12 March 2010

My Credit Card Cancelled

Earlier today I was surprised to receive an automated telephone call informing me my credit card had been cancelled due to potential fraud.

When I later phoned customer service I was informed that one of the stores I shopped at had been hacked; as a precaution my credit card was cancelled even though there didn't appear to be any fraudulent charges.

My only worry right now is that some of my bills are paid via automatic charges to my now cancelled credit card. I hope I receive my new card before any of those bills come due.

I also wish they would tell me which store had been hacked. I asked, but apparently that information is considered confidential. Go figure. I guess they're worried that if customers were told then vendors would be less likely to report problems such as this for fear of losing business.

Today's incident felt slightly surreal through out because just this morning I read an article on cbc.ca regarding the vast majority of retailers failing to wipe debit card, credit card, and PIN numbers from their point-of-sale terminals, as they are supposed to do.

Thieves skim customer data from debit terminals

Merchants not vigilant about wiping point-of-sale machines clean

"[...] Thieves are accessing personal financial information using the old-fashioned smash-and-grab method, but what they're grabbing are point-of-sale terminals, not merchandise.

CBC-TV's Marketplace has learned that many retailers are not helping the situation because they leave valuable information on the terminals where customers swipe their debit and credit cards when paying for purchases instead of wiping the data each night as they're supposed to.

It's the equivalent of leaving the store vault open and full of cash, except the cash is credit and debit card data, said RCMP Det. John Koppes of Abbotsford, B.C., who is the Mounties' computer crime specialist. [...]" --Read more at cbc.ca

03 March 2010

This is Just Wrong

Hep C sufferers endangering health to get treatment

B.C., Ont. won't cover antiviral drugs without liver damage, so patients binge drink

Health-care workers who treat hepatitis C are raising the alarm about patients who are binge drinking and taking dangerous herbal concoctions to try to inflame their own livers in a desperate bid to get provincial governments to pay for their medication.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/03/02/bc-hepcbinging.html#ixzz0h9zosnHT

Firefox versus Chrome

Mozilla Firefox has been my browser of choice for many years, now. Unfortunately, consistent and frequent hanging issues in the past couple years have made me wish for another alternative to Internet Explorer.

I recently tested Google Chrome and liked it, but a couple issues make me reluctant (at least for now) to completely switch over.

First, Firefox offers better control over cookies. In comparison, Chrome's cookie controls are too all or none in nature. Second and more importantly, I've grown accustomed to the Firefox add-on NoScript. It's amazing how well it cleans up webpages of all the stuff I have no interest in seeing -- or if I do, then it's quick and simple to remedy. Chrome, as far as I can determine, doesn't have an extension of similar utility not because no one has produced one but because Chrome's design and/or infrastructure doesn't make such an extension possible.

Oh well. Back to my hanging Firefox, rebooting, hanging Firefox, rebooting... ad nauseum.