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Re: My first required EMV transaction in the US

During a chip transaction, the chip terminal does not read the mag strip. And the chip encrypts the communication with the financial institution, so this information can't be intercepted. ... Ok your point wasn't about an inherent unavailability of the numbers/codes, just that the EMV readers you a...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My first required EMV transaction in the US
Replies: 9
Views: 949

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

The card has a chip on it. Wal-Mart and other major retailers now have chip readers, and when you try to swipe it will force you to use the chip. This is good, because the chip is encrypted whereas the magnetic stripe is not. This is my first chipped card so that was a new experience. When you say ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

Maybe I just have bad luck, but I've had several external hard drives fail on me (both Seagate and Western Digital). Check the voltage in your house. Ideally, it is 120 volts. If it is outside of 113 to 127, call your power company and complain. Anything outside of that will reduce life expectancy ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 26
Views: 1489

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

Each of the major hard drive (HDD) manufacturers has their own strengths and weaknesses. At a higher level, I feel like it's really just splitting hairs and all of the brand names you mention offer similar products. The key thing is the supporting software for your needs and the customer service (an...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 26
Views: 1489

Re: FLICKR

The biggest issue I've heard comes from people who do NOT keep offsite backups. Some people have lost substantial numbers of photographs since they only uploaded to flickr and didn't keep their own copies. Since you're keeping a local copy, this should not be a major issue for you, unless you have t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FLICKR
Replies: 6
Views: 538

Re: FIOS [versus cable]

So for those of you who have or had FIOS, is it true you'll never go back to cable cause it is that much better and more reliable? Part of your evaluation of FIOS vs Cable is going to depend on the quality of the actual, physical infrastructure (e.g. coaxial cables, head nodes, etc.) for the cable ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIOS [versus cable]
Replies: 27
Views: 1847

Re: Glitchy Web-Browsing

You need a USB dongle to use Ethernet on a MacBook: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC704ZM/A/apple-usb-ethernet-adapter I wouldn't worry about that though, as I doubt it is the WiFi. All indications point towards a DNS problem, which is a decidedly ISP issue. I have RoadRunner and it periodically...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Glitchy Web-Browsing
Replies: 21
Views: 904

Re: Email security risk from staying logged in?

There is a minor risk of someone using session-stealing malware to take the session information for your logged in email session and using that to duplicate your email session on their system. Session-stealing malware does not need the same level of permissions as keylogging or man-in-the-middle mal...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email security risk from staying logged in?
Replies: 10
Views: 1068

Re: Windows 8.1 Sleep Issue

Could it be trying to wake itself up in the middle of the night to install updates and getting "stuck"? We were having horrible issues with waking up a new Surface Pro 3 at work until we realized it was having issues with automatic updates. It would reboot itself to install the updates, th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 8.1 Sleep Issue
Replies: 3
Views: 285

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I'm puzzled by "nearly"... is the total cash back less than 2%? Am I missing some fine print? :? There's been some speculation--and I think that's all it is for now, but would welcome any corrections--that the 1% cash back you get on the initial purchase doesn't count for purposes of the ...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I just can't bring myself to do business with Sallie Mae, no matter how good the rewards are, after seeing how they treat some student loan holders. The threads on what has happened to student loan holders whose co-signers have died are particularly bitter-tasting. When somebody co-signs a loan, al...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I received an application from Citi for what I think is this card in the mail today. They're saying it pays 1% at purchase plus 1% at payment. Doesn't say if MC or Visa. The application says they'll also tack on an extra $100 if one charges at least $500 in the first 3 months. Anyone using this car...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Schem

Regardless of the finer points of the definition of a ponzi scheme or the intricacies of annuities as an investment vehicle, it's not the OP's place to comment on a coworker's financials UNLESS the co-worker asks for an opinion or help. Yes, the coworker could invest her money better and choose bett...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Scheme?
Replies: 54
Views: 5106

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

Besides some truly odd omissions, like lost luggage coverage (really?), the new card is notably missing $0 liability on unauthorized charges . I noticed that when using the comparison table (where you can compare up to 3 current citi cards) on the citi website. I'm almost certain that $0 fraud liab...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: When do you have too many credit cards?

As the others have said, 5 isn't too many. I have one of each major issuer (well, HAD... since my Chase Freedom switched from Mastercard to VISA), plus some old odds and ends sitting in drawers. If you're thinking of getting a mortgage soon, then opening a new card recently is probably a bigger ding...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When do you have too many credit cards?
Replies: 16
Views: 1358

Re: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed

I'm personally not a fan of identity monitoring services over a credit card number breach. Unless you have a Home Depot card (and the hackers got into that particular database), there's not enough information on the magnetic stripe alone for successful identity theft. They could cross-tabulate it wi...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed
Replies: 36
Views: 4673

Re: Vanguard Lost $50k

One part of this story being ignored is how useless "flagship" (or other special representatives) are in solving problems. I had a different problem with my account and my "special" representative was no help whatsoever in getting it fixed. That's probably because the people who...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Lost $50k
Replies: 103
Views: 10643

