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nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now

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Lynn McGuire

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Jan 26, 2023, 3:46:05 PM1/26/23
to
nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to
wonder if it is coming back. Does anyone know ?

I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other. If AIOE is gone (
https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free
usenet backup.

Thanks,
Lynn

Paul

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Jan 26, 2023, 5:27:00 PM1/26/23
to
One user contacted Paolo, and Paolo says the RAID failed.

Normally, the redundancy in a RAID, allows recovery by
pulling a single defective drive, and installing a new
drive. The array can rebuild itself, while being in service
and continuing to serve files. That's what a good RAID
will do for you.

In this case, something has happened, which does not
allow instantaneous recovery. That means sufficient
redundancy was lost, the array won't come back up.
Data recovery required... etc.

Based on IP address, the server is a rental in a COLO.
That means you don't get physical access to the machine.

Paolo has been through this level of destruction before.
But the root cause was quite different.

Paul

Lynn McGuire

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Jan 26, 2023, 5:48:41 PM1/26/23
to
Thanks, that sucks for Paolo.

Lynn

Adam H. Kerman

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Jan 27, 2023, 12:19:32 AM1/27/23
to
Earthquake in Rome!

Paul

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Jan 27, 2023, 2:26:37 AM1/27/23
to
On 1/27/2023 12:19 AM, Adam H. Kerman wrote:
> Paul <nos...@needed.invalid> wrote:
>> On 1/26/2023 3:46 PM, Lynn McGuire wrote:
>>> nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to
>> wonder if it is coming back.  Does anyone know ?
>>>
>>> I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other.  If AIOE is gone (
>>> https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free
>> usenet backup.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Lynn
>>
>> One user contacted Paolo, and Paolo says the RAID failed.
>>
>> Normally, the redundancy in a RAID, allows recovery by
>> pulling a single defective drive, and installing a new
>> drive. The array can rebuild itself, while being in service
>> and continuing to serve files. That's what a good RAID
>> will do for you.
>>
>> In this case, something has happened, which does not
>> allow instantaneous recovery. That means sufficient
>> redundancy was lost, the array won't come back up.
>> Data recovery required... etc.
>>
>> Based on IP address, the server is a rental in a COLO.
>> That means you don't get physical access to the machine.
>>
>> Paolo has been through this level of destruction before.
>> But the root cause was quite different.
>
> Earthquake in Rome!

It's true that it was in Italy at one time, and Italian law applied.

But after Italy, a COLO in Germany was used. The server is a
bit of a jet-setter.

Who knows where it will go next ?

Paul

Adam H. Kerman

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Jan 27, 2023, 10:50:17 AM1/27/23
to
Paul <nos...@needed.invalid> wrote:
>On 1/27/2023 12:19 AM, Adam H. Kerman wrote:
>>Paul <nos...@needed.invalid> wrote:
>>>On 1/26/2023 3:46 PM, Lynn McGuire wrote:

>>>>nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to wonder if it is coming back.  Does anyone know ?

>>>>I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other.  If AIOE is gone (
>>>>https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free usenet backup.

>>>One user contacted Paolo, and Paolo says the RAID failed.

>>>Normally, the redundancy in a RAID, allows recovery by
>>>pulling a single defective drive, and installing a new
>>>drive. The array can rebuild itself, while being in service
>>>and continuing to serve files. That's what a good RAID
>>>will do for you.

>>>In this case, something has happened, which does not
>>>allow instantaneous recovery. That means sufficient
>>>redundancy was lost, the array won't come back up.
>>>Data recovery required... etc.

>>>Based on IP address, the server is a rental in a COLO.
>>>That means you don't get physical access to the machine.

>>>Paolo has been through this level of destruction before.
>>>But the root cause was quite different.

>>Earthquake in Rome!

>It's true that it was in Italy at one time, and Italian law applied.

>But after Italy, a COLO in Germany was used. The server is a
>bit of a jet-setter.

>Who knows where it will go next ?

I vaguely recall Paolo being affected by an earthquake, perhaps 2019.
Are you saying that AIOE was no longer in Italy at the time? I didn't
know.

