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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

isilrion Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (540 comments)

Meh, I give up. You are not worth it. Just illustrate your dishonesty before leaving:

So you're admitting that you were wrong to claim Gross had been convicted of "plotting against the Cuban government?" That's one of the three things you have repeatedly said he was convicted of.

attempting to smuggle illegal contraband (after successfully smuggling more in earlier trips), with the goal of overthrowing the Cuban government, financed by a foreign (and openly hostile) country. (You were the one claiming it was for "planning".)

Again, it was not only for planning. It was for acting on those plans.

Sigh. Again. He acted in Cuba. (...). But again, irrelevant, he wasn't convicted for sitting in DC thinking about what he was going to do. He was convicted for going to Cuba and doing his part in the conspiracy.

For crying out loud, no, they didn't claim jurisdiction over what the US decided to do. They claimed jurisdiction over what Gross decided to do in Cuba, which was to enter as a tourist while (not so) secretly being an american agent acting on plans to overthrow/destabilize the government. (I grant you that I said "decided to do" instead of "did", but it is clear that he did do it)

And he chose to do them in Cuba, where US law doesn't apply, and, *gasp*, Cuban law applies.

Offtopic, again! He was arrested for trying to overthrow the Cuban government as an agent of the US government. Where he did his planning is irrelevant!

Talking about Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher was your idea.

"If your conclusion that Cuba clearly had jurisdiction for every charge you mention was in any way valid, don't you think you could come up with a single example of a non-citizen being sent to prison for years for being a foreign agent?" (And several other requests just like that)

I also mentioned the actual charge, "crimes against the state", a couple of times. Unfortunately, I believe it is impossible to have a discussion about whether his arrest "proves" that the Cubans like the embargo if you can't even acknowledge that the charge was not "planning" by itself, but acting his part of the conspiracy. You deny the facts because you are so utterly convinced that the Cubans lack the right to defend themselves, that even trying to do it can only mean that they are purposedly provoking you in hopes of a retaliation.

about a month ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

isilrion Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (540 comments)

Just like it did in this case. By arresting the person hired.

So, your notion is that an employee of the US government should be able to act freely in Cuba, and the Cubans have no right to stop him? Just because the "planning" took part outside of Cuba?

So he can be arrested for plotting against the Cuban government when all the actual plotting happened in the US?

Offtopic, again! He was arrested for trying to overthrow the Cuban government as an agent of the US government. Where he did his planning is irrelevant!

You'll note the guy you found wasn't charged with plotting against the US Government (altho he did that).

WTF? I can't... why would Cuba charge an US employee of plotting against the US Government?

And he chose to do them in Cuba, where US law doesn't apply, and, *gasp*, Cuban law applies.

[...] Which means that, by your own admission, Cuba has less respect for foreign nation's sovereignty then even we do in America.

Sigh. Let's see. The US sends an agent (among many) to overthrow the Cuban government, the Cubans arrest the agent, and the Cubans are the ones not respecting "foreign nation's sovereignty"? That's the stereotypical arrogant attitude that one hopes doesn't really exist in america. You are actually claiming that Cuba doesn't respect US sovereignty because they don't follow US law in Cuba.

I HAVE NEVER SAID THEY HAD TO RELEASE HIM PRIOR TO NEGOTIATIONS.

GOOD. THEN WE AGREE. So, what's your point then? You believe that "Raul wants the embargo to continue" because... Obama has refused to negotiate? (Also, you are arguing that he shouldn't have been arrested in the first place, therefore, you *are* arguing that he should be released). I dare you to point out any attempt at meaningful negotiation in this case that has been refused by the Cubans. And I invite you to look for the many press releases from the Cubans saying they want to negotiate, and the many from the US saying "no way".

There's no way man-in-the-middle problems can appear with those, and (more importantly) you reduce the chance Obama can claim there were no negotiations to zero.

Obama hasn't claimed that there have not been any attempts to negotiate. On the contrary, he claims that he is unwilling to.

the objective standard used is "what did those other guys do when they had a similar spat four years ago?"

I've already explained to you why this was different. They were US Citizens.

And still, that's the most similar case. They are also Cuban citizens. And they were charged for being unregistered agents (which they probably "plotted" outside of the US), and for conspiracy charges (which most certainly didn't happen inside the US, especially not the conspiracy to commit murder). They were not charged for being US citizens. Why you keep bringing up their citizenship is beyond me, Cuban law applies to everyone in Cuba, not just citizens... just like US law applies to everyone in the US (or everwhere the US can exert influence---"might makes right").

