Archive for January, 2017

Obama and Romney enter final stretch in campaign for US Presidency

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Friday, November 2, 2012

Incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have returned to campaigning after taking time out due to Hurricane Sandy.

On Wednesday, Obama visited New Jersey, meeting with Governor Chris Christie in Atlantic City, and spoke to victims of the storm at a community center in Brigantine. Obama earned the praise of the Republican governor who said “[Obama had] sprung into action immediately”. The President’s reaction to the storm also earned him positive polling, with a Washington Post/ABC survey saying 8 out of 10 respondents thought Obama had responded in a “good” or “excellent” manner to the storm.

After restarting the campaign, Obama has campaigned in Wisconsin where he has attacked Romney’s proposed policies as being the same as those of George W. Bush. “Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly – the very same policies we’ve been cleaning up after for the past four years – and he is offering them up as change.” said the President.

Yesterday, the independent mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg gave his endorsement to Obama. With several areas of New York affected by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, the former Republican mayor said Obama’s stance on climate change factored in his decision. Writing an editorial for Bloomberg View, the mayor asserted: “Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

Bloomberg said Obama had taken action to deal with climate change; has proposed measures to reduce emissions from cars and power plants. Bloomberg explained he could not support Romney as the Republican challenger had changed his position on several issues. “In the past he has taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care – but he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the very health care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg did however have some criticism of Obama. He said that Obama had “engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.” Responding in a statement, Obama said he was “honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement”.

Romney spoke at an event in the city of Roanoke, Virginia, criticising Obama’s proposal to create a cabinet-level position for business development. In his speech in Virginia, Romney stated: “I don’t think adding a new chair in his cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street. We don’t need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business and I do.” Romney also launched a TV advert which stated that the idea represents a broader failing of the Obama presidency by suggesting that Obama’s “solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat.”

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After speaking in Roanoke, Romney spoke in Doswell, Virginia. His speech was interrupted by a protester who shouted “Climate change caused Sandy! Let’s get real!”

Romney plans to make a last-minute campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party of the United States, was arrested on Wednesday in Winnsboro in east Texas for misdemeanor criminal trespassing while trying to bring food and confectionery to environmental protesters who have been camping in trees for over a month to protest the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Stein has been released pending a court date.

Work At Home Tips For A Beginner Learn More About It

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Submitted by: Robert Corter

I have worked at home since 1996. I edit medical records and provide quality assurance for an international electronic medical records company and the vast majority of my colleagues work from home also. I enjoy working from home; no expensive commute, no work wardrobe, no temptation to hit the deli for lunch every day, and on my breaks I can do fun things like laundry and cleaning the refrigerator.

Over the years I have made a few discoveries about the down side of working from home. Don’t think it’s all eating bon bons and watching soap operas; a job from home is still a job. To wit:

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1. You need to let people know you really are “at work.” When I tell people I work from home, some folks seem to get the idea that this means that I’m available for chitchat on the phone, that I spend my time watching TV and that my full attention isn’t really necessary for my job. Not so much. I have to give concentrated attention to my work for the minimum of eight hours a day just like everybody else, so I don’t have time for socializing; I’m on the clock. I had to set boundaries early on or I would have never gotten anything done. This includes telling friends that even though I’m at home, I really don’t have time to listen to their problems right now or give advice to the lovelorn. I mean it.

2. Working from home can be very isolating. Sometimes if it weren’t for the UPS guy I’d go for days without seeing anyone. My check is direct deposited so there’s no need to go to the bank. I keep in touch with my boss and my coworkers over the phone, IMs and emails, so even though I talk to the folks I work with daily, I’ve never met any of them. I have to make a point to get together with friends to go out and do something fun now and then, and get around people. I’m sort of an introvert anyway so it would be really easy for me to just turn into a recluse and disappear. For my own sanity I have to make sure that I don’t do this.

3. Just because you can work from home in your pajama bottoms and a ragged t-shirt doesn’t mean that you should. Yes, there are some nights when it’s all I can do to throw on yesterday’s shorts and get to my office to clock in before I put on the coffee pot, never mind running a comb through my hair or brushing my teeth. Sometimes I have bad days like everyone else and since I work from home I have the option of foregoing a few of the niceties I would have to observe if I worked in an office. However, I try to make these days the exception rather than the rule. It’s not good for me to get too slack about my appearance or put off taking care of myself until some other time. It’s important to me that I at least follow a few of the workday kind of conventions, so most of the time I take a few minutes and do my hair, put on a little makeup, put on an outfit I could be seen in public in, and put on some shoes so in case I have an emergency I can drop everything and go on a moment’s notice. Besides, I am a professional, and it makes me feel more like I know what I’m doing if I don’t look like a slob.