Paul

unread,
Jan 27, 2023, 2:30:14 PM1/27/23
to
On 1/27/2023 10:50 AM, Adam H. Kerman wrote:
> Paul <nos...@needed.invalid> wrote:
>> On 1/27/2023 12:19 AM, Adam H. Kerman wrote:
>>> Paul <nos...@needed.invalid> wrote:
>>>> On 1/26/2023 3:46 PM, Lynn McGuire wrote:
>
>>>>> nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to wonder if it is coming back.  Does anyone know ?
>
>>>>> I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other.  If AIOE is gone (
>>>>> https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free usenet backup.
>
>>>> One user contacted Paolo, and Paolo says the RAID failed.
>
>>>> Normally, the redundancy in a RAID, allows recovery by
>>>> pulling a single defective drive, and installing a new
>>>> drive. The array can rebuild itself, while being in service
>>>> and continuing to serve files. That's what a good RAID
>>>> will do for you.
>
>>>> In this case, something has happened, which does not
>>>> allow instantaneous recovery. That means sufficient
>>>> redundancy was lost, the array won't come back up.
>>>> Data recovery required... etc.
>
>>>> Based on IP address, the server is a rental in a COLO.
>>>> That means you don't get physical access to the machine.
>
>>>> Paolo has been through this level of destruction before.
>>>> But the root cause was quite different.
>
>>> Earthquake in Rome!
>
>> It's true that it was in Italy at one time, and Italian law applied.
>
>> But after Italy, a COLO in Germany was used. The server is a
>> bit of a jet-setter.
>
>> Who knows where it will go next ?
>
> I vaguely recall Paolo being affected by an earthquake, perhaps 2019.
> Are you saying that AIOE was no longer in Italy at the time? I didn't
> know.
>

That's true, but I don't remember the timing of the move exactly.

You can see in the example here, that something must have happened
around this date.

https://web.archive.org/web/20090121135220/http://news.aioe.org/

Unfortunately, archive.org has just stopped responding, so I can't
poke around some more for comparison shots of the before and after.

Paul

David E. Ross

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Jan 27, 2023, 3:29:22 PM1/27/23
to
From the AIOE administrator:
>
> The RAID controller failed and its failure damaged the contents of
> the disks. Today or tomorrow they let me know what can be recovered,
> if nothing the recovery times will be long
>

--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>.

The only reason we have so many laws is that not enough people will do
the right thing. (© 1997 by David Ross)

Ray Banana

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Feb 2, 2023, 6:25:46 AM2/2/23
to
For what it's worth:

I have seen aioe resurrecting after 6 weeks of agony in Mama Amorosi's
cellar during the hot summer of 2006, when Paolo was on holidays ;-)

He moved the servers to a colo after that.



--
Too many ingredients in the soup, no room for a spoon

Anton Shepelev

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Feb 2, 2023, 7:24:37 AM2/2/23
to
Lynn McGuire:

> I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other. If AIOE is
> gone ( https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to
> find another free usenet backup.

I am a happy user of this Finnish NNTP-to-FidoNet gateway,
which also works for Usenet:

https://www.fidonet.fi/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=nntp:nntp

After registration, you can request the groups you need if
they are not already carried.

--
() ascii ribbon campaign -- against html e-mail
/\ www.asciiribbon.org -- against proprietary attachments

Newyana2

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Feb 3, 2023, 8:49:56 AM2/3/23
to
"Anton Shepelev" <anton.txt@g{oogle}mail.com> wrote

| I am a happy user of this Finnish NNTP-to-FidoNet gateway,
| which also works for Usenet:
|
| https://www.fidonet.fi/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=nntp:nntp
|

That looks simple. Do you happen to know whether
they carry the MS groups? Half the groups I visit are MS,
so I'm afraid it's not going to work for me to stay on E-S.


Anton Shepelev

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Feb 3, 2023, 12:27:37 PM2/3/23
to
Newyana2 to Anton Shepelev:

> > https://www.fidonet.fi/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=nntp:nntp
>
> That looks simple. Do you happen to know whether they
> carry the MS groups? Half the groups I visit are MS, so
> I'm afraid it's not going to work for me to stay on E-S.

