What’s your favorite technology?

prizrak

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When paying with a debit card, you pay immediately from your bank account.
Yeah that’s how I do it, just debit card everywhere.

That actually reminds me - Apple Pay, they are starting to put in terminals on the subway and city buses. It’s a hella convenient way to pay for shit.
 

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electronic payment is also technology!
 

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I did go to the Amazon Go Store in San Francisco which is a great example of paying with your phone because you need to have your Amazon app open to enter. It's also how I'd explain the need for UBI in the future. But the real tech was in being able to take things off the display and put them back and not see them in my list of items I purchased that impressed me the most.
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That actually reminds me - Apple Pay, they are starting to put in terminals on the subway and city buses. It’s a hella convenient way to pay for shit.
🤷 To a merchant around these parts, Apple Pay is just another contactless card. They don't need to specifically support Apple Pay. And contactless has been around for years, long before we got Apple Pay here.

I remember the first time I used contactless at a lunch restaurant near work, a Thai place where the cashier didn't speak a common language. I put my contactless card against the reader and he panicked, thinking I didn't know what I was doing, because he wouldn't have been able to explain it to me. Then his reader went *beep* and printed out a receipt. My contactless card was quite an attraction for a couple of weeks after that :D
 

prizrak

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Something like 20 years ago a bunch of banks rolled out contactless cards. They pulled them pretty quickly though. From what I understand the problem was that they used basic RFID that simply held the card's number in the same plaintext way as the magnetic strip itself. As you can imagine that made collecting people's data rather simple.

Apple (and chipped cards) work around that problem by using same technology that 2FA uses. Bank and card/phone use the same algorithm and seed to generate quasi-random one time use numbers instead of sending the actual number of your card. Since both bank and phone/card know what the seed is the calculated value is the same on both sides.

The big push for this to be rolled out was actually mostly due to Home Depot and Target databases being hacked as it exposed a shit ton of CC data for anyone to use.

The one interesting difference between Europe (and Canada) and the US in terms of paying by card is that on your side of the pond they bring a small mobile terminal to you. On our side you give your card to be scanned somewhere behind the scenes (though sometimes they'll just bring out an iPad with some app running on it and charge that way, but it's pretty rare)
 
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Perc

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I was in Germany in the fall. The land of crappy cell reception. I distinctly remember an employee at a restaurant, running with the card and reader to the end of the bar every time. There wasn’t any cell reception at the register, apparently 😂
 

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I was in Germany in the fall. The land of crappy cell reception. I distinctly remember an employee at a restaurant, running with the card and reader to the end of the bar every time. There wasn’t any cell reception at the register, apparently 😂
I would think at this point they would run over the restaurant’s wi-fi instead of cell. Still what I picture in my head is pretty damn hilarious.
 

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I would think at this point they would run over the restaurant’s wi-fi instead of cell. Still what I picture in my head is pretty damn hilarious.
There are plenty of 3G enabled card terminals around these parts. I can understand why. It's easy for the terminal vendor to sell a self-contained product. Unbox and power on, done.
 

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As for my favorite technology... it's hard to pinpoint one, but one of them has to be modern (mobile) photography.

The fact that you can use a device that lives in your pocket along with gravel and nails and produce perfect high-res photos in the dark with zero photography skills is amazing, if you think about what we had just a few years ago. The best camera is the one you have with you, not the expensive camera set you've got at home.
 

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^ Yeah, phone cameras are something magical. I think one that hasn't been mentioned yet is self checkout at grocery stores. It's great for a few things when you're say, on your way home from work and need some stuff for dinner. It's perfect.
 

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^ Yeah, phone cameras are something magical. I think one that hasn't been mentioned yet is self checkout at grocery stores. It's great for a few things when you're say, on your way home from work and need some stuff for dinner. It's perfect.
Unfortunately you usually end up getting stuck behind someone who couldn’t check themselves out in the mirror much less a store.
 

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I love the idea of self checkout and all three supermarket chains in my town have them. One has an absolutely horrible user interface that isn't self-explanatory even to a geek. Another has terrible barcode readers that usually take three tries to scan an item, and voice guidance that has to be turned off every time. The third is fine.

I know supermarkets in other parts of the world has the barcode reader mounted on the cart, so everything's already scanned by the time you get to checkout. All you need to do is pay and bag. I wish we had that here, it seems to be the best way to do it.
 

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Unfortunately you usually end up getting stuck behind someone who couldn’t check themselves out in the mirror much less a store.
"Welcome to the Walmat Patented Fuckwit Detector - please scan your first item..."
 

prizrak

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Target around here did it well, they replaced all lanes with sled check out and there is one line going into a shit load of scanners. This way a couple of slow people don’t really hold up the line too much.

Grocery store near me on the other hand only had two and they have separate lanes. They also have no limit on number of items. So for one you are guessing where the fuckwit is going to be, for two you got a bunch of people thinking it’s gonna be faster and queuing up.
 
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