Working at home can be really nice. I do get to spend more time with my family than I would if I had a long commute. I can make it to more ball games and recitals and graduations than I would if I were stuck in a cubicle all day. However, the main problems I run into have to do with isolation on the job and the inherent dangers of negelcting myself. As long as I keep those things in check, working at home works out just fine.

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North American Leaders’ Summit 2016: leaders affirm strong relations

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Saturday, July 2, 2016

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Ottawa. This marks the first time Canadian, U.S., and Mexican leaders have met since 2014, as 2015’s summit was not arranged in the harsh political relations at the time.

Among the topics discussed were trade and the countries’ economies, and current world events such as the U.S. presidential candidates and the United Kingdom’s recent vote to leave the European Union.

North America has a combined economy representing over 25% of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product) with a little over 7% of the world’s population. The countries’ combined GDP has risen since 1993 from US$8 trillion to about US$20 trillion in 2016.

The “Three Amigos” have shown an agenda geared towards green energy: pledging to generate 50% clean power across North America by the year 2025, implement a joint study about the addition of renewable energy sources in North America, and implement ten energy-efficiency standards and tests on equipment being traded throughout the continent.

Trade was also a big topic of discussion, with the leaders affirming support not only for NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) — something controversial in the U.S. political campaign — but also the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with Mexican President Peña Nieto stating: “We are fully convinced that by working together […] we can be the most competitive region in the world”. Justin Trudeau also said by December 1 of this year Mexicans will no longer require visas in order to come to Canada.

The leaders held a trilateral press conference with the media after the summit. During the conference, President Obama scorned presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling his rhetoric “nativism or xenophobia”.

President Barack Obama also addressed a joint session of the Canadian Senate and House of Commons. Obama was the seventh president to do so — his other six predecessors being Harry Truman in 1947, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and 1958, John F. Kennedy in 1961, Richard Nixon in 1972, Ronald Reagan in 1981 and 1987, and Bill Clinton in 1995.

Obama spoke about the relationship between Canada and the United States, saying the border was the “longest border of peace on Earth”. He also said the United States “could not ask for a better friend or ally than Canada.”

Warn Ryder Cup Fans

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Warn Ryder Cup Fans



Ryder Cup Europe has started a strong campaign to try their best to protect people from being cheated by what they call “pirate” operators.

They are warned of hospitality packages which are located in a hotel that are five miles away from Celtic Manor, where Europe take on America on October 1-3.

Richard Hills, who is the Ryder Cup director, said: ” Do not make mistake, customers will feel that this is misleading at best.

” In the past two weeks, two world class brands have got touched with us, we are horrified to get known that they had booked unofficial and off-site hospitality and that as tickets cannot be transferred they might not receive any valid tickets which are for the Ryder Cup.

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“Fortunately, they were able to book with Ryder Cup Europe again – the only official way to book C however, we have made the decision that other companies are not trapped just like this as the consequences are very terrible.

“There are lots of pirate operators, who claim that they have genuine tickets, which is just not the case as what they claimed.

“Ryder Cup will record every ticket that is purchased and all of the tickets are not transferred.

“They may also claim that they can be on your behalf to apply for tickets, however as all of the tickets will have photo ID this time, thus this also is a fraudulent claim.

“Pirate operators claim that they are running shuttles to the course which has the golf equipment, such as the

golf clubs

, which is not possible.

” We have a series of restrictions and road closures that only allow shuttles from Ryder Cup Travel Services, the official provider of transport to the event, through the security cordon around the site throughout the week.

“The last thing that we want to do is to make companies, their clients and true fans disappoint by turning them away. But these companies leave us no option.

“Anyone who believes that they may have been cheated should contact us as soon as possible.”

Reston Babel is a short story writer who love sports especially golf sport. Babel offers a unique look at a wide varitety of interesting golf topics, including golf news, useful golf tips, golf equipment reviews and so on. This is one of his article, hope it is useful for people who love golf sports like him.

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Volunteers and food needed for flooded Manitoba, Canada

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Local municipal and provincial volunteers in Manitoba, Canada are exhausted in their efforts to divert the rising waters of the Red River of the North.

It has been hard work with little sleep for the residents who live on the shores of the Red River to shore up their defences with sandbags, build dikes, clear frozen culverts and break ice jams

Volunteers to spell relief for local volunteers and food are desperately needed.