Not yet. Tommi's service focuses on FidoNet and carries
very few Usenet groups, but he will carry them at request,
which means starting from tabula rasa -- no backlog. There
is still hope for AIOE, if or when it rases from the ashes.

Lynn McGuire

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Feb 3, 2023, 6:08:46 PM2/3/23
to
I could not find any of the 30 groups that I frequent.

Lynn

Anton Shepelev

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Feb 4, 2023, 8:22:27 AM2/4/23
to
Lynn McGuire to Anton Shepelev:

> > https://www.fidonet.fi/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=nntp:nntp
>
> I could not find any of the 30 groups that I frequent.

Once you have registered and connected, go to the local
group `+localchat+' and request those groups to be carried.

Lynn McGuire

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Apr 14, 2023, 2:19:32 PM4/14/23
to
Apparently the prospect of AIOE coming back up is not good. There are
reports circulating that Paulo ??? is very sick and not expected to survive.

Lynn

Marco Moock

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Apr 14, 2023, 2:31:15 PM4/14/23
to
Where are these reports located?

Don Spam's Reckless Son

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Apr 14, 2023, 3:46:52 PM4/14/23
to
s|b wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Apr 2023 13:19:29 -0500, Lynn McGuire wrote:
>
>> Apparently the prospect of AIOE coming back up is not good. There are
>> reports circulating that Paulo ??? is very sick and not expected to survive.
>
> That's the first I hear of it. AFAIK there is a hardware problem and the
> server is not nearby. Paolo (sic) being on the verge of death is news to
> me and I'm having a hard time believing it. Do you have message-ids to
> the postings that claim this?
>

I'm in Frankfurt quite frequently (such as from now until Thursday
morning) and would be able to take time and go to where the servers are
if it made any sense.

Adam H. Kerman

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Apr 14, 2023, 4:54:50 PM4/14/23
to
A server farm?

Don Spam's Reckless Son

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Apr 14, 2023, 5:00:50 PM4/14/23
to
Hosted by "Leaseweb Deutschland", according to various internet tools.

Adam H. Kerman

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Apr 14, 2023, 5:51:44 PM4/14/23
to
I'm thinking that unless you are an employee you aren't getting in to
the server room.

Ray Banana

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Apr 15, 2023, 12:37:31 AM4/15/23
to
On 10818 September 1993, Don Spam's Reckless Son wrote:

> I'm in Frankfurt quite frequently (such as from now until Thursday
> morning) and would be able to take time and go to where the servers
> are if it made any sense.

Unless you are a corporate colocation customer with a contract that
allows physical access to the premises, you will not be allowed into the
building. Anyway, for leased servers like aioe's the provider will
replace defective hardware within 24 or 48 hours at no additional
cost.

I don't think the hardware is the cause of this long outage.
Just like with Albasani, I think the problem is to get all the software
installed and configured and the data restored.And sometimes, the
operator of the server is not able or willing to dedicate sufficient
time to the task for various reasons.

--
Too many ingredients in the soup, no room for a spoon
http://www.eternal-september.org

Bobbie Sellers

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Apr 15, 2023, 1:20:11 AM4/15/23
to
On 4/14/23 21:09, Ray Banana wrote:
> On 10818 September 1993, Don Spam's Reckless Son wrote:
>
>> I'm in Frankfurt quite frequently (such as from now until Thursday
>> morning) and would be able to take time and go to where the servers
>> are if it made any sense.
>
> Unless you are a corporate colocation customer with a contract that
> allows physical access to the premises, you will not be allowed into the
> building. Anyway, for leased servers like aioe's the provider will
> replace defective hardware within 24 or 48 hours at no additional
> cost.
>
> I don't think the hardware is the cause of this long outage.
> Just like with Albasani, I think the problem is to get all the software
> installed and configured and the data restored.And sometimes, the
> operator of the server is not able or willing to dedicate sufficient
> time to the task for various reasons.
>

Thank you Ray for this information. I find it very interesting.
bliss

--
bliss dash SF 4 ever at dslextreme dot com

B00ze

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Jun 2, 2023, 10:50:36 PM6/2/23
to
Any news of AIOE? I also used to use it as a backup, to access this very
newsgroup when there is trouble with ES.

Regards,

--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / B00...@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Consciousness - the annoying time between naps.


