-=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- (c) WidthPadding Industries 1987 0|488|0 -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=-
Socoder -> Off Topic -> I can't believe what I just saw !

Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 17:44
Just been to ASDA, got my stuff and then went to one of the self-service checkouts. I was scanning my stuff when I heard the start-up tune for Windows-XP. I looked towards the source of the sound , one of the self-service checkouts had just spazzed-out and re-booted and there it was, a Windows-XP desktop full of icons on the checkout screen.

I just hope those things aren't hooked-up to the internet, I use my card on those checkouts regularly
Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 17:46
Funny how many things are running XP these days.
It's a pretty useful OS, and it's arguably easier to set up on that sort of thing than Linux.

Plop it on, attach the scanner, and you're ready to go.

As for the internet problem; my guess is that it would be secured with SSH; correct me if I'm wrong.
Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 17:47
I've known this for years. They run XP Embedded I've seen them being booted up and crash loads of times. XP Embedded is pretty popular for that level of machine.

Today XP is only unstable once you add applications and drivers on top. With those machines all the software is limited and known by the vendor, so in theory you can make a machine which is _much_ more reliable then the typical XP desktop.
Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 17:51
A couple of years back, I saw an ATM crash and show what looked like a DOS window outside the same store, but this is the first time I've seen a checkout do that kind of thing.
Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 17:59
Plus these days it just doesn't make sense to build a proper interactive product on top of your own custom OS or straight on top of the hardware. Many other embeddable OS's are also often designed to be run on environments that don't have a screen, like the Mars rover. XP is then ideal for an embeddable product that does have a screen.
Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 18:00
Bottom line is though, can they be trusted with credit/debit card details ?
Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 18:17
There's nothing to make it any less trustworthy in my eyes.
If I saw some random Linux dist running those things, I wouldn't feel any more secure. How they connect and send data over the internet isn't OS-specific.
Tue, 09 Nov 2010, 18:24
steve_ancell Bottom line is though, can they be trusted with credit/debit card details ?

It running XP doesn't actually come into this. If the software on top is built right then yes it can be trusted. If it is not built right then the answer is no.

There are also other factors. This might have been at their sister chain in the US, but I heard of a case where thieves snooped on an unprotected network at T.K. Maxx. They just pulled up each day and recorded all traffic across their wifi for months. All their tills used the network so the thieves made off with literally thousands of credit card details. They were also never caught.

If it helps businesses in the UK are legally bound to do what they can to help ensure your details are kept secure.

|edit| My example above is pretty much agreeing with Coders previous post. |edit|
Wed, 10 Nov 2010, 02:28
why on gods earth would they be connected to the internet?

They are as safe as using your card at a regular till, they use the same card payment systems so i wouldn't worry.

I spotted a similar thing in Tescos once, a self-service till that said "Your computer is safe to turn off" or words to that effect, i tried to get a picture but the staff where watching me
Wed, 10 Nov 2010, 04:17
For a system like that, I wouldn't be worried about how them being hooked up to the internet, I would be worried about what other programs have snuck their way into the systems, and then able to sneak off with credit card data.

Vesuvius web game
Fri, 12 Nov 2010, 08:06
I've also seen plenty of non-PC like systems crash and show Windows. In Hong Kong train stations they have big LCD screens attached to the ceilings showing information about trains (the ones where they only show orange and black colours). One of them once displayed a Windows error dialog.

Near where I worked was the AIG Tower which is famous for having a giant high-quality screen at the top that shows animations. One day when I came out of work it was displaying a Windows desktop. Supposedly you can also sometimes see people checking their e-mails on it.