His planning wasn't one of the charges. Two charges of transmitting information, one charge of failing to register as an Agent. Transmitting information is something he actually did while on US soil.

And neither was Gross. He wasn't convicted for "planning" to be a US agent in Cuban soil, he was convicted for acting as a US agent in Cuban soil. That is something he actually did while on Cuban soil. He wasn't an agent chilling in Varadero, he was doing what he was getting paid to do.

(Also, "planning" were two of the charges against the five. The prosecution never proved that they had actually sent any information, so they settled for a live sentence for "planning" to do so)

Failing to Register as an Agent is (as I have already admitted) fairly tricky in terms of international law. It's one example of the US over-stepping it's boundaries. But (as you found out in your research) it doesn't get used very much.

No, it isn't over-stepping it's boundaries, not with this one. (But if you think it is, you must be enraged about the embargo, and about them sending agents to overthrow foreign governments). And yes, they are used, at the very minimum, as a negotiating tool. It just happens that countries rarely refuse to negotiate for their agents just so they can blame the other party.

I want the embargo to end. I just don't think the Cuban government wants it to end.

You want it to end by having the Cubans act as the US wants them to act. You don't think the Cuban government wants it to end because they don't just obey on cue.

about a month ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

isilrion Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (540 comments)

So your argument is that Cuba can make it illegal for the US Government to hire people?

Not at all. I haven't seen the "US government" jailed for hiring people. Therefore, whether the Cubans have the right to outlaw certain actions of the US government or not is irrelevant. In this case, they didn't even try. How do you imagine that would work?

He chose to do things while in the US that are completely legal under US Law. In fact most of them are actually required by US Law.

And he chose to do them in Cuba, where US law doesn't apply, and, *gasp*, Cuban law applies.

And again, you're bringing up the strawman of unconditional release. I have never argued that Cuba's only choice was unconditional release.

So, what conditions is Cuba allowed to request before the release? Because you insist on releasing him even before negotiations have taken place. Do you want them to demand conditions after they release him? If that is not unconditional, I don't know what it is.

As I said before, if they wanted to release him the time for negotiations would have been back in early 2010.

Because NicBenjamin says so? I gave you an example of a guy who wasn't released by the US until around five years after the arrest. And as you said earlier, very eloquently, there are not a lot of comunications channels between Cuba and the US. I really doubt Cuba turned down any oportunity for (meaningful) negotiation.

the objective standard used is "what did those other guys do when they had a similar spat four years ago?"

Oh, good, then. The closest case to this between Cuba and the US have been the Cuban Five. And we know what the US did. If there is another more similar case where the US acted differently, please enlighten me.

Read the charges against him. He got 30 years for transmitting classified information, and five for failing to register as a foreign agent.

Goalposts moved. I read the charges. So, your contention is that he was charged under two laws for the same action, and Gross was charged under only one? As far as I know, Cuba has no law requiring the registration of foreign agents, but it has one forbidding crimes against the state by foreign agents. Go figure.

Also, I doubt that the russian guy did his planning in US soil. As per your first argument in your reply, are you saying that the US can make it illegal for the Soviet Government to hire people?

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Dial up can still access gmail (334 comments)

We've never been to Asia. I've been thinking about going on vacation abroad with them. In your opinion, is Baekdu Mountain worth the trip? They always go to Florida, I would expect them to be bored by now. Maybe I can convince them to go elsewhere... but I don't think they are big fans of mountains.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Dial up can still access gmail (334 comments)

Wow, thanks. Saving that page now. I'm feeling tempted to send them an autorun.reg attachment. I'll try it in my computer first, though. (Also, I didn't realize how braindead window's autorun "feature" is. I really hope gnome/kde devs don't want to imitate that).

Actually, if I can send them a .reg file by email, I could try to add a few more things (like showing extensions). I wonder if I can also send them some kind of group policy update to prevent their do-gooder friends from re-enabling the extension hiding "feature". In any case, thanks!

about a month ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

isilrion Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (540 comments)

enter as a tourist while (not so) secretly being an american agent [Status as an American Agent is determined by the American government, and is therefore something "the US decided to do"]

No, it isn't, unless your claim is that Gross was a slave of the US government. He had a choice. He chose to accept several millions in exchange for the risk. And now he is paying for his choice.

If your conclusion that Cuba clearly had jurisdiction for every charge you mention was in any way valid, don't you think you could come up with a single example of a non-citizen being sent to prison for years for being a foreign agent?