“It’s a week now we’ve been doing this … you’re talking four, five, six public works guys. In my one community we’ve got 25 volunteer firefighters and those guys have been going 24/7, so of course it’s wearing them down.” said Paul Guyader, Manitoba’s emergency measures coordinator.

“We’re dealing with one of the biggest floods the province has ever seen,” said Steve Strang, mayor of St. Clements, Manitoba “We’ve put out hundreds of thousands of bags already. The municipalities are working very well, we’re working with the provincial government, we’ve brought in every possible resource we could to address this issue. The volunteerism within the community has been phenomenal.”

The Portage Diversion has taken some spring waters from the Assiniboine River and diverted the flow to Lake Manitoba.

Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation has been totally evacuated, as well as many homes near the Canada – United States border.

The cold weather is freezing the ice jams into place. Guyader has had 2 Amphibex Excavators operating on the river breaking up ice.

The Red River is right now 16.7 feet (5 metres) above spring ice conditions. The Red River Floodway gates cannot be opened with the current ice jams.

“If we operate now, we can get ice jamming going into the floodway, jamming up against the St. Mary’s bridge, as such, the floodway capacity would be reduced and would cause higher water levels in the city of Winnipeg.” said Steve Topping, Manitoba Water Stewardship spokesman

The floodway was constructed in 1968 following the 1950 flood to divert the overflow spring flooding waters of the Red River. The floodway has been widened the since the 1997 “flood of the century” and the expansion is expected to be completed this spring. As well Manitoba built permanent dikes around communities within the flood plain since the last two major floods..

The Red River waters will crest between the beginning of April to mid April, at which time also the weather should be warming up. Communities are bracing for higher water levels, more ice jams as well as melting snow in the warmer spring temperatures.

Michelin’s tyre mistake sends US Formula One Grand Prix into farce

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Indianapolis Formula One Grand Prix descended into farce when just six cars started the race on Sunday. The problem arose when Michelin discovered that its tires were incapable of more than ten laps at race pace.

The first indication of trouble was when the rear left tire of Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota racecar exploded during practice on Friday. Schumacher’s car collided with the track wall while travelling at 300 km/h (approx. 186 miles/h), leaving him shaken but generally unharmed. However, further investigations by Michelin revealed that another ten tires had suffered problems, with one also failing on track.

All the problems occurred on the rear left tire during the two long 90 degree corners leading onto the main straight. The nine degree banking and grooves cut into the surface of the track compounded problems.

It is believed that Michelin may not have properly accounted for the grooves cut into the Indianapolis track to improve grip for Indy cars after the track was resurfaced. Indy cars have smaller down-force generating wings so need more grip from their tires than Formula One cars.

Bridgestone, the other tire manufacturer currently in Formula One, did not have similar problems. It is possible that their US subsidiary, Firestone, who supplied tires for an Indy car race after the resurfacing, may have sent information back to their Formula One tires department in Japan. The three teams running Bridgestone tires – Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi – were therefore able to compete without any safety concerns.

Under FIA racing regulations, the only course of action was for the Michelin runners to withdraw from the race on safety grounds. Rules prevented alternative tires from being flown from France overnight, although Michelin were unsure whether these tires were also affected by the problem.

Drivers and teams had also suggested building a chicane to slow cars down between the corners, but Ferrari opposed the idea, and ultimately the FIA rejected the idea under regulations.

Actually the FIA rules states that the tyres manufacters should provide two sets of tyres for the race. One normal, optimized for performance, and one optimized for safety, to be used when the normal one set could not be used. In this case the safe set was not present.

The 123,000 fans watching from the stands were unaware of the farce unfolding below them until the parade lap before the race.

The fourteen Michelin runners peeled off into the pit lane rather than take up their starting positions on the grid. However, at least one driver, David Coulthard told his team that he was willing to race on the tires in question, had the decision been left up to him.

Fans jeered and booed as they realised what was happening, and a small number began throwing bottles and cans onto the track.

Rubens Barrichello, in a Ferrari, ran over one bottle of water at high speed which exploded in a spray of droplets.

Fans started stamping in the stands on the finish line straight, causing them to shake.

A British ITV filmcrew spoke to some fans. “I paid $85 for three-day ticket. I travelled nine hours from Baltimore to be here. Indy cars wouldn’t do this. NASCAR wouldn’t do this. I’ll never attend a race again – only watch on TV.”

Other fans had travelled from Mexico and Panama to watch the race, and said they wanted refunds.

A Police Captain also talked to ITV, saying he’d never seen fans as angry as this before. If trouble flared, they could call on 400-500 officers from local and state police, Indianapolis Police Department and the FBI under contingency plans.