Sn!pe

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Jun 2, 2023, 11:00:33 PM6/2/23
to
B00ze <B00...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> On 2023-01-26 15:46, Lynn McGuire wrote:
>
> > nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to
> > wonder if it is coming back. Does anyone know ?
> >
> > I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other. If AIOE is gone (
> > https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free
> > usenet backup.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Lynn
>
> Any news of AIOE? I also used to use it as a backup, to access this very
> newsgroup when there is trouble with ES.
>
> Regards,

I very much doubt that it will be coming back after all this time.

--
^Ï^. – Sn!pe – <https://youtu.be/_kqytf31a8E>

My pet rock Gordon just is.

Adam H. Kerman

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Jun 3, 2023, 12:54:15 PM6/3/23
to
Alan B <alanrich...@gmail.com.invalid> wrote:
>B00ze <B00...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> On 2023-01-26 15:46, Lynn McGuire wrote:
>>
>>> nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to
>>> wonder if it is coming back.  Does anyone know ?
>>>
>>> I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other.  If AIOE is gone (
>>> https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free
>>> usenet backup.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Lynn
>>
>> Any news of AIOE? I also used to use it as a backup, to access this very
>> newsgroup when there is trouble with ES.
>
>ES provides an excellent service but if necessary you could try other free
>alternatives when it rarely goes down such as:
>
><https://solani.org>

Don't say "rarely". You'll jinx it!

Bobbie Sellers

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Jun 4, 2023, 10:33:03 AM6/4/23
to
On 6/4/23 05:29, s|b wrote:

> On Sat, 3 Jun 2023 08:18:37 -0000 (UTC), Alan B wrote:
>
>> ES provides an excellent service
>
> ES has been know to be down on occasion(s). That's why I decided long
> ago to use NIN (news.individual.net). It's only 10 euro/year and I've
> never known them to be down.
>
Well in the USA quite some years ago I tried to pay with a VISA card
which the payment site did not recognize and so I had to move to
E-S which gives me enough to deal with though not as much as I had hoped
but people have died and left at least one of my groups with no way to post.

A. Dumas

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Jun 5, 2023, 11:40:49 AM6/5/23
to
s|b <m...@privacy.invalid> wrote:
> On Sun, 4 Jun 2023 07:33:01 -0700, Bobbie Sellers wrote:
>> Well in the USA quite some years ago I tried to pay with a VISA card
>> which the payment site did not recognize
>
> It's been pointed out to me that it somewhere on NIN says it's only for
> Germans. That's probably why your card was refused.

Utter nonsense. "Card refused" for visa or other credit cards isn't even
possible, they only offer paypal and bank transfer (debit card / own
banking app) as can be easily seen on http://news.individual.net

Bobbie Sellers

unread,
Jun 5, 2023, 1:05:45 PM6/5/23
to
This was some years back and policies may have changed since I
attempted to use my card. But I was never informed as to why my card
was refused.

B00ze

unread,
Jun 5, 2023, 11:02:06 PM6/5/23
to
On 2023-06-03 04:18, Alan B wrote:
> B00ze <B00...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> On 2023-01-26 15:46, Lynn McGuire wrote:
>>
>>> nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to
>>> wonder if it is coming back.  Does anyone know ?
>>>
>>> I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other.  If AIOE is gone (
>>> https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free
>>> usenet backup.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Lynn
>>
>> Any news of AIOE? I also used to use it as a backup, to access this very
>> newsgroup when there is trouble with ES.
>
> ES provides an excellent service but if necessary you could try other free
> alternatives when it rarely goes down such as:
>
> <https://solani.org>

Thanks, and they carry ES Support, perfect.

--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / B00...@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo BIT: The increment by which programmers slowly go mad.


