Cult of Mac: Apple’s biggest wins (and most epic fails) of 2015


2015 was a bold year for Apple. The company jumped into new product categories, polished its existing hardware and software lines, and wowed us repeatedly. Apple also made most of us throw up in our mouths a little bit now and then, due to some questionable (and some undeniably bad) choices. These are Apple’s biggest […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Engadget: The NSA spied on Congress, too


Just because the United States said it stopped spying on friendly foreign heads of state like Germany’s Angela Merkel, doesn’t mean that Uncle Sam actually has. Eavesdropping has actually continued and the list of targets included Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Wall Street Journal reports. What’s more, the National Security Agency was caught spying on members of Congress and American-Jewish groups as a direct result, according to WSJ‘s anonymous sources.

Over the course of the Iran nuclear negotiations that have taken place in the past several years, the NSA learned that Israel had leaked information to Jewish-American groups to undermine the negotiations taking place at the time. The nation had also approached members of Congress to see what it’d take to earn their vote against the accords.

The situation is a mess and understandably no one involved looks good or wants to admit to any wrongdoing. Israel was trying to win US votes for its cause, the NSA was illegally intercepting these transmissions and basically everyone caught with their hands in the cookie jar is rapidly trying to deny that any of this ever happened. You know, despite proof otherwise. More than that, the NSA has apparently gotten so adept at this type of surveillance that a president, Obama in this case, knowing what a visiting head of state’s talking points would be long before their arrival is incredibly common.

Revelations like this prove that it’s probably going to be a very, very, very long time before the fallout from Edward Snowden’s exposure of unchecked spying ever settles down.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

WIRED: The 7 Best Train Trips in the World


The 7 Best Train Trips in the World

If you don’t want to do the whole cruise or road trip thing, you need a train.

The post The 7 Best Train Trips in the World appeared first on WIRED.

WIRED: The Physics Behind Popping Champagne Bottles


The Physics Behind Popping Champagne Bottles

Don’t just party on New Year’s Eve, think about the cool physics that you can see around you.

The post The Physics Behind Popping Champagne Bottles appeared first on WIRED.

$JCP News: Holiday Sales Soared This Year As Online Shopping Spiked, But Still Accounted For Only 10 Percent Of Total Spending

The bank also named some winners in the retail field – Macy’s, JCPenney, Nordstrom and UGG, all of which continue to offer significant promotions and discounts as 2015 draws to a close.