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Author Topic: The rampant growth and infiltration of technology in our lives? Not so bad, actually.
CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2010 08:04      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am doing my part to attempt to keep the site moving right now.

Recently I received some paperwork from the glorious state of California. It appears that in a past life I made a big mistake in choosing my life partner. Well life goes on, while I keep wish partner would move on.

However this paperwork said that I owed said partner about 8k in back monies....

That. I. Paid.

This is one of those moments where technology and the moving of my information into big bank databases just rocks. Except for a few moments of stupidity where I paid in cash(which will be entirely untraceable) all of the checks from that time period are still accessible through my bank.

So I had to go through all my old bank statements (still stored online) and write down the check numbers. Then I went through their system to find those checks. I was greeted with glorious bank scans of 4 year old checks with names amounts, and dates.

So on occasion I lament the simpler ways that have disappeared because of tech. It is moments like this that I am so very very happy that tech has done what it has.

I tend to try and keep the last year's worth of bank statements and I kept checks for about a year or so also when they were still in paper. But 4 years? Purging got all those copies from back then. And I had no reason to think that I would ever have to revisit this particular issue. But since I am, I am glad there is a big ol' image store that holds this garbage for me.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted April 29, 2010 08:54      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yay technology!
My sympathies on the past life though. [ohwell]

The banks here are evil when it comes to viewing cheques...

"A fee of $1.50 will be charged in the currency of the account for each cheque viewed. The fee will be debited from your account by the next business day. You may view a cheque as many times as you wish during your current session."

[devil wand]

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2010 09:51      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ouch.

Glad my bank has yet to get into that particular cash cow.

Though $1.50 per check is entirely worth not giving up 8k to someone that is more or less attempting government aided thievery.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2010 11:38      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ The trouble lies in recent transactions. Our Grand Children live in Florida, with their mother, the Father is making his payments through the County Friend of the Court, However twice a year Florida will get a bug up their rears and claim that they are going to issue a bench warrent for back Child Support and then Michigan will void the paper work because it shows no lack of payment.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 02:59      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Clan MacDruid had a similar problem many years ago, a petrol station we had an account with put the debt collectors on us for a bill we'd paid 2 years earlier.

This was back in the age of steam, so no electronic records to help us, but luckily Mrs Druid is a very organized person, and keeps receipts for everything, neatly filed by date and category.

Even when waving the receipt in their faces, it's remarkably difficult to get rid of debt collectors without handing over money.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 03:59      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
America is still in the dark ages with regards to thier banking system. ( not trying to start a flame war, so maybe I'll just say it is less advanced as many others)

Checks should be done away with. Period. they are just not a good way of transfering money anymore. To hard to track, to easy to fake.

In Switzerland on of two things would have happened.


1.) If you were old and used no technology, then you pay all your bills at the post office. every time you pay a bill you get an official goverment stamp in a book recording your transactions. If there is ever any question, you show up with the book and the problem goes away.

2.) If you are technologically adept, then you pay all bills online, ( I know most americans can do this in as well but) and if there is ever any question if you paid or not, you can look up the transaction ID number, and clarify everything, for free, instantly)

Ther are no checks to get lost in the mail or forged or to not have enough money in the bank to cover later. One has to pay cash ( or have the money actually in the account to be transfered out.)

(Also ther is no carrying a balance on credit cards at the end of the month. )

--------------------
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 04:44      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Ash, really this topic needs a flame war. There used to be two kinds of Banks in the USA. Savings and Loan, and Investment Banks. Then Congress egged on by business interests, removed the distinction, where every ones money was on the bet.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 07:45      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
America is still in the dark ages with regards to thier banking system. ( not trying to start a flame war, so maybe I'll just say it is less advanced as many others)

Checks should be done away with. Period. they are just not a good way of transfering money anymore. To hard to track, to easy to fake.

In Switzerland on of two things would have happened.


1.) If you were old and used no technology, then you pay all your bills at the post office. every time you pay a bill you get an official goverment stamp in a book recording your transactions. If there is ever any question, you show up with the book and the problem goes away.

2.) If you are technologically adept, then you pay all bills online, ( I know most americans can do this in as well but) and if there is ever any question if you paid or not, you can look up the transaction ID number, and clarify everything, for free, instantly)

I can agree about the credit cards, but I can't entirely agree on the other methods so well.

The state of California has an automated system where you send your money into a state run account and then they disburse the payments from that point. The thing is that system is voluntary. My problem is/was that I trusted the other party to be honest. However that now is not the case. So I have to go back through back data to prove my innocence.

But your analogy has one giant problem. Switzerland is about the size of a smallish US state. So you are looking at an issue of scale. You are also looking at issues of technologies. There are entire sections of some of the more rural states that do not even have local post offices aiding them. Where in Europe 500 miles seems like forever, people in the states may commute that many miles in a standard work week. Scale brings in complications to any system. And the massive scale of trying to orchestrate something like that can create problems of its own.