Jeff Layman

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Jun 6, 2023, 5:07:19 AM6/6/23
to
On 06/06/2023 09:38, Ed Cryer wrote:
> B00ze wrote:
>> On 2023-06-03 04:18, Alan B wrote:
>>> B00ze <B00...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On 2023-01-26 15:46, Lynn McGuire wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> nntp.aioe.org has been down for several days now and I am beginning to
>>>>> wonder if it is coming back.  Does anyone know ?
>>>>>
>>>>> I use AIOE and E-S as backups for each other.  If AIOE is gone (
>>>>> https://www.aioe.org is down also ) then I need to find another free
>>>>> usenet backup.
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>> Lynn
>>>>
>>>> Any news of AIOE? I also used to use it as a backup, to access this very
>>>> newsgroup when there is trouble with ES.
>>>
>>> ES provides an excellent service but if necessary you could try other
>>> free
>>> alternatives when it rarely goes down such as:
>>>
>>> <https://solani.org>
>>
>> Thanks, and they carry ES Support, perfect.
>>
>
> I've been using AIOE as backup for ES for years, so I registered with
> Solani as a replacement.
> First impressions look good.
> Doe anyone know who runs it, where and when?

I've been using Solani as a backup to E-S for about 3 years (since
Albasani went). It has been very reliable, although I hardly use it.
It's based in Germany.

--

Jeff

Chris Schram

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Jun 6, 2023, 5:19:48 AM6/6/23
to
I have been trying for about four days and no joy trying to register at
solani.org. I'd like to think it's not personal, but maybe a huge
backlog of aioe refugees.

--
chri...@me.com is a filtered spam magnet. Email replies may be lost.
You're better off replying to this newsgroup.

Sn!pe

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Jun 6, 2023, 5:26:52 AM6/6/23
to
Chris Schram <chri...@me.com> wrote:

> On 2023-06-06, Jeff Layman <Je...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
> > On 06/06/2023 09:38, Ed Cryer wrote:
> >> I've been using AIOE as backup for ES for years, so I registered with
> >> Solani as a replacement.
> >> First impressions look good.
> >> Doe anyone know who runs it, where and when?
> >
> > I've been using Solani as a backup to E-S for about 3 years (since
> > Albasani went). It has been very reliable, although I hardly use it.
> > It's based in Germany.
>
> I have been trying for about four days and no joy trying to register at
> solani.org. I'd like to think it's not personal, but maybe a huge
> backlog of aioe refugees.

I've had Solani as a backup for some time. Having just tested it,
I find that I can't log in. I suspect it is simply that my account has
expired for lack of use so I've just re-registered at:
<https://www.solani.org/register/>
and I expect to hear by email shortly that I have new credentials.
I'll report back.

Marco Moock

unread,
Jun 6, 2023, 5:50:06 AM6/6/23
to
Am 06.06.2023 um 09:38:01 Uhr schrieb Ed Cryer:

> I've been using AIOE as backup for ES for years, so I registered with
> Solani as a replacement.
> First impressions look good.
> Doe anyone know who runs it, where and when?

Daniel und Monika Weber
Zugspitzstr. 27
85560 Ebersberg
Deutschland

Benjamin Gufler
Heerstr. 15
81247 München
Deutschland

This is the datacenter:

organisation: ORG-HOA1-RIPE
org-name: Hetzner Online GmbH
country: DE
org-type: LIR
address: Industriestrasse 25
address: D-91710
address: Gunzenhausen
address: GERMANY

Andy Burns

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Jun 6, 2023, 2:55:38 PM6/6/23
to
s|b wrote:

> It's been pointed out to me that it somewhere on NIN says it's only for
> Germans.

First time I've herd that suggestion, I've just searched their policy
and FAQ, can't see anything like it ...


William Unruh

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 11:03:55 AM6/7/23
to
On 2023-06-07, s|b <m...@privacy.invalid> wrote:
> On Mon, 5 Jun 2023 15:40:47 -0000 (UTC), A. Dumas wrote:
>
>> Utter nonsense. "Card refused" for visa or other credit cards isn't even
>> possible

Well, we must live in different universes. When trying to buy a French
rail ticket with a N American credit card, it refuses to issue a ticket.
It refuses to charge my credit card.
>
> Do you know the meaning of the word "probably"? I've never owned a
> credit card, IOW I was guessing.
>

Adam H. Kerman

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Jun 7, 2023, 12:48:37 PM6/7/23
to
William Unruh <un...@invalid.ca> wrote:
>On 2023-06-07, s|b <m...@privacy.invalid> wrote:
>>On Mon, 5 Jun 2023 15:40:47 -0000 (UTC), A. Dumas wrote:

>>>Utter nonsense. "Card refused" for visa or other credit cards isn't even
>>>possible

>Well, we must live in different universes. When trying to buy a French
>rail ticket with a N American credit card, it refuses to issue a ticket.
>It refuses to charge my credit card.

