I saw an incredibly great collection of creative 404 pages a few months back. I can't find the one I saw, though Fab404 (http://fab404.com/) has a bunch.
And also 500: http://thingist.com/errordocs/500error.html
The site is tiny, which let's me be a little bit sillier than normal. Personally I think playfulness is the core of what it means to be a hacker, so I love this type of stuff :)
http://seatgeek.com/404 (Image: http://d2o7bfz2il9cb7.cloudfront.net/main-qimg-e859ed4563650...)
EDIT: ooh -4, I guess ya'll REALLY didn't want to be warned. It was just intended as a friendly warning but in reality I don't care what you do, go ahead use Mint all you want then.
A few years ago several credit card companies removed running totals from their online transaction histories, more recently they removed them from monthly statements also. It turns out that without a running balance customers are more confused about what is going on with their accounts and spend more money and don't notice certain fees. Running balances have been standard for decades and then the banks figured out they could screw people over by removing them.
When I noticed that Mint does not do running balances even though it is one of their most requested features  I knew who their loyalty lies with, they've proven that they'll make the user experience worse in order to please the banks. If Mint is not going to help me understand my money better then what's the point?
 http://satisfaction.mint.com/mint/topics/please_add_a_runnin... (Also fishy, notice that this request with 193 likes doesn't appear in the list of popular ideas http://satisfaction.mint.com/mint/ideas/popular)
That said, I like the idea of mint in general. It's depressing that banks can't (won't) figure out read-only credentials for use cases like this.
And is that a sweater vest? Nice.
A 404 means the server can't find what I asked for, can't tell me where it went, has no idea what I'm looking for. By definition, my browser shouldn't show me the content that was returned-- it knows it's not what I want!
If I get a 404 code, the page shouldn't change. The browser should just show a message indicating that that resource doesn't exist, include the reason message if it's something other than "NOT FOUND", and let me either try a different link or correct my spelling. If I clicked a link to get there, it could even set a style on the link to indicate the resource doesn't exist.
It's strange how much we're still living in the nineties. I wonder how many of the use cases of Ajax could be replaced by an intelligent browser using the existing HTTP standard?
Also, if the 404 link was from another site, now that you’re on the site with the missing page, you can at least click their navigation and try to navigate to the resource yourself. Like if you follow a link titled “buy red yarn” from knitting-patterns.com to buy-yarn.com/products/8221 and get a 404, you can click Store and search for “red” and thus find buy-yarn.com/store/2539.
I'm not an HTTP hardass, but if we don't care about using the right response code then it might as well be 200, right? Because they're returning a resource for that URL, just a completely useless one.
If I request twitter.com/userr but there is not account named "userr", should twitter decide I misspelled that and redirect me to "user" if that exists? I say no.
First of all, a 404 response needs to be sent regardless so that a script can check for 404 and handle that as deemed appropriate. If I got a 301 or 302 to what the server thought was what I was looking for, the script won't know that the server is now guessing at what I wanted. I assume this is important for bots like the google crawler.
Second, content with that 404 is very useful. It adds context to a user that cares. A well designed 404 will tell the user that the page/item/person/etc couldn't be found. Then it will offer an action such as suggestions of what it could be. Getting back to my "userr" example, there could be links to "user", "users", etc. There could be a prominent search feature or a way to report this to the company. Maybe a way to contact support, like a live chat widget. Further more, a 404 in your logs are very useful to look for what is commonly not found. Do people regularly try going to example.com/login even though your login page is at example.com/user_login? Apache access logs will show this very nicely and you can then decide to manually add a redirect.
404 is for a resource which can't be found; if the resource can be found, 404 is wrong for scripts as much as for users.
Your second point is valid, but a little past the point, I think. My only actions after seeing a 404 are to check my spelling, hit back, close the tab, or start from the site root. Maybe it would be good for my browser to redirect to / or something by default, assuming there isn't a page loaded; I'm open to ideas. I'm just saying, it's never been helpful to me to download a 1.2mb transparent png that says "Sorry your browser doesn't know what 404 means."
(Or another example ripped from real life: I literally just now hit a link to a video on a third-tier media site and was rewarded with a completely different video, with little text at the top that says "Error: Not found". This is what people really use custom 404s for.)
Do you disagree with that claim?
Though, I wonder how often 404s actually happen outside of people not properly setting up redirects. I imagine 95% of people just type in domains or use bookmarks.
This might just take the cake for my favorite 404 page ever.
I personally don't see the need for mint.
Additionally, having everything consolidated means I can do a quick check on recent transactions several times a week, instead of just looking at things when a bill comes. That means that it's much easier to detect fraud, since the activity is fresh in my mind, and takes much less time to notify the institution of the fraudulent transaction.
As for multiple cards, some of it is playing games with different rewards programs (card X gives more points for groceries, but card Y is better for gas, etc.) and some of it is that not every place takes American Express, which is generally my preferred card.
The banking industry in the US is messed up, but how does it not make sense that responsibly paying loans doesn't indicate you are more likely to make good on future loans?
