June 24, 2014

Matt Mullenweg visits Philippines again! Successful Wordpress CommunityMeet-up!

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It was 2008 when Matt Mullenweg first visited Philippines for Wordcamp. And I was one of those lucky bloggers who had the rare opportunity to meet Matt, the man behind Wordpress and Automattic. Thanks to the Mindanao Bloggers for organizing the Mini Wordcamp in Davao. I will never forget it. Our picture was even included on a YouTube video featuring Matt (watch till the very end. Hehe.)

Anyway, Matt was here in the country again! Just recently, he visited Manila for a Wordpress Community Meet-up which was attended by bloggers, developers, designers, and enthusiasts of the world’s most popular web publishing platform.

The Official Meet-up venue was at The Globe Tower in Bonifacio Global City. It was organized and hosted by Globe Telecom and the Philippine WordPress community led by entrepreneur and president of the Davao Bloggers Society Andrew dela Serna.

Over 120 members of the local WordPress community gathered to learn more about Mullenweg’s expertise on web technology and online publishing, including his philosophy of giving more people access to publishing and blogging through the use of an open-source software.

When asked about his partnership with Globe Telecom, he shared that Globe saw an opportunity as they’re bringing lots of people online, and which is very complimentary with WordPress’ mission, which is to democratize publishing. He said Globe is doing some amazing things locally by bringing more people on data plans and connecting them to the Internet. :)
June 20, 2014

Why Don’t Americans Use Chip and Pin Technology?

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In Europe, chip and pin cards have been in common use for over 10 years. With swipe cards, all that’s needed for authentication is a signature, which is easy to forge. The increased security offered by the use of a pin number in chip and pin card was a major contributing factor to their widespread adoption and lead to in-store credit card fraud alone falling by £120 million.

Nevertheless, swipe cards are still the preferred method of transaction in the US and the question as to why has become particularly pertinent in light of the recent theft of 100 million credit and debit card numbers from Target’s databases. There’s no guarantee that chip and pin technology would have prevented this theft from occurring, but the likelihood is that it would have vastly reduced the amount of customers who were affected.

How Does Chip and Pin Technology Work?

Each credit and debit card which uses the chip and pin system is dependent upon a small microchip which is embedded in the card itself. When the card is inserted in a chip reader the card owner is then required to enter a pin, which the reader then checks against the identity of the chip. The information contained on the microchip is encrypted, making it extremely difficult for anyone to gain unauthorised access to the card’s data.

The card’s chip will usually protect it from being cloned, but the security of the card is also dependent upon the security of the pin. Pin owners are advised to never write their pin down or tell it to anyone else. It’s also advisable that pins are changed on a regular basis.

Reasons for Not Adopting Chip and Pin

There are numerous reasons as to why the US has not so far adopted the chip and pin card system. The cost of new card readers may well be a contributing factor, as to replace all of the older card readers would entail a significant expenditure. Strong US legal protections for those who’ve been affected by card fraud may have also led to apathy regarding the need to switch over. However, strong protection does not equate to protection and if paying for the changeover is a factor for individual retailers then card reader rental providers, such as Card Cutters in the UK, may go a long way towards mitigating these costs.

The Future of Chip and Pin in America

Americans have long been left at a disadvantage because of the difficulty of relying on swipe cards when travelling abroad in places such as Europe, where chip and pin is the norm. Security aside, this should be reason enough for American banks to issue their customers with chip and pin cards. However, despite the banks’ reticence on this matter, retailers such as Target have begun to issue their own customers with cards containing chip and pin technology in an effort to combat future security breaches. Chip and pin may not yet be ubiquitous with American retail, but there’s no doubt that change is coming.

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