Re: Vanguard Lost $50k

And then it's only about 1% of your assets at Vanguard. You should be proud that it really doesn't matter in the end what happens to this $50K. Really. Net worth is irrelevant here. The bottom line is they somehow managed to misplace 50k and don't appear to be in any hurry to resolve it. OP has eve...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Lost $50k
Replies: 103
Views: 10643

Re: Vanguard Lost $50k

I checked my Vanguard account on line and the second 50k was shown as a pending order (duplicate) for the same mutual fund from 8-29. I called my Flagship representative on 9-3 who promised to investigate. I heard nothing, so on 9-4 I checked the Vanguard site, the pending transaction was gone (but...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Lost $50k
Replies: 103
Views: 10643

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

Oh! But why next week? Why not? I asked because I wanted to know the reasoning behind suggesting that I call next week. For instance is there a change in their rules/policies that's coming up in the next few days etc. I don't think anyone has been told the reasoning why. But several forums (myFICO,...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed

I'm not sure HD has the situation under control yet. My coworker went to the store on Wednesday night to buy something. Last night she got a call from her cc company that there was suspicious activity on he her card. They were right, somebody had already cloned the card and were making fraudulent p...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed
Replies: 36
Views: 4673

Re: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed

Hope this makes the migration to Chip+PIN faster. I am not well-versed in the credit card technologies. From what I read, Chip+PIN would still require some info be stored somewhere (server or not), no? If so, won't hackers still be able to get to it? Thanks! My understanding is that today, the actu...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed
Replies: 36
Views: 4673

Re: sprinkler system question

Simon, If you had shut off the house system how would you have done it and would it have shut off the water to the irrigation system? The reason I ask is that most irrigation systems I have seen come off the incoming line after the street meter, but before the house shut off. How is yours set up? :...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sprinkler system question
Replies: 29
Views: 2820

Re: chip credit cards

Every time (Home Depot issues) I think oh, I wish my bank would send a Chip card instead of one with a magnetic strip I remember that I have yet to visit a store that has a reader for chip cards:( Hopefully soon... Walmart has them and they are enabled. It even forced me to use the chip the last tw...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: chip credit cards
Replies: 25
Views: 1541

Re: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?

Morro Bay sounds like a winner. Our visit to the central coast area is part of a sweeping road trip to scout out locations for retirement. Our plan is on this road trip across several states is to see as much as we can and then go back for longer stays in areas that appealed to us the most. If you'...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?
Replies: 18
Views: 961

Re: chip credit cards

The chip cards will deter thieves from copying information contained within the magnetic strip. This level of protection will not be the end all be all solution to data breaches and hacking. Thank you. I think I get it. The magnetic strip had all the info. I was afraid that a new card alone with ch...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: chip credit cards
Replies: 25
Views: 1541

Re: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?

Morro Bay is very busy and too "touristy" for my tastes. It also has the barking sea lions to listen to at all hours of the day and night. I personally prefer Los Osos/Baywood Park for that part of the coast, as it has more of a quiet coastal village vibe and it's about halfway between Mor...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?
Replies: 18
Views: 961

Re: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?

So I think I have reached a resolution, which may not be the most ideal one, but the best one at the moment considering the circumstances and, most importantly, the one that will help me sleep well at night. Thank you, all. That is the most important thing: coming up with a compromise that will hel...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?
Replies: 72
Views: 5601

Re: AT&T Retiree Mobile Share Value Plan discounts

I'm not familiar with this particular discount, but my employer discount only applies to the phone service fee on the first line. It does not apply to the Mobile Share data fee or to the phone service fees for the additional lines. Make sure that this discount doesn't have similar restrictions, beca...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Retiree Mobile Share Value Plan discounts
Replies: 2
Views: 454

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I don't know many who wouldn't opt for the statement credit, so while you and I can mentally shorthand this card to a 2% card, Citi, strictly speaking, cannot and must market it as a 1% + 1% card. I haven't seen Citi advertising it as a 2% card anywhere. Their webpage quite clearly has it as 1% on ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: Policy on changing Passwords

By the way I would like to quote an interesting tidbit of information I just came across: it takes only 10 minutes to crack a lowercase password that is 6 characters long. Add two extra letters and a few uppercase letters and that number jumps to 3 years. Add just one more character and some number...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Policy on changing Passwords
Replies: 15
Views: 1194

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

A bit disturbing: Fraud: If your Card Account shows any sign of fraudulent, abusive or suspicious activity, we may close or suspend your Card Account immediately without giving you prior notice. You may also forfeit your accrued cash rewards. When you become a cardmember, you will receive the full ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: Probability question

The mathematics behind this is the Binomial distribution, which allows one to calculate the probability of getting exactly k specific outcomes from a series of n independent events. The events have to be able to be modeled as binary events, e.g. success and failure, heads and tails, and so on. In th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Probability question
Replies: 14
Views: 1145

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

My Chase Freedom Mastercard just got converted into a VISA. I was looking for a new Mastercard to get into the mix. I wonder if this is like Freedom used to be and like Quicksilver still is, where it can be either a VISA or Mastercard. In any event, I think like others, I will wait to see if there i...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 19574

