The following is a 'stream of consciousness' (micro *log style).
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Little does Indie know how many Fediverse accounts I have. 😉
I stumbled over Atheist Shoes. A company half setup as a joke. The guy who runs it is an atheist and developed an interest in shoe making. At some point he posted a picture of his shoes on a reddit atheist group. One thing lead to another (others said they liked his shoes) and he setup a Kickstarter to make more and… the company "Atheist Shoes" was born.
While the concept of atheist shoes is whimsical or silly depending on how you approach it, his shoes are nice. Pricy but given the materials and production process, perhaps not as crazy as they first appear.
Anyway, long story short I bought some ("DAS MIDNIGHT BLUE SNEAKER" if you are interested).
The one thing that does bother me about them as a company is that they accept payment in crypto currency. Personally I am very anti-crypto and this was almost a deal breaker for me but in the end I went ahead nonetheless (paid for in Euro obviously, not Bitcoin).
But… I could not resist writing to them to point out my disapproval of them taking Bitcoin and why. Much of their shoes selling point is about quality products that last and with that comes sustainability. However, Bitcoin is the opposite of that, with its vast energy usage. Probably nothing will come of my post to them but I do think it is important to speak up or there is no chance of change.
Still did not work today but I did get plenty of questions from colleagues, so I felt somewhat stressed. One way or another I guess I will have to work tomorrow, no matter how I feel.
I decided not to go into work today because I would have likely infected people. Initially I had intended to work from home but then realised my concentration was all over the place and just called in sick. I have been in this weird state all day, where I can't quite sleep but also cannot really spend any time looking at or thinking about anything in detail, so I am sort of frustrated and bored. Also my nose runs endlessly.
Pretty certain I will go in tomorrow and touch and go that I will even work from home effectively but I guess we'll see.
Been away for a week at the cabin owned by my extended family. It was great but somehow I have arrived back with a terrible cold. During my time away I only really interacted with 8 people. None of us had a cold when we left. Where did this come from?
You can use a Gopher client to read finger information
If you have a finger link like this:
Just rewrite it like so:
- Change the protocol from finger:// to gopher://
- Add the port :79 after the domain
- Add a 0 before the username
This works because on the most basic level the protocols are essentially the same.
epoch's "blog": - fingerlist -- android finger client
Two different watch straps arrived today. One by Laks and one by Berg. The former is not quite tight enough in its smallest setting. The latter I am not 100% sure with regards to the style. Hmm…
On the plus side they can both house my new payment microcard.
Re: Swapfiets and bicycle leasing
JBanana's gemlog: Bicycle 🚲
While I learned to unicycle as a kid, I only started commuting to work via unicycle a few years ago. This was in part because my bike had issues at the time, something that was quite frequent for me. This time it was a very rusty chain that had pretty much locked up from all the salt that had been put down during the winter, plus me not being good enough (ok, not doing anything) to maintain it. Indeed I was sort of on a quest around the time to find a low maintenance bike because I am pretty terrible at bike maintenance (both skill wise and motivating myself to do it). This meant my bikes would typically get to a point where I had to bring them in to a bike shop for professional help. However the economics of this in Norway are such that any significant amount of work (on a cheap bike) costs so much that you might as well buy a new bike. From an environmental perspective that is not reasonable, even if it is cost wise. So what I wanted was a very basic bike with high quality, low maintenance parts like a belt drive, high end internal hub (or single speed), and all-weather front and rear hub brakes. I never found quite what I wanted and in the mean time I just unicycled to the office.