How other countries choose to deal with the threats is irrelevant to what makes sense for Cuba to do, and ignoring the particular context of Cuba's actions is naive at best. Most, if not all of those you claim to have been released, have been released after negotiations have taken place, not unconditionally. Every single case that ended with an agent swap necessarily serves as the example you ask for (the agents arrested by the first country are held until the second country has something to offer in return). So far, that's also the case with Gross, only that, because the US refuses to negotiate, the negotiations have not yet taken place.

Also, Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher, russian agent captured by the US, tried, convicted, sentenced to 30 years, served several years in prison before he was exchanged. Yu Xin Kang, Chinese, convicted by the US to 18 months. I suppose that now you are going to move the goalposts and demand some other conditions. It will be very easy to demand a condition that I cannot satisfy, after all, non-citizens don't make very good spies, and it is even rarer for a country to outright refuse to negotiate for the release of their agents. I'm curious to see what new demands you come up with.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:It doesn't make sense (334 comments)

That is an enlightened reply. I appreciate the time you took in writing it. You made me realize a few issues I had forgotten in the original post that makes part of this unworkable (they wont accept having to be at home to check the email, they usually dial-up from other places, I had forgotten about that). You are correct that from their perspective, everything is working (when something fails, e.g., they manage to erase a password or delete/reorder an icon, they blame it to the "computer being old"). I readily forget that... I must not.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:It doesn't make sense (334 comments)

Hmm, so you are saying it is not really an ISP. It is only an email provider. And so we are not really talking about something like a 3rd world country, it is not so much a matter of infrastructure but of control (Cuba perhaps?).

Correct (with some nuances irrelevant for the situation being discussed). I'd rather avoid satellite solutions, just to ensure that I (and my family) stay entirely within the law. I used that email service for years and that ISP was pretty decent (given the restrictions). If you are savvy enough, you can do with those 15Mb much more than what one would expect. The breakdown is just the combination of my family being "not savvy" with the restrictions. If they had TCP conectivity but were illiterate, I could try to leave the some "backdoor" (vnc, ssh, remote desktop, whatever) and coordinate with them to "fix" their issues. Most of the issues, btw, are "the [ISP name] went away", meaning "I deleted or moved the desktop icon". I have done that with relatives not in Cuba. Or, if they lacked a TCP connection but were savvy, I could just communicate with them and tell them what to fix.

This slashdot topic was a long shot. I had some ideas in mind, most too complex / brittle to be worth implementing and I wanted a opinions from a savvy crowd. I should have asked years ago! There was a suggestion of a Wifi-dial-up modem combo device + a tablet that I hadn't thought of, and while it doesn't cover all my "requirements", it may be a sufficient improvement over the current situation to be worth trying. In any case... I have almost a year to think about it and prepare, and now that I was given some ideas worthy of consideration, I'm grateful. I hope at least one comes to fruition.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:It doesn't make sense (334 comments)

Sigh. Original poster here. I'm not trolling. There are many viruses that transmit via email attachment (click_here_for_a_pretty_photo.exe) and USB drives. I am not the only person they comunicate with. As to where the nigerian/spammers got their email, it has leaked over the years.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Chromebook (334 comments)

Absurdly enough, I hadn't even thought about trying to teach them to run a script manually. Even for that I needed a fresh perspective :D. One problem down (I think). Thanks!

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Standard remote access (334 comments)

There's no other service provider?

Kind of. That's the only service provider they have access to. Over there, there are no ISPs offering services to the public. Your employer is your ISP (if you have one at all): they buy a bunch of modems and phone lines to give access to their employees. They typically had so little bandwidth that they are forced to restrict access. There are some "cybercafes" with high prices, long lines, and that I doubt will offer better service than dial-up (for what I've read, you are not even allowed to download your messages to a usb drive). Their employer is considered to be one of the "best" providers, go figure.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Dial up can still access gmail (334 comments)

Oh, I remember that. I thought they had implemented something better. Yep, over there, you give up long before the "Hi! You're a second class citizen" message. I recall that I used some python module that crawled gmail when it was really bad, and that there was some 3rd party "gmail lite" website that creeped me out but people used it nonetheless.

