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Comment Who cares? (Score 1) 198

Seriously, who cares? The embargo has more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. Any American who wanted to go to Cuba just had to go via another country, and they've worked out a scheme with Cuba to prevent it from ever showing up on your passport:

But that’s not the only way. For decades, despite the embargo, some Americans have been visiting Cuba by way of indirect flights through countries such as Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas. These trips require less paperwork and can cost less than half the official option. An official, state-approved trip from the U.S. can cost between $4,000 and $5,000 for a week. A package including a resort stay and round-trip flights through Canada or another country will cost about $1,290 (or $1,500 Canadian), according to Krytiuk.

Typically, American travelers book flights to Cuba through a Canadian city or Caribbean hubs such as Nassau, Bahamas, or Cancún, Mexico. From there, every traveler going to Cuba is issued a tourist card for the passport. Upon arrival, Cuban customs agents remove one half of the card, and take the other half upon departure -- leaving no official record of the visit in a traveler’s passport.

Submission + - Researchers Ask Federal Court To Unseal Years of Surveillance Records (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Two lawyers and legal researchers based at Stanford University have formally asked a federal court in San Francisco to unseal numerous records of surveillance-related cases, as a way to better understand how authorities seek such powers from judges. This courthouse is responsible for the entire Northern District of California, which includes the region where tech companies such as Twitter, Apple, and Google, are based. According to the petition, Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn were partly inspired by a number of high-profile privacy cases that have unfolded in recent years, ranging from Lavabit to Apple’s battle with the Department of Justice. In their 45-page petition, they specifically say that they don’t need all sealed surveillance records, simply those that should have been unsealed—which, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen automatically.

Submission + - Private phone and chat conversations ended up in tech company

Dex Hex writes: The Volkstrant reports: "The private communications of thousands of Dutch citizens has fallen into the hands of the Australian technology company Appen. It concerns telephone and chat conversations from 2010 and 2011. According to telecom experts, the only explanation is that this communication was tapped by the British intelligence service GCHQ and was then handed over to Appen with the aim of improving software for converting speech into text."

Can you believe the arrogance?

Submission + - The iPhone 7 has worse battery life than HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Consumer group Which? has conducted a series of battery life tests on the latest smartphones, and the news is not good for the iPhone 7. Pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and LG G5, Apple's latest handset came in last place... and by some distance.

In terms of call time, the Samsung Galaxy S7 lasted for more than twice as long as the iPhone 7, while the HTC 10 had two and a half times the longevity. Things were not quite as bad for the iPhone 7 in internet usage tests... but it was still found bringing up the rear.

Submission + - Move Over EmDrive, Here Comes Woodward's Mach Effect Drive (hacked.com)

giulioprisco writes: An exotic “impossible” space propulsion technology known as “Cannae Drive,” less known than the EmDrive but equally controversial, made news headlines a few weeks ago with the announcement that it is about to be tested in space. There are speculations that the Cannae Drive could exploit physics known as “Mach Effect.” But perhaps the same physics plays a role in the EmDrive as well.

Comment Hopefully the beginning of the end. (Score 3, Interesting) 41

Targeted ads are just another opportunity to rip off people by showing them different prices for the same thing. Sort of like how Coke wanted to have vending machines that would raise the price when it was hot outside.

The problem with targeted ads, of course, is that it only takes a quick search to find a better deal if what they're offering you isn't competitive. Anyone remember how for a while big-box electronic stores that offered to price match, when you went to show them the ad on their computer system, the price was higher than what you had seen at home a few hours before, because the stores would serve dummy clones of their competitors with higher prices? Had to stop once browsing over the cell network became practical, as long as you didn't use their wi-fi.

Comment Re:Technically neither can ICANN or a domain provi (Score 1) 135

"My Sweet Lord" was such an obvious rip-off that I'm amazed that absolutely nobody around him said "Hey, you can't do that!" The first time I heard it I recognized it as a rip-off of "He's So Fine" long before the song finished - and I'm not a music fanatic. Harrison got nailed, and he deserved it.

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