Bank card numbers are 20 digits long in Europe but 16 digits long in the
United States. These days, with American banks issuing EMV chipped cards
-- the standard first introduced in Europe, this shouldn't make the card
unreadable in another country.

Any number of things might have happened.

1) The French don't wish to pay the currency conversion fee or have no
way to pay the surcharge onto the purchaser.

2) The cardholder didn't notify his bank or credit card network that
he's travelling, to expect to authorize charges; this is basic security.

3) The cardholder exceeded his credit limit.

4) Something else I haven't thought of.

Travellers cheques used to be a real convenience as they limited the
trveller's possible losses and, under certain circumstances, could be
replaced. I never believed it was safe to travel with one's main credit
card or cell phone to another country. There are ways to get temporary
credit cards and cell phones to use while travelling.

Andy Burns

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 1:17:43 PM6/7/23
to
Adam H. Kerman wrote:

> Bank card numbers are 20 digits long in Europe

all mine (UK) are 16 digits, and always have been.

> but 16 digits long in the
> United States. These days, with American banks issuing EMV chipped cards
> -- the standard first introduced in Europe, this shouldn't make the card
> unreadable in another country.

last time I was in the USA (20+ years ago) we had chip'n'PIN cards, but
I got the feeling most Americans just had magstripe, when paying by card
at a till, you had to let it know whether you were paying by credit or
debit, or it failed.


Adam H. Kerman

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 3:13:14 PM6/7/23
to
Andy Burns <use...@andyburns.uk> wrote:
>Adam H. Kerman wrote:

>>Bank card numbers are 20 digits long in Europe

>all mine (UK) are 16 digits, and always have been.

Fair enough. I thought Europe had made this transition.

>>but 16 digits long in the
>>United States. These days, with American banks issuing EMV chipped cards
>>-- the standard first introduced in Europe, this shouldn't make the card
>>unreadable in another country.

>last time I was in the USA (20+ years ago) we had chip'n'PIN cards, but
>I got the feeling most Americans just had magstripe, when paying by card
>at a till, you had to let it know whether you were paying by credit or
>debit, or it failed.

When I was a yout', I was a cashier in a department store. I remember
the multipart forms separated by carbon paper, and the swipe mechanical
device that took the impression of the embossed account number on the
face of the credit card. This is why credit cards are still embossed to
this day as these impression machines can still be used with failure of
communication.

The spent carborns were a security risk as the impression was quite
clear on them. Smart cardholders knew to request the carbons to dispose
of themselves but very few shoppers did that. All someone committing
fraud needed was to make a mechanical device that could emboss plastic
card blanks. Both the card number and month of expiration were all that
was necessary. Any name could have been used on the card; this wasn't
checked.

We were given books of closed and stolen accounts. The printing was tiny
and the pages were newsprint. We received new booklets weekly. We
checked each card number to make sure it wasn't listed.

Read-only magnetic stripes were a major improvement. The merchant had a
dial-up terminal to his bank to swipe the card to authorize or decline
the transaction. It allowed for those incredibly expensive
fully-integrated cash registers with built-in cardreaders.

Unfortunately, with inexpensive equipment, it wasn't terribly difficult
to commit fraud by creating one's own encoded magnetic stripe. Also,
information on the magnetic stripes could be intercepted by placing a
second reader within the reader.

There was a hell of a lot of deployed infrastructure for the magnetic
stripe reading system. When MasterCard and Visa jointly specified the
chips, it was easier to introduce in Europe because magnetic stripe
readers weren't as widely deployed. I assume magnetic stripe cards were
available to European cardholders, but I have no idea.

Europeans authorize the purchase with a PIN. In America, it was
authorized with a signature, but it's not like the cashier had a
signature available for comparison. These days, it's quite common for
merchants to tell the purchaser not to sign.

Debit cards are a separate issue. They include ATM cards, but the ones
with MasterCard or Visa branding can be used for retail transactions.