Apparently /. doesn't let me post too frequently. I've got pretty interesting suggestions in this thread, I won't be able to thank them all or clarify their questions. In case I can't and they come back and read /this/ response: Gmail is not an option. It would be ideal (imap or pop3), but everything beyond their local email servers is firewalled. They can browse a handful of sites via a squid proxy server in their network, but gmail (or any other competing "open" email provider) isn't among them.

about a month ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

isilrion Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (540 comments)

I had prepared a huge reply, going over all your "arguments" and straw-man accusations, and then I realized it didn't make sense to continue. You have to be trolling me:

So Cuba, by charging this guy, claimed jurisdiction over what foreign governments could decide to do;

For crying out loud, no, they didn't claim jurisdiction over what the US decided to do. They claimed jurisdiction over what Gross decided to do in Cuba, which was to enter as a tourist while (not so) secretly being an american agent acting on plans to overthrow/destabilize the government. It seems you are incapable of comprehending that. That is not a mere opinion, that is fact. All parts of that sentence are factually true, not even you deny it, yet you refuse to accept that it is true. I have had to state this in (nearly?) every post I've replied, and you still won't acknowledge what the charge was. If you are not willing to acknowledge even factually true statements, it is stupid on my part to even try to argue the rest of your points. If you have evidence that he wasn't in Cuba when he was arrested, or that he wasn't acting as an american agent, or that his actions weren't meant to destabilize the goverment, go ahead and present them, preferably to Gross' lawyer.

about a month ago
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isilrion Re:Missing Information (334 comments)

Oh, good point. I wish I could edit the original post. They use POP3 + SMTP. The ISP runs a Horde+IMP webmail server, but it is a used only as a last resort (too complicated/slow/expensive over dialup). They do need persistent storage, those 15 Mb fill up very quickly. CDs/CD drives last long enough, I'll look into that live-cd solution. I hadn't thought of it. And unfortunately... yes, I'm serious.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Chromebook (334 comments)

On another note: where do they live that they don't have access to slightly higher-speed 3G internet? I've travelled through third world countries, and cell-phone-internet seems to be almost omnipresent in some form or another.

The cellphone provider there (only one, uggh) just recently began selling email access (just to their own pop servers), over 2G, I think, at about $1/Mb. No mobile internet. Roaming from another provider can cost up to $20/Mb. That's why I'm focusing on working with what they have.

about a month ago
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isilrion Re:Sorry (334 comments)

Is there a way to plug a dial-up modem to an ipad? I've thought about getting them a wifi router connected to a usb modem (is that even possible?) and somehow giving them a way to dial out, but that seems even harder. Still, if you know of a system for that (e.g., if openwrt has usb modem + ppp support), I'll look into it. At this point, no idea is a bad idea!

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Standard remote access (334 comments)

Unfortunately, SSH or VNC require a direct TCP connection. They are firewalled (I should have called them "ESP: email service provider" rather than ISP), except for that mail server. We can't even jabber/irc/anything.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Dial up can still access gmail (334 comments)

My really question is this. How do they get viruses? most viruses require a constant high speed connection. without it the virus itself can't do much.

There are two main ways: email attachments and USB drives. Almost every USB drive in that I've seen in that country has an Autorun.inf that installs one virus or another (sneakernet: usb drives are the main form of data transmission over there). I disable autorun every visit... but either I'm doing it wrong, or the "techs" they hire enable it again.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

isilrion Re:Dial up can still access gmail (334 comments)

Original poster here... apparently I clicked "Post anonymously". Oops.

Their "ISP" (note the quotes) wont allow web access other than to the web interface (running Horde/IMP) of their email server. They are stuck with SMTP/POP3.

Gmail optimizes for low bandwidth links.

I didn't know that! Is it something I need to configure? When I visit and manage to access the internet for a few minutes, gmail has been unusable (even google's search page takes over a minute to load. Uggh). So hints on how to optimize gmail for very slow links are helpful, not for my folks, but for me.

Thanks!

about a month ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

isilrion Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (540 comments)

Has it ever occurred to you that it's possible Cuban Law is simply wrong on this point?

Has it ever occurred to you that the Cubans have the right to defend themselves? Because that's the right you are denying them. When the US interest are attacked, you don't ask for justification to invade your attacker. Yet when Cuba is, you claim that Cuban law is "wrong" for wanting to defend themselves.

Since you're talking about practice the actual letter of the law is irrelevant. What matters is convictions. Name one whose been convicted. Seriously. Name a single person convicted of being an unregistered foreign agent who was not a citizen of the US.

The Cuban Five. Notice how I ignore the "not a citizen of the US part". Being a citizen of the US had nothing to do with the convictions: they were convicted for failing to register as agents, for "conspiracy to commit espionage" (even though the prosecution couldn't prove that any secret document was leaked) and "conspiracy to commit murder" (even though they had no way of knowing the outcome).