I have no issues with checks, or online banking, or even debit transactions. I use all of them on a regular basis.

The mistake was mine for not taking the appropriate measures to safeguard my future properly. This blame is squarely on my shoulders. However the national banking chains are able to keep records that smaller banks are unable to accomplish. That is a nice thing. I have considered moving to credit unions or something a bit more local, but right now I am glad I stuck with my current bank through the crisis. If I had changed, I would have lost that old data.

And MoMan, it has nothing to do with anything recent. I have full custody of the child in question, so there is nothing current that I can be hit with. The other person I think was hoping that they could leverage the earlier agreement and possible poor record keeping on my half to gain money they do not deserve. There is still a chance I may have to pay a portion of the funds twice. But I have enough records that I may also get off with not worrying about anything. I have submitted what records I do have and they are being reviewed by the state. So now it is wait and see what the final outcome is...

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 10:03      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
She probably recalled the occasions when you paid her in cash and somehow figured that all your payments were in cash. Or that you were stupid. Wow.

This whole "Let's screw him or her any way we can" part about some divorces boggles my mind. I mean, seriously, yes, okay, the relationship and marriage are over, but WTF is up with trying to take the other party for everything they're worth??

I bank with a credit union. I can't seem to pull up more than a year's worth of electronic records, but maybe I could if called them up and asked. I also hold onto old paper bank statements and empty check books - my checks come with these carbon copy things so whenever I write one, an imprint is left behind. Between that and a statement, I can show that a check was written, delivered, and cashed. But I have never been challenged regarding whether or not I've paid a bill.

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MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 10:17      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I 'bank' with a Credit Union. (Notice how we still call it "banking" even when it's a Credit Union, which is a different beast?) I switched from a bank after 5/3 Bank screwed me out of a large sum of money; needless to say, I am very very satisfied with my choice.

I can go back about 6 months as far as having actual /images/ of my canceled checks. I can go back much further with statements, though. If I need to go back further, I can have the credit union people research for me, and they charge a small hourly fee for the time.

--------------------
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get rich and you still die"


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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 18:22      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ I do not trust on/line bill pay, call me an old foggy but I just do not trust that some pimple faced cellar dweller will not make off with my info.

____The problem the stepson has is Florida does not make Summer break and relocation for visitation allowances Michigan does, the case was adjudicated in Michigan, but every summer and Christmas time Florida issues a bench warrant, for failure to pay, while they are with him here.

____ Yes Scale out here in the boonies our Credit Union uses a Satilite link, for the local branches to the main office 150 miles away.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2010 21:49      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well done, Shroom! [Big Grin]

Personally, I love the PDF statements I can get from my bank - that's what encrypted files are for...just stow them away, as storage is cheap.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted May 01, 2010 05:15      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Shroom - technology to the rescue.....nice! [Smile]


None of the banks I use in the UK provide online cheque viewing, even though two of them are big enough to afford the kit to do so. I could order paper copies of cheques, but that would cost around $7.50 per copy ( and it would take a couple of weeks to receive them too.)

I am so glad that I switched off paper statements a couple of years ago. I don't see .pdfs becoming obsolete in my lifetime, and if HDDs are replaced with new tech, then I can just copy all my records over. Currently my life adds up to about 10.5Gb of data, not including music. movies and photos, which is well within USB memory stick range. I reckon the dead-tree version would fill at least two four-drawer filing cabinets.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted May 01, 2010 06:52      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am thinking it is time to really keep better track of this stuff. And the PDF's do make it easier.

I do a lot of things in cash though. Basically pull out X amount for the pay period. And then stay within the set amount.

Trying to keep my spending at more honest levels. And handing over real folding money for some reason feels more real than sliding plastic.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 03:42      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
[There are entire sections of some of the more rural states that do not even have local post offices aiding them. Where in Europe 500 miles seems like forever, people in the states may commute that many miles in a standard work week. Scale brings in complications to any system. And the massive scale of trying to orchestrate something like that can create problems of its own.

That is probably a good point. also , I hate the american post office system, it is all about how a post office should not be run. (In all my travels, only France does it worse.)

maybe installing rural ATMS that can pay bills and only accept cash could get around this.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 05:20      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ There in lies the problem, Out here in the boonies, the Banks/Credit Unions have to use up/down links, to the master teller in the sky. So the ATMs are usually at or on a bank property. Also the ones that have a good reputation, require that the customer, set up through the Financial Ins, an Order of With Drawl to the payee. The answer from a mortgage holder is well we just take it out of your account, doesn't work here as the holder of the funds rejects the claim unless they have the correct paper work, from the member. Then if the amount changes, "REJECT" not correct amount.