The big problem with the US system is that it gets you needlessly hooked on the whole idea of credit. As per this very example, you need to do things like get credit cards just to pay them off on time, or else you're screwed when it comes to things like getting a mortgage. In most of Europe the key factor for that sort of loan is simply whether you have a steady income that's high enough to make the payments, factoring in outstanding debts. A credit check will show up things like whether you've a history of missing payments on any existing credit, and that can certainly be taken into account, and most lenders have their own version of a 'credit score' they'll apply based on all that info — but it's not a centralised thing, and it's generally more concerned with raising past problems as a red flag, rather than with past good behaviour.
If you've a history of living within your means that should be a good thing, not a bad thing.
How is always paying off a credit card not living within your means though?
Maybe this is some US-centric brainwashing, but it seems to me that someone who has never had a credit card is less trustworthy than someone who had it and didn't overspend; it proves that the person had the opportunity to do something really dumb and didn't. The person who never had the credit card might have done something dumb if they were ever given the chance.
It's interesting that your credit checks are so decentralized, but it seems unlikely to me that would cause them to consider no history to be the same as known good history.
That said, I'm not even sure how much impact properly paying credit cards has versus not having one, but even with a minor difference there is practically no advantages to using a debit card instead of a credit card that you always pay off in full from your checking account. Even excluding credit, certainly you must get additional fraud guarantees and possibly rewards programs with credit cards in the UK?
I'm not sure what additional fraud guarantees exist. I had fraud on my debit card once, and it was resolved much easier and quicker than the time I had fraud on my credit card. The UK does have a slightly odd additional consumer protection law in that if you buy anything over £100 on a credit card, and the goods turn out to be faulty, you can claim the cost back from the credit card company, rather than the retailer. That's certainly vaguely useful, but I've never heard of anyone choosing to have a credit card just for that reason.
I think there's potentially a different worldview at play in the "had a chance to do something dumb and't didn't" approach. To massively overgeneralise, I'd say the European way is to simply not put that temptation in front of people, whereas the US way is to deliberately encourage it, so as to massively profit from it (with the UK constantly torn between the two!) :)
So I'd say pretty much the opposite of your final conclusion: There are so few advantages to using a credit card rather than a debit card that why would you bother with the hassle/risk?
I'm not sure what hassle/risk you're talking about with a credit card. The hassle factor is the same (approximately none) and the risk is lower, not higher.
I can think of any number of reasons why I wouldn't bother taking advantage of that.
The question as to whether a credit card is more/less/even risk to a debit card is pretty much the issue at hand here, but even leaving aside the slightly odd issue of psychological risks and hassles, I've heard plenty of horror stories from people in the US where something went wrong to make their monthly payment late (including the credit card company just deciding to change the due date), thus triggering all sorts of badness.
Yeah, the money is small, but it's also free. I mean, $10-20/year for doing nothing? Why not?
So as you say, it comes down to the risk differential. If you believe a debit card is less risk, then certainly a tiny amount of interest won't change your mind.
For what it's worth, I've heard far more horror stories about debit cards than credit cards. The major difference is that with a debit card, any company that gets your card info can screw you over. You place an order online, and the company charges you $1000 instead of $10 by mistake, leaving no money in your account. Your next transaction then overdrafts, leaving you with a fat fee. In theory, it's not your fault and you should be able to get the bank or the merchant to cover it, but they'll all be pointing fingers elsewhere....
And of course, if you can't get the money refunded immediately then you spend a great deal of time with no money in your account. Now you may have trouble buying necessities etc. until the situation is fixed.
Additionally, I have my credit cards set up to automatically pay off the full balance each month. If somebody tries to pull a dirty trick and the payment is made late, the blame is clearly and fully with them, so I imagine that would be quickly resolved. Beyond that, there really isn't anything to go wrong other than a major failure of self-control.
As for your example of buying something online with a debit card, I don't do that. My bank lets me generate as many virtual cards as I like for online shopping, each with a different number. I set the maximum amount that can be charged to each one and I can then order anything I want online with it with none of the risks you mention.
Even if I couldn't do that, the situation you describe wouldn't arise, as
a) I have daily limits on various types of transfers and withdrawals (that I can adjust online if I need to spend more than that at any time, so I keep the defaults pretty low). So even if someone was being malicious they still couldn't take out more than that amount (and I've SMS notifications set up for all transfers over a fairly low limit too, so they couldn't just come back and take another payment every day until I was cleaned out). It would certainly inconvenience me, but that's just as true with a credit card (and that would probably take me longer to notice). And, as I said earlier, I've had experience of problems with both, and the credit card ones were much more hassle to resolve.
b) my current account is multi-currency, so even if someone managed to clean out all my euros, I'd still have cash in GBP, USD, etc.
c) most of my money isn't in my current account anyway, so even if that got completely cleaned out, in all currencies, I'd still have money in my various other accounts.
I don't get why you describe credit cards as "faffing around". They're no more hassle than debit cards.
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/credit-rating-credit-... sets it out quite well.
Oh, also - security by inconvenience (i.e. the HSBC secure key) isn't really security.
(also, maybe Justin likes boys.)
Edit: It would seem sarcasm falls on deaf ears at Hacker News. Note my feminine username...
Just a thought.