Now here is the clincher, it turns out a unicycle is a very low maintenance form of 'bike' (well… cycle) and hence it is one of the reasons I just stuck with it. 😉 Now of course this is not a solution for everyone but you know what else could fill this gap? Bike leasing solutions like Swapfiets! I welcome this idea and hope it spreads widely… OR… … everyone just takes up unicycling! 🤷
I wrote up a small post summarising my basic understanding of how payments on systems like Apple, Google and Samsung Pay and Wearables actually work, since I have had exchanges with a couple of people who seem to believe that your card numbers can be leaked over the wireless connection. The short version is that they cannot and your real account number is neither stored on your device nor sent to the merchant when paying with such systems. Instead just a token that represents the your account and a one time code are passed on. These are converted back to an account number further up the payment stack (past the merchant level), so that thieves operating at the "steal details off your device" or "intercept your payment to your merchant" never have a chance to access your account number.
Anyway, for (a little) more detail you can read my post. It is still pretty high level, based on my own limited understanding but it explains the basic concepts.
Apple, Google & Samsung Pay (+ Wearables) don't store you card details
I really need to do some preparatory work for a (Vivaldi Browser) snapshot tomorrow but my motivation is low, not least because I am unusually tired. So here I am procrastinating and writing this instead.
It does not help though, I can't get out of doing this snapshot…
Without properly announcing it (AFAICT) it seems that at some point wise.com added support for TOTP ("Authenticator"-style) 2SV/2FA. I have no idea why they do not announce this but nonetheless as a customer of theirs, I am pleased to see it happen anyway.
Previously (and until quite recently) they only offered Phone/SMS based 2SV/2FA or via their own dedicated app. Indeed, I see that help pages still make no mention if it, and yet… there it is under their settings page and it works. Now if only they would also enable FIDO/Webauthn! Although if/when they do, they probably will not mention that either! 😆
Anyway, as a side note, they are quite a handy service if you often transfer money internationally, pay in multiple currencies (on your travels or over the internet) or want/need to hold and receive money in different (or several) currencies. They have a paid recommendation/invite system, that could earn me (as a current user) a commission but to show I am genuine in my enthusiasm, here is an unaffiliated link. 😉
Wise Financial services (particularly international money transfer)
P.S. While I do offer a recommendation as handy service, keep in mind of course that like any capitalistic company (especially one in the financial services market), they do not care about you! As with a bank they are really only guided by making more money. Sometimes they pretend to be morally guided but it is very doubtful they mean it.
Wise debit card and corporate green washing
Re: JBanana's Payment card psephology
Payment card psephology
Curious stuff. But it made me think about elections. In many countries, no type of card would have overall control. Analysts would predict a coalition of "number on the front" cards would emerge, agreeing to ignore their differences on embossing. Meanwhile in the UK, the first-past-the-post voting system would mean a landslide win for embossed cards, with voters left to ponder whether tactical voting could be the only way to bring about more progressive card numbering.
Taking this further I can't help but think that the UK (first-past-the-post) example is partcularly fitting because the older, established cards would then be stopping the modern cards from changing things, potentially for the better. Indeed, this is pretty much how it works in UK with people. The old people keep things as they are even though the younger people want to move society forward, perhaps not fully agreeing on how far we should go. Or maybe I am overthinking this now? 😆
Here is a short video showing how these credit/debit microcards work
Tietoevry wearables demo video
So I just discovered that my credit card provider offers a microcard version of their credit cards as an additional (but no cost) extra. They provide you with a second card in small form, which is basically the size of a phone SIM card. It is effectively just the chip (NFC/Touch part) found in a normal credit card. You can put this card in a band (also supplied) and wear it on your wrist, saving you the need to always have your wallet with you. Alternatively, it is possible to buy a special watch strap (basically a normal strap with a little pocket to house the card) and use this with your current watch. A number of suppliers provide these, so you can pick something that works with your watch.
In the end you therefore have a normal (not "smart") watch and can make touch (tap) payments, like you would if you had an Android Wear or Apple Watch but with the upside of not being tied to the Google or Apple ecosystems, nor the worry about battery life.
I was aware or various payment wearables before, both payment rings and alternative watch payment systems like Swatchpay but I did not realise that such solutions were already offered by my current provider, in Norway.