My credit union sent me, without authorization, a branded debit card. I
destroyed it and ordered them to cancel the account. It took a while but
someone figured out how to get me an unbranded ATM card issued that
could not be used for retail transactions.

Merchants despise debit cards. For reasons I've never understood, the
fees the merchant pays to his bank are significantly higher than credit
card fees. He does receive the proceeds sooner, say overnight, but it's
not enough to make up for the difference in fees.

It's possible to ask a merchant to authorize a debit card as a credit
card. Then the user would sign, and I guess the merchant pays the lower
fee. If the transaction is authorized as a debit card, then the
four-digit PIN is required and the shopper can get cash back.

Banking laws protecting consumers from fraud using debit cards are quite
weak, and it's just a bad deal overall to use them. The laws protecting
the consumer from fraud using a credit card are better.

Banks finally started issuing EMV-chipped credit and debit cards. Enough
merchants must have bought the necessary equipment to make it
worthwhile. I do recall in early years, merchants had equipment that
appeared to be able to read chips and magnetic stripes, but for some
reason, had no ability to turn on the chip reader. I noticed stores
needed another generation of equipment. I don't know what the issue was.

Then it took a few more years for banks to issue NFC credit cards, in
which the card has an EMV chip and RFID array to be read at a touch
terminal that doesn't require the card to be inserted. My NFC credit
card almost never works with NFC readers, so I insert the chip anyway.

Jeff Layman

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 5:35:57 PM6/7/23
to
On 07/06/2023 20:13, Adam H. Kerman wrote:
> Andy Burns <use...@andyburns.uk> wrote:
>> Adam H. Kerman wrote:
>
>>> Bank card numbers are 20 digits long in Europe
>
>> all mine (UK) are 16 digits, and always have been.
>
> Fair enough. I thought Europe had made this transition.
>
>>> but 16 digits long in the
>>> United States. These days, with American banks issuing EMV chipped cards
>>> -- the standard first introduced in Europe, this shouldn't make the card
>>> unreadable in another country.
>
>> last time I was in the USA (20+ years ago) we had chip'n'PIN cards, but
>> I got the feeling most Americans just had magstripe, when paying by card
>> at a till, you had to let it know whether you were paying by credit or
>> debit, or it failed.
>
> When I was a yout', I was a cashier in a department store. I remember
> the multipart forms separated by carbon paper, and the swipe mechanical
> device that took the impression of the embossed account number on the
> face of the credit card. This is why credit cards are still embossed to
> this day as these impression machines can still be used with failure of
> communication.

Not now in the UK (and probably not in the rest of Europe). My latest
credit card, issued about 18 months ago, has no embossed numbers. The
numbers are just printed on the back of the card. There is still a
magnetic stripe.

> Europeans authorize the purchase with a PIN. In America, it was
> authorized with a signature, but it's not like the cashier had a
> signature available for comparison. These days, it's quite common for
> merchants to tell the purchaser not to sign.

For contactless purchases up to £100, there is no PIN confirmation
required. However, if there are more than three uses within a day, PIN
confirmation is usually required.

> Then it took a few more years for banks to issue NFC credit cards, in
> which the card has an EMV chip and RFID array to be read at a touch
> terminal that doesn't require the card to be inserted. My NFC credit
> card almost never works with NFC readers, so I insert the chip anyway.

The only problem I have with contactless transactions is with the
non-standard position of the NFC receiver. They can be within the LCD
screen, above it, or even on the "top"! Why the industry can't
standardise it in one place is beyond me.

--

Jeff

suzeeq

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 8:31:36 PM6/7/23
to
Yep, my last replacement cards have skipped the embossing and the
numbers are on the back. Has a strip and chip.

B00ze

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 9:39:03 PM6/7/23
to
On 2023-06-06 05:19, Chris Schram wrote:
> On 2023-06-06, Jeff Layman <Je...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>> On 06/06/2023 09:38, Ed Cryer wrote:
>>> I've been using AIOE as backup for ES for years, so I registered with
>>> Solani as a replacement.
>>> First impressions look good.
>>> Doe anyone know who runs it, where and when?
>>
>> I've been using Solani as a backup to E-S for about 3 years (since
>> Albasani went). It has been very reliable, although I hardly use it.
>> It's based in Germany.
>
> I have been trying for about four days and no joy trying to register at
> solani.org. I'd like to think it's not personal, but maybe a huge
> backlog of aioe refugees.