The race was eventually won by Michael Schumacher from his Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello. Jordan’s Tiago Monteiro finished third. Despite what was clearly a one-manufacturer race for the win, both Ferrari drivers did indeed race one another hard, with them almost colliding following Schumacher’s exit from the pit lane after his second pitstop, with Barrichello having to take to the infield to avoid spinning off. Following the race, the two drivers did not speak.

Fans worldwide queue for new iPhone

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fans throughout the world have been queuing up outside stores for the release of Apple’s new iPhone, titled the iPhone 3GS. The phone went on sale on Friday morning around the world. According to CNN, around 300 people were queuing outside Apple’s New York store while employees were briefed inside.

Lines however, were not as long as was anticipated, with surplus metal barriers outside stores. An Apple employee was quoted as saying that the lines were shorter than this time last year.

The new iPhone contains a faster processor, a digital compass and a video camera. Ever since the launch of the original iPhone two years ago, it has been praised for “making smartphones cool”, with over 17 million handsets being sold.

However, critics have said that the new update deals are too costly. The telecommunications company O2 has made owners of Apple’s current iPhone products buy out their contracts should they wish to purchase the new phone.

UEFA Champions League 2015-2016: Lewandowski scores twice in group stage match against Dinamo Zagreb

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Saturday, December 12, 2015

On Wednesday, German football club Bayern Munich defeated Croatian football club Dinamo Zagreb in a UEFA Champions League group stage match played Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb.

Bayern had a greater ball possession. The match saw three yellow cards, all for the home side. A total of 16 fouls were committed in the match. Zagreb defender Gonçalo Santos was the first man to be booked for committing a foul on Lewandowski in the 31st minute and Munich won a free kick. Xabi Alonso took the kick but it was just wide. First half ended in 0–0.

In the second half, Thomas Müller was substituted in for Franck Ribéry in the 47th minute. Later, in the 61th minute, Thomas Müller assisted Robert Lewandowski and he scored a header, making it 1–0 lead for the visitors. Lewandowski doubled the lead in the 64th minute, assisted by Sebastian Rode.

Josip Pivari? was yellow carded in the 73th minute. In the 87th minute, Eduardo Carvalho was yellow carded for bringing down Arturo Vidal in the penalty area. Bayern won a penalty kick, but Müller hit the woodwork. The match ended 0–2 while Bayern had already qualified for the next stage.

Bayern Munich and Arsenal advanced to the Last 16 knockout stage of 2015–16 UEFA Champions League.

Zagreb ended fourth in the table and their European journey for this season ended. Greek Olympiacos, being third in the table after 3–0 defeat at home by Arsenal moved to UEFA Europa League.

December 9, 2015
Dinamo Zagreb 0–2 Bayern Münich Stadion Maksimir, ZagrebAttendance: 19,681Referee: Martin Strömbergsson, Sweden
31′ Gonçalo Santos 73′ Josip Pivari? 87′ Eduardo Carvalho (0–0) HT 61′, 64′ Robert Lewandowski

7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes off Haitian coast

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Haiti earlier today at 21:53 UTC, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, no tsunami warning was issued, contradicting some media reports that said there was one in place. The quake’s magnitude was revised down from an initial report of 7.3 on the Richter scale.

“A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data,” the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. “However, there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than a 100 km [60 miles] from the earthquake epicentre.”

The USGS reports that the epicentre was fifteen kilometres (ten miles) southwest of Port-au-Prince and 1,140 kilometers (708 miles) southeast of Miami, Florida, at a depth of ten kilometres.

According to USGS analyst Dale Grant, this tremor was “the largest quake recorded in this area”; the last strong quake was in 1984, and had a magnitude of 6.7, he noted.

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“Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken. The sky is just gray with dust,” said Henry Bahn, an official with the US Department of Agriculture who was visiting in Haiti and a witness to the incident. “I just held on and bounced across the wall. I just hear a tremendous amount of noise and shouting and screaming in the distance,” he commented, as quoted by the Associated Press.

According to data from the USGS, there were thirteen aftershocks after the initial tremors, the strongest of which was 5.9 on the Richter scale; seven others measured in at 5.0 or higher – all the aftershocks were 4.0 or greater.

No deaths have yet been reported, but a hospital in Port-au-Prince was damaged, and a US government official said several houses fell into a ravine. An analyst for USGS in Colorado commented that there could be many deaths from an earthquake of this strength. “I think we are going to see substantial damage and casualties,” he said.

The USGS’s Mike Blanpied remarked that about three million people were impacted by the earthquake, given its location. “This quake occurred under land as opposed to off-shore, so a lot of people were directly exposed to the shaking coming off that earthquake fault, which was quite shallow,” he said.

