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Crossing the Chinese/Mongolian Border by Land

What a fascinating trip. I just did this route -

Beijing -> Erlianhaote -> Zamyn Uud -> Ulan Bator

Why do I choose such circuitous, crazy routes? Well, lots of reasons.

I want to understand as much as I can about the world, and taking out of the way routes - especially through important border towns - teaches a lot.

Often, you can manage a route like this in a way that's much less expensive than direct flights. Yes, time is money, but money is also money.

What Type of Credit Card?

On DROdio

Two things strike me about the "what type of credit card" (followed by the inevitable dropdown Visa / MC / Amex / Discover) question we always get on website checkouts:

1) The law of unintended consequences

2) Developers sometimes are lemmings

The reality is, the question"what type of credit card" happened because one programmer somewhere put that into his shopping cart code, and someone copied his code/layout, and then someone copied this code, and before you know it, everyone's asking that question. Hence, the law of unintended consequences.

The irony is, this question is irrelevant! Here's what most people don't know: If a credit card starts with the digit "3" then it's always Amex. If it starts with "4" it's always Visa. "5" is always MasterCard and "6" is always Discover. So if programmers just put a little extra effort into their shopping cart code, they could easily discern what type of card it is. For example, a card that starts with "3715" will be Amex, "4024" will be Visa, etc.

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