You set up arbitrary rules that effectively stop Cuba from defending themselves (like being free to enter the US without registering and being citizens). You asked earlier, that's what I meant by arbitrary. The Cubans don't play by those rules, because those "rules", besides made up, imply "just sit there and do nothing while we invade you." You cannot unilaterally make up a rule that benefits you and then claim foul when the other party unilaterally decides to ignore it.

You realize you;re talking about thought crimes. He didn't have to do anything, but those thought he thought while he was in Washington DC were anti-Cuban, so he can be charged with thinking them while he was in Havana.

Sigh. Again. He acted in Cuba. And it's rich that you speak about thought crimes, given that the "conspiracy" charges are essentially thought crimes too, and you don't seem to have any problem with those, as long as they are not directed against your agents. But again, irrelevant, he wasn't convicted for sitting in DC thinking about what he was going to do. He was convicted for going to Cuba and doing his part in the conspiracy.

In international relations when something pisses you off you don't bitch about in press releases for 25 flights, and then go straight for the jugular.

Read some history. They didn't "bitch about it in press releases for 25 flights", they denounced it, repeatedly, to the US authorities, only to be ignored until they took action.

If you're Cuba, and you want the thaw to continue, your job is let them get away with most of it and demonstrate you aren't trying to piss the US off in the rare occasions you do respond.

What else can I say. Read that document. That's just one decade. They have suffered through 6. They have gone through diplomatic channels repeatedly. And whenever they respond, some of you claim that they shouldn't have. Of course they wanted the Cubans to react, the thing is, the outcome would have been the same if they had reacted to any of the previous or future incidents.

Don't be ridiculous. Might has nothing to do with it.

Of course it has. You claim that the US has every right to keep provoking them, and that they don't have any right whatsoever to respond, under the threat of further violence or continuing embargo. And even if they don't do anything, the US still claims the right to harden the embargo (Torricelli act, 1992).

Note that both the exiles in the planes, and the Congressmen who insisted Gross be sent on his mission; wanted Cuba to over-react. It was their plan. Either the Cubans are too stupid to see that, or Cuba's plan is to continue the embargo indefinitely.

You are being purposedly dense. It is unreasonable to expect the attacked to just "take it" for 50 years, and then blame them when, after giving ample warning, they defend themselves. Of course it was part of the plan. It has always been part of the plan for the last 50 years: don't you dare to defend yourself in any of those incidents, or else.

Arresting Gross would always have resulted in drama. That's a given. You don't get a press release saying "we got a spy," followed by a week of secret negotiations, and a secret deal.

I just said that Cuba couldn't make the first move (or rather, that making a public first move would have ensured that no negotiation was possible). To think otherwise is to ignore 55 years of controversy.

If they wanted to avoid drama they actually should have let him through.

And there you have it, again. The only acceptable answer is to let the US do whatever they want. Everything else is unnacceptable.

Offtopics

or sentence one of your guys to 15 years hard labor, or whatever.

Same "your" as the "you" in the preceding sentence: the US. Gross is the guy sentenced to 15 years.

Sorry, I'm even more confused now. I missed something about Gross being "my"/"our" guy. If you think this was an important part of the argument, please rewrite it (or ignore it if it isn't important). In any case, Gross was not sentenced to hard labor (??), there is no such thing in Cuba. He has spent his sentence in a hospital---the Cubans really don't want anything bad to happen to him.

If the charges are bogus then jurisdiction doesn;t really matter.

Except that they claimed jurisdiction (and dismissed the lack-of-jurisdiction claim) before testing if the claims were bogus. The US, or at least that prosecutor and judge, claimed jurisdiction over the russians. So, the US does what you claim is wrong for the Cubans to do (claim jurisdiction over actions ocurring abroad), even though the Cubans didn't do it and the US do it continously.

about a month ago

Submissions

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ISO announces radical reforms

isilrion isilrion writes  |  more than 6 years ago

isilrion writes "Geneva, 1 April 2007. The International Organization for Standardization announced at a press conference that its processes are "broken" and "need radical reform". ISO president Håkan Murby told journalists that "the Microsoft OOXML process was a near-disaster and we want to make sure such a thing never happens again."

Murby outlined three major reforms that he promised would prevent the "near failure of the process" as he described it. First, all national technical committees are to be fully outsourced to Microsoft. Second, new ISO standards would be kept secret until published. Third, all countries that voted "NO" on OOXML would be banned from future participation.

(Just a small contribution for your april's fools day)"

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