A lack of communications makes it difficult to ascertain what damage was done. US embassy personnel were “literally in the dark” due to power failures, said State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley. “They reported structures down. They reported a lot of walls down. They did see a number of bodies in the street and on the sidewalk that had been hit by debris. So clearly, there’s going to be serious loss of life in this,” he said, as quoted by AP. A reporter for Reuters said he had seen “dozens of dead and injured people” amidst collapsed buildings.

“We are trying to get in touch with our people on the ground but we are experiencing communication problems, which is not unusual in a disaster such as this,” said United Nations spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker to Agence France-Presse.

So clearly, there’s going to be serious loss of life in this.

Appeals for aid flooded in following the disaster. In a phone call to CNN, the Haitian ambassador to the US, Raymond Joseph, said: “I’m calling on all friends of Haiti and people who are listening to me to please come to our aid. Today as Haiti is going through the worst day in its history I am calling for all others who got help from us in the beginning to help in support. The only thing I can do now is pray and hope for the best.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised that her country would also provide assistance to Haitians. “The United States is offering our full assistance to Haiti and to others in the region. We will be providing both civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance and our prayers are with the people who have suffered, their families and their loved ones.”

President Barack Obama also said that the country would be “ready to assist” Haiti.

Chip and PIN ‘not fit for purpose’, says Cambridge researcher

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Sunday, February 14, 2010

University of Cambridge security expert Professor Ross Anderson has blasted the EMV system used worldwide for credit and debit card transactions, and known in the UK as Chip and PIN, after his research team discovered a serious vulnerability. The group were able to carry out purchases using a card, even without knowing the associated personal identification number (PIN), by using a “man-in-the-middle” attack.

Retail terminals at the point of sale require the cardholder to insert their card and enter their secret PIN before a transaction can be authorised. They then communicate with the microchip built in to the card itself, which holds the PIN. If the correct number has been given, this chip returns a standard verification code (0x9000) to the terminal.

In the researchers’ attack they inserted a genuine card into a second reader, connected to a laptop. The laptop is linked by thin wires to a fake card, which is inserted into the retailer’s terminal. The laptop relays the communications between the terminal and the stolen, but genuine, card, up until the stage where the PIN is to be checked. At this point it intercepts and responds with the verification code, no matter what number was entered. The retailer’s terminal then believes that the correct PIN has been entered, and the card can be told that a signature was used to verify the cardholder instead.

Their technique has been tested successfully on cards from six different issuers: Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Co-operative Bank, Halifax, HSBC and John Lewis.

All the banks are lying. They are maliciously and wilfully deceiving the customer […] The system is not fit for purpose.

The group say that not much technical skill is required for the attack, and suggested the equipment needed could be kept in a backpack, with the wires to the fake card running down a user’s sleeve. They believe the equipment could be miniaturised to the size of a remote control.

“In practice how this attack would work is that one reasonably technically skilled person would build a device that carries out the attack and then sell this equipment on the internet just like criminals already do,” said Dr Steven Murdoch who worked on the project.

Professor Anderson claimed that the attack could already be in use by criminals. “We have many examples of people who have had their cards stolen and then purchases made using the chip and pin,” he said. “They are adamant they didn’t use it but if the banks say chip and pin has been used you have to pay. I think many of these people would have been victim of the kind of technique we have developed.”

He was scathing about bank claims that the system was secure. “The banks are wrong. All the banks are lying. They are maliciously and wilfully deceiving the customer. If there was any justice then the police would be looking into this. The system is not fit for purpose.”

Consumer group Which? have also called for an investigation, stating that in a recent survey one in seven people said that money had been taken from their accounts without authorisation. Around half of these did not have the money refunded by the bank.

“We want the banks to look into these potential flaws,” said Cathy Neal from Which? Money, “because we have had many examples where the banks have said a pin was used and the customer said it hasn’t.”

Over 90 percent of UK card transactions at point-of-sale use chip and PIN, according to the UK Payments Administration. The attack does not affect ATM transactions, which use different standards. Mark Bowerman, a spokesman for the group which represents card companies, said that there was no evidence the attack was in use and emphasised that card fraud had fallen with the introduction of chip and PIN.

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We strongly refute the allegation that chip and PIN is broken

“We are taking this paper very seriously, as maintaining excellent levels of card security is paramount,” he said. “However, we strongly refute the allegation that chip and PIN is broken.”

The research paper has been made available as a working draft, and is due to be published at the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium in May 2010. Members of the banking industry were informed of the vulnerability in early December last year.