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betamax players read credit cards?

 
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LLB9977
Microvision


Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Last Visit: 06 Jan 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Toronto 138

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: betamax players read credit cards? Reply with quote

recently talked to a guy who told me that betamax players have become quite valuable because they somehow have the ability to read credit card strips. any truth to this?? seems like a well informed group to ask. never heard this claim myself.
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drichardson
Mattel Football


Joined: 22 Jul 2010
Last Visit: 15 Jul 2014
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering that you can buy a magstripe reader for around $50, I don't see how having the ability to read credit cards would make old betamax players more valuable.

Now, I have heard the rumor that passing a credit card over the read head on a betamax player will magically make the cards pin number appear on your TV screen. (This may very well be the rumor that you heard.)

It's 100% pure unadulterated nonsense.

Even if the pin were stored on the card, which has never been true, why would the number be stored in an analog video format? Imagine the absurd complexity that would add to every ATM!

People come up with some ridiculous things...
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Rik
Site Admin


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Last Visit: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 1728
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, reading (even writing back to) the strips on credit cards or state-issues IDs isn't a big deal... You can even buy an adapter for an iPhone that will do that.

I suspect it takes more of a hacker piece of hardware to read them, display the data and allow you to change it, but the hardware itself is cheap, common parts. This is why a lot of credit card machines at retail require the cashier to type in the last four digits of the credit card, to make sure the number on the mag strip hasn't been tampered with (generally, if you change the CC account number, the last 4 will definitely change.)

Rik
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physics223
Entex Crazy Climber


Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Last Visit: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the first time I've heard of it. Really.
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LM
Microvision


Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Last Visit: 07 Apr 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to work at a hotel where we swiped peoples drivers licenses with a magstripe reader to fill in the data on the check-in card. You would be amazed how many people were 'horrified' that this could be done and occasionally, pitched a real fit.

I'm definitely a privacy oriented guy, but honestly, it's not that big of a deal.

Back when magstripe technology was still 'new'ish' in regular commerce, Penn and Teller published a trick in their book "How To Play With Your Food" about how you could cheat restaurants out of bills by sanding off the stripe and filling it in with magic marker Mr. Green
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