Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Sep 2011 22:26 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption So, people from within Iran have hacked the Dutch company DigiNotar, allowing them to issue fake certificates so they could listen in on Iranian dissidents and other organisation within Iran. This is a very simplified version of the story, since it's all quite complicated and I honestly don't even understand all of it. In any case, DigiNotar detected the intrusion July 19, but didn't really do anything with it until it all blew up in their face this past week. Now, the Dutch government has taken over operational management of DigiNotar... But as a Dutch citizen, that doesn't really fill me with confidence, because, well - whenever the Dutch government does anything even remotely related to IT technology, they mess it up. And mess it up bad.
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Smartrider
by 3rdalbum on Tue 6th Sep 2011 02:20 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

We have a similar public transport ticketing system here (Perth, Australia), and it rocks.

You don't have to worry about how many zones you're going to be travelling; the smartcard system works it out when you tag off. If you change your plans and decide to go further than you originally intended, you don't have to get off the train and buy another 2-zone ticket and then wait for the next train; you still just tag off as normal at your new destination.

If you're catching a bus, it's even better; you don't need to know how many zones it is to your particular bus stop. The smartcard reader works it out when you tag off and handles it all transparently.

It even works out the cheapest fare for you; if you travel three zones into town and then three zones out of town, the system knows that an All Day fare is cheaper than the two three-zone fares, and charges you for the All Day fare.

The Smartrider system can even be used to pay for parking at train stations and for unlocking the bike sheds at train stations. It is linked to the universities, so students automatically get a concession fare when studying full time, and as soon as they drop to part time or leave university they get charged full fare again.

If you load a larger value onto your card (for instance, $50) you get some discount off your fares too.

Oh: And the system works perfectly every single time.

Please don't say "The paper tickets worked fine, why are they replacing it with a smartcard system". When done properly, smartcard tickets are awesome because they make life a lot easier for travellers, and are a lot more flexible. They cut down on fare evasion and concession fare fraud (where students enroll full-time, get a concession card and then drop back to part time; that trick doesn't work anymore with the Smartrider).

In short, smartcard ticketing is so good, you won't realise how much you love it until you think about the olden days with paper tickets :-)

Unfortunately, you hear a lot about countries where it hasn't been done properly and there have been problems. But that's a government problem for choosing the wrong company, not an inherent flaw in the idea.

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