Re: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Schem

It's not a Ponzi scheme. It's just that your colleague is uninformed about more cost-effective choices for those types of insurance and investments. That "guaranteed" 4% return comes with a hefty price tag, and probably isn't really a guarantee if one looks at the fine print. I've seen thi...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Scheme?
Replies: 54
Views: 5106

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

I'll chime in with a minority opinion here. I would ignore the issue of renters. Renters come and go. There were the wildest renters across the street from me last year (they liked to throw parties on the roof) and now that house is occupied by people who are spending the weekend tidying up the yard...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 46
Views: 4932

Re: Should I fix a "totaled" car

OP here giving a final report. Thanks for all the advice. I expected more of a split decision on here but it was pretty much a slam dunk: move on. Finding a replacement turned out to be easier than I first thought. I wasn't looking to upgrade. I was completely happy with the car so I found almost a...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fix a "totaled" car
Replies: 37
Views: 2609

Re: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?

Some of the responses I've read here are very harsh and some of the expectations for these family members appear wildly unrealistic. If you come from a culture that values family, the responses suggesting that the OP give 30 days notice or kick his brother to a homeless shelter (on the assumption t...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?
Replies: 72
Views: 5601

Re: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?

I'll reiterate what I've seen on Suze Orman multiple times. Tell your family that you love them and do not send another check. Hold your ground. Be strong. They sometimes send me on a guilt trip. My brother said I would regret when my parents pass away for not having done more. It's very hard on me...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?
Replies: 72
Views: 5601

Re: Do you mix inheritance and earned money?

I received a very modest sum from my great grandparents, which is probably the only inheritance I'll ever get (fiscal responsibility skipped a couple of generations). I'm single and it was a small amount, so there was no reason to keep it separate. I did use some of it to purchase IBonds, so I suppo...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you mix inheritance and earned money?
Replies: 25
Views: 2199

Re: Which bed should I buy?

I'm a mostly side sleeper, with occasional back sleeping. My personal approach was to avoid pillowtop mattresses. From reading online reviews, it seems like the materials in the pillowtop wear out faster than the coils in the mattress, and it's hard to "refresh" the pillowtop. I decided to...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which bed should I buy?
Replies: 21
Views: 1905

Re: Programming and Database Classes

I'm enrolled in a college class but after the first week, I'm thinking about dropping it because I don't think I'll get enough out of it. Talk to your instructor to see if another class at the college is more suited to you. Just tell your instructor that the course is too basic given your prior exp...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Programming and Database Classes
Replies: 15
Views: 1070

Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

As I said in the other thread, I have insurance through CEA, but my area of CA is very cheap compared to the Bay Area or LA. I've experienced stronger quakes here than I did when living elsewhere in CA though. I joke that it's got to be bigger than a 5 to wake me up. But on the serious side, there a...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 54
Views: 3152

Re: Question for Mac Excel 2011 users

From what I've read this should work on Mac Office 2011. However, to test this out I took my spreadsheet, on a USB Drive, to Apple. When I tried to open the file it gave a warning that the file contains a macro. I click the button to say enable the macro. However, all I got was a spinning pinwheel....
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Mac Excel 2011 users
Replies: 13
Views: 991

Re: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)

It's more likely to be the lighting flicker or an odor. I would not hang my hat on a made-up disease. I'm always the first person in my group to notice when a light is going out. I get occular migraines from flickering light, but most of the time the pain is minimal. Having colors in my peripheral ...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)
Replies: 17
Views: 1376

Re: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)

I thought I was allergic to something in our new building. Turns out I was allergic to something AROUND our new building, e.g. the new landscaping they put in around all of the entrances. Even the best filtration system in the world is not going to help when there's an allergen producer spewing off ...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)
Replies: 17
Views: 1376

Re: Policy on changing Passwords

Assuming that you use a unique password for each site and it is NOT based on a discernible pattern, changing passwords only helps if the attacker has already compromised the site to get the password database. The hope in this case is that you change passwords before they can brute force your passwor...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Policy on changing Passwords
Replies: 15
Views: 1194

Re: Earthquake Preparedness

I live in Washington and have earthquake insurance. It boggles my mind that so many Californians don't have it, but I guess it is much more expensive there? And I guess they know something I don't, as far as who will ultimately foot the bill for damages and repairs. The CA Earthquake Authority (CEA...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake Preparedness
Replies: 39
Views: 2070

Re: Earthquake Preparedness

I'm surprised that vineyards seemed unprepared for this, judging by all the broken barrels and bottles. A lot of brick buildings got hammered too. Yes, it's easy to say, You should have done that, but zillions of bottles worth a lot apiece, and no provision for an earthquake - what were they thinki...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake Preparedness
Replies: 39
Views: 2070

Re: Earthquake Preparedness

People think of the obvious like straping down bookcases or getting food/water supplies handy after a big quake. I like to think of the less obvious, like not locating my bed underneath a massive picture window in the bedroom, not having pictures hanging above the bed, and not having things on the b...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake Preparedness
Replies: 39
Views: 2070
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