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Comment Re:So will he go to jail upon return to the US? (Score 5, Insightful) 190

Some types of travel to Cuba are legal. The US has been granting so-called "people-to-people" licenses to allow people to legally visit Cuba for the purposes of cultural exchange. According to the NYTimes, the visas were created by Bill Clinton in 1999, stopped being issued by Bush in 2003, and resumed being handed out in 2011 by Obama. More info from a Forbes article:

The whole purpose, for the US government’s perspective, is to intimately experience the day-to-day lives of residents while learning about Cuban cultural, social and religious organizations firsthand. For this reason, all participants are required to adhere to the approved full-time schedule of activities – beg off to relax by the hotel pool and OFAC could pull the company’s license.

So there are restrictions: you have to travel with a tour guide, and your trip agenda has to be filled with culturally-relevant activities rather than just random tourist stuff. It wasn't clear from TFA if Schmidt's visit was under this particular license, but his trip agenda ("to get a tour of Cuba’s University of Information Sciences in Havana and discuss life within the country") certainly sounded like it would have qualified.

Comment Some Public Records ... You Know ... Just in Case (Score 5, Informative) 448

So a domain name lookup on their site yielded nothing. And there are suspiciously no patents mentioning "wetag" or "ifind" and the names they listed (Dr. Paul McArthur) are in patents but for cold fusion BS in California.

Surely, though, they must have registered the "iFind" trademark? And if you search on TESS we find:

Owner (APPLICANT) WeTag, Inc. CORPORATION TEXAS 3309 San Mateo Drive Plano TEXAS 75023

With an attorney listed as "Richard G. Eldredge" which corresponds to a local attorney. Before you deploy the door kickers to lynch somebody, that address is just somebody's $200,000 house and could possibly be a random address used by a jerk. Remember that it's entirely possible that this is all a front by some other actor and someone was paid western union/bitcoin to register this trademark through this attorney without realizing they were just being used by literally anyone in the world ... of course, kickstarter should have even better transaction details (hopefully).

Comment Re:Why do you hate capitalism? (Score 2) 308

Because free markets do not exist, and capitalism is not a silver bullet to the world's problems (it may, however, be a silver bullet for the problems of the 1% to get more money, which is why quite a few people like it).

That said, I can't figure out if this is sarcasm, or if someone is serious. The political discussion in this country is seriously fucked.

Comment Re:Government regulation of political speech (Score 2) 308

By instituting rules that apply to how speech is created, and completely disassociated from the content of that speech.

Some examples:
1) You can't run ads that mention political candidates or parties 2 weeks before an election.
2) You can't contribute more than x money to the campaign of a single person/party for a specific election.

Does it leave concern-troll ads open? Sure does. It's not meant to be remove all influence of money on political speech. It just attempts to curtail the impact that a single large donor can have on the entire political process (witness Christie's pilgrimage to Adlai Stevenson's "political forum").

Yes, it means that political speech is impacted. Congratulations, you found out that sometimes, there's a trade-off in a decision that you make, and a perfect solution doesn't exist. It also means that you're capable of weighing the pros and cons of a decision.

Comment Re:Unions. (Score 1) 308

Keep in mind that in many states, union membership is required in order to get the job

Do you have a citation for that? The only thing I know is that some states allow union-membership to be automatic once you're hired into a particular position at a particular company. That is very, very different from being required to have a union membership to get a particular anywhere in the state.

Furthermore, the big difference is the scale. It's a lot harder to get a large group of people to agree on a political course of action than it is to get one person to agree with themselves. The entire point of democracy is to remove money and power as a tool for selecting a leader, and to instead trust the wisdom of the masses to make an orderly transition at the top. The current campaign finances remove that approach.

That said, union-membership requirements can go die in a fire. I understand the concept of free-loading, but I also understand the concept of not wanting to support a useless organization.

Comment Re:Strawman (Score 4, Interesting) 270

That's technically not a Net Neutrality argument, which is why the argument existed in the first place. To some extent, Comcast was right: it wasn't funneling as much data to Level 3 as Level 3 was funneling to it. What Comcast left out was that this problem was 100% of its own making, and impossible for Level 3 address: Comcast only sells highly asymmetric pipes to highly asymmetric users. It is actually illegal for its users to try to create a situation where it will funnel as much data to Level 3 as Level 3 funnels to it. Which is why techies were incensed by the argument.

That's the issue. All techies know the huge holes that have to exist in NN for the Internet to work. No one disagrees with any of those. The problem is that the principle of NN is all we have to concisely explain to people why Comcast is being an utter monopoly-rent-seeking shithead in this discussion, and how Comcast's attitude will break the Internet. Anything more requires delving into the depth of QoS, CDNs, dark fiber, roll-out subsidies, last-mile topologies, and barriers-to-entry in the website market to make a coherent argument. No one in the public sphere is going to listen to that.

That's why NN keeps being brought up. It's the only sound bite that's remotely applicable, and unfortunately, sound bites is what wins political wars.

Comment Re:*ALL* Species adapt (Score 1) 215

If you'd read, you'd notice the pine borer beetle. There's the melting of the arctic permafrost, the increased acidification of the ocean and it's impact on marine ecosystems and fisheries... and that's just the ones that are happening right now, and are costing billions right now. Feel free to wait for more change.

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Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?