I spent the weekend at the cabin. There was so much snow on the roof, so I spent a fair amount of time clearing it as we started to worry about the weight of it. I couldn't clear everything though, there just was not enough time but I am hoping that it helped nonetheless. Most likely we will take another trip out there soon and I can try and finish the job.
P.S. I have never actually cleared snow from the roof before and I have to say it was a bit scary. Whilst I have lived in Norway for quite a few years now I'm still not quite sure how snow will move under various conditions and hence I was in constant fear of falling off the roof, even though my caution meant I was probably quite safe. In addition there was a lot of snow on the ground already and even bigger piles as I cleared more from the roof. So if I did fall, I probably would have been ok anyway! 😉
I put up a couple of Mastodon polls on credit/debit cards related to my earlier posts
What kind of card design do you have?
Who here has memorised one or more of their debit/credit card numbers?
I also got a reply to my latest post by @JBanana
I have credit card nostalgia. WTF?
I moved (well… copied) my thoughts on Wise's new Eco card to its own post, since it was pretty long!
Wise debit card and corporate green washing
While doing that I started to think more about card designs and trends and also wrote a following up of sorts
The progression to numberless credit/debit cards
Wise debit card and more corporate green washing
Recently Wise (an international payment company) started to offer a new debit card to its customers. It is called Wise Eco and is supposed to have green credentials, with the following advantages listed:
- It is "bioplastic"—The bioplastic is made from Polylactic acid or polylactide (PLA), which is a polyester derived from biomass (typically corn) rather than from the oil industry
- It has "Less ink" because it does not include things like the primary account number (PAN) written on the card. The reduced amount of ink is because the ink used is not biodegradable
- "Planet-friendly" packaging using "Incada Silk" which is FSC-certified
Wise page announcing the card
This all sounds like bullshit green washing to me. Some quick thoughts off the top of my head
- Wise also have virtual cards, which are just a set of numbers that can be used directly online or paired with Google or Apple pay, so that you can use your smartphone as a payment device. Since these "cards" are entirely virtual, and thus made of nothing and require no shipping, surely they are the green option?
- Wise continue to offer their original non-eco card (which ironically is green in colour, while the new eco card is white). Why? Instead shouldn't this just be the default card for new customers and the replacement card for outstanding ones that come up for expiry?
- If you are an existing customer and have the green (but not eco "green") original card, you are actually offered the new eco one in addition when you view your card details online. They are linked to the same account balance and you can already have 3 virtual cards at no cost. So how does offering another physical card that still draws from they same balance help in being ecological? Wise is offering an additional physical thing when you already have multiple ways to pay from your account.
- This ink saving sounds particularly bullshitty. How much ink are we saving here and surely the environmental saving of slightly less ink pails in comparison to producing a card with a semiconductor chip and then sending it (in your eco friendly packaging) to your largely international customers?
I am not totally against this product. Physical cards are still needed by many consumers and perhaps some of these changes help but seriously Wise just make this your one physical card offering, and give up on your non-"green" (but actually green in colour) card.
As a side note, I do sort of like the no PAN printed on the card idea. Not for the green aspect but from an improved security perspective. Why are we still printing credit card numbers on all our cards? If you need the numbers you can get them from your bank's website or app, store them in your browser and/or your password manager, or even write them down on a note you keep in a safe place at home. Or if you use Google or Apple Pay, your mobile device has the number as well.
Having the number written on the card stems from a time where it was used as a fallback in cases where the card was non working or damaged but this is exceptionally uncommon (at least in my part of the world) these days, and in any case the consumer could likely retrieve these details from their phone using some of the methods I outlined above. Surely it would be better not to list the number on the card at all and thus make the visual skimming of these numbers impossible.
In fact as a customer of Wise I am sort of tempted to get one of these cards. Though if I do it will be for that last aspect and certainly not because I deluded into thinking that getting yet another card is greener!
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