____ Then a few years ago the Financial Ins. we were using changed their Software over a long July Fourth Week End, that took about two months to sort out. Each blamed each other and us. by the way the July and August payments were paid twice, and the Loan company tried to claim we did not pay July and August, and we had to stop the auto with drawl and restart it in Nov. Nope, I prefer paper check and mailed in payments.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 05:40      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
____ ... I prefer paper check and mailed in payments.

I can completly understand not trusting your finances to online payments. But to trust checks more baffles me. Cash has nowadays many security features, microprinting, special fibers ibeded in special paper, special pens to test if it is real.

But a check is simply scribbling a note to your bank that it's cool if Mr. J. Doe makes a withdrawl frmo your account. Online banking may have too few security feuture, but in my opinion, it is better than next to no security fetures taht chacks have.

p.s.
my boss forbids us from compying signed documents ( read nearly everythig we write) on the color copyer becuase it is so good he can't tell which are teh copies and which are the originals anymore. The real ones are signed with blue ink.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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fs

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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 06:51      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
RE: Mo's concern about online banking security

One of the things I really like about banks here is they issue little "security devices" that you use during your login. It gives you a number, you put it in your device, and then you get a number back, which you type in. There is no static username/password to be compromised.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 14:44      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ It would be nice if our Financial Ins gave out preprogramed thumb drives with the Security info on it, as long as it did not in any way disclose the Banks ID.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 14:56      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MoMan: Alas, interoperability would be damn near impossible for that, let alone the security risk of using it on an infected machine.

I definitely think two-factor authentication via token is very strong security feature. Such an approach is almost completely phish-proof, and should probably be a requirement for business accounts -- particularly in light of a recent story where a small business/municipality got cleaned out by a 'payroll run' done over the weekend.

I'd like to see F-Secure's proposal of .bank or .secure be implemented, with forced SSL authentication for Online Banking, and *real* vetting to be done on such DNS entries. (Real vetting was supposed to be the way DNS and/or SSL was issued years ago, but people got lazy, and verification costs money.) We need to stop all this nonsense of http://www.bank-of-america-login-details.info/ and the like. Make security good enough for real banks such that it becomes obvious when you're not there.

Perhaps a happy medium would be cross-browser implementation of Strict Transport Security, and the adoption of it by leading financial institutions. See the following for assorted details:
http://hackademix.net/2009/11/07/paypal-is-safer-with-noscript/

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 15:04      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
____ It would be nice if our Financial Ins gave out preprogramed thumb drives with the Security info on it, as long as it did not in any way disclose the Banks ID.

You know MoMan, in this regard Ash is very much correct.

Checks are inherently insecure. And next to encrypted bank transactions, you are more likely to have someon steal account info from a stolen check than they would from an online transaction.

Think about what they put on a check. Account ID, Bank ID, check number, Address, Name, sometime Phone numbers.

Hell from that point you are pretty well done for. A lot can be done with just that basic information. And unless you have your mailbox under lock and key you really can't secure the mail. Plus I have heard enough stories of less than honest Postal employees to not even bet on that being so secure.

There are a lot of ways to get ripped off, but you have to balance security with efficiency.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 03, 2010 15:11      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ I was thinking along the lines of. Go to your banks webpage, click link to home banking, the bank then explores your USB ports looking for their dongle with a ROM statement, you put in the pin and then the accounts open. But no where in or on the dongle is your ID or the banks ID so if some one found your dongle it would act like a dead camera card.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2010 04:48      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
____ I was thinking along the lines of. Go to your banks webpage, click link to home banking, the bank then explores your USB ports looking for their dongle with a ROM statement, you put in the pin and then the accounts open. But no where in or on the dongle is your ID or the banks ID so if some one found your dongle it would act like a dead camera card.

This is one of the ways I do online banking. ( I also use 128 bit encryption and I have heard that only 64 bit is used in america, can anyoen confirm?)

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2010 05:28      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Again, I think of something after it has become standard practice.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2010 05:43      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Quoth TheMoMan:
It would be nice if our Financial Ins gave out preprogramed thumb drives with the Security info on it, as long as it did not in any way disclose the Banks ID.

I worked on a bank EFT system in the 90's, when that kind of thing was still new and sexy.

They used smart cards for encryption and authentication. Basically, the smart card is a little stand-alone computer on a card (these days it could be on a USB thumb-drive) which handles all the encryption for you, you feed it a block of data, it gives you back the encrypted data. All the encryption keys are stored on-chip, in a form that would be technically *very* difficult for the bad guys to get at. The card required a PIN to be entered before it would do anything.

So, for anyone to access our system,they needed one of our cards, the PIN to go with it, and the account number the card was linked to.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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