I registered yesterday and have not received the promised email with
credentials :-(

--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / B00...@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo CAPITALISM: Man exploiting man. SOCIALISM: The reverse.


Adam H. Kerman

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 9:45:58 PM6/7/23
to
suzeeq <su...@imbris.com> wrote:

>>. . .

>Yep, my last replacement cards have skipped the embossing and the
>numbers are on the back. Has a strip and chip.

I believe the numbers are on the back so the cashier can look at the
account number and signature at the same time, not that any cashier has
ever compared the signature.

suzeeq

unread,
Jun 7, 2023, 11:16:13 PM6/7/23
to
A cashier doesn't see them, the card goes right into the machine. At
least at the stores I use it at. I suppose restaurants look, but my
cards aren't signed.

Sn!pe

unread,
Jun 8, 2023, 4:36:37 AM6/8/23
to
Sn!pe <snip...@gmail.com> wrote:
[...]
> > > I've been using Solani as a backup to E-S for about 3 years (since
> > > Albasani went). It has been very reliable, although I hardly use it.
> > > It's based in Germany.
> >
> > I have been trying for about four days and no joy trying to register at
> > solani.org. I'd like to think it's not personal, but maybe a huge
> > backlog of aioe refugees.
>
> I've had Solani as a backup for some time. Having just tested it,
> I find that I can't log in. I suspect it is simply that my account has
> expired for lack of use so I've just re-registered at:
> <https://www.solani.org/register/>
> and I expect to hear by email shortly that I have new credentials.
> I'll report back.

I've just received (at 08:11 BST) new credentials to access Solani.

Chris Schram

unread,
Jun 8, 2023, 6:26:31 AM6/8/23
to
On 2023-06-08, B00ze <B00...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On 2023-06-06 05:19, Chris Schram wrote:
>> On 2023-06-06, Jeff Layman <Je...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>>> On 06/06/2023 09:38, Ed Cryer wrote:
>>>> I've been using AIOE as backup for ES for years, so I registered with
>>>> Solani as a replacement.
>>>> First impressions look good.
>>>> Doe anyone know who runs it, where and when?
>>>
>>> I've been using Solani as a backup to E-S for about 3 years (since
>>> Albasani went). It has been very reliable, although I hardly use it.
>>> It's based in Germany.
>>
>> I have been trying for about four days and no joy trying to register at
>> solani.org. I'd like to think it's not personal, but maybe a huge
>> backlog of aioe refugees.
>
> I registered yesterday and have not received the promised email with
> credentials :-(

My original registration attempt last week went unanswered, as did my
query to the admins.

I tried to register again yesterday, and got a reply back in about
half-an-hour. So keep trying, I guess.

Daniel65

unread,
Jun 8, 2023, 7:44:55 AM6/8/23
to
s|b wrote on 7/6/23 10:34 pm:
> On Mon, 5 Jun 2023 15:40:47 -0000 (UTC), A. Dumas wrote:
>
>> Utter nonsense. "Card refused" for visa or other credit cards isn't
>> even possible
>
> Do you know the meaning of the word "probably"? I've never owned a
> credit card, IOW I was guessing.
>
Today Australia's Federal Treasurer announced that Cheques (those paper
things of old!!) are to be phased out by 2030 .... so I guess I'll have
to use the last three in my cheque book (which I haven't used in
probably 25 years!!) sometime soon. ;-)
--
Daniel

Jon Ribbens

unread,
Jun 8, 2023, 8:12:59 AM6/8/23
to
They're not "of old" in the United States of Victorian Banking.

Bobbie Sellers

unread,
Jun 8, 2023, 11:11:29 AM6/8/23
to
No the USA has never used Cheques. We have honored those from
reputable institutions of course but we use Checks exclusively here.
Except when we use chedk cards, debit cards or credit cards.

bliss - momentarily solvent in a sea of debt.

A. Dumas

unread,
Jun 8, 2023, 3:21:44 PM6/8/23