particular know this, which is why even GCC uses GC. Yes, it's home-built application-specific carefully-applied-and-tuned GC, but it's GC nonetheless.

No it isn't, it's just the Boehm GC with half a dozen small patches applied.

Incorrect. GCC does not use Boehm GC. The boehm-gc you see in the GCC source tree is used by libjava, which is a java runtime library and unrelated to the compiler itself.

more than 3 years ago

London's Mayor Promises London-Wide Wireless For 2012 Olympics

__Reason__ Re:Has Boris thought.... (130 comments)

how many lamp-posts there are in London?

There's approximately 20,500 bus stops in Greater London - I have a database (NaPTAN) of them. I'd estimate there's as least 50 lamp posts for every bus stop. So, thats over 1,000,000 WiFI access points to be rolled out by 2012! Wow!

more than 4 years ago


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